ASWB Practice Exam

The Associate of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Exam is taken by candidates looking to become an ASWB licensed professional. When a candidate passes this exam, they are generally qualified for practicing social work. This complete guide will walk through this test and provide you with an ASWB practice exam.

The ASWB has four levels of exams that are administered depending on the level of education the candidate has completed. Each of these levels will also determine the candidate’s entry point for their social work career. Those levels are bachelor, masters, advanced generalist, and clinical. 

The requirements for practicing and the licensing are different for each state. As a result, not every state will offer every level of exam. Questions on higher level exams are obviously more difficult and require more detailed knowledge. 

Summary: Learn about the exam and utilize the ASWB practice exams below.

ASWB Practice Exams and Resources

Resource Notes  Provider 
ASWB Practice Exam 1 Practice questions to help you prepare. Simmons
ASWB Practice Exam 2 Additional practice questions to help you. Social Work Test Prep
ASWB Practice Exam 3 Try a practice exam in flashcard format. Quizlet
ASWB Practice Exam 4 Try another practice exam in flashcard format. Quizlet

ASWB Test Breakdown

As mentioned earlier, there are four levels of ASWB exams. Each level of exam consists of 170 questions but only 150 of the questions are scored. 20 are pretest questions. There’s no way to differentiate the pretest questions from real ones. 

Each level will have a slightly different layout so let’s use the Bachelor’s ASWB Exam as an example.

Human Development and Behavior (14%)

This section will include questions related to theoretical understanding of human behavior in relation to social environments. This includes families, individuals, and communities. Candidates are expected to understand are the behavioral impact of things like addiction and abuse. 

Diversity (7%)

A candidate’s knowledge and understanding of diversity and its behavioral impact are tested in this section. 

Assessment of Social Work Practice (20%)

These questions will test a candidate’s understanding of items like social history and collateral data. Social work utilizes data to determine the effects of specific environments on human behavior so candidates need to have a firm understanding of analytics and how it applies to social work.

Direct or Indirect Practice (21%)

Social practices are built around relationships with clients so this knowledge is tested in this section of the test. Questions will relate to models of practice, intervention processes, and the collaborative use of relationships in social work. 

Communication (10%)

Candidates are expected to have a high level of knowledge with communication in a social work environment. Questions will include communication principles and techniques.

Professional Ethics and Values (13%)

Social workers must possess a deep understanding of professional ethics and the values expected from their profession. This includes responsibility to clients, as well as the law around confidentiality.

Other Areas of the ASWB Exam

Here are some of the other types of questions that will be asked:

  • Professional Relationships (5%): Forming professional relationships and their concepts in practice.
  • Social Work Supervision (2%): Both educational and administrative functions of supervision.
  • Utilization and Evaluation of Research (2%): Data collection, analytics, and research.
  • Service Delivery (5%): Rights of clients, their entitlements, and the development of policies and processes that reflect those rights.
  • Administration (1%): Business basics like staffing, HR management, and management. 

ASWB Test Registration

Before a candidate is allowed to register for this exam, they require approval from the social work regulatory board. This approval process starts by submitting an application. The board will then review that application to ensure that the candidate is eligible. 

Keep in mind that the exact process will be different for every jurisdiction. 

Once the application is approved, a candidate can then register with the ASWB by providing the right materials as required. Then when the second application is approved, the candidate can finally register for the ASWB exam. 

Every state has its own board so the legislation will be different. Candidates will want to ensure that they get approval in the area where they plan to live so that their license is within the correct jurisdiction. 

So once candidates get all of those initial steps out of the way, they can finally register for the ASWB exam. A fee is required at the time of registration. It’s important to note that this fee is nonrefundable.

Candidates can go to the official site and begin the process of getting their license. 

ASWB Scoring 

Candidates will either pass or fail this exam. It’s a static scoring system. The exam consists of 150 administered questions and answering between 93 and 107 correct will generally constitute a passing grade. You are not penalized for incorrect answers so be sure to answer them all. 

Candidates are given an unofficial score upon completion of the exam but the official certified score will take a couple of weeks. The ASWB exam can be retaken after 90 days if a candidate happens to fail, but it requires the candidate to pay the fee again. 

How will the ASWB be Administered?

Candidates are required to present two forms of identification before being allowed into the testing facility. Here are the types of identification accepted by the ASWB according to their website. 

All personal items must be stored in a secure spot at the testing facility while taking the exam. You’re not allowed to bring anything, including food or drink. 

There are some exceptions for individuals with disabilities but candidates must provide documentation from a healthcare provider during the application process. 

Within the testing facility, the exam is taken on a computer. The time allowed for the exam is four hours. Candidates are allowed to take breaks, but the time will continue to run during breaks.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a licensed social worker requires a great deal of work and dedication. The ASWB is considered to be a difficult exam so it’s essential that you prepare for it. Use one of the ASWB practice exams in this guide to help! 

ASWB FAQS

The ASWB Exam is a grueling test that is administered over a four hour period. As a result, there are a lot of questions surrounding it so let’s take a look at some of the most common.

How are Scores Scaled?

This is a common question and the answer will depend on the jurisdiction. For instance, an area might list the required score at “75” while others might just say that a candidate “passed.”

Certain places have laws related to the number of questions answered correctly to constitute as a passing score. This same number of questions will generally encompass multiple tests. So if the law states that a candidate needs to correctly answer 95 questions to become certified, then for that specific area, 95 correct answers might be translated into a score of “75.”

Let’s try to simplify this - The passing score requirement itself doesn’t necessarily mean that the test is more difficult in one jurisdiction than it is in another. All tests everywhere will indicate the same level of performance.

It’s a matter of wording and not difficulty. Systems simply report the scores in different ways but the results are actually the same.

The good news is that once you pass in one jurisdiction, then you have passed in all of them since the passing score is national. However, you are not licensed in every state by just passing the ASWB Exam.

What Level of the ASWB Exam Should be Taken?

It depends on a candidate’s level of education. The bachelor’s exam is designed for candidates who are entering the field with a BSW degree while the master’s exam is for candidates who are entering with a MSW degree.

Naturally, the master’s would be more difficult but it also helps boost the entry-level position.

Higher level exams are designed for MSW degree holders who already have 2 years of experience.

In most cases, you’ll take the exam that matches your education level but you can check with your state’s laws or speak with a guidance counselor.

When is the Best Time to Begin Studying for the ASWB Exam?

The ASWB exam is administered all throughout the year at a candidate’s local testing center. In most jurisdictions, it’s only available 6 days a week but some areas have upped it to seven!

The whole process takes time, so it is recommended that you start studying for it once you apply to take the exam. Once they have approved that application, you’ll have to fill out another application which must be approved. Then that one is approved and you get the authorization to register for the test.

Upon receiving this authorization, you will have 60 days to apply for the test. That’s why it is recommended that you start preparing the moment you send in the first application.

Does the ASWB Test School Studies or Experience Learned by Professionals?

The ASWB test uses experience-based knowledge that is found in surveys from professionals who are actively practicing social work. However, these questions are limited to knowledge that individuals are expected to understand and/or learn on their first day.

So you don’t have to worry about there being questions that are only answerable by people with decades of experience. The intent is to test a candidate’s initial knowledge and skillset.

Last Updated: 3/29/2021