Welcome back to school! Making time to study for the ASWB exam may seem difficult when you are a full time social work student. There are other assignments that have to be tackled and studying for your classes is usually a top priority. However, there are also many benefits to studying for the exam while you are still in school. The material is super fresh and your study skills are probably in tip top shape at this point. It is also a good idea to take the exam soon after graduation if you are looking to pursue licensure in a timely manner.
It is imperative to brush up on your time management skills and stick to a routine schedule when studying for the exam during school. The first step is to look at your class schedule, time needed to study and complete assignments, and assess time required for other academic commitments such as internships and research projects. You may want to take a look at all of your course syllabi and spend some time organizing your school tasks into your calendar. After doing so, don’t forget to add in personal commitments over the next few months including family vacations, medical appointments, holiday travel etc. Once you have a solid idea of your obligations over the course of the semester, you can then take a look at how much time you have to commit to studying for the ASWB exam.
The next step is determining your ASWB study schedule. You may want to make sure that you allow yourself some flex time for appropriate self care by not trying to cram a study session into every available hour on your schedule. How much time you need for self care depends on how you have been successful in the past. Listen to the needs of both your mind and body and ask yourself: Are you the kind of person who thrives off of being busy all of the time or do you often need a day off during the week to recuperate and relax? Determine what you need and plan your study schedule accordingly.
There are many study guides, like The Complete Guide to Social Work, that offer a framework for designing your personal study plan. It may be helpful to purchase a guide and flip through before beginning to determine which sections you would like to focus on the most. You can then create a plan that will fit into your schedule, using the guide to create your own syllabus of sorts. Once you have done so, its important to add these study sessions to your calendar and try your best to treat them as required tasks throughout the week.
It can be very difficult to take on any additional work while you are a full time student. It may be especially challenging to motivate yourself to study for the ASWB exam when you have other graded class assignments that need your attention. One way to jump over this hurdle is to pair up with a buddy who is also trying to study for the exam. While your study partner may have a completely different study plan, it will help to have someone who is holding you accountable. Find out if there are other students in some of your classes who have the same idea as you and see if they would be interested in forming a support system for studying for the exam.
The final step, after looking at your calendar and assessing your commitments, making a study plan, and finding a study buddy is to determine when you are planning on taking the exam. Look at the study time frame that you have developed for yourself and consider looking through the dates and steps for registration for the ASWB exam. All of this information can be found on the ASWB website at www.aswb.org.
Have a great semester!