Why Everyone Studying for the EPPP Should Practice Anxiety Relief Strategies

Why Everyone Studying for the EPPP Should Practice Anxiety Relief Strategies

While studying for the EPPP, staying healthy is vital to your success on the exam let alone your overall wellbeing. Chronic stress and anxiety can negatively affect your health by “causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep” per the Association of Depression and Anxiety of America (ADAA).

Because caffeine is on the rise, sleep quality decreases, and stress increases during EPPP prep, those preparing for the EPPP are more susceptible to anxiety even if they do not already consider themselves anxious.

In short, anxiety is a mental health state which generally causes fear, worry, or tension. It has several triggers, per healthline.com, which are likely familiar to you if you’re studying for the EPPP.

 Anxiety triggers

  • Stress

Stress, per the ADAA, “is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.” This is one anxiety trigger you’re likely experiencing in your EPPP preparation, especially if your test date is approaching.

  • Caffeine

When preparing for an important exam, such as the EPPP, it’s common to drink an extra cup of coffee or two for those early morning and late night study sessions. While caffeine is okay in moderation, it can lead to anxiety.

  • Skipping Meals

When you’re caught up in studying, it can be easy to pack study snacks and forget the meals that keep you energized and healthy. Skipping meals can make you more susceptible to anxiety.

So, how do you know if you’re experiencing anxiety?

Symptoms

 Keep an eye out for these symptoms per healthline.org:

  • Nervousness or tension
  • Feelings of dread or panic
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Increased sweating
  • Twitching muscles
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty concentration on something other than what you’re worried about
  • Sleeplessness

If you experience any of the above symptoms, there is a way to manage the anxiety you might be experiencing.

How to manage

 Per the ADAA  you can manage anxiety in the following ways:

  • Take a break. Step away from your EPPP studies and allow your brain to rest by practicing relaxation techniques, mediating, taking a bath, or exercising.
  • Stay healthy. The trifecta to maintain good health is eating well-balanced meals, exercising, and sleeping adequately each night.
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • When you feel panic, take deep breaths. It can even help to count slowly to ten and repeat as needed.
  • Laughter is indeed a great medicine. It releases endorphins and can ease pain.
  • Stay positive. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can literally detoxify your brain. 
  • Ask for help. Tell your close friends and family how you’re feeling and let them know how they can help you. If your anxiety is persistent, seek professional help.

Ultimately, preparing for the EPPP can be an anxiety trigger for some. Therefore, it’s important to know how you might be triggered, what the symptoms are, and how to manage.

Further Reading

Caffeine, Alcohol and Insomnia on the Rise During EPPP Exam Prep 

Brain Food: Holiday Treats to Boost Your EPPP Success

The Do’s and Don’ts of the EPPP Study Break

Use Gratitude to Detoxify Your Brain

EPPP Anxiety Part 1: Anxiety and Your Brain

 

 

 

The Dynamics of the EPPP

Viewing the EPPP in the right light to take the exam properly.

The EPPP (read: “E-triple-P”). The dreaded EPPP. I know I have made my best efforts to ignore it. Even so, it still looms in my future. And, dear readers, I assume it looms in your future as well. However, the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology does not need to be such a terrifying concept for us.

What is the EPPP, again?

The unknown is almost always scary, right? So to help alleviate some of the mystery behind the exam, lets delve into what the EPPP is exactly, and who needs to take the exam. This exam is geared for doctoral level psychology students is governed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) [4]. At the time that this blog is being written the EPPP is a one-part exam that is to be taken over 4 ½ hours [1]. This exam includes 225 questions [1], of which only 175 are scored [2]. When the director of the ASPPB was asked about the test, she described it as “essentially everything you learned in graduate school” [6]. These questions cover a total of 8 domains in which we, as psychology graduates, are expected to be fluent [3]:

  • biological bases of behavior
  • cognitive affective bases of behavior
  • social and multicultural bases of behavior
  • growth and life-span development
  • assessment and diagnosis
  • treatment/intervention, prevention, and supervision
  • research methods/statistics
  • ethical, legal and professional issues

The EPPP is currently a one-part exam. However, there is a second part being developed at this time—and it is intended to be launched in January of 2020 [4, 5]. So, for those of you who will not be taking the exam for a couple years—heads up. The current form of the exam is intended to assess the basic and foundational skills necessary for early career psychology professionals to thrive on their own [5]. The second part of the exam is intended to examine the more practical skills needed to be a competent psychological professional [5]. It is anticipated that the EPPP Part 2 will assess the following areas [5].

