Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"I Don't Want to Study for the Social Work Exam!"

By the time you're preparing for the social work licensing exam, you've been through lots and lots and lots of school. You've studied--and passed!--lots and lots and lots of tests. You're probably (hopefully!) working. Probably for not so much money. You're a social worker through and through. You walk the walk, you talk the talk. And now they want you to spend a bunch of money and time and stress yourself out taking a giant licensing exam. For most social workers, the first, loudest, and maybe most rational response is I DON'T WANNA!

Who can blame you? But here's the thing: you probably didn't want to do a bunch of the stuff you had to do to get this far--especially tests--especially finals! But you did it. This could be the last big exam you're ever asked to take. And with this one, the reward isn't just a better grade, or moving on from junior to senior year. With this one you get a social work license. You advance your career. You achieve a long-sought goal.

Remember when you started in social work how licensed social workers seemed like these almost mythical figures? (At least they did to me.) Well, now that's almost you!

All you have to do is put in some hours, learn (mostly relearn) some basic social work material, and get yourself emotionally and physically prepared for the exam. Of course you don't want to. And you don't have to! But should you choose to (and I think you will). Take that frustration and stress and picture how it will dissolve the moment you finish the exam, hit the submit button, and get that instant result: PASS

That will be you. You can do it. It's just a matter of time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Very Most Basic Thing to Do to Prepare for the Social Work Exam

What's the very most basic thing you can do to prepare for the social work licensing exam? Other than get your MSW...other than understanding the basics about how multiple-choice exams operate...other than scheduling your exam and getting some sleep. The very most basic thing you can do setting out on your exam prep journey: Review the NASW Code of Ethics. Do you have a copy? They passed them out at graduation where I went to school. No copy? No matter. The whole thing is on the web, easily accessed with a click. Read it through. So many of the decisions you'll be faced with on the social work exam are rooted in the code. Getting well-versed in the basics of social work is the most basic thing you can do to prepare for the exam!

Can't bear to read it over right now? Then before you start on practice questions, just look at these brief, brief excerpt and you're on your way!

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:
  • service
  • social justice
  • dignity and worth of the person
  • importance of human relationships
  • integrity
  • competence.