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Prep Course Overview

Licensure preparatory classes are designed for individuals who wish to review items that are frequently seen on the licensure exam. This is not a course that will rehash your entire MSW program, rather it will help refresh and clarify what you have learned either in school or as a social worker. The class day goes by quickly and a lot of information is covered. Manuals are included in the cost of class and will be provided to you the day of the training. Many attendees bring their own highlighters, scratch paper, pens, and post-it notes to identify pages in the manual for further study or clarification.

The instructors generally cover what to expect on the day of the examination, how to take a computerized exam, time that is needed for each question, and some test-taking strategies. Our instructors are all licensed and knowledgeable of the examination process.

(Students may want to consider joining NASW as a student membership is $57. Meaning, if you are a current student, it is cheaper to join NASW and sign up for the prepartory course as an NASW member than paying full price as a nonmember. Click here to join NASW.)

In the event you register for a class and are unable to attend the refund policy is as follows: 5 days prior to the event send an e-mail to or requesting a refund, a check will be processed and mailed, minus a $30 administrative fee, usually within 14 days.

Scheduled Courses includes Manual

Licensure Preparatory Courses are largely scheduled in the late spring and fall to accommodate graduating students. Please click on the following listed dates to view information and register. If you are interested in scheduling a class in your area, please email One and two day course offerings are available.

Please know by registering for this class you are not registering to take the examination. Applications must be filed with the State Board prior to applying to take the examination with ASWB. More information on the process is located within the FAQ section.

To register click on the course date or visit our Community Calendar HERE and sort by licensure prep. 

Prep Courses will return in the Fall of 2019

Saturday, December 7, 2019 - Valley Forge


Order Prep Manual – Newly Updated November 2016!

If you do not wish to attend a course, the licensure preparatory manual is available for sale. The price of the manual is $75.00 for members and $100 for nonmembers; shipping cost included in the price of the manual. The manual will not be sent unless payment is made in full. 

If you are a member of NASW-PA PLEASE log in first then purchase the manual. Reminder: the prep class includes the manual. 

The study manual contains over 250 pages for review. The manual is designed to allow readers to become more comfortable with the exam content and style. The manual discusses areas you will be tested on and provides study materials related to those areas. A sample test is also included to help you prepare.

Do note that the licensure examination set forth by the Association of Social Work Boards is a nationally administered exam. Therefore, the NASW-PA licensure preparation manual can be used for study for applicants taking the exam elsewhere in the United States and countries recognizing the ASWB exam.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for licensure?

In Pennsylvania, all applicants must fill out the "Application for a License to Practice Social Work” available through the PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. This application form can be found by clicking here. You must follow all instructions provided on the licensure application form. When your application is submitted, the State Board will provide you with official notification that you are eligible to take the master's level examination provided by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

How do I schedule the exam?

Applicants cannot take the ASWB exam without receiving official notification from the State Board. This notification will provide you with detailed instructions on how to proceed with scheduling the exam at your local Pearson Testing Center.

What score do I need to pass the exam in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, you must earn a 70% on the LSW exam. Each state licensing body has its own respective requirements, therefore pass scores may vary from state to state.

What is the pass rate for the LSW exam?

According to the Association of Social Work Boards, the pass rate for those taking the master's level exam for the first time is 82.3% nationally.

If I do not pass the ASWB exam, when can I retake it?

The Association of Social Work Boards requires licensure applicants to wait 90 days prior to retaking the examination. If your licensure application through the PA State Board is on file for more than 6 months, you will need to resubmit your application again to become eligible to take the examination.





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