Should You Hire a Personal Tutor To Pass the Social Work Exam?

You don't need to feel like this.  Source: Wikimedia Commons.  License: Creative Commons.
You don’t need to feel like this. Source: Wikimedia Commons. License: Creative Commons.

Aside from this blog, I also work at an agency, a fee-for-service private practice under an LCSW, and I also tutor new grads and current students in the NYC metro area for the LMSW exam.

While this is not a sponsored ad for my services (However, now that I shamelessly alluded to it, if you live in New York, drop me a line!), it does aim to be a post to help you self-assess whether hiring a personal tutor is right for you.

I’m a big believer in not going overboard spending money to pass this one (while, yes, very important) test.  If you read the previous post on battling test anxiety, we often underestimate how much of our own retention of our textbook and practical knowledge have become enough of an integrated whole without us even noticing it.  I honestly believe many people can cold-walk into the test fresh out of graduate school and do really well.

However, a little extra support always helps.  So, what are some pros and cons of having a tutor?

Pros

  • Specific feedback about your strengths and areas of growth.  A tutor can provide written questions, simulate proctoring of a test, and give you live, interactive feedback that supplements feedback given from practice tests after they’re scored.  Let’s look at that wrong answer and learn more about this topic can be more helpful than “Number 3 was ‘A.'”
  • Structured, goal-focused studying.  While peer support can make studying fun and plant the seeds for ongoing professional relationships, some people find that having a structured study session bi-weekly or weekly provides more observable progression of progress and contains the worry about the test into your “session.”
  • Accountability.  Tutors can give their students homework. 🙂

Cons

  • Money.  Registering for the test, buying study materials, and managing your budget before you’re fully employed can be a challenge.  It’s ultimately up to you to determine whether tutoring is a worthwhile investment.  A helpful alternative for many new grads has been remaining on the lookout for free or low-cost group practice sessions offered by your school.
  • Challenge of tutor-matching.  While a tutor is far from a therapist, a good “working alliance” still counts!  Make sure that your tutor is licensed, working in the field, and not too far removed from the material you’re going over.  I love tutoring because it wasn’t too long ago I was in my client’s shoes.

Whether you decide to go solo or find extra support, using a personal tutor or following up with your own school’s support services can become more tools in the arsenal to prepare you for licensure.  So, call me.  I mean, good luck!

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4 thoughts on “Should You Hire a Personal Tutor To Pass the Social Work Exam?

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