Monday, February 22, 2016

Taking the California Law & Ethics Exam

It’s the start of 2016 and you are trying to get licensed in California.  If you’re just now beginning the exam process, you will take the CA Law & Ethics exam.

Did you know that since the exam is new, the BBS is taking time to statistically analyze the questions before deciding how to score them?  That means you have to wait to get your score report… and wait to know if you passed.

The BBS website says:

Exam candidates who take the LMFT and LCSW Law and Ethics Examination and the LMFT Clinical Examination after January 1, 2016 could experience up to an eight (8) week delay in obtaining their exam score report.  Each new Board examination requires an analysis of candidate responses to examination items in order to identify any problematic items that may need to be excluded from scoring. Once the analysis is complete and the passing score is validated, score reports will be mailed to candidates. 

So instead of that tense, few-second pause at the computer before your score pops up, now you have to wait a relatively long time to know the outcome of all your hard studying.  

When I completed the exam in February 2015, I received a certification letter at the test center stating that results will be mailed out in approximately 6 weeks.

Photo Credit Pixabay
What do you do while you wait?

First of all, you can give yourself permission to take a break from the process.  You just took (and hopefully passed) a big exam!

But before you take too long of a break, take some time to sit down and process your exam experience.

During the exam, did you run out of steam before finishing?  Did you forget to bring anything that could have helped you (printed directions to the test center, a snack to eat before or after, etc?)  Did you utilize “marking” a question to go back to review or not?  Did you finish earlier than you thought or did it take you longer than expected?

Content wise—were there specific topics that you recall being difficult for you?  Jot them down and make a plan to review those content areas.  Good news here: ethics makes up a big portion of the ASWB clinical exam, too (18% of those questions).

You know what kind of timeline under which you are operating – you can either wait to receive your results or just go ahead starting to prep for the ASWB exam.  Find affordable test prep and practice exams here.  Either way, good job on completing this first important step!


  1. I have been working so hard to be ready to take my MFT exam, and i am finally in a place to feel prepared to take the text! I studied with . Best of luck to all those who are getting ready to test!

  2. To any who reads this, do you know of anyone who passed the exam without buying a exam prep program, ie. the therapist development center? Just curious to see how many people use a program vs a book or other study material. Best!