  • Scientific orientation
  • Assessment and intervention
  • Relational competence
  • Professionalism
  • Ethical practices
  • Collaboration & consultation
  • Supervisory practices

For a more detailed description of the EPPP, see our previous blog post “What is the EPPP?”

That’s not intimidating at all.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the EPPP, why don’t we dive into some tips to better view the EPPP:

Having a thorough and solid knowledge of psychology.

Ok, this one seems like a no-brainer. But still, many people are surprised about the breadth of information that needs to be mastered (or re-mastered) in order to be successful on this exam. Sources show that the information being covered in the exam covers practical things learned in experiences as recent as your internship to (seemingly ancient historical) concepts covered in some introductory undergraduate psychology courses [1].

Naturally, we all have those courses that we excelled at, and those classes that were a little more challenging. It is important to identify early on in your study process what you already know well and what could use a little more work [6]. Look through some study materials and practice exams in order to figure out what you know best and what needs to have the most of your attention. We’ll talk a little more about prioritization later in this post.

Develop solid study habits.

Another idea that might seem obvious, but nevertheless needs to be said. There are some unique aspects to studying for this exam. It is recommended that you start studying between 4-6 months before the exam [7]! Of course, this is no the absolute correct amount of time for everyone to study—there have been accounts of people studying for as much as a year prior to sitting for the exam and as little as just two weeks before the big day [1].  Although there isn’t an absolute when it comes to how much to study, too much is almost always better than too little when it comes to studying for the EPPP.

Scheduling Study Time

I encourage you to set a schedule of studying for yourself and stick to it. Too often when it comes to studying, procrastination is able to sneak in and rear its ugly head. I know I’m guilty. Fear not! Because in this situation, knowing this about yourself can be quite helpful. Of my acquaintances and friends who have taken the EPPP, most who have been successful have started slowly and escalated their studying as the test date approached.  Most told me that if they had studied the information months in advance, they feared they would forget it before the test arrived.

Get a Study Buddy

Reach out to people in your cohort! Meet people in Facebook/social media-based support groups (might I suggest the search terms: “EPPP support”) [8]! Try for people in your professional organizations! Ask your friends, family, and loved ones! What about online forums, like The Student Doctor? Even if you feel like you typically study better alone, it might serve you to have someone with whom to go through this [1]. Isolation only serves to further the anxiety that you will inevitably have over this exam.

Find an accountability partner, even if they’re not going to be sitting for the exam. This was something that I used quite frequently in undergraduate. Find someone who will harass you or at least gently ask you whether or not you have been following through on your study goals. Because I am such a procrastinator, I needed someone who I would feel guilty telling that I put off studying or that I fell behind “because I had plenty of time”. If you think this might work for you, I highly encourage it!

Prioritize Topics

Like I mentioned above—one of the major keys to this exam is knowing what you don’t know [6]. Once you know what you don’t know, you’ll know what your weak points will be on the exam. Taking a practice exam to really illuminate those points may help [8]. Focus a majority of your time on the topics that you are less familiar with, or ones that you weren’t able to complete successfully on the practice exam.

That doesn’t mean to entirely ignore the concepts that you did well on. Make sure to keep those in your study routine as well. It is important to ensure that you don’t just replace the information that you had under your belt at one time with other information. Also, keeping information in the mix that you already have mastered has been shown to be reinforcing (thank you, behaviorists), and therefore keep your study sessions a little less dreadful.

It is also important to do research on the topics and percentages of the EPP that they will occupy [7]. Try to prioritize items that fit into categories that will take up the largest portion of the EPPP [7].

Use Professional and Commercial Study Tools.

Seriously. This one isn’t just a plug for our own study tools. Professional organizations that are dedicated to helping students pass licensure exams often have the inside track on what is going to be relevant to this year’s particular EPPP [8].

