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

3 Myths About Test Anxiety

The EPPP is a big undertaking. But for those with test anxiety, the exam can be an even greater challenge.

Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), test anxiety has many symptoms such as a racing heart, panic attacks, excessive sweating, inability to recall, and helplessness, to name a few. Generally, it is caused by a fear of failure, poor test history (or the pressure of good test history), and a lack of preparation.

Among the symptoms and causes, there are myths about test anxiety that can stand in the way of overcoming it.

Here are the top three myths about test anxiety.

1. Overcoming is impossible. 

This is the biggest myth of all. Test anxiety is common, and there are ways to manage it before and during exam day.
Continue reading

The Value of TSM’s Initial and Final Review Coaching Sessions

What is the difference between the initial and final review coaching session? Is one coaching
session more important than the other? How will participating in the coaching sessions help my
EPPP or CPLEE score?

Dr. Elizabeth Stanton addressed these questions in a Facebook Live event last month. In her
broadcast, she gave an overview of what the initial and final review coaching sessions entail.
She explained why utilizing both will contribute to a passing EPPP or CPLEE score.

 

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.

Create Space for a Passing EPPP Score

Do you have a goal of passing the EPPP before the year ends? Or do you want to create a study schedule by 2018? Whatever your goal may be, finding time to study can be a challenge, especially when we hit the holiday season. It’s important to get into the habit of studying before the holiday season is in full swing. Here are five practical tips to create space in your life for studying. Continue reading

Interview with Carol Dweck

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.

Could Digital Addiction be Affecting Your EPPP Score?      

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