Psychologist Dr. Julia Shaw says we are essentially creating our own fictional past every time we think back on a personal memory. She says “It’s such a terrifying but beautiful notion that every day you wake up with a slightly different personal past.” Her research even leans in to how the unreliability of memory has impacted our criminal justice system.
While memorizing facts for the EPPP exam is a reliable use of memory, we are all constantly creating false personal memories. Dr. Shaw says in her blog post, How False Memory Changes What Happened Yesterday, “The question isn’t whether our memories are false, it’s how false are our memories.” Every day we recreate our memories, “if ever so slightly.”
False memories are “recollections of things that you never actually experienced.” Whether they be minor memory errors, “such as thinking you saw a yield sign when you actually saw a stop sign” or grander errors “like thinking you took a hot air balloon ride that never actually happened,” everyone has a memory that is not 100% trustworthy.
Can this affect your EPPP exam score? Continue reading
Maybe your entire life you’ve been told that you’re a genius who will succeed at anything. Perhaps school came easily to you and you acknowledged your stroke of genius for many successes. If you think this is a positive mindset which will help you pass the EPPP, you’re wrong.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve been told your entire life that you’re almost good enough but not quite. Perhaps school was full of failing grades but you excused yourself from trying harder because you just weren’t good enough anyway. If you think is a negative mindset which will hinder your EPPP score, you’re onto something.
The point is that, in these scenarios, the mind is working against both the genius and the failure.
So, what is the right mindset to pass the EPPP?
Why do some people reach their potential while others, who are equally as capable and talented, do not?
Sarah Green, of Harvard Business Review, interviews Stanford psychologist and author, Carol Dweck, about her expertise on the growth mindset. Green and Dweck discuss the conundrum of losing a growth mindset when you achieved leadership as well as why some achieve success while others don’t.
See the full interview here.
You might be quick to think: Addiction? Not me! There’s no WAY my smartphone is impacting my chances for a passing EPPP score! But, because nothing should stand in your way of a passing EPPP score, let’s look at what constitutes addiction if to at least rule it out.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines addiction as a:
“compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.”
Though a smartphone is not a consumable substance such as the drugs listed in the Merriam-Webster definition, the use of it can be persistent compulsive – even when use is known to be harmful. Continue reading
Does the thought of taking the EPPP give you anxiety? EPPP exam prep is an undertaking that can be stressful in and of itself. On one hand, stress can motivate us to meet deadlines and pursue our goals. On the other hand, though, stress can get in the way of something we want to accomplish like passing the EPPP.
For example, imagine you are taking the EPPP tomorrow. It’s the night before the exam and you are so worried about passing that you spend the night tossing and turning getting no sleep. When your alarm goes off in the morning you’re still immersed in worry. You rush through breakfast, forcing oatmeal down your anxious stomach, you briefly review your notes, and you head out the door. When you get to the testing center you check in, sit down, and reach for your pencil. It’s not there.
Now, it’s likely that a forgotten pencil will not be enough to send you home to sit the exam another day. A forgotten pencil can, however, leave you more anxious than you already are on exam day. You’ll expend much needed mental energy on finding a replacement pencil. And such anxiety, when it has passed the point of being helpful and motivating, can cloud your brain and disrupt your ability to do your best. This is not an ideal scenario for your goal of passing the EPPP.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, in his Ted Talk “How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed,” gives insight on how to deal with stress before it even happens. A trip to the airport without his needed passport got him thinking of the possibility of putting systems in place “that will prevent bad things from happening.” He describes something called “pre-mortem” which is when “you look ahead and you try to figure out what you can do to prevent those [bad] things from happening.”
See his full talk below:
Passing the EPPP takes time and dedication like it’s a part time job. When something absorbs so much of your time and energy, it’s important to do everything you can to ensure success. Here are seven practical steps you can take to boost your odds of passing the EPPP before, during, and after the exam.
Before the exam
- Mimic the study environment
Once you know where you’re taking the exam, check out the testing center and see what noises and surroundings might accompany you as you take the test. Will it be dead quiet? If so, then take a few practice tests in the dead quiet.
Furthermore, take a practice test under the time constraints you’ll have during the real deal. For instance, you might have about one minute per question give or take. Set a timer for one minute to know what it feels like to answer one question within that timeframe. Continue reading
Has your dedication to the EPPP become an unhealthy obsession? Of course, passing the EPPP takes dedicated study, as if it were a part time job. When it comes to work, however, there is a difference between dedication and workaholism or, in this case, study-aholism.
Authors, Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker describe the difference between work engagement and workaholism in their article Passion for Work: work engagement versus workaholism.
Clarifying the difference between a healthy dedication and an unhealthy obsession can help you better understand your relationship with your EPPP studies.
Gorgievski and Bakker point out and define the one thing necessary to thrive at any job: passion. Continue reading