Free LCSW Practice Exam Question

By Robin Gluck on September 27, 2019

LCSW Practice ExamAll right social workers and MFTs, it’s once again time for our free LCSW practice exam question. This week, we will provide you with two LCSW practice questions. These questions will allow you to test your knowledge on the topic of domestic violence. It is quite likely that you will see questions about domestic violence on your ASWB, AAMFT, or BBS exam. Domestic violence questions can be tested from many different angles, which is why we want to give you two opportunities to practice how these could show up on your LMSW, LCSW, or MFT exams.

LCSW Practice Question:

A woman is referred to a social worker by her EAP. The referral indicates that the woman is frequently absent from work and has difficulty completing projects. During the initial assessment, the woman avoids answering questions about her relationship with her spouse. The woman becomes tearful when asked about her family and social supports. The woman shares that her husband does not “allow” her to go out in the evening or on weekends. She goes on to tell the social worker that she is pregnant, but has not told her husband about the baby. What should the social worker do NEXT?

  1. Refer the client to a doctor for prenatal care
  2. Suggest couples treatment to address issues of stress around the move
  3. Redirect the client back to issues of absence and incomplete job performance
  4. Assess the woman for domestic violence and help her create a safety plan

According to the Social Work Dictionary, domestic violence is defined as “abuse of children, older people, spouses, and others in the home, usually by other members of the family or other residents; or the social problem in which one’s property, health, or life are endangered or harmed as a result of the intentional behavior of another family member,” (Barker, 2003).

Most therapists are familiar with the cycle of violence, but are not always aware of the more subtle signs of abuse and ways the client may hint towards domestic violence dynamics.?  What does the perpetrator and their abuse look like when described through a client’s eyes? As therapists, we want to be on the lookout for clients describing partners who are possessive, sexually jealous, insecure, or controlling.  Clients may describe scenarios that highlight their partner’s inability to cope with stress effectively or tendency to blame the client or others for their behavior. Substance abuse or dependence may be mentioned. Social isolation and pregnancy are additional risk factors for domestic violence that can increase risk. The ASWB, AAMFT and BBS all want to make sure that you can identify symptoms and behaviors that indicate a violent relationship — from either side.


In the item above, the strongest answer is D, since the stem provides the test-taker with multiple risk factors for domestic violence. Answer A is incorrect because our priority is to assess for domestic violence. A referral to a doctor for prenatal care would follow risk assessment and safety planning. Additionally, answer A wrongly assumes the woman is not receiving prenatal care.  Answer B is incorrect as we would need to rule out domestic violence before considering couples counseling. Couples counseling is contraindicated if domestic violence is suspected. Answer C is incorrect because issues of safety warrant immediate attention and this answer disregards the red flags raised in the vignette.

Now, let’s consider a slightly different scenario for the next LCSW practice exam question.

LCSW Practice Question:

 A hospital-based social worker meets with a new client who was admitted following a domestic assault perpetrated by her boyfriend. The woman shares that her boyfriend, with whom she lives, was upset because she was texting with a male coworker and went out for drinks with him after work. She shares that her boyfriend is very insecure and she should have known how this would affect him due to similar instances in the past. She tells the therapist that her boyfriend felt terrible about the incident, brought her flowers while she was in the hospital, and promised never to hurt her again. What should the social worker do FIRST?

  1. Assist client in identifying alternative living arrangements due to risk of additional violence.
  2.   Provide psychoeducation regarding the cycle of violence and offer resources for victims of domestic violence.
  3.   Provide client with referral to anger management classes for her boyfriend.
  4.   Assess the client’s relationship history with boyfriend.


The correct answer to this LCSW practice question is B. It is clear that domestic violence exists-the woman was hospitalized following the most recent incident and indicates similar instances in the past. The client appears to be unaware of the cycle of violence. It would be important to shed light on this dynamic so the client has an awareness of the likelihood of future violence and how to identify when it is more likely to occur. In addition, providing resources to the client would allow her to access support on her own terms. Answer A pushes the therapist’s agenda, as the client has not indicated a desire to locate alternative living arrangements. Answer C is incorrect because the focus should be on the client, not her boyfriend. Finally, the actions described in answer D could be done after B, but the priority is helping the client understand the cycle she is engaged in with her boyfriend and providing resources.

How did you do on these questions? Did you learn something new about domestic violence in our LCSW practice questions? Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your social work exam or MFT exam? If you’re preparing for the social work exam click here- Social Work Exam Prep; if you’re preparing for the MFT exam, click here MFT Exam Prep. Learn more about our exam prep at The Therapist Development Center home page.

Looking for more free LCSW practice exam questions? Check out this LCSW exam study guide.

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April 26, 2018

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July 2, 2019

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December 2, 2019

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January 29, 2020

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