It can certainly be a long road on the way from graduate school to becoming a Licensed MFT or Social Worker in California and often takes candidates 4-5 years between graduate school and accumulating the required hours of experience. Then, candidates have to apply to the Board of Behavioral Science to have their application reviewed to become eligible to take the state licensing exams. Unfortunately in recent years, that application process has slowed down and candidates are often waiting about 6 months before their application is reviewed. For a process that already takes a while, this delay in processing slows things down even further. Therefore, it is important for candidates to find ways to expedite this process as much as possible. Here are a few tips:
- Carefully Review Your Paperwork – If the BBS finds any errors in your application, they will contact you to make corrections and this could add weeks, or even months, to an already slow process. Make sure you thoroughly review all your required forms for correct signatures, dates, and calculations.
- Begin to Research Exam Prep Materials Early – While you are completing your internship hours, attend a free strategy workshop offered by AATBS to learn more about the exam process. With the exams scheduled to change in 2016, it is important for candidates to understand what they will be tested on and it is never too early to become more informed about the exam process.
- Study While Your Application is Being Reviewed – The 6-8 months that the BBS will be reviewing your application is the best time to be preparing for your first licensing exam. Ideally, you will be able to schedule your exam within a short time of finding out that you have been approved. The BBS provides an update on their website of where they are in the process of reviewing applications, so monitor this as you plan your study schedule. Most candidates take 3-4 months to prepare for the exam and we will share more about a typical study process in future articles.
This guest blog is written by our trusted partner AATBS. – David Wadman, M.S., LMFT