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
C. Gestalt therapy
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.