How Many Practice Exams Should I Take Before Taking the ASWB Exam?

Practice exams are one of the best ways of preparing for the ASWB Masters and Clinical exams. That said, like any tool, practice exams will only help you if you are using them properly.

Use practice exams as a way to:

  • Efficiently assess competencies and diagnose weak areas (avoid redundant studying)
  • Make a plan to review weak subject areas
  • Practice question breakdown skills

Do not use practice exams to:

  • Memorize correct answers
  • Without a content-review plan: While you don’t want to get lost in the weeds of every single theory, you’ll still want to study foundational theory and the Code of Ethics)

Taking this into account, how many practice exams should you take before considering yourself ready for the social work licensing exam?

The answer depends on how much it takes for you to feel comfortably ready. On the real test, you’ll want to score somewhere between 90 to 107 to pass (ASWB, 2022) out of the scored 150 items (20 are unscored items). Taking 107 as our “safe number” (just above 71%), you’ll want to aim for about consistent 70% or above scores on practice tests (remembering to account for the fact practice tests score all items). Taking at least two tests will allow you to test for test-retest reliability.

One of the most important parts is to use your incorrect answers as insight for your content review rather than a memorization task. Remember that you are being tested for competencies rather than pure recall.

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