Helpful Multiple Choice Tips for the ASWB Licensing Exam


By, Roxy Simons for SocialWorkGuide

Standardized multiple choice exams can either be skill-based, knowledge-based, or a combination of both.  For example, the LSAT, which is the law school entrance exam, is skill-based; you don’t have to have any specific knowledge of any topic in particular. Instead, students are tested on logical reasoning, analytic thinking, and reading comprehension skills. The social work licensing exam is knowledge-based, meaning, in order to pass the exam, students must have a solid understanding of social work content – such as the principles, theories, and diagnosis criteria – and be prepared to answer questions related to social work theory and practice. Lastly, there are exams which test both skills and knowledge, such as the MCAT – the entrance exam for medical school, which expects students to answer questions on their knowledge of science as well as verbal reasoning skills.

One aspect that all of these exams have in common is the necessity of multiple choice skills. An excellent resource for improving multiple choice skills is the Strategic Guide to the ASWB Exam: Mastering Multiple Choice, which is a workshop-style book that guides students through a series of questions with valid tips and strategies for answering the questions on the ASWB exam. It also includes a full-length practice exam.

Below are some helpful hints for the ASWB standardized multiple choice test:

  • Diligently review vocabulary, important theories, principals, and diagnosis criteria
  • Prepare by taking The Interactive Practice Exam, a close simulation to the real exam with 170 questions and a four hour timer, though students can take as much time as needed. The practice exam also contains answers and detailed explanations for each question. https://www.socialworkguide.com/interactive-practice-exam/
  • Study The Complete Guide to Social Work, a comprehensive study guide that contains content summaries of all the information that students need to pass the exam. The organization of this study guide is consistent with the outlines provided by ASWB.


  • Utilize the process of elimination when applicable in order to guide yourself to the correct answer.
  • Follow your gut. Once you’ve chosen an answer, don’t change it.
  • Read the entire question first and then figure out the answer yourself before viewing your choices.

Although the ASWB Licensing Exam is knowledge-based, we believe that in order to be successful, students require both skills and practice in addition to knowledge. For more helpful tips and study materials for the Social Work Licensing Exam, go to www. SocialWorkGuide.com





March 1, 2020

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