As a current graduate student, I am fully aware of the budget we have. I know that the study materials can seem like just another excess expense. In order to save money, ask your friends and colleagues if they have any old EPPP study materials that they might be willing to hand down [8]. However, it is important to remember that the EPPP is updated every year, and it is possible that materials that you buy from colleagues or marketplaces may be out of date by the time you get them [7]. At least when it comes to practice exams, I would recommend using the most current edition available [8, 9]. Just to get your feet wet, here are a couple of links to some *free* resources that AATBS offers:

Overall, it is important to remember that there really is no definite answer to how, with whom, or how long to study. You know yourself best. And give yourself a little credit—you’ve made it this far in your educational career, trust what’s worked for you.

Having Good Test-Taking Skills

I know you’ve studied. I know you’ve memorized everything there is to know from personality disorders to practical applications of theory. Nevertheless, your intelligence and competence won’t be demonstrated on the exam without a good strategy for taking the test [10].

Have a methodology to approaching the exam questions. You’re an aspiring scientist as well as clinician, right? Plus, I’m sure you remember those research and scientific methodology courses. This is just an extension of your scientific approach. Having a solid strategy will help you make the most out of the information that you studied and make sure that it is reflected well on the exam [10]. It is a timed test, but that doesn’t mean that you should try to answer everything as quickly as you can [10]. With some break time factored in to the 4 ½ hour time allotted for the exam, you will have about 55 seconds per question [10]—so take your time! Taking your time on the questions will actually help you save time, as you won’t need to go back and re-read questions in order to get what the question is asking you [10].  

I know you’ve heard this before, and I know that it is printed on the exam itself, but it is extremely important that you read the questions on the EPPP carefully [10]. Many of the questions are written trickily. Several questions involve difficult language or double negatives, intended to trip up people who aren’t paying attention [10]. This goes back to what I was just saying—take your time and make sure you really understand the question.

Go with your gut [10]. Studies and statistics show that 80% of the time, the first choice that you make on the exam is the correct answer [10]. I know that it is tempting but try not to second guess yourself. Remember all that studying you did? Trust yourself—you were right the first time.

And of course, if you really don’t know, just take a guess! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, on this exam it’s in your best interest to guess! [10]. On the EPPP, you only get awarded points for correctly answering questions; you are not deducted points or penalized for getting an answer wrong [10].  Making educated guesses at questions when you are not certain of the answer is an important test-taking skill on the EPPP.

Educated guessing is not random. The first step in doing so is eliminating answers that you know are wrong. On the EPPP, you will be presented with four possible answers to questions [10]. The more answers that you are able eliminate, the more likely you are to get the correct answer. Another important tenet of educated guessing is identifying and utilizing contextual clues [10]. Being able to pick out any particular theories or psychologists that are being noted in the question may help direct you to the correct answer [10].

Time Management Skills

So, we’ve talked about study skills and test-taking skills, but one of the most important skill sets you can have is time management (both for the EPPP and aside from that). Naturally, with graduate school and all the responsibilities that you need to juggle for it, I’m sure that you have developed some excellent time management skills. Even still, you need to develop a special set of skills for this exam.

First, as I mentioned before, you are in charge of your own 4 ½ hours to take the test [1]. That means that you can take it as slowly or as quickly as you would like. You can spend as much or as little time on each question as you would like. You are permitted to take breaks when (or if) you would like.

Since you know yourself best, it is recommended that you develop good stopping points for yourself during the study process. Since I recommend taking as many practice exams as you can get your hands on, over time in those practice exams, you will start to notice where the natural breaks are for yourself. I encourage you to take what you need to help keep your mind on track. Still, I want you to be mindful that this is still a timed exam, and therefore you will need to keep the countdown in the forefront of your mind.

AATBS has already developed a suggested time table for taking the EPPP—feel free to check it out. According to this schedule, you have about 55 seconds per question. To me, just because it is expressed in seconds, it sounds like an extremely short time. However, really think about how long a minute is… pretty long, right? Plenty of time to slowly read the question and think about what it is really asking you. Often times, we end up getting stressed out and rushing through questions faster than we need to. Remember, part of managing our own time is knowing how much time should be devoted to a particular question. If you know it right away, great! More time for the rest. If not, no worries! Take your time, read slowly, and utilize some of those great test taking skills we talked about earlier.

