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

6 Things to Know Before You Begin Studying for the EPPP

6 Tips Before You Begin Studying TSM

If you’re thinking about taking the EPPP, you’ve already come a long way in your journey to licensure. The EPPP is the last step toward the prize that is almost yours.

Before you being studying for the EPPP, there are 6 things you should do, especially if you want to pass on the first attempt.

1. Fully Commit.

Dr. Graham Taylor says that if you’re going to commit, do it fully. Plan to pass on the first attempt and set a goal for a specific passing score, not just to pass in general.

To commit fully will involve making lifestyle modifications to create room for dedicated EPPP study. Don’t start studying until you’re ready to make it a priority.

2. Set a Date.

When you’re ready to make the EPPP a priority, set a date for your exam. Creating a deadline will give you a tangible goal and an accurate timeline for studying. From there, you can create a realistic study schedule and truly dedicate your time to achieving your goal.

3. Tell Your Family and Friends.

Tell the people closest to you that you are preparing to take the EPPP. Invite them to gently hold you accountable to your goal and be specific with ways they can help you. Inviting those you care about along this journey will provide you with a support system and help you combat isolation as you dedicate much of your time to studying. Your close friends and family can act as motivators when you’re struggling or in need a day off.

4. Gather Materials.

When you use Taylor Study Method, you will take an initial assessment exam. Based on your strengths and weaknesses, TSM will tailor your exam process. Then, you can utilize the tools that work best for you. TSM’s tools are designed to suit your learning style and content strengths and weaknesses. We will point you to what materials you need based on those factors.

5. Develop a Study Schedule.

You determine how many hours a week you want to study and when your exam date is. Then, TSM will help you design a study schedule around that. Dr. Taylor has great advice on creating your study schedule as well as 7 general principles to guide you.

6. Go For It!

It’s time to begin! Check out more of TSM’s unique features here!

 

Further Reading

Our Top Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series on studying during the holidays, we explored five tips for staying on track with your EPPP studies during the stressful and busy holiday season. Today we finish off the list with five more tips for keeping the course so you can enjoy the season and keep your study schedule!

Tip 6: Mornings are Best.

All things being equal, it is best for your holiday studying to take place in the morning so you have the entire day ahead of you to enjoy. If you save your EPPP prep for the evening, you may have to pull yourself away from an enjoyable activity with family and friends or risk leaving it until too late once everyone else has gone to bed and you are too tired to study effectively. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it does represent one very good best practice.

Continue reading

10 Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays: Part 1

The holidays can be a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends, as well as a time to focus on the things that matter the most to us. But the holidays can also be a time of stress. One of the things that can add to holiday stress is the type of intense study regime familiar to anyone preparing for their EPPP.

Sometimes I hear people ask questions like:

How can I possibly enjoy this holiday season with the licensure exam hanging over my head?

Should I just skip Christmas this year to focus on my EPPP studies instead?

How can I balance my EPPP preparation with the events of the holiday season, including my commitment to friends and family?

If you find yourself resonating with any of these, I have good news for you. Keeping to an EPPP course of study does not need to ruin the holiday season. In fact, if you follow the 10 techniques laid out in Parts 1 and 2, you’ll find that you can have a productive course of EPPP study and still enjoy a relaxing, fun-filled holiday season!

Continue reading

6 Steps to EPPP Success

“Not even the rigors of grad school and internship prepared me for what I face now studying to pass the EPPP.”

“I keep putting off my EPPP test preparation because it overwhelms me. I know I need to start but I don’t know where to begin.”

“My entire career has been put on hold until I pass the EPPP. The problem is that I’ve already failed once.”

“I tried to start preparing for the EPPP once before, going through hundreds and hundreds of practice questions. It only showed me how unprepared I actually was. I know I need to put together a study plan but I don’t know where to start. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of material I need to learn.”

Do any of the above concerns sound familiar? These types of anxieties represent typical feelings among those who are aspiring to become licensed psychologists.

Through almost two decades of working to prepare students to pass the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), I’ve listened to anxieties such as those represented above. In the process of my work, I’ve collected the following tips and coping strategies that have proven effective in helping psychology students overcome these types of fears and steer a course toward EPPP success.
Continue reading

Your EPPP Exam Day Routine

In all the focus on being academically prepared to take the EPPP, it’s easy to overlook some of the important practical preparations a candidate needs to do in order to be properly prepared.

In the video below, Dr. Graham Taylor walks us through the best practices for your exam day routine, from the moment you wake up through to the process of taking the exam itself. Dr. Taylor also addresses what the week before your exam should look like, as well as the day directly prior to it.

Seven Steps to Creating an EPPP Study Schedule

 

In the world of EPPP test preparation, there’s a familiar story. It goes something like this.

You finished your graduate work, you completed your internship and now you’re all ready to do what you’ve always dreamed of doing—helping people through your work as a psychologist. There’s only one problem: you haven’t passed your licensure exam. Compared to the rigors of grad school and the stress of internship, this final hurdle seems comparatively easy. So you order a box of books and other preparation materials that promise to train you for everything you need to know to successfully pass the EPPP and get licensed. The box of preparation materials arrives. Not wanting to waste a moment and delay your longed-for career, you jump right in and start studying. As you get into the material, it quickly becomes clear that the task is more daunting than you anticipated. You feel overwhelmed, and with good reason: after all, the EPPP is like the bar exam or a medical exam—one of the hardest tests among all the professional disciplines.

Continue reading

10 Steps to Learning Anything Twice as Quick

We often assume that the ability to quickly learn material and master different fields of study comes down to how smart a person is, or how good of a memory they have. But research increasingly suggests that raw talent has very little to do with overall success in life, including success in learning. Instead, success has a lot to do with the strategies and techniques you choose to follow.

Over the years I’ve been blessed to work with TSM in researching the techniques used by various experts who have become leaders. Many of these strategies have been woven into our learning platform.

Whether you’re a high school student studying for a final exam, a college student struggling to keep up in class, or a psychology student preparing to take the EPPP, these learning techniques can make the difference between success and failure. These ten strategies can also spell the difference between a study process that is full of stress and frustration vs. one that is fulfilling and fun.

  Continue reading

A TSM Success Story

At TSM, your success is what we strive for; it’s why the method exists. Success means motivated and supported study, confidence in the testing center, and a passing score. Take a look at how TSM helped one member succeed:

“I studied for the EPPP using TSM’s monthly online program, and I found it to be very helpful to me passing the exam, and just recently! I liked the attention to different ways people learn by providing material across video, audio, and written formats. The initial assessment and the resulting customized study plan according to the scores on the assessment were incredibly helpful. Topics are covered thoroughly and with explanations that are generally user friendly versus technical.  Each topic includes a mind map (visual summary) and is followed by notes that you can revise and make your own. After reading on several topics, you take a quiz and get that content further reinforced. Everything is online so I didn’t have to worry about downloading and taking up data, or lugging stacks of study materials around. I felt connected to the support from TSM through the use of the program, specifically meeting via phone with an instructor to discuss study schedule and answer any questions and availability of chat with staff or peers who are studying themselves. Thank you for calling me every so often to check in, especially when I had put studying on pause. The program worked very well for me and I am so thankful that once in the actual exam, I felt very prepared after studying, and I passed.

While the program was excellent, it did take me a good amount of time to move through the material (as in there is heavy content). There are pros and cons of this, and since I have been out of school for some time, it was helpful to have more rather than less.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my feedback on the TSM program, and I hope that you continue to provide the service that you do.

Best wishes to you!  – Nicole”