Use Online Study Tools to Achieve EPPP Success

Few would doubt that note taking with a pen and paper is less popular in this age of technology. Many students bring laptops to class and you are probably using online tools to study for your EPPP.

Are the trends of online learning and laptop note taking impairing our retention?

The Association for Psychological Science (APS) explored an experiment in Ink on Paper: Some Notes on Note Taking conducted by psychological scientists Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer, the former of Princeton and the latter of UCLA. The two psychological scientists wanted to know how note taking on a laptop affected cognitive processing and learning. Continue reading

Life After the EPPP: What Psychology Careers Are Available?

In our earlier post, ‘10 Steps for Becoming a Licensed Psychologist’, we looked at the steps involved in becoming a licensed psychologist.

In this post I want to address what happens on the other side of licensure. What are the practical benefits of passing your EPPP and becoming licensed? What type of career paths are open to licensed psychologist?

Sometimes people suppose that the only thing psychologists do is offer psychotherapy to clients. But a working as a psychotherapist is only one of a variety of psychology careers available.

Some psychologists pursue careers in academia, working as college professors or researchers. Others psychology careers can be found in industry, sport, entertainment or business. Many of these careers do not even require licensure, but simply a degree in psychology.

On their website, the American Psychological Association recognizes fifteen specialties in professional psychology. Let’s consider some of the most common.

Sports Psychologists

A sports psychologist  might explore how psychology affects sports strategy. He or she might also work with athletes on the mental and emotional aspects of training. Areas of interest to sports psychologist include the psychology of motivation, visualization, confidence, self-talk, mindfulness and relaxation.

All of the NFL teams have a sports psychologist on the payroll. Our earlier post ‘Develop a High Performance Mindset’ explored some of the insights of Michael Gervais, a psychologist who works for the Seattle Seahawks.

Industrial Psychologists

Industrial psychologists (also known as occupational or organizational psychologists) work in both white color and blue color professions helping businesses prevent and troubleshoot problems. This can include helping office workers get along better, finding ways to increase employee wellbeing, discovering ways to optimize work-force performance, analyzing the relationship between humans and machines in factory contexts, plus much more.


As already mentioned, some psychologists pursue careers as researchers. Psychology researchers usually work within a university or laboratory context, and could study such things as social psychology, neuropsychology, perceptual psychology, evolutionary psychology, marketing and countless other topics.

Other Jobs Psychologists Are Doing

Here are some others jobs that a degree in psychology can help prepare a person to perform:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselling psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Further education teacher
  • Health psychologist
  • High intensity therapist
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Primary care graduate mental health worker
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Sport and exercise psychologist
  • Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Advertising account planner
  • Advice worker
  • Careers adviser
  • Counsellor
  • Data analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Human resources officer
  • Market researcher
  • Physician associate
  • Play therapist
  • Psychotherapist

Within each of these psychology careers there are an almost endless amount of specialties. For example, a clinical psychologists might specialize in working with a certain age group, such as children teens or adults. Others might specialize in helping people who suffer from a particular disorder. A market researcher might specialize in food, or aroma, or clothing.

In addition to work as professional psychologist, a degree in psychology may also qualify a person to enter into other fields where a degree in psychology may be perceived as an asset. Many different jobs require someone who understands human behavior, emotion, and thought processes.

Pass the EPPP Using the Power of Humility

Perhaps you’ve taken the EPPP once (or multiple times) already only to discover that you didn’t pass. It can feel like hard work wasted among other sentiments such as frustration, shame, and fear of failing again. How do you pick yourself up and press on studying again after failed attempts?

Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Even having received a failing score or two, it is crucial to remember that you yourself are not a failure. One important key to a successful EPPP endeavor takes courage. The key I’m speaking of is humility; the strength of asking for help. Continue reading

Use Gratitude to Detox Your Brain

Imagine you have a friend whose boyfriend is always tearing her down and continually telling her that she’s stupid, unable to cope, that nobody likes her and that she isn’t pretty enough. What would you say to your friend? Obviously you would tell her she should break up with her negative boyfriend, or at least that she should stop paying attention to his continual criticisms.

Even though that is the advice you would give someone else, we often choose to pay attention to an incessant negative monologue about ourselves. The monologue of negativity isn’t coming from another person but from our own brain. Instead of “breaking up” with our negative brain, we pay attention to it.

Continue reading

Overcoming Fear of the EPPP Exam

Have you ever felt that the minute you let your guard down, something bad will happen? Perhaps you’ve felt that minute you stop worrying about passing the EPPP, you’ll forget everything you’ve learned. There’s a fear of what will happen if all your studying goes to waste; a fear of failure.

In immediately dangerous situations, fear is a survival tool. Our bodies sense fear when there is danger to alert us to get out of harm’s way. When we sense fear of something distant – like failing the EPPP – fear can be a burden that gets in the way of success. EPPP failure is avoidable and not immediate danger, therefore it is not worth fearing. (TSM has a 94% success rate so you’ve already taken a step to success by being here.)

