Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Taking the LCSW Exam

I am taking the National Clinical Social Worker exam in late July. So far, most of the online resources that I have found have been either boring or full of editing mistakes. Therefore, I am going to try and write up as much of the material I can before the late July and post it here for myself and others who might want the resources without the hassles. Feel free to comment, request or add to the material I present.

I have the belief that all of those who are taking the test are in it together. Furthermore, those who come after us can benefit from the wisdom and studies of those who have completed the clincal requirements and preparing for the exam. Therefore, let us contribute wisely and succinctly from our reading and our experiences.

I will probably alternate between posting psychotherapuetic theories and DSM-IV disorders. I would appreciate additional information from anyone who has studied for the research, ethics and HIPPA portions of the test.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for doing this. i'm six years out of school (msw)and have decided to get licensed in colorado. I have no idea where to start studying and there is no central source to gather materials. this is really helpful and i greatly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

wow this is really helpful. You have put a lot of work into this. I am sure you will pass!

Anonymous said...

My have taken the LCSW exam twice and have not passed. I am eligible to take it again at any time and my letter expires May 10, 2008. I do not know whether to take it again now and if I do not pass, have one final attempt prior to May 10 or, wait until May 10. My weakest area is clinical practice and I recently changed jobs to try to gain more clinical experience.

Any suggestions?

Jena

Anonymous said...

My name is Jena and I am the one who posted the comment about unsuccessfully taking the exam twice and only have one more shot before my letter expires in May, 2008.

My weakest areas are Clinical Practice, Human Development and Research. I have found your clinical practice postings very helpful. Could you post anything about Human Development and Research as relates to MUST KNOWS for the LCSW exam?

If I do not pass this time, I must start the whole process over again and their is no guarantee the Board will approve me again!!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I too took the LCSW exam twice and failed it..73 out of 75 passing here in Indiana. But the funny issue is that both scores I received were the same each time. Not sure if I am mentally or emotionally ready to fail a third time. So I will try a different tactic this time.

gator2tarheel said...

I don't mean to weaken anyones spirits, but, I just took exam #3 and "FAIL" was displayed again. I really thought I was prepared this time. I bought into one of the on-line test prep's and brought my score up considerably and was passing the last few tests. I plan to keep studying and reapply for round #4.

Anonymous said...

I empathise with all of you who are taking the licensure exam I finally passed after taking it three times so please do not be doscouraged or give up.
How did I do it. I was determined to make it so I changed my study guide and bought one by Jewell Elizabeth Golden then I changed my test center and drove miles away to a new center because I associated the first center with the FAIL that came up each time I took the exam. Both these changes in my mind guaranteed a PASS and I envisioned the new screen with A PASS and started writing what I was going to do diffferent when I received my PASS score and my licensure. I drafted my private practice and what population insurances I wanted to take and all of a sudden I was excited and focused on passing the exam that YES I passed and opened a private pratice in 2003.
So take heart and YES YOU can PASS it with the new study all I did was study 30-60 min a day for 2months and took it easy on myself and that worked.
Best wishes to all.
Dr. Stem Mahlatini LICSW

Christine said...

I am freaking out. It took so long for board approval in NYC. I am not sure I will pass this as I almost gave up on board approval. I found this site very helpful as I wrote all over my practice books.

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else, thanks so much for your efforts in this site. I'm currently planning on taking the exam but with other "life" demands, how much time is sufficient to prep for the exam? Dr. Mahlatini noted he prepped for 2 months with studying 30-60 mins. daily. Does anyone have any additional feedback?

Anonymous said...

Im not a Debbie Downer but it really helps to identify with other competent ppl that have failed the test. Just took it yesterday for the 2nd time and failed by 3 questions. I highly suggest looking up LEAP exam prep co. They have been helping me work on strategies to pass and their study materials are most closely reflected of ASWB exam material. Nothing like a standardized test to make you feel like a loser!

Anonymous said...

can someone recommend a study guide or manual for the LCSW exam. i've been online looking but i dont have a clue which one to choose.
thanks,

passing exams said...

Did you pass in the end??

Anonymous said...

