Sunday, November 6, 2016

Breathing a sigh of relief

I have done it.  I have read the four letters that have enabled me to breathe a huge sigh of relief: PASS.  I passed the masters of social work licensing exam on Thursday, October 27th!


What an experience, let me tell you what!  I should have take it months after graduating in 2012.  But I didn't.  I procrastinated.  But one of my goals this year was to take the exam - and when I set a goal like that and make it public - I generally tend to stick to it.  So I scheduled the exam and then there it was.  On my calendar.

My supervisor recommended a website to me to get me studying (www.socialworkexam.com).  You can subscribe to that and they have practice exams, and flash cards, and all sorts of tools you can use.  I subscribed for a month.  It wasn't until the week and a half before the exam that John asked - how's your studying going?  I was honest and said..."it's not."  He told me I wasn't allowed to call him at night until I had gotten at least a half hour of studying in that day.  It was the motivation I needed to kick my butt in gear.

I studied a minimum of half an hour each night the week and a half before the exam.  I took practice test after practice test.  I think I only passed a handful of them (you need a 70% to pass).  I usually got in the 50-60% which was pretty discouraging.  But I did not give up!  

The exam was in Grand Rapids.  So the night before, I drove up and spent the night at my good friend Danny and Christina's.  They bought me some wine to relax and we hung out for a bit before I attempted to sleep.  I woke up at 12:30 dreaming that I had already passed and I was so excited!  But, obviously that was not the case.  Then I kept waking up about every hour and a half or so.  It was horrible.  Finally the time came for me to go to the exam.

We had to have two forms of ID, and have our palms scanned for identification as well.  It was so intimidating.  There was a tiny little room where we were video recorded and they could watch us from a separate room.  There were people taking all sorts of exams - and one other lady was taking the social work exam as well.

Half way through the exam, one young woman had a grand mal seizure!  It was so sad.  And a bit distracting I might add.  I thought they might cancel everyone's exams on account of the distraction, but we just kept on taking our exams as people were coming in and out and getting her safely out of the room.  It was pretty awful.  I felt bad for her.  I found out later it was her first one.  I can imagine that would be really scary.  

So yes.  You were able to mark questions you weren't sure about and go back and look at them again.  I marked about 15 questions.  After going back and looking at them, I changed two answers.  At the very end, you click "next" and they ask you twice if you're sure you're ready to submit your answers.  My heart was beating as fast as a hummingbird's wings.  It was so intimidating.  But I kept clicking.  I thought, well, it's now or never.  And low and behold - I read the fateful words that I had been hoping for: PASS.  I could not believe it!  I passed the social work exam on the first try!  It was all over!  In a few short months, once my hours have been completed, I will be a licensed social worker! 

What a day.  What an experience.  I am so glad and relieved that it is over.  If you are reading this and have not taken your exam - just do it.  Get it over with; you will be so glad that you did.  And if you don't pass - don't worry.  It does not mean you're a bad social worker.  It just means you might not be the best test taker!  Best of luck to you all.  On to my next goal.  ;) 

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