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How to Pass the Social Work Licensing Exam (LMSW)

While I was studying for my LMSW exam, I often searched the internet for advice from recent graduates who had just passed their Social Work Licensing exam. I kind of felt alone in my situation although I knew others were studying too! The Master’s level and Clinical Social Work Licensing exams (LMSW/LCSW) are 170 question multiple choice tests, with only 150 questions counting toward the score Certified Ethical Hacker test.

Also, the ASWB changed the exam in 2011 to reflect current Social Work practice. I had no idea if this was a good or a bad thing, but I was worried because the pass rate for the 2010 ASWB Master exam is 74.3% plus I also heard about social workers failing many times.

Oh no! I have to pass TWO standardized exams to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 3 years of Clinical Supervision after I take the LMSW (3,000 hours)! There was so much material to study and the pile of books I had from my upcoming study course was overwhelming. I had no idea where to begin, so I waited until I started the study course offered by Adelphi University. The instructor suggested that we take a practice exam to determine what areas we need to concentrate on based on a percentage breakdown of the number of questions answered correctly on each topic. I was freaking out! I only got a 51~~I knew I had a lot of work to do!

The study course ultimately taught me to analyze each question by deciding if it was a situational or factual question. The next steps are to decide who the client is and what the clinician should do in the given scenario. Nearly all questions on the actual Master’s level Social Work Licensing exam (in New York) were: what happens FIRST, what happens NEXT, or what is the BEST choice to make (by the clinician). They all had factual information built into the question.

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