Friday, February 06, 2015

Theories to Know for the Social Work Exam

Every time an ambitious PhD gets hold of a grant, it seems like a new approach to psychotherapy is born. Which is great, but can be overwhelming. Just look at Wikipedia's list of psychotherapies for a sense of how vast the literature on psychotherapy is. If you're preparing for the social work exam, not to worry. What you might reasonably expect to see appear on the exam doesn't include that whole list. Far from it. The Code of Ethics directs social workers to utilize empirically validated forms of psychotherapy. Social work schools like students to be grounded in the history of psychotherapy. In those two categories, you should be able to locate everything that might possibly show up on the exam, theory-wise. If it's not empirically validated or historically relevant, it might be interesting to learn about, but that's learning that won't necessarily help you on exam day. Here's a quick list of therapy's greatest hits--with links to Wikipedia, pruned from the longer list. A cheat sheet for your exam prep:
Remember not to overstudy. You don't need to know all of these inside and out for the social work exam. You just need a general idea of what's what with each (if that!)--some key concepts and no more. Anything missing? Comments are open.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all of your encouragement and information provided on this blog! It has been a tremendous help, and I passed my LCSW exam this morning!

Anonymous said...

I failed for the third time please help. I don't know what to do.

Anonymous said...

don't give up...

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that you can help me - I used the FAREAFI model to help with the First/Best questions and I think that I relied on it too much. What happens when they mention a medication evaluation - should I ALWAYS choose that first even if the question is vague and mentions nothing about the person being on medication? If the question asks whether to report an incident - do I report it or ask the client any questions? I know what I personally would do in the situation - but I am fully aware that this exam is looking for book answers. Thank you in advance!

the lcsw exam said...

Congratulations, don't give up, and, regarding relying on FAREAFI -- proceed with caution. There's no always-right way to respond to exam items. Look at the wording of stems and answers. Is a med eval or abuse report indicated by a vignette? If it's a maybe, lean yes. But just because those options are among the possible answers, doesn't mean they're always the right answers. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Gosh!!! Been trying to my BSW license. .no luck!! Any suggestions, please and thank you so much in advance! !

Anonymous said...

This blog + practice tests have been a winning formula for lots of people. Good luck!

khamitt1 said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been out of school since 1994 and now I have to get my LSW and have failed it twice. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Full-length practice tests are generally the best way to get a sense of your readiness and of which topics you need to focus your studying on. Try socialworktestprep.com (Coupon code SWTP10 saves you ten percent!)

Concerned Social Worker in Mass. said...

I took the LCSW Mass.exam yesterday. I must say it was not at all something you can study for. It seems very arbitrary and not at all scientific. I got 90 right and not the 101 one needed to get one's license. The ASWB should be forced to show the rationale for the answers. At least for the ones you got wrong. They are so afraid that someone will get ahold of these questions. However in 90 days they will have a new set....so what is the ASWB'S Fear? The Social Work pins are great as is the info on line, but the questions on the LCSW are silly and are not good indicators of what you know. Incidently the ASWB is a non profit company and their guide book is not worth the price. Studied every category in the book all year long. On pg.44 of guide, the guide states that there is no indication that the material will appear in the same or similar form of the examination.

Anonymous said...

dear concerned. thanks for this. I have been practicing since 1981 as an LSW in PA and am considering taking the LCSW to do PT work. wonder if it's worth it. I've taken short practice tests and have ended up with disaster fails to getting 9/10 correct..no rhyme or reason. any suggestions??