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Social Work ASWB Bachelors Exam Guide and Practice Test Set

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Social Work ASWB Bachelors Exam Guide and Practice Test Set

SKU# 9780826172419

A Comprehensive Study Guide for Success

Author: Dawn Apgar PhD, LSW, ACSW

The Social Work ASWB Bachelors Set includes the Bachelors Practice Test and the Bachelors Exam Guide by Dr. Dawn Apgar.


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Students and social workers preparing for the social work bachelors licensure exam will find an invaluable study resource in both the Social Work ASWB® Bachelors Exam Guide and the Social Work ASWB® Bachelors Practice Test.Written by a prominent social work leader and trainer for social work licensing exams in the United States, these materials are based on years of time-tested exam prep workshops conducted by the author.

The guide is comprehensive yet focuses on the material most likely to be included on the exam, so readers can prioritize information as they study. A self-assessment section helps identify strengths and weaknesses before tackling the material. The author shares her extensive knowledge of the exam by providing useful test-taking strategies and tips for overcoming test anxiety. Content includes human development, human behavior, diversity, assessment, direct and indirect practice, and professional values and ethics.

The 170 questions contained in the full-length practice test with answers and rationales mirror the exam in length, structure, and content. These are unique questions, distinct from those in the author’s companion study guide, that serve as a valuable diagnostic tool to improve exam success. With in-depth rationales and specific strategies for correctly answering each question, this resource helps social workers identify gaps in knowledge and errors in problem solving. Knowledge domains are grouped together so test-takers can identify the specific content area and competency being tested—a valuable asset for increasing understanding. In addition, the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities statements (KSAs) are identified for each question, so test-takers can easily locate relevant source materials for further study. Tips for reading the questions, avoiding common pitfalls, and other valuable test-taking strategies, including an assessment of learning styles, add to this book’s value as a highly useful resource and diagnostic tool.

ASWB is a registered service mark of the Association of Social Work Boards, which neither sponsors nor endorses this product.

Product Details 

  • Publication Date August 09, 2016
  • Page Count 312
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826172419

About The Author(s) 

Dawn Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW, has helped thousands of social workers across the country pass the ASWB examinations associated with all levels of licensure. In recent years, she has consulted in numerous states to assist with establishing licensure test preparation programs.

Dr. Apgar has done research on licensure funded by the American Foundation for Research and Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation and was chairperson of her state's social work licensing board. She is a past President of the New Jersey Chapter of NASW and has been on its National Board of Directors. In 2014, the Chapter presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Apgar has taught in both undergraduate and graduate social work programs and has extensive direct practice, policy, and management experience in the social work field.

Table of Contents 




Share Social Work ASWB® Bachelors Exam Guide: A Comprehensive Study Guide for Success


About the Examination

10 Things That You Should Know About the ASWB Examinations

Test-Taking Strategies

10 Essential Strategies for Study Success

20 Tips You Need to Use to Answer Questions Correctly

Assessing Examination Difficulties

Dealing With Test Anxiety

Examination Content

Visual Learners

Auditory Learners

Kinesthetic or Hands-On Learners


Unit I: Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment (27%)

1. Models of Human Growth and Development

Typical and Atypical Physical Growth and Development

Typical and Atypical Cognitive Growth

Typical and Atypical Social Growth and Development

Typical and Atypical Emotional Growth and Development

Typical and Atypical Sexual Growth and Development

Spiritual Growth and Development

Child Behavior and Development

Adolescent Behavior and Development

Young Adult Behavior and Development

Middle Adult Behavior and Development

Older Adult Behavior and Development

The Impact of Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Impairment on Human Development

The Interplay of Biological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Factors

Attachment and Bonding

Basic Human Needs

2. Models of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Strengths-Based and Resilience Theories

Defense Mechanisms and Human Behavior

The Psychosocial Model

Group Theories

Key Concepts

Family Theories and Dynamics

Systems and Ecological Perspectives

Social Change and Community Development Theories

Influence of Social Context on Behavior

Role Theories

Gender Roles

3. Diversity

The Interaction of Culture, Race, and/or Ethnicity with Behaviors, Attitudes, and Identity

White American

American Indian/Alaska Native


African American

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander


The Interaction of Sexual Orientation and/or Gender with Behaviors, Attitudes, and Identity

The Interaction of Age and/or Disability with Behaviors, Attitudes, and Identity

The Interaction of Socioeconomic Status with Behaviors, Attitudes, and Identity

The Interaction of Spirituality and Religion with Behaviors, Attitudes, and Identity