So how do we overcome the fear that’s not worth fearing but, alas, still haunting?

 Fear can be overcome when it is diminished. It holds less power over us the more exposure we have to what is causing it. For example, someone who is afraid of the ocean should slowly start to acquaint with the water and will eventually work up the courage to confront what’s scary.

Lisa Fritscher of Very Well wrote The Psychology of Fear and says

“Repeated exposure to similar situations leads to familiarity. This greatly reduces both the fear response and the resulting elation, leading adrenaline junkies to seek out ever new and bigger thrills. It also forms the basis of some phobia treatments, which depend on slowly minimizing the fear response by making it feel familiar.”

If you’re afraid of failing the EPPP, you should acquaint yourself with the test material and what test day will be like. Familiarizing yourself with practice tests and EPPP concepts will help you understand that you are capable.

Another tactic, presented by Dale Carnegie in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is to familiarize yourself with the worst possible scenario and then accept it. Learning that you will not only live but be okay after failure will help you create action steps and ultimately avoid the situation you fear altogether because fear is no longer something standing in the way of you moving forward.

Think through what failure means for you. Perhaps you are afraid of failing the test because it means you’ll have to re-take it which means you’ll have to study again during an inconvenient time. What would a study schedule during such a time look like for you? Think through the possibilities of what could be a worst-case scenario, then accept it and move forward without fear hindering your success.

Gratitude and Brain Fitness: What the Research Says

Every year neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists make more exciting discoveries about the health benefits of gratitude. The research is now clear that if you want to achieve high levels of physical and mental fitness, practicing gratitude is a good place to start.

Before sharing some of this research, it may be helpful to recap the ground we’ve already covered in our ongoing series about gratitude. 

Our earlier post How Peace of Mind is a Skill That Can Be Developed With Practice looked at six things anyone can do to achieve peace of mind. Step number 6 was to practice gratitude. I referred to research showing that when we choose to focus on all we have to be grateful for, this actually affects material changes in the brain, leading to a happier life and greater levels of mental peace. I built on this in my follow-up post, Gratitude and Your EPPP Prep (Peace of Mind Part 2), by considering the important role gratitude can play in managing stress, including the type of stress that is common among those preparing to take their psychology licensure exam (EPPP). Our post Gratitude as a Way of Seeing added to this understanding by considering why human beings have trouble being grateful for ordinary things. We explored ways to retrain your brain to “see” life in a way permeated with constant thankfulness. 

It’s time to build on these previous posts by going deeper into the research on the neurological, psychological and physiological benefits of gratitude. Continue reading

Develop a High-Performance Mindset

How can a person perform at peak capacity during times of stress? What is the foundation for self-confidence? Why do we often perform better when we’re practicing a skill vs. performing it under pressure? How can we get into a flow-state whereby we become completely engaged in present-moment tasks? What are the principles behind a high-performance mindset?

These are the types of questions we ask here at TSM as we help prepare psychology students for the high-stress licensure exam known as the EPPP. These are also the types of questions that musicians, athletes, public speakers and sports psychologists wrestle with every day.

Michael Gervais of the Seattle Seahawks talks about the way great performers use their minds to realize their full potential. Gervais, who has worked as a sports psychologist with some of the world’s best athletes, explains how the principles that help champions perform at peak capacity can actually assist all of us to perform better in the situations we face every day. This fascinating conversation shows that developing skills like mindfulness, positive self-talk and focused attention can make the difference between success and failure.  Because so much of what Gervais says is relevant to exam-anxiety, we encourage all psychology students to watch this video at least six months before sitting the EPPP.

Is Cupid a Good EPPP Study Partner?

Given the recent Valentine’s Day holiday and EPPP studying being ever-present, the question begs: does being in love affect productivity?

Psychology Today’s Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, reveals some interesting research results in This is Your Brain on Love.

He points out that love has a greater effect on us than anything else because it’s affect is like that of drug use: Continue reading

Your Brain on Complaining and its Effect on EPPP Test Prep

If we’re honest, there are plenty of things we’d rather do than buckle down with EPPP test prep. Expressing annoyance or distaste at our obligations, what we begrudgingly acknowledge as complaining, can be a common factor in studying and our day-to-day lives in general. In fact, during the average conversation, we complain about once per minute.

You may find polarizing opinions on whether complaining is beneficial or detrimental, but our bodies physically suggest that complaining does more harm than good. Continue reading

Could EPPP Success be Determined by the Words You Say?

EPPP success starts before you open your books and begin studying. Like ancient artifacts can help us rebuild cities, figments of human thought and speech might be able to predict the future of our mental health. Is it possible, then, that preparing for the EPPP encompasses much more than actual studying?

Neuroscientist Mariano Sigman presents a Ted Talk called “Your words may predict your future mental health.” By creating an algorithm to explore the roots of human introspection, and by testing that algorithm in a study on how a group of young people’s speech predicts psychosis, Sigman theorizes that our words today can give us insight on where our minds will be later.