I just took the test today and had visited the site before so thought I would leave a note. I passed pretty easily. I took the advanced generalist exam and got 130 of 150 correct. The reason I am posting is to state that from my experience the exam was nothing like the prep materials I was (sort of) studying. All the clinical questions (which was most of the test) were around the "what would you do...first...next." and "what is the BEST way to do blah blah blah. Hardly any questions asking for the name of phase 4 of so-and-so's psychodynamic theory or "is this approach Cognitive/Behavioral, TA or Gestalt" type of questions. Much more on community organizing and advocacy as well as supervision and consultation than was on the prep. On the prep tests, I was scoring anywhere from 50-80% so thought I would not do well today. Hope this helps bc the test was far easier than the prep materials.
I say don't stress and go for it!
- from Colorado
PS - I graduated with my MSW 15 yrs ago and have just gotten by with my LSW for years. New boss wanted all to have LCSW so I finally took the plunge to get the test.

Anonymous said...

PSS
I took a LCSW test prep course a few years ago at Denver University that was really helpful. I think that they really help in getting a passing score. I think it is true that it really is important to concentrate on HOW to take the test as much as WHAT is on the test. Every time the word ackowledge appears - that is the answer to "what is first"; if "acknowledge" is not listed, "evaluate" will be first. Every answer that supports client self-determination, even when worded really weirdly, will be correct. Lots of the questions were worded very strangely. Also, I stopped about every ten questions and closed my eyes to exhale and make sure I wasn't getting fed up with the process and kept my concentration - which is really hard for me. I flagged about 20 questions and had plenty of time to review at the end.
I think that those who are not passing had just bad luck. I STILL think it could have gone either way for me today. No reason to be embarrassed - One final thought is that you can get LCSW license with either advanced clinical or advanced generalist test. If you think you may do better with a few more questions on policy, advocacy and supervision, try the advanced generalist test instead of the clinical one. It may make the difference.

Anonymous said...

I just took the LCSW in NY for the first time and passed; I had the same experience for my LMSW. I’m bright but not brighter than your average person, but I know – from life – how I learn best and this was one of the best tips on this blog. Study, yes, Study theories, DSM IV, etc. but do it YOUR WAY and the WAY YOU’VE ALWAYS LEARNED. This is not the time to shell out hundreds of dollars for study materials; did you ever do that for a state exam in elementary school? I never paid for study material except for stuff put out by ASWB. I found that their material is what best closely matches the exams and I have a former professor that explained that ASWB study materials are actually retired questions that are sometimes reworded and reused. But that aside, the tip above of when you see FIRST you choose the one that has ACKNOWLEDGE is absolutely correct. I did that on my exam too and I passed with the equivalent of nearly 90% correct and I have to tell you those ‘connections’ came up often. Basically best advice is to avoid all those expensive study aides, they will only make you over think what are in the end much simpler questions. I saw one and immediately stopped taking it because I KNEW the exam just wasn’t that hard from my LMSW experience and all it was doing was making me mush what I knew. I really hope that makes sense because I cannot emphasize how against those expensive study materials. Also, remember to imagine what a social worker that lives in a textbook would do in the scenarios, NEVER what YOU would actually do. GOOD LUCK and please do not give up. Another good tip on here is to change the test site; I had a great test site but have heard some real horror stories. You CAN go anywhere in your state and some places are just more conducive to success by their mere setting. Again, Good luck!

Anonymous said...

thank you all for the positive posts re: passing. Working hard to internalize these messages.

I have a very straightforward question to throw out there.
Does anyone know the passing score for the lcsw exam in New York state? Not sure why I cannot seem to find this.

thanks for any feedback.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks, this is really helpful and I am so glad that you said (in a later post) divorce from the test and figure out the textbook answer! I believe that might have been my issue. Next month I will take my exam and look forward to passing. Also if money is an issue there are many places online to use as resources for test takers like sample test, flash cards-usually best for me and comprehensive cd's that are inexpensive. On my previous test there were lots of first-then, best or should questions, lots of application of knowledge, mental health and some theories. Thanks again! Michelle

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Anonymous said...

I passed the first time I took it and I can tell you why. I studied, studied and studied for months from a two part book program I purchased and took many practice tests. Anyone who says it's easy is not being totally honest. I used flash cards and worked at it daily.
Susan

Anonymous said...

Speaking of errors it's HIPAA not HIPPA.

Anonymous said...

I took this exam 3 times in Wisconsin and failed by 1 point each time. That is so hard to stomach. I have heard over and over again to trust my initial response, don't change any answers. I recall the first time through...no studying at all and missed by only one point. My biggest issue has been (what I am realizing now) is reading the questions correctly. Through research I am confident that as i prepare for a fourth try I will calm myself and make sure I have read what is really there. Patients is going to be my key!