The ASWB exam is designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities that all social workers should hold. The exam focuses on what potentially is affecting people in real life, and as social workers, you must be competent in your area of practice. The ASWB published the ASWB content outlines and KSA's that can be found for free on their website (www.aswb.org).
*Please review the ASWB content outlines and KSA’s handbook for further details.
Masters level exam
The ASWB Masters exam focuses on four domains. Most questions are focused on human development diversity, and behavior in the environment (28%) and professional relationships, values and ethics (27%). The remaining 24% covers assessment and intervention planning, and 21% covers Intervention with clients/client systems.
Clinical Level Exam
The ASWB Clinical exam focuses on four domains. Most questions are focused on human development diversity, and behavior in the environment (31%). The remaining covers, 26% assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning, 25% Psychotherapy, clinical interventions and 18% covers professional values and ethics. The exam includes the essential knowledge of the DSM-5 as well as the revised 2018 NASW code of ethics.
The ASWB examination consists of multiple-choice questions that contain four answer choices A, B, C, and D with one best answer for each question. Three of the choices are distractors. You are expected to answer 170 questions;150 are scored, and 20 are unscored. These 20 unscored questions do not count towards the passing score, they are unidentifiable and are randomly scattered throughout the exam. According to ASWB, to receive a passing score, you need to answer 93 to 106 questions correctly out of 150 questions. Keep in mind that the score depends on the difficulty of the exam. You have four hours to complete the exam which is administered under strictly controlled conditions. All questions are deemed appropriate for assessing competency.
The ASWB has provided candidates with a practice test that can be found on their website (https://www.aswb.org/exam-candidates/) to help candidates become familiar with the types of questions and the format of the exam.
Familiarizing yourself with the testing site can reduce your anxiety. Knowing how far the site is, the direction, will reduce your chances of arriving late or even getting lost the day of the exam.
Here are things you need to know when choosing your testing site: