The content outline for each ASWB examination defines the content that will be measured on the exam. The content outlines were developed through the practice analyses conducted with licensed social workers in a variety of practice settings across the United States and Canada.
Each content outline is organized into content areas, competencies, and knowledge, skills, and abilities statements (KSAs).
- Content areas are the broad areas of content knowledge that are measured by each exam. The content areas structure the content for exam construction and score reporting purposes. When receiving exam scores, failing candidates are given feedback on their performance on each content area of the exam.
- Competencies describe meaningful sets of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are important to the job of a social worker within each content area.
- Knowledge, skills, and abilities statements (KSAs) structure the content of the exam for item development purposes. The KSAs provide further details about the nature and range of exam content that is included in the competencies. Each KSA describes a discrete knowledge component that is the basis for individual exam questions that may be used to measure the competency.
The following example illustrates the relationship of an ASWB exam question to the content area, competency, and KSA to which it corresponds.
|Content Area:||I. Human development in the life cycle|
|KSA:||The effects of substance abuse and/or dependence|
|Question:||A six-year-old child lives with a foster family. His father is in prison and his mother is in residential treatment for alcohol dependence. The child is small for his age, often has temper outbursts, and has difficulty completing schoolwork. The social worker notes that his speech is immature. What should the social worker do FIRST?A) Work with the foster parents on a behavior modification planB) Suggest that the child’s teacher refer him for special education placementC) Refer the child for assessment for fetal alcohol syndromeD) Work with the child’s biological mother toward reunification|