Secondly, developing a time schedule for studying is also imperative for success on the EPPP [1]. As I mentioned previously in the study habits portion, if you are like most graduate students (myself included), procrastination is your forte. In order to combat this to the best of our ability, experts have recommended that you set up a realistic study schedule for yourself and make every effort to keep it—notice that “realistic” is emphasized here. Anyone can make a study schedule, but if you’re not even close to on track with it, what good is it doing you? Being able to anticipate some of the daily life struggles and still plan around them with time to study is going to be a key to your success at this exam.

Stress Management Skills

Finally, learning how to manage your stress for this exam is also important. What good are you going to be come test time if you’re so stressed out you can’t even remember your name? With all this planning going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

One major strategy that I suggest to combat this anxiety is getting connected. Like I mentioned before under “get a study buddy.” Reach out to people over Facebook, over the internet, in your cohort, in study groups, etc. Anywhere where you can get some support and somewhere to vent—take it! You’re going to need some outlet from all this stress.

Another excellent strategy is having a routine—and sticking to it! If you already have a pretty set routine, try to work your study time into that routine. Don’t upset your whole life just for the exam. Sure, it’s going to be a major piece of your vocational career, but it isn’t something that should make you hate everything else leading up to it.

Do you work out regularly? Do not give that up! Exercise has been shown to be a great stress reliever. And some studies have actually shown that keeping a regular exercise routine in place can help you do better on exams.

No matter what it is, find something that can help you escape the stress of this exam. It’s a major stressor in your life, and for many is the last major obstacle before you get licensed and embark in the world of psychology on your own! Anything that can help you escape that pressure will be a welcome relief—trust me!

Here’s a bonus tip:

Calm down. It’s going to be fine.

More than 80% of students who prepare and take the exam pass on their first attempt—so the odds are in your favor [1]. Even if you do not pass on the first go, it’s not the end of the world. It is simply a licensure exam, this doesn’t say anything about your intelligence or who you are as a person.

You’re a graduate student. You’ve taken a million exams before. You’ve made it this far. What’s one more? You know what works for you and you know what doesn’t. Now, get out there and crush it!

 

 

The Number One Secret to Passing the EPPP

The Number One Secret to Passing the EPPP

Are you studying for the EPPP again after yet another failed attempt? Or perhaps you’ve failed your practice exams time and time again. Are you ready to start succeeding?

The short solution to being successful is this: quit cutting corners.

It’s time to take an honest look at your current study strategy and perhaps trade it in for something better. Although success does not come without sacrifice, it will be worth it when you receive that passing score.

First, assess your current studying situation by answering the following questions.

  • Do I want to pass the EPPP?
  • Have I failed the EPPP at least one time?
  • Do I often skim through study material rather than read the whole thing?
  • Do I feel like I don’t know where to begin with studying for the EPPP?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, take these next three steps.

1. Start a study program

If you’re not currently enrolled in a professional study program, look no further. There is a reason TSM candidates have a 96% first time pass rate. Our program is customized to assess where you’re at, what your timeline is, and how you learn best.

Email us at contact@taylorstudymethod.com or give us a call at 877-510-5445.

2. Stick to your study schedule

At TSM, we take what we know about your timeline, your initial assessment, and learning style to deliver you an efficient and effective study schedule with 1-hour study sessions. The schedule is unique to you, so it will be easier to stick to.

3. Seek support

Whether this means you find a study partner or join a study group, it is important to have the support of people in the same boat as you. They will be there to encourage you, hold you accountable, and help you understand concepts and vice versa – two brains are better than one! Furthermore, TSM offers coaching sessions to objectively look at where you are and how to improve.

Ultimately, a passing EPPP score is yours – you just have to come get it!

Increase Emotional Intelligence and Decrease EPPP Stress

Emotional Intelligence can decrease the stress of the EPPP.

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is the ability to effectively express, understand, and manage your own feelings. It also includes the ability to successfully engage and navigate the feelings of others. Because EQ is the ability to manage feelings, those who have a high EQ are better able to manage stress; an important quality when it comes to preparing for the EPPP.

Unlike a person’s Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, EQ can be improved. A person’s IQ does not drastically change over time. Approximately 90% of high performing employees have a high EQ whereas 80% of low performing employees have a low EQ. Conclusively, EQ can be a determining factor of success. Furthermore, the higher your EQ, the less overcome by stress you are.

Ultimately, EQ is an important part of effectively studying for the EPPP. Here are 3 ways to increase your EQ and subsequently decrease stress during the EPPP preparation process.

