ASWB Exam Changes and TDC Updates!

By Heidi Tobe on November 29, 2017

It’s hard to believe 2018 is a little over a month away! We know that many of you preparing to take your social work exams in 2018 are experiencing a lot of anxiety around the upcoming exam changes announced by the ASWB. We’ve received hundreds of emails from TDC users and non-users alike inquiring about these changes and expressing their worries about the unknown. Here at TDC we’ve been hard at work for the past four months preparing updated materials to make sure each and every one of you going through our programs will be ready to PASS with confidence whether testing in 2017, 2018, or beyond.

At the beginning of August we published a blog highlighting some of the changes the ASWB announced. As we said then, and will say again now, these changes are minor. The ASWB has stated this fact repeatedly (and everything we’ve seen supports this!). Because the exam preparation process can be anxiety producing enough on its own, any change can feel overwhelming and scary. Trust that these changes are minor and that, more importantly, we’ve got you covered!

Why the Changes?

The ASWB is implementing these changes to ensure exam content is:

1. relevant to current practice and

2. demonstrates both the opinions and the expertise of a diverse group of stakeholders (ASWB, 2017).

The ASWB stated, “the updates to the blueprints can generally be described as a touching up and refining of details, with only a few specific topics receiving more extensive adjustments” (ASWB, 2017). This is good news! The changes being made for the LMSW and LCSW exams are minor (the exam undergoing the greatest changes is the Advanced Generalist Exam-an exam you don’t have to worry about if you are on the path to clinical licensure!). See our August blog for a breakdown of the percentage changes across exams, with visuals.

So What’s Changing?

As we compared the current blueprints with the 2018 exam blueprints, our greatest observation is that the new blueprints are largely expounding upon the outline of the previous blueprints. For example, what once stated “The impact of the environment (e.g. social, physical, cultural, political, economic) on individuals” now states “The impact of the environment (e.g. social, physical, cultural, political, economic) on individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities” (emphasis added). What used to simply state “interview techniques” now states “The principles and techniques of interviewing (e.g., supporting, clarifying, focusing, confronting, validating, feedback, reflecting, language differences, use of interpreters, redirecting.” What used to say “Indicators and dynamics of abuse and neglect” now states “Indicators of abuse and neglect throughout the lifespan” (emphasis added). “Throughout the lifespan” is a phrase we noted came up frequently in the new blueprints, along with “client systems.”

Code of Ethics Changes

In addition to the updated KSAs and exam blueprints, the NASW has also undergone the most substantial revision to the Code of Ethics (COE) since 1996 (which we find pretty exciting and needed)! These revisions focus mainly on social workers' use of technology and the subsequent ethical implications of such use. We offered a four part blog series earlier this fall that discussed these changes and we encourage you to check it out to learn more! Our updated materials (as we discuss below) will reflect the COE revisions that will be in effect for the 2018 social work exams.

The TDC Model


TDC is known for providing you, our test takers, with everything you need to pass the exam and nothing you don’t. For years, TDC has already been breaking down these content areas further and in more detail as the ASWB is doing now in their 2018 exam blueprints. The bulk and foundation of our material isn’t going to change, and here’s why: The changes to the exam are minor and (thankfully) the reasoning skills and general topics being covered are not changing.

What is great for our users is that we have always been proponents of not over studying and steer away from filling our program with obscure pieces of knowledge that are unlikely to show up on the exam (there’s nothing worse than trying to memorize hundreds of pages of content from thick textbooks, lengthy PowerPoint slides, or countless videos). We encourage those of you preparing for the exams not to let your anxiety get the best of you, over studying each bullet point of the new blueprints in depth (the ASWB has broken it down well for you, so you don’t need to add more bullet points beneath their bullet points!). Trying to study too much content can feel productive, but it is not. Our anxiety tells us if we study every bit of information possible, then we will be best prepared. We know from preparing over 20,000 test takers for their licensing exams that more isn’t always better! Rest assured, TDC has you covered.

And now the moment you have all been waiting for: TDC Updates!

What Will TDC be Changing?

TDC will be uploading changes to our program on December 15th to ensure our program is 100% up to date with the exam changes and that each of you have practice materials that fully and accurately reflect the modified exams. Anyone using TDC who is preparing for a 2018 exam will have access to all of the updated materials our team has fervently been working on!

We are writing and replacing practice questions for the final mock exams in both the LMSW and LCSW programs to reflect the updated KSAs and the modified breakdown of questions in the four tested areas.

We are updating all of our Code of Ethics materials including:

  • Code of Ethics lecture
  • Code of Ethics quiz
  • Code of Ethics practice test
  • Code of Ethics audio rationales

Additionally, we are creating a new practice test based on customer feedback! This addition is in direct response to what our users have been asking for: TDC is adding a practice test focusing on the indirect, macro level content that is challenging for many of us more clinically focused social workers. Our new macro level practice test will include questions surrounding community social work, advocacy, program development and evaluation. Stay tuned for a blog post in December discussing this in more detail.

As we said, TDC has you covered! With a 95% pass rate for our users, over 20,000 success stories, and as someone who personally used TDC to pass both of my licensure exams, I encourage you to sign up for a program today if you haven't already. Nothing out there will prepare you better than TDC and we are with you until you pass!

If you are preparing for your licensure exams and still haven’t signed up for an exam preparation program, our structured, straightforward approach to exam prep will provide you with exactly what you need to pass your social work exam or MFT exam and nothing you don’t. If you’d like to connect directly with one of our coaches, you can do that HERE. We look forward to helping you PASS your exam with confidence!





Commenter Name
December 15, 2017


Commenter Name
December 4, 2017

Why is it so expensive to get licensed when we have already paid thousands to get educated and we make no money once we are employed

Commenter Name
December 11, 2017

Hi Pamela, We completely hear and understand your frustration. It is incredibly expensive to get licensed in this profession. We pay with our time, our energy, our money for a long long time before we see any return and it is undeniably a hard journey to choose, especially in this economy. We are aware that our materials are an investment as well. And we have done all that we could to keep the price reasonable while still offering a quality product. We have spent countless hours making sure we include all that needs to be included, and summarize it in a presentation that makes sense, is easy to follow and will be applicable during the test. We make sure not to overwhelm you with things you do not need to know and to provide exam questions that are closely related to that which you will see on the test. That takes time and considerable effort. We do want to make sure that you do not have to go anywhere else for your test prep and that this is the only investment you will have make for it. We believe we have done just that plus we have trained our coaches to provide quality customer support that will be available to you when you need it. All of that does cost money, yet we believe that we offer a competitive price and an exceptional high quality product. Please reach out if you have any questions, Pamela!

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