June 28, 2011

UCLA MSW Program: The Human Development Proficiency Exam

As part of a curriculum overhaul in the UCLA MSW program, incoming students are now required to take a human development proficiency exam prior to start of the school year. Passing the exam places students out of a quarter-long human development course. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice, matching and true/false questions, and students who score a 75% or above on the examination fulfill their human development requirement. Those who did not pass the first time are given an opportunity to take a make-up exam, and any student who does not pass the second proficiency exam is required to take a human development course.

I remember feeling extremely nervous when I received an email just prior to the start of the school year announcing the placement exam. To ease our nerves, faculty set up a human development "bootcamp," a day long seminar designed to give us a broad overview of the topics covered on the exam. The bootcamp is absolutely essential to passing the exam, and I highly recommend that incoming students attend. The professor who taught the bootcamp, Jorja Leap, gave us outstanding notes and hinted at topics we needed to pay close attention to.

Students are also encouraged to form study groups and review texts in order to prepare for the exam. In my opinion, it is not necessary to purchase the recommended text books, however, if you do not have a social science background, it might be helpful to do so. I have a gently used copy of Dimensions of Human Behavior: The Changing Life Course, if anyone is interested in buying it.

If you are anything like me, and like to get a head start when prepping for an exam, I have provided the overview of topics covered, in addition to the notes I took while attending Professor Leap's bootcamp. Please keep in mind that the topics and materials covered in the following documents might not necessarily be included on this year's placement exam. I just wanted to provide my readers with a general sense of what type of material to expect on the exam. Good luck!

UCLA MSW_Human Development Topic Outline

UCLA MSW_Human Development Bootcamp Notes

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