  1. Reduce Negative emotions

One way to increase your EQ is to increase positive emotions and reduce negative ones. This can be done through gratitude. Expressing gratitude literally detoxifies your brain and over time can drastically reduce stress and increase your emotional intelligence. Gratitude also has many health benefits such as decreasing anxiety and depression and improving sleep.

A practical way to express gratitude while you prepare for the EPPP is to put a positive mantra in your study space. Think of an encouraging phrase that grabs you, write it down, and pin it where you can see it whenever you are studying.

  1. Express your emotions when necessary

Per Dr. Travis Bradburry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 emotionally intelligent people have four main skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

To increase your EQ, learn to appropriately express your emotions by first understanding what emotions you are experiencing and then expressing them in a safe environment with someone you trust. Practice appropriately expressing your emotions when you are stressed and overwhelmed with studying for the EPPP.

  1. Be proactive

When it comes to adversity, be proactive instead of reactive. For example, if someone upsets you, be proactive about your response to them. Take a deep breath and respond calmly instead of reacting out of being upset.

When it comes to studying for the EPPP, be proactive about stress. Don’t let your study schedule happen to you, create one before all the study materials and practice tests pile up with little time to learn anything.  Procrastination, though, is not always the only thing that will cause stress. Studying for the EPPP in general can be a stressor. Therefore, expect the stress and be proactive about how you will manage it when it happens.

Resources

Ni, P., M.S.B.A. (2014, October 5). How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence ― 6 Essentials. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201410/how-increase-your-emotional-intelligence-6-essentials

Further Reading

What to Expect on EPPP Exam Day

Your EPPP exam day has finally come. Do you know what to expect when you enter the testing center?

Pearson VUE testing centers, which is likely where you will sit your exam, administer the EPPP under standardized conditions per their established procedures. You may take the EPPP at any Pearson VUE testing center regardless of whether it is in the state or province you wish to practice.

 

When you arrive to your testing center, which must be 30 minutes prior to your test time, be sure to have all required documents with you. This includes a valid, government issued photo identification as well as another alternate form of ID with your name and signature. The names on your ID must match exactly with your Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

You will have 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam which consists of 225 questions. 175 of the questions are scored and 50 remain unscored. You may take breaks during the exam as you wish, but there are no standardized break periods. When you do decide to take a break, your allotted test time will not pause. At the Taylor Study Method we recommend you schedule your breaks before you take the test. See our tips for test day time management here.

If you would like to take notes during the exam, the testing center can provide you with a whiteboard upon request. Scratch paper is not allowed but at TSM we recommend you request a whiteboard and use it like you would scratch paper. Furthermore, you are not allowed to bring your own ear plugs or headphones but may request them upon arrival to test day. If you are easily distracted, we recommend you take advantage of this feature – especially because Pearson VUE will be administering a range of different exams, which could cause minor distractions.

At the beginning of your exam there will be a short tutorial on how to move forward and backward through the exam and how to flag questions. The time it takes you to watch the tutorial is not counted towards your allotted test time and we recommend you take advantage of it. If you experience technical issues, tell a Pearson VUE staff member immediately. The test administrator on site will advise you on what to do if technical difficulties cannot be rectified within 30 minutes.

If you have further questions about what to expect on test day or how to register, give TSM a call at 1-877-510-5445 or email us at contactus@taylorstudymethod.com

How to Take the EPPP

How to Take the EPPP

Are you ready to take the EPPP and become a licensed psychologist? You become eligible to take the EPPP by graduating from an accredited school with either a PhD or PsyD in psychology and by completing supervised clinical experience. Once you are eligible, you can move through the following steps towards exam day.

Step One: Apply for licensure 

Apply for licensure in the state you would like to practice in. Failing to do so before applying to take the EPPP will result in a fine. Per district rules and regulations of your state or province, the licensing authority thereof is responsible for ensuring your eligibility. Once your application is cleared, you will receive two consecutive emails that will instruct you on how to verify your account move on to EPPP registration.

Step Two: Apply for the EPPP

Complete and submit the EPPP application and submit your exam fee payment. Once you have paid your fee, you will receive an Authorization to Test letter (ATT). You must take the exam within 90 days of receiving your ATT.

