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Social Work Admissions Test (SWAT)

The Social Work Admissions Test (SWAT) is a written test.

Questions require essay‑style responses.  Some of the questions address your interest in and preparation for becoming a social worker.  Other questions relate to social issues.  They can take the form of case scenarios, in which you are asked how a social worker might handle a particular situation, or they can describe a social problem and you are asked to describe the major issues and your analysis of them.

It is difficult to study for this test; we are attempting to elicit the applicant's cultural, political, economic and social awareness, their values and evidence of their self‑awareness. There will be choices provided for some of the questions.

Once admitted, the social work program will teach successful applicants ways to analyze and debate the types of questions we pose in the exam; therefore, in the entrance exam answers we are only looking for a strong beginning understanding of the type of issues social work deals with, and a demonstration of a beginning ability to engage in the type of analytic and critical thinking that the McMaster social work program builds upon.

Tips on taking the SWAT from successful Social Work students:

  1. Understand the role of social workers in our society
  2. Have an idea of the social issues that impact people on a daily basis
  3. Have an awareness of self... really ask yourself why you are applying to the School of Social Work
  4. Read the questions carefully and think critically about what the question is asking of you
  5. Get lots of rest, eat well
  6. Do not stress, just focus on doing your best