ASWB Clinical Exam

The ASWB Clinical Exam is a computer-based exam that is four hours in length, and includes 170 multiple-choice questions. Of the 170 questions, only 150 will count toward your score.

There are accomodations available for individuals with conditions that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, as well as those who do not speak English as their first language. You must apply for these accommodations in writing.

Some of these testing accommodations include small group setting, extended testing time, hand-held magnifier, and seat cushion.

What are the categories and topics covered on this exam?

There are 4 areas that the exam will cover. The areas are:

  • Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment-24%
  • Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning-30%
  • Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions, and Case Management-27%
  • Professional Values and Ethics-19%

Under the Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment category, some of the topics that will be evaluated include theories of human development, sexual development, and spiritual development throughout one’s life, the family life cycles, how aging parents affect adult children, Person in Environment theory, interpersonal relationships, the effects of abuse, crisis intervention, stress and trauma, criminal justice, co-morbid disorders, role theories, communication theories, conflict theories, sexual orientation concepts, gender identity concepts, how disability affects biopsychosocial functioning, and the affects of culture and race on attitudes.

Under the Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning category, some of the topics that will be evaluated include biopsychosocial assessments, active listening, sexual dysfunction, neurologic disorders, psychosocial stress, methods of risk assessment, somatization, medical terminology, behavioral dysfunction, data collection, components of intervention, trauma-informed care, impact of immigration, discharge, aftercare, evaluating a client’s progress, and assessing reliability and validity.

Under the Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions, and Case Management category, some of the topics that will be evaluated include social worker/client relationship, building and maintaining relationships, problem-solving and the social worker, verbal and non-verbal communication, obtaining and giving feedback, intervention and treatment, role play, role modeling, conflict resolution, anger and stress management, psychotherapy, assertiveness training, family therapy, time management, prevention strategies, service delivery, case management, quality assurance, leadership and management, networking methods, assessing community resources that are available, and accreditation.

Under the Professional Values and Ethics category, some of the topics that will be evaluated include social workers and legal and ethical issues, informed consent, ethical issues with regard to management and supervision, confidentiality, professional values and principles, how the social worker’s values affect a collaboration, safe and positive work environment, self-care techniques, and evidence-based practice.

How can I register for the exam?

Before you can register for the exam, you must request a license application of your social work regulatory board. After completing and submitting the form, you have to wait for an Authorization to Test document, which is the approval from the board to register for the exam.

Registering for the exam online is the most convenient way to register, but doing so over the phone or via mail or fax are other options. Payment via credit cards, money orders, and certified checks are allowed. You cannot submit a payment via cash or personal check.

What is the cost of the exam?

The cost of the exam is $260. Keep in mind, your jurisdiction may require additional fees, so be sure to verify this.

What are the testing dates and locations?

Once you receive your Authorization to Test, you have one year to schedule your exam date.

There are various sites around the world that offer this exam. Search for the one that is closest to your geographic location.

What should I do the day of the exam?

Arrive at the testing center 30 minutes early.

Bring two forms of identification that are valid (not photocopied or expired). One must include your name, signature, and photo. The other must at least have your name and signature.

Examples of acceptable forms of ID include passport, passport card, driver’s license, national identification, and military identification card.

Personal items such as a cell phone, calculator, handbag, briefcase, water bottle, study materials, and tablets are prohibited from the testing area.

Can I take a break during the exam?

Although you are allowed to take short breaks during the exam, the testing clock will not stop if you decide to do so.

What happens after I take the exam?

You will receive an unofficial test report after completing the exam. The official report will be sent to your social work board in two weeks of taking the exam.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

Find out from your jurisdiction the maximum number of times you can take the exam. All jurisdictions require that you wait at least 90 days from taking the exam before another attempt.

How Can I Prepare for the ASWB Clinical exam?

We believe that different learning styles require different tools for success. We have compiled a list of the best study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that we’ve found on the market. Some of these guides have review videos, for you visual learners out there. Others have practice tests, which have been proven to increase student scores by a whole letter grade (in some cases more than that)!

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Last Updated: July 31, 2019