Step Three: Schedule your Appointment

When you receive your ATT, it is time to schedule your exam. Most states and provinces use Pearson VUE test centers to administer the EPPP. You may test at any Pearson VUE testing center regardless of what state or province you are applying for licensure in. You can schedule your appointment with the Pearson VUE testing center by visiting their website www.pearsonvue.com/asppb/locate or by calling their national center at 1-800-513-6910.

 

When scheduling your appointment, have the following information available:

  • Your name as it is printed on your identification documents
  • Registration/ID number
  • Phone number
  • The exam sponsor, which is the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)
  • The exam you are taking, which is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)

Step Four: Take the EPPP

When you sit the exam, you will have the option to take a tutorial on how to select answers, review questions, and skip backward and forward through the test. This tutorial lasts five minutes and is not counted for your allotted test time. We recommend you take the tutorial because it can minimize anxiety during the exam. The more you know about your test, including how to use the system, the more confident you will be. Any opportunity to decrease anxiety is a good one!

Further Reading:

TSM What is the EPPP?

Are you thinking about embarking on the journey of passing the EPPP? Or perhaps you’re already immersed in your EPPP study schedule. Either way, it is helpful to know the components of the EPPP and where it all began.

The Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) was first administered in 1965. It was developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to assist in the evaluation of psychology applicants by granting eligibility through licensure. Successful completion of the exam grants candidates license eligibility to practice psychology in the United States and Canada.

The EPPP is intended to cover the knowledge that is determined foundational for competency in the practice of psychology. It has questions in approximately eight topics:

1.Biological bases of behavior
2. Cognitive-affective bases of behavior
3. Social and cultural bases of behavior
4. Growth and lifespan development
5. Assessment and diagnosis of patients
6. Treatment, intervention, prevention, and supervision of patients
7. Research methods and statistics
8.Ethical, legal, and professional issues

The EPPP consists of 225 multiple choice questions to be answered in a span of four hours and fifteen minutes. 175 of the questions are scored while 50 remain unscored. Each multiple-choice question has four answers to choose from with one being the fully accurate choice. An EPPP score is given on a scale from 200 to 800 based on the total number of correct responses with no penalty given for incorrect answers. A candidate’s raw score is scaled to consider question difficulty which ensures that all tests can be compared equally.

Although licensing authorities in the United States and Canada are responsible for setting their own benchmarks regarding passing scores, more than 90% use a passing score of 500 which is the ASPPB recommendation. The Taylor Study Method is designed to guarantee your passing score on the first attempt regardless of licensing authority benchmarks.

Currently, the EPPP is administered in more than 275 Pearson VUE test centers across the United States and Canada. It is the second to last step in becoming a licensed psychologist followed by individual provincial and state boards. To become eligible to take the EPPP, one must take several steps such as graduation with a PhD or PsyD in Psychology from an accredited school, successful completion of supervised clinical experience, as well as state or province-specific requirements.

In March of 2017, the ASPPB announced the approval of a plan to develop an additional exam to complement the current EPPP. Named “EPPP Step 2,” it will focus on competency and asses a candidate’s therapy skills integrated with use of knowledge skills, attitudes, and values in psychology. EPPP Step 1 will continue to test knowledge. The launch date of EPPP Step 2 is set for January 2020.

If you’re unsure about the qualifiers in your state or province or if you have questions about EPPP Step 2 and how to get started on studying, give TSM a call. We can set you on the path towards success. Call us at 1-877-510-5445 or email us at contactus@taylorstudymethod.com

What to Do When the Internship Is Over   

So, you’ve completed, or are about to complete, your internship. What’s next?

Unlike graduate school, or the internship itself, there is no guided process of how to proceed after the internship. Lucky for you, we have provided 10 steps to take after your internship with advice from the American Psychological Association (APA).

  1. Know the requirements.

What does your state require for licensure? Typically, you would earn your degree, complete supervised internships and postdoc hours, and pass the EPPP. From there, you would take your state’s jurisprudence or ethics exam and, if your state has one, an oral exam.

Some states allow you to sit for the EPPP directly following internship hours. Other states, however, have different requirements. At Taylor Study Method, we can provide you with your state’s specific requirements so you do not have to guess. Email us at memberssupport@taylorstudymethod.com or call us at 877-510-5445.

