#1 – Don’t Put Your Real Self in the Question
You also don’t want to choose an answer that relates only to your specific agency, policies, practices, etc. Of course it makes sense to draw on your work experience but please, remember that this is a national exam. What that means for you, is that local practices, policies and regulations are not the standards on the exams; only those that are widely-used and consistent from state to state are relevant. An example is, of course, any U.S. federal program or policy. Medicare, Social Security, yes, Medicaid, no! In addition, don’t think about your personal way of solving a problem, working with clients, etc. unless you are confident that it is the number one choice of the entire profession.
#2 – Don’t Read the Question and Jump Quickly to: “What’s the Answer?” Unless You’re Absolutely Sure!
This is what everyone does; it’s the most natural response, especially when you are pressured by a time deadline. Stay focused on the question until you can identify what the specific question is asking. The four answer choices are not there to save you; often they will just confuse you if you haven’t focused on the information in the stem of the question to reveal the concept being illustrated.
#1 – Assume the Identity of the Social Worker
But not you, the one in the question! Be the social worker in the specific question, sitting at the desk across from the client. Respond to what is immediately happening, what you are being asked, etc. Avoid cascading out away from the question, elaborating too much.
#2 – Be Selective!
Try not to dig very deep and review every fact you know about a topic. Choose only the facts that relate to this specific question at this moment. Organize them into the concepts being illustrated by the question. It may be tempting to say “Family Therapy”, hmm, “What do I know about family therapy?” and bring up every fact you know for consideration. The result is often confusing because you can get lost in having too much information taking up your attention. Instead, ask yourself first, “What is going on in this question right now?”, “Where is the energy coming from?” and then dig for specific facts in your knowledge reservoir.
Here’s the PassItPro Pointer:
When taking the exam, select an answer that is custom-made and a perfect fit for the specific details described in each question. The exam can be overwhelming, but our PassItPro exam prep has identified the key content you should focus on as well as unique methods to help you overcome the common stumbling blocks we see students, just like you, experience each and everyday.
Idelle Datlof, Founder, MSW, LISW