Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I passed!

My exam was this morning, and I am pleased to report that I passed! It was 170 questions long and took me a little over 2 hours. A passing score in Indiana is a 75 and I scored an 86.

It was definately very nerve racking... I had dreams about it all night last night. Every time I fell back asleep I'd have another dream about it. I was terribly nervous when I started the exam, but you can't stay nervous through 170 questions (well, maybe you can, but I can't). After about question 20 I got into a good groove. There were many questions that were obvious, some that would have been difficult had I not studied, and a handful where I was like, "WTF?" After I finished all the questions and went over the flagged ones I started to really get nervous again. I sucked it up, hit the 'quit' button and... AN EXIT SURVEY! What? Who would possibly take their time filling out an exit survey knowing it was the only thing between them and knowing if they passed? After the survey a page pops up that says "Examination results: PASS"


So, now that I have sat through that monster, I will depart some wisdom.

First, there are approximately 10,000 questions that end with, "what would you do first?" For example:
You work in a dialysis clinic. A client comes to you complaining that the bus does not pick him up and he has been missing his treatments. What would you do first?
A. Move the client to an assisted living facility.
B. Call his family and ask them to start driving him.
C. Help him hire a private driver.
D. Assist him in calling the bus service to complain.

So, these are potentially all viable options, depending on what the specifics of the scenario are. But the question is not asking you, 'what do you think would be the best option?', it's asking you what your very first step would be. And in this case, the very first step would be to help the client advocate for himself (ie, D). Why would you skip right to B when the bus people may have just accidentally dropped him off their list or didn't realize the life sustaining necessity of him being on time?

There are also multiple questions about boundaries and dual relationships. There's supposed to be a small percentage of 'ethics' questions, and at least on my test, ethics = boundaries and dual relationships. In case you just got on the social work boat, we're not allowed to be business partners with clients, provide therapy to our co-workers, etc.

Cultural competency: if I remember correctly, I had questions about Native American families, questions about working with Asian immigrants, and questions about working with Hispanics. Many of these questions just seemed to be about whether or not you were open minded enough to explore something further or if you would just freak out and call child services. (Note: the answer is not to freak out and call child services.)

Questions that you have absolutely no idea what the answer is: this happened to me several times. I would look at this question, read it four times, then think, 'what the hell... is this even social work? fhdfgkihd;'. Then I realized that while I didn't have a freaking clue what the answer was, I did recognize most of the answers. So the question would go something like this:
What modular battery is needed to launch a robotic jet pack?
A. Systems theory
B. Zoloft
C. Gestalt therapy
D. fission

Ok, so I never studied anything related to robotics. However, I did study systems theory and I don't recall it says anything about robots. Zoloft is a medicine and as far as I know does not double as an electronic energy source. Gestalt therapy... I'm pretty vague on that, but I think it involves talking to empty chairs. Fission... what the hell is fission? So I basically just match the WTF question to the WTF answer.

More revelations to come.


The Social Work Test Prep Blog said...

Belated congratulations. Nice site. Hope it was helpful writing it--I've started on studying/blogging:

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I wish I had found this site a long time ago, seems like we got the same exam based on your description. A few questions about Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics and there were a couple of questions where I literally thought WTF?!!! LOL

I took the test today for the THIRD time and felt pretty confident about my answers as I used the test taking strategies I was taught in two different courses. I failed again and am extremely disappointed. Any advice?

Anonymous said...

Another thing:

In New Jersey they no longer give you your score it's either PASS/FAIL. Is it the same in Indiana and if so how did you find out your score?

Chels said...

Anon... I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out for you again! Was there a particular topic or subject you feel you didn't do well on? I can update the blog with those topics.

In Indiana, it is pass/fail, but on the print out I got it gave me a number correct out of the total number.

Let me know if there's anything you can think of you have questions about and I'll try to put it up on the blog.

T. J. said...

Yay! Congrats. Thanks for the feedback. I shall put that in my hip pocket for later...
T. J.
Visit my blog at

Selena said...


I have not taken the test yet. How long did you study before you took the exam?

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I think ur site is very helpful. I have took the test 3x's and missed it by a couple of points each time. I hav confidence and have been surfing the different sites for more study questions and info on the exam. I know this is my time. I'm scheduled to take the test again on Friday, March 13th. Pray for me

Katie said...

oops- congrats.. any tips?

Desaray said...

this was a hilarious entry

Anonymous said...

Congrats for passing man! Could we get updates on how you are progressing now?

Mark Whiteman
exam study guide

SW4life said...

I took the LCSW exam this morning 8/8 and failed by two points. Looking for a serious and dedicated study partner. Also study suggestion and prep.

CSET questions said...

You aren’t just taking the CSET so that you can get a job. You are taking it so that you can be part of nurturing the future of our country.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be taking the LSW shortly and couldn't stop laughing at your entry! The sad part is I know what you are talking about and it all makes sense! Wish me luck on my upcomming test and congrats on your success!

Kelly V. said...

Ha! Awesome post, awesome blog :) I am graduating with my MSW in less than 2 months and hope to sit for the LSW immediately. I came across your blog and I love it! I will check the whole site out, thanks for taking the time to inform us who don't know what to expect.

Congrats on passing!

Kelly V. said...

Ha! Awesome post, awesome blog :) I am graduating with my MSW in less than 2 months and hope to sit for the LSW immediately. I came across your blog and I love it! I will check the whole site out, thanks for taking the time to inform us who don't know what to expect.

Congrats on passing!

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Sleep Centers of Texas said...

Love all the responses because they all showed humor and gave great insight. What study guide would you say helped you? I've been a social worker but in Dallas I have realized you have to have a license. Arg!

Anonymous said...

You're hilarious! I take the test in four days and I really appreciate your advice!

scdahmer said...

Your blog is super helpful and hilarious, thanks so much! I'm taking the Indiana as well in a month, and I hate standarized testing, but I'm sure it will all work out. I got the "fission" one right, haha! :) Congrats on passing!

LMA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LMA said...

Thanks for your blog! Even though you haven't updated it, it was still helpful for me. I'm glad to report that I passed my LSW this past Wednesday!

Annewow said...

Thanks for your blog! and Congratulations. I have failed this test once before and just finished studying with and am going to take the test next week. fingers crossed. thanks and congrats again

Millie Cox said...

Congrats! that is amazing. I am getting ready to test! and I am terrified. it's nice to read about someone who has worked hard and had the hard work pay off! I just started studying with and so far so good. Fingers crossed!!