- These exams are the closest in content and form to the real thing, compared to anything you can find anywhere else.
- Your score on the practice test is likely to be very close to the score you will receive on the real one. So it’s a good tool to use to figure out how ready you are to take the test. The only caveat here concerns the impact of anxiety. There can be a significant difference between the practice and actual scores if the test-taker is relaxed at home and very anxious at the testing center. For some candidates, the impact of anxiety can bring their test score down significantly, and turn a passing result into failure.
- The ASWB practice exam can be a treasure trove of useful information. For example:
- It replicates closely the actual test-taking experience. What is it like for you to sit for four hours straight and answer 170 questions? Do you get easily fatigued, are you racing through the questions, spending too much time on one question, lose your focus, etc. The practice experience can alert you to potential dangers, which, forewarned, you can try to address before you take the real test.
- Which content topics are asked frequently, which less often? A simple analysis can yield useful information.
- Review your incorrect answers and lucky guesses. Ask yourself, “Why did I get this question wrong”? For example, “Did I rush through the reading of the question, missing important key words? Is this a topic I need to review to improve my understanding and recall? Notice your troublesome habits and deficits and try to fix them – before you take the real test!’
My recommendation is that you are ready to take the test when you can score at least 10 points more than the passing grade in your state on the ASWB practice test. If you just “squeak by with a passing score (or fail) consider carefully what you will need to do to raise your score, and if needed, delay your test date. It makes little practical sense to let your scheduled test date be the sole factor which determines when you actually take the test. Test dates can be changed, with reasonable notice. When you have determined that you are indeed ready, using some objective measures, the ASWB practice test being one possible measure, then proceed.
Idelle Datlof, MSW, LISW-S, Founder PassItpro (www.passitpro.com )
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