You might be a rock star at work and a whiz at school, but getting ready for a new examination can always feel a little bit intimidating. No matter how well you did in your social work program, the licensure exam is a new assessment that puts all your clinical skills to the test.
If you’ve been worrying, it’s time to relax. Not only will solid test preparation get you set to pass the exam, so will the skills you use every day on the job. Your work as a clinical social worker already gave you the skills you need to pass the exam!
These are four skills you use daily as a social worker that’ll help you ace the licensing exam:
1. Organizational Skills
As a social worker, you know how to get things done. One way you’ve done this is by becoming an organizational pro! You keep databases of local resources current, keep track of your sessions, and can bill MediCare with your hands tied behind your back- all while being nurturing and supportive to your caseload.
After staying organized through the chaotic day of a social worker, organizing your study program will be easy! Use those on the job organizational skills to map out times to study, carefully file your study materials and notes, and quiz yourself using the flashcards you made..
2. Listening Skills
At work, you spend most of every day patiently listening to your clients. You’ve not only developed the ability to listen to what they say, you can hear what’s unsaid too. Carefully, you listen to the needs they express and find ways to serve your clients. No doubt you use these excellent listening skills with your colleagues as well.
These listening skills will serve you well as you prepare for your test. Most likely, your test prep will include support from study buddies, test prep groups, and even study apps or in-person classes. Your sharp listening skills will set you up to communicate well with your study group and listen carefully to auditory study material.
3. Problem Solving
There’s not really a typical day in the social work field; you never know what client will need the most support today and what services you’ll be providing. Between solving a crisis and getting the impossible done for clients, your problem solving skills have gotten sharp. Connecting with important community resources, finding clients food and housing, and de-escalating emotions are all part of a day’s work.
Luckily for you, much of the social work exam will use those problem solving skills you develop every day at the office. Clinical scenarios presented in test questions might remind you of similar situations in your own practice, and your clever analytical skills will help you solve new and unexpected topics.
Social workers know that they need to take care of themselves in order to help others best. You know how important it is to make sure you stay healthy, happy, and relaxed outside of work.
The same is true for studying for the exam. Make sure you map out a study schedule that has time for you! Allow yourself to take break to avoid study burnout and nourish your mind and body between study sessions. Your self-care not only will help you pass the exam, it’ll also make you a stronger licensed social worker.