Preparing for the LCSW & MFT Exam?

By Amanda Rowan on July 30, 2013

Are you preparing to take your LCSW or MFT Exam and feeling overwhelmed?  Join the club! Many therapists experience panic at the thought of tackling this test.  Most of us aren't used to being in study mode and haven't taken a multiple choice exam since the GRE!

So where do you start?  We suggest that the first thing you do is to pick a test date.  You don't have to sign up for the test just yet, but look at the calendar and pencil in a date you'd like to take the test. Why is this important?  Because without this, you have no sense of direction.  Imagine training for a marathon without knowing when you were going to run it.

Calendar with 14th of the month circled in red.

Picking a date may give you a bit of test anxiety.  That's okay.  Actually it's a good thing.  Research shows that a moderate level of anxiety leads to the best performance outcomes.

How far out should your date be? This depends on how much time you think you need to study.  If you are able to commit to 8 hours a week of reviewing, at TDC, we believe the optimal amount of time to study is 4-6 weeks for the National LMSW/LCSW; 8 weeks is for the California Standard Written Exam MFT or LCSW exam and 3-5 weeks for the MFT  or LCSW Clinical Vignette Exam.

Some people feel the need to study for six months+ but the reality is that this is an exam that is more about strategy than it is about factual recall.  Things you study six months before the exam aren't going to stay with you. If you study for too long, you can burn yourself out and actually decrease your chances of passing.

Remember, you can always change your date but if you don't have one you run the risk of wasting time and energy stressing about a test without giving yourself some direction.

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 The Therapist Development Center home page.

Looking for more practice questions and some study tips? Check out our new LCSW Exam Study Guide:

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