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Preparing for the Social Work Licensure Exam

Social work licensure helps ensure the public that people calling themselves social workers and those practicing social work have met the minimum standards for professional competence.
Each state has its own set of licensure laws and procedures. Alabama’s social work licensing law provides for licensing social workers at four levels: baccalaureate (LBSW), graduate (LGSW), certified level (LCSW) and Private Independent Practice (PIP). One becomes licensed by completing a social work degree from an accredited school and passing a standardized test for the appropriate level. A person who graduates from UM with a social work major may become licensed if he or she applies and passes the test for the baccalaureate level.
The licensing law in Alabama is administered by the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners (ASBSWE): One of the first things that students do upon graduation is to apply for licensing. The application is available on-line from the ASBSWE: This step involves completing forms, paying fees and then scheduling your exam. You will need to be approved by the ASBSWE in order to schedule your exam with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB): Please review the ASWB’s candidate handbook including information about how to apply for and take a licensure exam:
You will also need to prepare for the exam by studying and reviewing content based on the UM Social Work curriculum. To study for the licensure test, it is highly recommended that you keep your notes and textbooks from all of your classes as study materials. Additionally, the Social Work Program has study materials available in the Carmichael Library. These resources include:

Dziegielewski, S. F. (April, 2010). Preparation for the Social Work Licensure Exam, Bachelors.(Study Guide and Audio CDs). Walton, KY: Siri Productions.Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences. (2010). Social Work ExamPreparation Guides, Volumes 1- 4. Ventura, CA: Author.

Social Work Examination Services. (2005). Examination Review Program for the Basic Social Work

License Exam. Brookline, MA: Author.

Social Work Examination Services. (2001). Examination Review Program for the Basic Social

License Exam. Brookline, MA: Author.

Additionally, there are copies of all the course textbooks for all the social work classes on course reserve at the Carmichael Library. Reviewing the content of these textbooks would also help you in preparing for the licensure exam.

You can also purchase your own study materials from different companies that specialize in licensure preparation. These companies offer many services including on-line practice exams and licensure preparation classes. Some of these organizations include:

1. Association of Social Work Boards:

2. Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences:

3. Licensing Exam Preparation Services:

This is not a complete list, and the UM Social Work Program does not recommend any one specific licensure preparation program.

The Montevallo Social Work Program also offers a licensure preparation workshop every semester for students, alumni and community members.

The UM Social Work Program also offers students, alumni and other community members the opportunity to take practice licensure exams in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ (BSS) student lounge. You can take a long (4 hours) or short (1 hour) exam, and you will be able to see correct and incorrect answers along with explanations for all questions. To schedule a time to take a practice exam, please contact the BSS Departmental Secretary at 665-6180 or .