About the ASWB
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is a non-profit organization of social work licensing boards. The ASWB is the organization that administers and scores the social work licensing exams that all state licensing boards adhere to (with the one exception being the California LCSW Law and Ethics exam, which the BBS administers). If you want to become a clinical social worker anywhere in the United States (and parts of Canada), you’ve got to pass the ASWB exams.
In addition to passing the ASWB exams, each state has its own requirements that must be met in order to apply for licensure, which you can find on our Social Work Licensure by State page, but taking the ASWB social work exams is part of the process in every state. The ASWB offers exams on five different levels, each associated with a different license: Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical.
Here at TDC, we support the studies of those taking the ASWB Masters Exam and the ASWB Clinical Exam, as those are the two most common exams taken on the path to becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) or licensed master social worker (LMSW). We also work with candidates taking their Bachelor’s Exam. For more details on preparing for your Bachelor’s Exam, contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our ASWB exam prep approach is slightly different than other resources out there, as The Therapist Development Center's (TDC’s) focus revolves around how to read each question, analyze what is being asked, and how to utilize reasoning skills to get to the correct answer. We help you develop the skill set necessary to pass the ASWB exams, and reduce the amount of unnecessary memorization of information that other programs require. To get a sneak peek at what TDC offers, check out our ASWB Practice Exam and ASWB Study Guide here:
And you can also learn more about TDC’s full ASWB Exam Prep programs here:
How long is the ASWB Exam?
The ASWB exam is comprised of 170 multiple choice questions, however, only 150 of those questions count towards your score. The additional questions, which are randomly inserted into the exam, are questions being considered for future exams. Once you begin the exam, each candidate will have four (4) hours to complete it.
How do I register for the ASWB Exam?
It’s easy! Once you qualify to take the exam with your state licensing board, just go to the Association of Social Work Board’s website and complete the online forms. You will also need to pay the registration fee which is $230 for the Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s exam, and $260 for the Advanced Generalist and Clinical exams. The ASWB will then send you a Confirmation of Eligibility, which will allow you to select your local test center and exam date through Pearson VUE.
I have a disability. How do I receive accommodations from the ASWB?
If you are a test taker with a disability who is ESL or have health-associated needs, you may qualify for accommodations with the ASWB. To apply, just fill out the ASWB Application for Disability Accommodations and submit it to the ASWB. Part of this application will require medical proof of disability from your healthcare provider, their signature, and the specified limitations of the disability and recommended accommodations. If any part of the application is incomplete, you will receive notification from the ASWB and will be given 60-days to complete it, or the application will not be processed. Once approved, the accommodations will be valid for one (1) year.
What type of questions should I expect on the ASWB Exams?
For the LMSW Exam, recall-based questions make up 10-20% of the ASWB exam, application-based questions make up 10-20% of the exam, and reasoning-based questions make up 60-65% of the exam. For the LCSW exam, recall-based questions make up 5-10% of the exam, application-based questions make up about 10% of the exam, and reasoning-based questions make up 80-85% of the LCSW exam.
How do I know if I passed the ASWB Exam?
When you finish the exam, the computer will immediately generate an unofficial score report, notifying you if you passed or failed. A passing score for the Association of Social Work Board's exam is between 93 and 107 correct answers out of the 150 scored questions. The unofficial score report is printed by the test center and can be taken with you immediately upon completion of the ASWB exam. The ASWB will then send your official score report to your state licensing board within two weeks of taking your exam. From there, your state licensing board will notify you of your licensure status (processing times vary from state to state).