Unfortunately, it’s often not enough to be a good social worker when it comes to taking and passing the social work exams. While having a good handle on information relevant to social work practice is important, this may also not be enough. Even very good social workers sometimes have a tough time passing their exams. Why might this be? Two reasons: 1) anxiety management and 2) test-taking strategy. The latter can often be the cure for the former.
Many social workers are intimidated by the use of theory and may wonder how theory applies to the social work exam. Theory helps us understand two basic concepts that apply to the social work exam and to social work itself: 1) how people develop problems 2) how to help them with their problems. Taking those two concepts into consideration, we are able to see that theory applies to the following content areas of the exams: 1) human growth and development 2) human behavior in the social environment 3) treatment planning and 4) interventions or psychotherapy (depending on your level of exam).