Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kate's LCSW Journey (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here

I became eligible to take the exams during the transition time from California’s Standard Written exam followed by Clinical Vignette exam (2015 and prior) to the current Law & Ethics exam followed by ASWB Clinical exam (2016 and onward).  I decided to hold off on taking the exams until 2016.  It’s likely that my family will relocate states again, so I thought the nationally-used ASWB Clinical exam would be advantageous to potentially transferring my future license to another state. 

But honestly, it also felt good (in that lazy way, you know what I’m talking about) to procrastinate on studying some more.  I was now pregnant again and found it hard to devote time to studying, plus working, plus parenting.  

(For those of you keeping track, yes!  This story has now gone on for so many years that it includes me giving birth to two [2] children and attaining zero [0] clinical licenses!)

I found my old study materials from the Illinois LMSW exam and laughed when I saw that I was using SWTP’s practice test questions back in 2010, and here I am using them again six years later.  For me, slogging through a massive tutorial trying to cover every possible topic on the LCSW exams sounds too daunting and likely to make my eyes glaze over.  I also know I have good knowledge on certain topics and want to focus on the ones I don’t know. 

Taking practice exams is a great way for me to jump in to the studying process – I took a practice exam without studying, just to gauge my readiness level.  It was a wincing moment when I saw the initial score, but I know that it was going to be improvement from there forward.  I also find the SWTP blog posts focusing on specific content, with a practice question and detailed rationale on the right and wrong answers, to be very memorable for my learning style.

I’m motivated now to take (and pass!) the LCSW exams for several reasons. 

  •       I want to ensure I have greater job opportunities in the future that an LCSW will open up for me—I don’t want to be held back by lacking those letters behind my name. 
  •       Ideally I want to be able to find a clinical job with a nonprofit that would be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. 
  •       I’m motivated because I don’t want this process to drag on for any longer – it’s already been the better part of a decade!
  •       I’m also motivated because I know that now that the process has started, I better not let my eligibility lapse.  It would be a major nightmare to reapply for exam eligibility with my out of state background.
  •       I’m eager to accomplish my LCSW because as good as procrastination feels, getting a long-overdue task handled and checked off your to-do list feels a million times better. 

Photo credit Pixabay

I know that there are many other readers who can relate to the last point.  What about you out there?  Why are you motivated to take and pass the LCSW exam?  Share via comment below.  Or— submit your own story to be featured to motivate others just like you!

Bonus PS – Read up about motivational interviewing and then practice motivationally-interviewing yourself to get started on your own LCSW test prep!

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