Passing the LGSW Exam

I passed my Master's Social Work exam on the first try! Thank God! I couldn't have done it without my husband who wouldn't let me be negative, my mom who watched the kids so I could study and take the test, and a good friend who prayed for me a lot and gave me good advice. Altogether, I probably studied less than 24 hours for this test. Not by choice, but because three kids make if difficult to study. I wanted to study more, but I felt comfortable going into the test with what I had studied.

The University of Alabama had offered LEAP practice exams for a few months for $15.00 and I thought that would be a great resource, but because I was busy I only took two exams and failed them both, how discouraging! When I was taking these practice exams I wrote down the things that I didn't know or couldn't remember. Surprisingly I had a few pages to look up. After I graduated I took a month off to relax before I studied anything else. When I did begin to study, I never opened a single textbook while I prepared for the exam, I actually sold the majority of my textbooks. I did take my class notes and read through them a couple times. As I began to study I figured out real quick that I didn't know what to study. Social work encompasses a large range of topics. So much knowledge about techniques, therapies, interventions, ethics, populations, and so much more to know. How was I going to study for it all? Where do I begin? When I registered with the ASWB to take my exam I ordered a study guide for $30.00. I was expecting a great resource that would help me organize my studying. Instead I received a book about how the test is written, 4 very broad areas that are on the test, and 48 practice questions. Underneath each area was very broad categories to study. I felt overwhelmed and knew I couldn't study it all. I began going through the list and highlighting what I knew and researching what I didn't. When I needed to know something, I simply Googled it and looked at a few sites until I felt I knew the topic well. Upon searching for information I began coming across helpful websites. Some were free practice tests and others were blogs with helpful tips and what to expect on the exam. One website that helped me tremendously was I took their free diagnostic test and it gave me a summary of what areas I needed to work on the most. The night before the exam I answered the ASWB 48 practice questions out of the study guide and made an 80 on it. That made me feel so much better seeing that I had failed nearly every other practice test I took. I made sure to get enough sleep, eat a good breakfast that was high in protein, and right before the test I drank a coke and had a Hershey's bar. I went through the first 100 questions confidently and quickly. After that I experience exam fatigue. I found it really helpful to write down key words in the question and then use the power of elimination. I don't know what helped me the most: prayer, chocolate and caffeine, researching, practice exams, or just plain luck but I am so happy I passed this daunting test on the first try!

Here are some websites that helped me. Each site has several links to even more helpful resources and websites.

Make sure to practice case scenarios, and read up on HIPPA regulations, common DSM diagnoses, childhood mental illnesses, medications for common mental illnesses, family therapies, group dynamics, and social work methods!



  1. Thanks! I couldn't have done it without great websites like yours!

  2. Hi, thank you for this blog. I am scheduled to take the LGSW in 3 weeks. I received the $30 ASWB booklet and I am feeling soooo overwhelmed. I really appreciate your words and encouragement. Lord bless you!


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