Exams for the future
of social work

ASWB is expanding its research-driven exam development process to include more voices as it updates the licensing exams.

Next steps

Development of the next iteration of the social work licensing exams will draw on input from multiple sources. Both quantitative and qualitative research will inform ASWB’s work to create exams for the future of social work.



  • Build content outlines and anchor forms
  • Set passing standard
  • Develop updated competence measures


  • Launch updated competence measures
  • Introduce options for secure, online, remotely proctored testing
  • Offer additional resources to help close performance gaps
  • Continue to analyze pass rates
  • Coming in 2024

    Social Work Census

    The Social Work Census will be the largest survey of social workers ever undertaken, collecting data about who social workers are and what they do.

Examination resources and information

ASWB Examination Guidebook

The ASWB Exam Guidebook contains information on the steps for taking the exam, what to expect on exam day, exam creation, and question structure.

Content outlines

The content outlines for the social work licensing exams were developed using the 2017 Analysis of the Practice of Social Work, a survey of licensed social workers selected to reflect diversity in demographics, geography, and practice areas.

Test-taking support

ASWB has contracted with FifthTheory, an independent firm with expertise in helping test-takers become aware of and develop the test mastery mindset that may help them succeed on high-stakes exams.

Contributing to the Conversation

2022 ASWB Exam Pass Rate Analysis

ASWB has published the 2022 ASWB Exam Pass Rate Analysis as part of the association’s commitment to participating in data-driven conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Valid, reliable, and fair assessments

The social work licensing exams, like all licensing exams, undergo rigorous psychometric analysis to ensure that they are valid, reliable, and fair measures of competence.

Practice Analysis Task Force contributes expertise to social work competence assessment update

The 2022–2024 Practice Analysis Task Force, a group of 32 licensed social workers, provides subject matter expertise to ASWB’s next analysis of the practice of social work.

Webinar series

ASWB’s webinar series is designed to expand knowledge about the licensing exams.

Educator Guide to the Social Work Exams

The Educator Guide to the Social Work Exams helps educators prepare students to demonstrate their competence on the licensing exams.

Educator training

Learn how to write multiple-choice questions that measure social work knowledge and enhance your students’ readiness for the licensing exams.