5 Things Everyone Should Know About the Association of Social Work Boards

The Association of Social Work Boards: 5 Things to Know

  • Purpose of ASWB
  • Licensing Process
  • Exam Fees
  • Exam Structure
  • Practice Exams

For social work graduates looking to obtain licensing, there are several things they should know about the Association of Social Work Boards. Often referred to simply as the ASWB, the Association of Social Work Boards was established in 1978 at which time representatives from only 18 states participated in ASWB’s various programs. By the year 1992, representatives from every state in the U.S. were participating. Essential information pertaining to the ASWB is described in the sections below.

Purpose of ASWB

One thing that prospective social workers should know about the Association of Social Work Boards is its main purpose. The ASWB is a not-for-profit organization devoted to protecting the public by ensuring the competency of aspiring social workers. They accomplish this by administering comprehensive licensing exams that evaluate applicants in the areas of ethics, values, and overall knowledge in the field of social work. Colleges and universities participate in ASWB’s Path to Licensure program that is designed to prepare social work students for the ASWB exam.

Licensing Process

Understanding the social work licensing process is perhaps the most important thing to know about the ASWB. There are basically ten steps involved in obtaining a social work license, and these steps can be found below. More in-depth information pertaining to each of these steps can also be located in the candidate handbook provided on the Association of Social Work Boards website.

  1. Request application from state regulatory board
  2. Submit completed application to state regulatory board
  3. Wait for approval to apply for ASWB exam
  4. Register to take the ASWB exam
  5. Wait for the ASWB to approve exam request
  6. Schedule an appointment to complete the exam
  7. Wait for confirmation of appointment
  8. Bring two forms of identification to the testing site
  9. Take exam and wait for scores
  10. Wait for license to be sent by individual social work board

Exam Fees

Persons wishing to take the ASWB exam must be prepared to pay current exam fees when applying to take their licensing exams. Fees are nonrefundable; however, the ASWB accepts many payment methods including credit and debit cards, money orders, and certified checks. While exam fees may vary from one year to the next, the following fees were current as of July, 2018. Additional information pertaining to exam fees is provided on the Association of Social Work Boards website.

  • Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree exams: $230
  • Advanced and Clinical Exams: $260
  • Changes to Exam Applications: $30
  • Print Version Exam Guide: $20
  • Electronic Version Exam Guide: $15
  • Practice Exams: $85

Exam Structure

Another thing that everyone should know about the Association of Social Work Boards is how ASWB exams are structured. The ASWB exam is administered by way of computers, and applicants will have four hours to finish their tests. The exam consists of 150 questions that are included in final scores and 20 questions that are not scored. All exams consist of multiple-choice questions with four possible answers. To pass the exam, applicants must get 93 to 107 questions correct depending on the exam they take.

Practice Exams

Exam applicants who would like to prepare for the ASWB exam will want to know about the Association of Social Work Boards practice exams. The ASWB offers online practice exams for applicants seeking to take associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree exams. Technical support is provided during normal office hours for individuals who have questions about the practice tests.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs

Before social work graduates can obtain licensing in their field, they will need to complete an appropriate licensing exam offered by the Association of Social Work Boards. To make this process easier, there are several things that they should know about the Association of Social Work Boards as described above.