  1. Make a study plan.

Decide when you want to take the exam and form a study schedule around that. It typically takes about 3 to 4 months to study for the EPPP. At TSM, we can help you formulate a study schedule that suits your time frame.

See our expert tips on creating a study schedule here.

  1. Know where you want to practice.

Do you live close to the border of another state? Or have you always dreamed of living across the country someday? Learn the licensing requirements of where you might want to practice psychology someday.

Once again, TSM can provide you with state-specific requirements.

  1. Talk with the licensing board.

Although TSM can provide you with state-specific requirements, the APA suggests visiting the licensing board websites of the states you are interested in. Ask them questions until you fully understand the steps toward licensure and stay up to date on any state regulations.

  1. Plan your postdoc, if applicable.

Ask us at TSM to see if a postdoc experience is right for you because some states do not require it. If you do pursue postdoc, look for an experience that meets your state’s licensing requirements and one that will, per the APA, “enhance your knowledge and facilitate long-term career goals.” You can either continue at your internship site or find a new site that peaks your interest.

Before you begin your postdoc, the APA advises creating a contract that outlines your state’s licensing requirements and how the site, supervisor, and you will meet those requirements.

  1. Apply with the state board.

Once your prerequisites are met, request an application from the State Board of Psychology (SBP), fill out the application, and return it. TSM can assist you in this process. Once the SBP approves your application, you are ready to book your EPPP spot.

  1. Apply with Pearson VUE.

Upon SBP approval, submit your application to Pearson VUE, which is the company that administers the EPPP.

Before you take this step, however, consider this: Once your fees are paid to Pearson, you must take the EPPP within 90 days. Therefore, you should be close to finishing studying and confident in your exam prep when you apply.

  1. Take the EPPP.

If you use TSM to prepare for the EPPP, you will be able to sit for the exam with confidence. We will assure you of your readiness based on your practice test scores, which are a regular feature of our study model.

All the work will be worth it when you pass the EPPP. And when you do pass, submit your results to the SBP.

  1. Sit for jurisprudence.

Once you pass the EPPP and submit your results, it is time to sit your state’s Jurisprudence Exam (if applicable), which covers state-specific regulations and mental health laws. Upon passing this exam, you are ready to be a licensed psychologist.

  1. Keep a record.

After all that hard work, the APA suggests storing your credentials into a credentials bank. For a small fee, you can locate your data in one place, such as the National Register or ASPPB Credentials Bank. You can store documents such as transcripts, your EPPP and jurisprudence scores, recommendation letters, proof of internship and postdoc hours, as well as state licensure forms.

We invite you to see how the Taylor Study Method can support you as you prepare to pass the EPPP. Become a member for free at www.taylorstudymethod.com/free-account. For more information, call us at 877-510-5445.

Further Reading

Time Management on EPPP Test Day

When exam day comes, you will succeed by having thorough content knowledge and by being a strategic test taker. Come test day, all you should have to worry about is choosing the correct answers in the allotted time frame.

To be sure time doesn’t run out before you answer all the questions, we have some strategic tips on managing your time on EPPP test day.

Time management on test day starts 2 days before your EPPP when you’re getting your most important night’s sleep. The night before the exam you might be restless so it is important to sleep well two nights before your exam.

The night before your exam, prepare by packing necessities such as a snack and mandatory items for your exam, like your identification and PES information. Lay out your clothing the night before and be sure to choose layered clothing as you won’t know whether the testing center will be cold or hot.

You will need to arrive to the testing center a half an hour before your scheduled test time, so give yourself plenty of time the morning of to eat, get dressed, and drive there in a leisurely way as to avoid anxiety. Allow time for traffic and potential unintended travel mishaps.

When you get to the testing center, avoid test anxiety by minimizing conversation with other test takers and silently reminding yourself that you are going to do well. Tell yourself “Today is the day I will pass the EPPP!”

When it comes to time management on the actual exam, here’s the strategy we recommend at TSM.

You will have approximately 68 seconds per question within the allotted 4 hours and 15 minutes of exam time consisting of 225 questions total (175 scored and 50 pretest questions that are unscored). In the first 10-15 minutes of your exam, do what we call an “Information Dump.” Write out everything you’ve kept in your memory. This will give you the freedom to focus during your test because you can return to these notes when related questions come up. Although testing centers may not allow scratch paper, they can provide a white board upon request.

