How You Should Be Studying For The LCSW

How You Should Be Studying For The LCSW

The LCSW Exam is taken to qualify for jobs in the social worker field. Applicants are required to have passed this exam before they can be granted a license to become an official social worker. The LCSW exam is designed to be grueling for applicants, but with the right preparation passing the exam is within reach.

Here are some tips for your LCSW test prep:

  1. LCSW exams tend to focus on the applicant’s clinical judgment.

It will focus more on competence and comprehension than memory skills. Over 70% of the questions on the exam will test the applicant’s reasoning. Clear techniques will be required to answer the questions properly.

  1. The LCSW exam is also predictable.

The board will need to certify the applicant’s ability to handle certain clinical conditions. Knowledge of standard operating procedures is vital.

  1. Having an organized study plan is absolutely crucial.

This will help the applicant focus on the required areas needed to pass the exam. It will also help to ensure you have enough time to cover everything you need to know before you sit for the exam.

  1. Getting the right exam prep materials can be tricky due to a large number of available prep materials.

The key is to investigate the authors of the exam prep materials found and ensure that they are social workers, have been social workers, or have taken the exam recently. The easiest way to do this is to go through a reliable LCSW test prep tutoring service.

  1. Studying for the LCSW exam should be done in sessions of 2 hours or less.

Studies have shown that the average human studies most effectively in the first 90 minutes without breaks. Hence, daylong workshops or all-night cram sessions might not be the best idea. If an applicant does plan to study for an extended period, they should at least take breaks every 2 hours.

  1. If necessary, find coaches or study partners to prepare for the exam.

This will help an applicant go through areas and concepts that they have difficulty with. The help provided by colleagues or teachers is invaluable in preparing for the LCSW exam. Many students also find it helpful to consult a LCSW test prep tutor to help them study more effectively.

  1. Also, if possible, applicants should find and take practice tests.

These tests should be in the style of the LCSW exam and will help the applicants get used to how questions will be posed to them during the exam as well as develop techniques to answer the questions fully and quickly.

  1. Try to spend your LCSW test prep time focusing on the following topics:
  • Diagnostic criteria (Check out the latest DSM)
  • Medications and the categories of disorders they treat
  • Ethics and principals
  • Clinical vignettes
  • Cultural competency
  • Research principals and ethics
  • Withdrawal symptoms from addictions
  • Community interventions
  • Group work
  • Crisis intervention
  • Psychotherapy planning process and types of interventions
  1. Finally, applicants need to manage any fear and anxiety that may arise about taking the LCSW exam.

Many other applicants have folded under pressure and failed to pass the exam, even though they had all the required knowledge at their fingertips. Make sure you’re taking care of your mental and physical health during your LCSW test prep to minimize any test anxiety you may be feeling.


Taking and passing the LCSW exam is vital to becoming a social worker. So, preparing for it adequately is necessary for every applicant. Making the best effort possible to prepare for the exam is over half the battle to pass this exam.

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