The Dynamics and Effects of Stereotypes and Discrimination

The Relationship of Diversity and Communication Styles

4. Effects of the Environment on Client System Behavior

The Impact of the Physical Environment on Client Systems

The Impact of the Political Environment on Policy-Making and Client Systems

The Impact of the Social Environment on Client Systems

The Impact of the Cultural Environment on Client Systems

Unit II: Assessment (28%)

5. Social History and Collateral Data

Obtaining a Biological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual History

Obtaining and Evaluating Collateral Information

Types of Information Available From Employment, Medical, Psychological, Psychiatric, and Educational Records

The Components of a Sexual History

The Components of a Family History

6. Problem Identification

The Process Used in Problem Formulation

The Methods of Involving the Client System in Identifying the Problem

The Process of Identifying the Client System Needs

The Process of Referring the Client for Additional Evaluations (e.g., Medical, Psychological, Educational)

7. Assessment of Client System’s Strengths and Challenges

Use of Assessment Instruments in Practice

Beck Depression Inventory

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale

Thematic Apperception Test

Wechsler Intelligence Scale

Assessing the Client System’s Communication Skills

Assessing the Client System’s Strengths, Resources, and Challenges

Assessing the Client System’s Ability and Motivation to Engage in the Intervention Process

Assessing the Client System’s Coping Abilities

Assessing the Client’s Needed Level of Care (e.g., Supportive Services, Residential Placement, Continuum of Care)

Assessing Group Functioning

Assessing Community Functioning

Assessing Functioning of Organizations

8. Assessment of Addictive Behaviors

Differentiating the Use of, Abuse of, and Dependency on Substances

Effects of Addiction on the Client

Effects of Addiction on the Family System and Other Relationships

Indicators of Addiction to Gambling, Sex, Food, Media, and so on

Co-Occurrence of Addiction and Other Disorders

9. Assessment of Mental and Behavioral Disorders

The Symptoms of Mental and Emotional Illness Across the Life Span

The Symptoms of Neurologic and Organic Conditions

Some Common Neurologic Symptoms

The Indicators of Behavioral Dysfunction

Prescription Medications and Other Substances

10. Dynamics and Indicators of Abuse and Neglect

The Indicators, Dynamics, and Impact of Sexual Abuse Across the Life Span

The Indicators, Dynamics, and Impact of Emotional Abuse and Neglect Across the Life Span

The Indicators, Dynamics, and Impact of Physical Abuse and Neglect Across the Life Span

The Indicators, Dynamics, and Impact of Intimate Partner Violence

The Indicators, Dynamics, and Impact of Other Forms of Exploitation Across the Life Span (E.g., Financial, Immigration Status, Sexual Trafficking)

Unit III: Direct and Indirect Practice (26%)

11. Indicators and Effects of Crisis and Change

The Dynamics and Effects of Life-Stage and Life-Cycle Crises

The Impact of Physical and Mental Illness

Dynamics and Effects of Trauma

Dynamics and Effects of Loss, Separation, and Grief

The Impact of Caregiving on Families

Caregiving for Aging Parents

Indicators of and Response to Client Danger to Self and Others

Stages of Crises

12. Intervention Processes and Techniques

Building and Maintaining a Helping Relationship

Components of the Problem-Solving Process

Developing, Evaluating and Establishing a Measurable Intervention Plan

The Techniques Used to Engage and Motivate Client Systems

Working with Involuntary Client Systems

Contracting with Client Systems

Clarifying the Roles and Responsibilities of the Client System

Termination and Follow-up in Social Work Practice

The Crisis Intervention Approach

Cognitive and/or Behavioral Interventions

Cognitive Interventions

Behavioral Interventions

Strengths-Based and Empowerment Practice

Techniques Used to Teach Skills to Client Systems (e.g., Role-Playing, Role-Modeling)



Providing Education and Information to Client Systems (e.g., Parenting, Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness)

Teaching Coping Strategies to Client Systems (e.g., Assertiveness, Conflict Resolution, Stress Management)

Assertiveness Training

Conflict Resolution

Stress Management

Anger Management

Group Work Approaches

Family Practice Approaches

Community Practice Approaches

Social Policy Development and Analysis

Key Social Welfare Legislation

Advocating for Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Client Systems




Intervening with Organizations (e.g., Organizational Policy Development, Hierarchy, Formal and Informal Power Structures)

Classical Organizational Theories

Neoclassical Theories

Modern Organizational Approaches

13. Matching Intervention With Client System Needs

Determining Which Individual, Family, Group, or Combined Modality Meets the Needs of Client Systems

Determining Which Community or Organizational Approach Meets the Needs of Client Systems

The Effect of the Client System’s Abilities on the Selection of an Intervention (e.g., Literacy, Employability, Developmental Level, Cognitive Ability, Physical Ability)

