Graduation is a time for new beginnings. As a graduating social work student, there are probably a bunch of fun, exciting, but anxiety provoking decisions to make that will have an impact on your new beginning, like where to live and where to work. Most social work-soon-to-be-graduates are beginning to look into how to become licensed because, let’s face it, it helps to be licensed to get a job. Before you go off and sign up for the exam, however, there are some things to consider when deciding when to register for and take the ASWB licensing exam.
It may work to your advantage to take the exam immediately after graduation; you have just finished taking hours of social work classes and the material is still fresh on your mind. You may still feel that you are in “school-mode” and this might make it easier to sit down and study for the exam. You are already in the habit of cranking out papers and studying for lengthy tests. Taking the exam fresh after graduation can also help you to feel like you are taking steps towards your professional future. Employers like to see this kind of ambition and it may pay off by helping you get a job. And, the good news is even if you don’t know where you want to live, the ASWB exam is a nationwide exam and scores are transferable state to state.
Although there are many reasons to take the exam right after graduation, it is important to weigh all of the factors before deciding when it is best for you. The Clinical Level ASWB test is designed to test the knowledge of those who have been practicing clinical social work for two years. While you may have done well in your social work classes, there is a lot to be said about the knowledge you gain from exposure in the field. There may be material on the test that you simply have not experienced right after graduation. You may also want to consider the cost and commitment that is involved in taking the Clinical Level ASWB Exam. You want to make sure that you have the time, energy and resources needed to adequately prepare for and pass the exam to avoid having to retake the test in the future.
Ultimately, the decision of when you should take the Clinical Level ASWB exam is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong time. Some students may want to go ahead and get it out of the way while others may choose to gain some experience in the field before taking the exam. It is extremely important however that you check in with your state social work board. Some states will not allow you to start counting your clinical hours until after you have passed the exam. This information could heavily influence your decision. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to make an informed decision; think through all of the pros and cons to find out what time frame works best for you.
For more information about the exam or for study preparation materials, contact us at www.socialworkguide.com.
Congratulations on your graduation!