Requesting English as a second language arrangements

Some state and provincial social work boards allow special arrangements for test-takers whose first language is not English.


Due to high volume, applicants may expect a longer than typical processing time.

Qualified English as a second language candidates will receive additional time (up to two extra hours) and may request permission to use up to two dictionaries, one bilingual word-to-word translation dictionary and/or one general English dictionary. The ASWB social work licensing exams are administered only in English, but qualified candidates who use English as a second language may submit this Request for Nonstandard Testing Arrangements.

Not all states and provinces allow the use of nonstandard testing arrangements for ESL, and some states do not accept a score report from candidates who tested using ESL arrangements. Candidates are encouraged to check with their licensing board for details. As of the date of this publication, the following applies:

  • California test-takers must request and receive preliminary ESL approval from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences before requesting ESL arrangements for extra time from ASWB. California does not permit the use of an English or bilingual dictionary.
  • Michigan and New York do not permit ESL arrangements nor accept score transfers for test-takers who tested with ESL arrangements in another jurisdiction.

How to request ESL arrangements

You must be approved for ESL arrangements by ASWB before you register to take an examination. If you make a testing appointment prior to obtaining arrangements, you will be required to cancel your testing appointment because special arrangements cannot be added to an existing testing appointment.

After you submit a request with your digital signature

  • It typically takes three weeks to process a complete request. If your request is incomplete, we will email you.
  • Once your request is processed, we will email you a determination letter with details, including your next steps.
  • It is your responsibility to contact ASWB if you have not received any communication within three weeks.


Please provide the following information to receive your secure link

Submit this information and we will email you a secure DocuSign link to complete the ESL request form electronically. The DocuSign ESL request form should only be completed once.