Red Light! Green Light!
1 –Don’t put your real self in the question or choose an answer that relates only to your specific agency, policies, practices, etc.
Of course it makes sense to draw on your work experience but please, remember that this is a national exam. What that means for you, is that local practices, policies and regulations are not the standards on the exams; only those that are widely-used and consistent from state to state are relevant. In addition don’t think about your personal way of solving a problem, working with clients, etc. unless you can imagine it to be the number one choice of the entire profession.
2- Don’t read the question and jump to: “What’s the answer? (That’s what everyone does; it’s the most natural response, especially when you are pressured by a time deadline.) Stay focused on the question until you can identify what the specific question is asking.
1 – Assume the identity of the social worker in this question. Be the social worker in the specific question, sitting at the desk across from the client. Respond to what is immediately happening, what you are being asked, etc. Avoid cascading out away from the question, thinking generically about the situation.
2 –Be Selective! Try not to dig very deep and lay out for viewing every fact you know about a topic. Choose only the facts that relate to this specific question at this moment. Organize them into the concepts being illustrated by the question. It may be tempting to say “ Family Therapy”, hmm, “What do I know about family therapy” and bring up every fact you know for consideration. The result is often confusing because you can get lost in having too much information taking up your attention. Instead, ask yourself first, “What is going on in this question”, “Where is the energy coming from” and then dig for specific facts in your knowledge reservoir to fit.