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So, you want to pass the LM/LCSW exam...the first time, huh?

Updated: May 22

As you prepare for that very important licensing exam, you may find yourself watching hours of Youtube videos on test taking strategies, or maybe a friend of a friend who recently took the test, gave you all of their study guides and a lucky rabbit foot too.

Perhaps you‘re in eight different Facebook groups for Social Work exam preparation. There‘s a lot of information and programs

out there, some even guarantee that you will pass on the first try....."if" you just follow their acronyms or formula for picking the right answer, that is. It's cool..I’m glad that there‘s information available for the avid professional to get prepared for licensing Exam success. The only question I have is...”Why are people still having to take this exam seven or more times before passing, or even up?“

Working at the top of your license is an important goal for many of us and like the others who have shared their wisdom and tips about first, best, last, A,D,C strategies and acronyms to pick the right answer..I too have tips for you...but there’s no masterclass, contract and no charge of course. After all, we’re Social Workers and we get our cups filled from pouring into others (did I get that cliche right? ) Without further ado.....

Five Quick Tips for preparing to pass the exam... The First Time



Schedule the exam FIRST and then, (get this...) not more than 8 weeks of study and right before you test. There is no way you can retain EVERYTHING you learned in Social Work School. And after you pass, there are books and links for all that you need


Choose only ONE test prep course/style... Have you ever heard your Grandma say, “Too many cooks in the kitchen will spoil the stew”....well, l’m not your Grandma but, Sadaqa Says, ”Too many different styles of prep, will confuse you!”

Everyone has their own way of learning, I get it... so pick the process that works best for you but don’t pick them all. I only recommend the course offered by Dr. Sophia Dziegielewski

as I find it to be a great investment as far as time, money and preparation goes. Especially if like me, you graduated during the times when AOL chat rooms were the popular thing to do. (That’s the precursor to Facebook, Insta and ClubHouse for those of you who didn’t get that reference)


Relax and let go. You’ll either pass, or not...either way, you will live. Well, unless you’re black in America, and get stopped by the cops...then unfortunately the odds are about the same as passing these exams the first time. #blacklivesmatter....Say their names

........I digress, back to the tips.


Stop embracing test anxiety as a barrier to passing this made it all the way through elementary, middle, high school college AND graduate school.. you have clearly demonstrated that you can pass standardized tests... this is just another one.


Tell as few people as possible when you plan to test. First of all... everybody ain’t your friend and everybody ain’t praying FOR you, some people are actually praying for you to fail. At a minimum... you’re just adding unnecessary pressure on yourself.

Protect your test date info like you’re three weeks pregnant. Only tell a select few...

Whew Chile, that’s all I got. Now, go on and take your test and let me know when you pass. I’ll see you next time.

*Join me for virtual group supervision*

~Sadaqa Ward, MSW, LCSW

213-423-DSM5 (3765)

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1 Comment

This is funny but also helpful. I always say that I don't do well with tests but you’re right, I have a whole degree that tells otherwise. Thanks for this

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