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Licensing Examination FAQ's

How many questions are on the examination? There are 170 questions on the ASWB examination, but only 150 count toward your score. The remaining 20 are pretest items, questions which are being evaluated for possible inclusion in the examination item pool.

How much time will I have to take it? You will have four hours to complete the examination. If you have special needs which fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you will be allotted extra time. Check your candidate handbook for details on how to arrange for special accommodations.

What is the passing score? The raw passing score -- that is, how many questions you need to have answered correctly in order the pass the examination - varies from administration to administration. Your jurisdiction's scaled score, however, will remain constant. Individual administrations are equated to account for slight variations in the difficulty of individual items.

Is the same test administered all year? No. There are multiple versions, or forms, of each level of the ASWB examination, and within those forms, the order of items is changed frequently. Some items will be the same from one administration to the next, but all items are reordered as part of the new examination.

What are the examination categories? Currently, there are four examinations offered by ASWB. The Basic examination was designed to test the social work knowledge necessary at entry for social workers with the BSW degree. The Intermediate examination has been targeted for social workers with the MSW degree who have less than two years of practice experience. The Advanced and Clinical examinations test entry-level knowledge for social workers holding the MSW degree with at least two years of post-degree practice experience.

Are the tests the same from state to state? Yes. Keep in mind, however, that every jurisdiction chooses the examination levels to be administered, so not every jurisdiction offers every exam. The Clinical level ASWB examination in Illinois, for example, is the same as the Clinical level ASWB examination administered in Arizona. That is where the similarities end -- tests are not equivalent between categories (for example, the Intermediate examination is not equivalent to the Basic, Clinical, or Advanced examinations).