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).
Preparing for the social work exam can seem like an overwhelming task. After years of school, internships, and the application process itself, facing the prospect of months of study and practice can be daunting, to say the least. This is especially true if you don’t have a plan. Therefore, the best way to approach your exam prep is - with a plan! The last thing you want to do is spend weeks or months feeling unsure as to what you should be doing just to take the exam unprepared and risk the possibility of failing.
One of the best ways to help manage anxiety and stress as you prepare for your test date is to know what to expect! No one likes to be faced with unanticipated surprises, especially when already in a heightened state of stress. The more you know what to expect, the more prepared you will be to perform your best on test day.