Two Acronyms You Should Know for the Exam!

When preparing to take the licensing exam, it is not only important to study and know the material. You should also be studying how to break down and answer the questions; even when you do not know the material. The questions on the exam often have answers that may all be correct. What is important is knowing the steps/order that a Social Worker is expected to do things in. This helps make sure we are not using our own experiences when taking the exam (exam is based off of textbook answers, not experience).


The exam questions will often ask what you should do 'First/Next' or what is the 'Best/Most Appropriate' thing to do. There are 2 acronyms that are pretty well known that will help you on the exam!


1. FAREAFI: This acronym should be used for First/Next questions.

  • Feelings of the client/patient should be acknowledged.

  • Assess the individual for more information (treatment progress, presenting issue, etc).

  • Refer the individual to someone if you are not knowledgeable on the issue

  • Educate: make sure that the client has everything they need to make an informed decision.

  • Advocate for your client

  • Facilitate the connection with needed resources for the client.

  • Intervene to be sure that the resources are delivering the intended outcome.


2. AASPIRINS: This acronym should be used for Best/Most Appropriate questions.

  • Acknowledge the client/patient

  • Assess to get more information (client's mental state, history, treatment progress, etc.)

  • Start where the client/patient is at.

  • Protect life (individual and community)

  • Intoxicated (Do not treat; Refer)

  • Rule out medical issues

  • Informed consent

  • Non-judgmental stance

  • Support Self-determination: make sure that the client has everything they need to make an informed decision.

Remember, you should be selecting the response that is closest in hierarchy to the first letter/item of the acronym you are using!

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