The Effect of the Client System’s Culture on the Selection of an Intervention

The Effect of the Client System’s Life Stage on the Selection of an Intervention

Providing Case Management Services

Referring Client Systems for Services

Determining the Client’s Eligibility for Services

14. Use of Collaborative Relationships

Scope of Practice and Basic Terminology of Professions Other Than Social Work

Medical Terminology

The Use of Consultation and Case Conferences

Interdisciplinary and Intradisciplinary Team Approaches

Establishing, Maintaining, and Utilizing Formal and Informal Service Networks or Community Resources and Supports

15. Documentation

The Use of Objective and Subjective Data in Written Assessments and Case Notes

Writing and Maintaining Client Records (e.g., Client Progress Notes)

Developing Reports for External Organizations (e.g., the Courts)

Developing Administrative Reports (e.g., Grant Reports, Outcomes and Evaluations, Program Proposals, Accreditation Reports)

Recording and Monitoring Assessments and Service Plans

Obtaining and Recording Service-Related Forms (e.g., Informed Consent for Services, Consent for Release of Information, Advance Directives, Do Not Resuscitate)

16. Interviewing

Obtaining Information Relevant to a Given Situation

The Use of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Techniques

Identifying the Underlying Meaning of Communication

The Use of Active Listening and Observation

Interviewing Techniques (e.g., Supporting, Clarifying, Confronting, Validating, Feedback, Reflecting)

Eliciting Sensitive Information (e.g., Substance Abuse, Sexual Abuse)

Interviewing Clients with Communication Barriers (e.g., Language Differences, Use of Interpreters)

Using Bias-Free Language in Interviewing

Responding to Clients’ Resistant Behaviors

17. Evidence-Based Practice

Evaluation of One’s Own Practice (e.g., Single-Subject Designs, Goal-Attainment Scaling, Task-Achievement Scaling, Use of Scales and Instruments)

Single-Subject Designs

Goal-Attainment and Task-Achievement Scaling

Use of Scales and Instruments

Critiquing Relevant Research and Statistical Data (e.g., Understanding Basic Research Designs and Methods)

Selecting Interventions Based on Research

Using Data to Inform and Influence Organizational and Social Policy

The Use of Program Evaluation (e.g., Needs Assessment, Formative and Summative, Cost-Effectiveness, Cost–Benefit Analysis, Outcomes Assessment)

Unit IV: Professional Relationships, Values, and Ethics (19%)

18. Ethical Responsibility to the Client System and Profession

Ethical Issues and Boundaries in the Social Worker–Client Relationship (e.g., Dual Relationships, Power Differentials, Conflicts of Interest)

Dual Relationships

The Influence of the Social Worker’s Own Values on the Social Worker–Client System Relationship

Ethical and Legal Issues Regarding Termination

Identification and Resolution of Ethical Dilemmas

Essential Steps in Ethical Problem-Solving

Ethical and Legal Issues Regarding Mandatory Reporting (e.g., Abuse, Threats of Harm, Impaired Professionals)

Professional Values and Ethics (e.g., Competence, Social Justice, Integrity, Worth of an Individual)

19. Confidentiality

Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding Confidentiality

The Secure Use of Client Records, Including Electronic Information

Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding Confidentiality and the Competency of the Client

Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding Confidentiality and Minors

20. Client’s Right to Self-Determination

Protecting and Enhancing Client System Self-Determination

The Client’s Right to Refuse Services (e.g., Medication, Medical Treatment, Counseling, Placement)

Obtaining Informed Consent

Minors and Self-Determination (e.g., Emancipation, Age of Consent, Permanency Planning)

Permanency Planning

Competence and Self-Determination (e.g., Financial Decisions, Treatment Decisions)

Balancing Self-Determination and Client Risk (e.g., Suicidal, Homicidal, Grave Danger)

21. Professional Use of Self

The Use of Empathy in the Social Worker–Client Relationship

The Concepts of Transference and Countertransference

The Use of Acceptance in the Social Worker–Client Relationship

The Appropriate Use of Self-Disclosure

Understanding and Managing Burnout, Secondary Trauma, and Compassion Fatigue

22. Methods of Professional Development

Transference and Countertransference Within Supervisory Relationships

Supervisee’s Role in Supervision (e.g., Identifying Learning Needs, Self-Assessment, Prioritizing)

The Use of Ongoing Professional Development to Improve Practice and Stay Current (e.g., In-Service Training, Licensing Requirements, Reviews of the Literature, Workshops)

Differential Use of Consultation, Peer Support, and Supervision

Practice Test

170 Question Practice Test