About the Exams

Licensing exams are a crucial component in nearly every licensed profession, and social work is no exception.

The exams provided by the Association of Social Work Boards are used in every U.S. state except California, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

ASWB develops and maintains four categories of social work licensure examinations: Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Not every jurisdiction uses all four categories, so candidates must be sure to check with their individual boards to find out which examinations are appropriate for the jurisdiction in which they are seeking licensure.

Each examination contains 170 four-option, multiple-choice questions designed to measure minimum competencies at four categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored; the remaining 20 questions are pretest items included to measure their effectiveness as items on future examinations. These pretest items are scattered randomly throughout the examination. Candidates have four hours to complete the test, which is administered electronically.

Examinations are administered by appointment at Pearson Professional Centers worldwide. There are no fixed administration dates. Instead, registered candidates can go to Pearson VUE’s website to schedule a time to take the test.

Special accommodations are available for candidates with disabilities. Additionally, many jurisdictions offer arrangements for candidates whose first language is not English.

In order to view any PDF files, visitors will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application that users can download from the Adobe website.