As you move through your exam, do not forget to take breaks. Dr. Graham Taylor goes over specific break strategies towards the end of his broadcast here.  Do not simply work until you feel tired and take a break then. Instead, plan breaks and take them to stay fresh and focused. There are two types of breaks you should decide ahead of time to take: mini breaks (3-5 minute) and full breaks (10 minutes).

If you decide to take mini breaks, choose one of two strategies. Either decide on a certain number of questions to complete before a break is taken (e.g., 25 questions), or decide on a period of time spent working (e.g., 25 minutes) before a break is taken. During these breaks, stand up, stretch, move, and breathe.

If you decide to take full breaks, take them after an hour and a half of work.  During these breaks, grab some fuel and food, use the restroom if you need to, stretch, and breathe.

Regardless of what you decide, take the breaks even if you feel like you don’t need to in the moment. Taking planned breaks will allow you to work from rest and stay fresh and focused as opposed to working hard for rest.

Lastly, take a deep breath before each question. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold for a count of two, and then slowly exhale out of your mouth. While breathing, remind yourself that you can do this!

Time management on test day is all about coming in with a strategy. Develop your strategy and get accustomed to time management during practice tests then prepare as much as you can in the days leading up to your exam.

 

Further Reading:

The Best Way to Approach an EPPP Practice Test

TSM practice testsWhat are your EPPP practice test scores telling you? Among many benefits of EPPP practice tests, a score can reflect how well you understand the material. And how you approach EPPP practice tests can affect your overall exam success.

So, how do you know if you’ve got the right approach?

First, check your mindset. What do you think of and how do you feel about the EPPP? If you identify any negative thoughts or feelings towards your exam, consider this: Negativity creates toxins in your brain. Those toxins can cause anxiety and stress, which are the last things you need when studying for such an important exam.

Adopt the right mindset toward the EPPP with gratitude. Gratitude is a huge factor in having a good study experience as well as a passing score. Start by noticing your negative thoughts and then you can begin replacing them with thankfulness.

The next step towards the correct EPPP practice test approach is to understand the benefit of practice tests. Not only are they a reflection of your content knowledge, but test-taking has been proven to improve learning. Practice tests, therefore, not only gauge how well you know the content, but they are a great way of studying.

At TSM, our practice test method is designed to optimize this phenomenon of learning through test-taking. Our method allows your brain to construct the information into your memory and retrieve information during the actual exam.

Practice tests also reduce test anxiety on exam day. Anxiety can negatively affect our ability to perform, which then creates more anxiety, ultimately creating a cycle. A great way to combat test anxiety is to take practice exams. As you get closer to your exam date, begin mimicking the test-taking environment. Study in a quieter space and go through the questions with the same time constraints and breaks. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and at ease you will be on exam day.

Though EPPP practice tests are vital to your memory and retention, they should not be used as a substitute for content mastery. This leads us to our next and final step.

The third step towards the correct EPPP practice test approach is to understand that, contrary to popular belief, the ability to answer questions correctly on practice tests is not always equivalent to content mastery. Since the practice test questions are different from what you will encounter on the actual exam, answering correctly on the practice test is only valuable if you understand the content behind the question. EPPP exam success is a combination of being a practiced test-taker and having a thorough understanding of the content.

The quality of your studying should be reflected in how well you understand the material as evidenced by your practice exam score. So, how well should you be doing on your practice exams? Within about a month or two of studying, you should see a noticeable improvement in your scoring. If you’re not seeing an improvement, it’s possible you are studying inefficiently.

But before you dive back into the study materials and retake the same practice test, study in a way that helps the material make sense to you. For example, instead of studying a domain beginning to end, take a problem concept with you into your study material and dive into that specific concept. Once you have those concepts mastered, you can take another practice exam. If there is still no noticeable improvement, you may have to reassess how you are studying.

Ultimately, you should approach EPPP practice tests with a good mindset, an understanding of the benefits, and a thorough knowledge of the content behind the questions. At Taylor Study Method, we help you formulate a study process and equip you with the best tools to pass the EPPP.

 

Further Reading

3 Myths About Test Anxiety

6 Steps to EPPP Success

Use Gratitude to Detox Your Brain

Gratitude as a Way of Seeing

The Question that Will Help You Pass the EPPP