Secrets to EPPP Success (Part 1): Be Prepared!

Success on EPPP day, like success in other areas of life, doesn’t just happen. Rather, success arises from being familiar with the task before us, identifying and seizing control over those things in our life that we can actually make a difference over, and having a successful preparation plan and schedule. In such a way, we can set ourselves up for success in our EPPP preparation.

The first step to being prepared is being honest with ourselves.  We can set ourselves up for success by having a realistic and achievable study schedule that allows us the time necessary for thorough preparation.  Then we need to be committed to giving ourselves the best in each step of our journey to EPPP success.

Here are some questions to ask ourselves as we assess our level of preparedness to begin the journey:

  • Have I identified supportive others who can encourage and challenge me during my preparation?
  • Have I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals to achieve?
  • Do I have an overarching study plan and strategy?
  • Am I fully dedicated to my studying, or am I just going through the motions (remember, because practice makes permanent, we want to practice correctly)?

Equal honesty is required as you approach the actual day for the exam. Many of us go into a test thinking we’re prepared, and yet we haven’t taken simple steps to gauge our level of preparedness. Here are some questions we should ask ourselves to see if we’re properly prepared:

  • Have I simulated the testing conditions and then taken a practice test?
  • Have I spoken with others who have taken the test?
  • Have I succeeded in the practice tests I’ve taken?
  • Have I spoken with my friends or teachers about whether I’m ready?
  • Have I mastered the material I will be tested on by engaging in spaced-learning over long periods of time, or am I relying on cramming during a short space of time?
  • Have I mastered the material to the point where I could teach it to a friend?

Questions such as the above allow us to gauge our level of preparedness for the Exam.  Being able to answer Yes to all the above questions enables us to earn the confidence we want to have on test day.

The TSM program can help with a lot of this. For example, we recognize that those preparing for their EPPP need testing opportunities that assist with the learning process and which simulate the actual testing format, as well as types of questions that are likely to be on the Exam.  In our Domain practice tests, it is ideal to get a 70% or better; on full length practice exams it is helpful to consistently get 75% or better.  However, more importantly than test scores, we need to be able to explain “why” we got a test question correct, and “why” we didn’t select the other answer options. If we get something incorrect, we need to explain why we got it wrong (e.g., did we not know the content thoroughly enough, did we not read the question/answer choices correctly, did we doubt our selection and change our answer?).

Being able to gauge our preparedness comes from being able to say that we have been fully committed to and have followed through with all of these components.  If we do these “right things” and “stay the course” in our preparation, we will develop the necessary content mastery for success, and earn the confidence we desire to have on testing day.

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