Worried about the DSM V and the ASWB Exams? Here are your answers!

By Bethany Vanderbilt on May 30, 2013

DSM Books

Hey TDC Community!  We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about the DSM V and how it’s going to affect the ASWB LCSW Exam and LMSW Exam.

First, let's take a deep breath.

Second, let’s take a look at what the ASWB has to say about it:

“The current ASWB examinations reflect the content contained in the DSM-IV-TR. ASWB is always committed to providing sufficient information to social work candidates to prepare for ASWB examinations.No changes to the ASWB examinations that reflect only DSM-5 will be made before January 2015.”

If you’re studying for the LCSW Exam now, you definitely SHOULDN’T still be studying for it in 2015!  So, the changes that are anticipated won’t affect questions on the exam you take at all.

If you’re studying for the LMSW Exam now and are anticipating studying for the LCSW later, rest assured that TDC will be updating our content to reflect changes in the DSM V as they’re incorporated into the real exams.  We won’t be changing content early and encouraging you to study for changes you won’t see, but we also won’t leave you hanging with content that’s outdated.  Our mission is to help you prepare for and PASS the exam that you’re actually going to take!

Third, let’s go over a quick version of the process that the ASWB uses to create and include new questions on the exams.  Basically, based on a periodic review of the profession, new questions are produced by a group of contracted item writers and edited by the Exam Committee.  Then the test administrator (Pearson Vue) includes a block of 20 questions on each exam – these are the “unscored items” that you are probably familiar with.  Once enough people have responded to each question, they are pulled so that psychometrics can be analyzed.  If one group of people does better on the question (say, women vs. men), or if people who do well on the exam consistently answer the question incorrectly, it will be sent back to the Exam Committee for rewriting.  If, however, the statistics are good, it goes into the bank and into rotation!

So, no need to panic about the DSM V – it’ll be a while before the test is able to adjust to the changes, and TDC will be prepared to follow suit!

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your social work exam? If you're preparing for a social work exam, check out our Social Work Study Materials. Learn more about our offerings at The Therapist Development Center.

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

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