As a social worker, the LMSW exam is a significant milestone that can boost you to the next career phase. Having an LMSW certificate as a social worker shows your competency in the field. But studying to get the LMSW exam passing score is where many students have an issue.
It’s easy to ACE the LMSW exam questions when you understand what it entails. Also, preparing for the exam with suitable material and examples of questions that might be asked during the test sets you apart. Keep reading to learn more about how to study for the LMSW exam.
What is the LMSW Exam?
The LMSW exam, or Licensed Master Social Worker Exam, is a general certification exam designed for those who have completed an MSW program. The MSW program or Master of Social Work program is a nationally-accredited program that prepares students for advanced professional practice in social work.
The ASWB, Association of Social Work Board administers the LMSW exam questions. The exam aims to test your skill and ability as a social worker. And after completing the exam, the ASWB grades the exam and sends the results to the state licensure board.
Why Should You Take the LMSW Exam?
The main reason for LMSW exam registration is licensure in the social work field. As a student pursuing a career in this field, questions about licensure will often arise. Passing the LMSW exam is essential to help you secure jobs.
The LMSW exam is an essential requirement for becoming a licensed social worker. Although requirements for becoming a social worker vary. Some states run clinical social work, and advanced generalist examinations that can be an alternative form of licensure to become a social worker.
How Does the LMSW Exam Work?
If you are concerned about what LMSW exam study guide to use, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’d walk you through the format and the topics to cover when you study for the LMSW exam questions.
Format of the LMSW Exam
Firstly, the LMSW exam is a computer-based exam consisting of 170 multiple-choice questions. Out of the 170 questions, 20 are non-scored. You have a total of 4 hours to answer all the questions, leaving you with an average of a minute and a half to answer each question. You can take brief restroom breaks, but be aware that the clock does not stop for these activities.
Although the exam is computer-based, you do not require special computer knowledge to be able to partake in the exam. The exam will be held in an exam testing center and is closely monitored. The grading of the exam is either a pass or a fail. The LMSW exam passing score is between 90 and 107.
Topics Covered in the LMSW Exam
If you are wondering how to study for the LMSW exam, it is spread randomly over four main topics, which are what you should be your study guide. The first topic covered in the LMSW exam is human development, diversity, and environmental behavior. This topic is the largest part of the exam that focuses on the concept of abuse and neglect by social/economic justice and human growth and development.
The second topic covered in the LMSW exam is assessment and intervention planning. This topic focuses on intervention processes, and in the exam, expect to find questions regarding assessment methods and best practices surrounding intervention.
Interaction with clients is another topic covered in the LMSW exam, and it involves operating with systems like clinical health care or criminal justice. In the exam, segments that cover this topic focus on how social work practitioners interact with clients within this context.
Finally, professional relationships, ethics, and values are the fourth topic covered in this LMSW exam. The central part of this topic is ethical, legal, and rational. Any questions about this topic in the exam assess your knowledge in these areas.
7 Study Tips for the LMSW Exam
Is the LMSW exam hard? This question is what many students have at the back of their minds after completing their LMSW exam registration. The truth is that the exam has varying degrees of difficulty. Not all questions are the same level of difficulty. So, the trick to passing the LMSW exam lies in proper preparation. Below are seven tips to help you study for the LMSW exam.
Get relevant study material
The first thing you want to do when preparing for the LMSW exam is to get relevant study material. The LMSW exam is a cumulative test of your knowledge included in an MSW program. As such, honing your skills and knowledge from your courses or organizing your class notes to highlight essential topics makes studying easier and saves you time.
Know the NASW Code of Ethics
Another vital thing to consider when studying for the LMSW exam is knowing the NASW Code of Ethics. Understanding the Code of Ethics is one of the most crucial parts of the exam. Think of it more like the foundation of the exam, and expect a few questions around it. The DSM IV and DSM V, in particular, are crucial information you will need for the exam. The question may come in the form of “what the diagnosis was,” but the majority of questions will be centered on what social workers do first, next, and so on.
Figure out how you best retain information
The key to studying for any exam is to remember the information you are studying during the exam. As such, it’s best to figure out how you retain information best. Some people retain information best by writing key concepts; others retain information by diagnosing the info. The writing concept is the most popular approach as it gives you a concise summary of the whole material, which you can skim every night before bed. Understanding your body and studying the best way you comprehend will give you an edge during the exam.
Work with a study group
Working with a study group is another excellent way to prepare for the exam. When you study with a group, you can better overcome challenges like procrastination. Also, a study group can help you develop in areas you are weak in, as other members might be better in that area, or as a group can better tackle it. A study group encourages every member to think creatively and build strong communication skills, which is what every social worker needs to excel in their field.
Connect with academic advisors
Your academic advisors can be a vital part of the study process. Connecting with trusted professors or academic advisors in an area where you need extra lessons can help boost your performance. As professionals in their fields, they can help you get clarification with practical examples in areas you don’t quite understand. Whether during your MSW courses, clinical judgment, research process, and so on, your academic advisors or trusted professors in the field will help you a great deal.
Get involved with online communities
Another thing you can use to prepare yourself for the LMSW exam questions is by getting involved with online communities. Online communities like forums discussing issues and providing support to participants can help you ace the exam in one sitting. On such platforms, you will find important information from students who have written the exam before and the challenges they likely encountered. As such, you can better plan yourself as you study for the exam.
Take a practice exam
Finally, after preparing for the exam, you should take a practice exam before taking the actual exam. With the practice exam, you can judge yourself based on your score if you are truly ready for the LMSW exam. If your score is below the LMSW exam passing score, you must keep practicing until you get a grade above the passing score.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Study for LMSW Exam?
A significant part of becoming a Licensed Master’s Social Worker requires you to pass a formal licensing exam like the LMSW exam. But before you begin the LMSW exam registration process, it’s best to check with your local licensing body regarding the laws, regulations, and fees involved. Passing the exam is relatively easy when you study correctly. If you don’t have the luxury of waiting 90 days to retake the exam if you don’t get a passing mark, then use the tips shared in this article to prepare through and through for the exam.
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