Because this is not the clinical exam, I imagine there is not a lot of in depth questions on less common mental illnesses. However, I feel that as a social worker, it is important to at least be familiar with the DSM and the more common diagnoses and their treatments.
There are five axises in the DSM-IV TR. The following is a direct quote out of the DSM-IV TR from page 27:
Axis I: Clinical Disorders and Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention.
Axis II: Personality Disorders, Mental Retardation
Axis III: General Medical Conditions
Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems
Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning
So, essentially, Axis I holds all the mental health diagnoses except personality disorders and mental retardation. Mental retardation does NOT include Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) which is the umbrella for Autism and Aspergers. To further complicate things, other (what could be considered developmental disorders) disorders, such as Cerebral Palsy, are not considered mental health at all, but a 'General Medical Condition', so it would be coded under Axis III.
The reasoning is that personality disorders and mental retardation exist throughout the entire person. 'Pervasive', if you will. However, Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a 'clinical disorder'.
No, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But we didn't write the book, we just know how to use it. And this is how to use it.
The last Axis, the GAF, is a number scale of overall functioning. Many practitioners find it to be crap and don't use it at all because it is too subjective.