Practice Tests

If you are considering sitting for the EPPP, it is vital to know how to get prepared for the test. The knowledge you gained during your graduate studies provides the foundation for taking the exam, but most of us need a little more practice before the actual event. Not to mention, it can cost as much as $475 each time you test, so repeat testing may not be a financial option if you are still repaying the loans from your doctoral degree.

A variety of practice tests are available in various formats including online, CD-ROM, and even tests administered at the actual EPPP, or Prometric testing facilities. Choose your testing format wisely because a good practice test may boost your confidence for the actual exam, but a bad one can waste precious time and money.

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards is the governing body for all EPPP exams, regardless of state. They regulate the examination questions and testing formats. The ASPPB offers two methods of practice tests: an online version and a mock-exam version held at one of the actual Prometric test sites. Both practice versions offer a 100-question test, but the online test costs $50, whereas the mock-test at the Prometric facility is $100.

According to psychologists who have recently passed the exam, the best thing you can do to prepare for the EPPP is take practice exams. Study aids, such as flashcards, texts, and study groups may prepare you for the process and fill in knowledge gaps that you identify during the mock exams. These practice tests can familiarize the student with computerized testing methods and the rules of the facility providing the exam. The tests may also familiarize you with the way EPPP questions are phrased and help you anticipate some of the formats you will see on your live version of the test.

Study Tips

Those who have taken and passed the EPPP agree on one thing: Take it as soon as possible after graduation. This way, the information learned during your graduate studies is fresh in your mind for the exam and you won’t need as much review of the basics learned in school. The EPPP tests functional knowledge of psychology. Passing the test proves that you are ready for independent practice in a real- world setting outside of the classroom. Although you can take the test up to four times in one year, passing it the first time is preferable.

Practice Tests

Start studying at least four months before the big day. This will allow time for practice tests, which may highlight your knowledge deficiencies and help you focus on areas that need work. The EPPP exam is broken into sections, with each section supporting between 10% and 15% of your total grade. It may be easiest to break the studying into corresponding sections. For instance, a portion of the exam is dedicated to the biological, cognitive, and social influences of behavior. Once you feel comfortable with this section, you could progress to the next section on human cognitive development.

Many different tools, in different modalities, are available to facilitate your study for the EPP. Audio-visual learners may enjoy using interactive CD-ROMs for EPPP preparation or studying in a group of peers. Others may create or purchase flashcards to study, especially for topics needing rote memorization. Those who have recently passed the exam suggest taking a practice test and then creating your own flashcards to reflect areas where you did poorly. Whichever method you choose, take a deep breath and get started. Those who have taken the test before you state that the EPPP is not as frightful as you may think.

Test Anxiety

Ranging from mild panic to hyperventilation, test anxiety is a real event that can affect your testing outcome. Exploring the potential causes and remedies of this panic may improve your performance on test day. Most importantly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. It took a long time to become eligible to sit for the EPPP exam.

As the saying goes, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Planning for the tests and mentally preparing yourself may help alleviate some test-day anxiety. Learn the basics about the testing center, such as what you can and cannot bring and how long you will have to complete the test, and especially its location; drive over there to familiarize yourself with the route. Some Prometrics testing centers offer practice exams at the actual testing centers. Scheduling a practice exam will allow you a dry-run of the test day and familiarize you with the testing surroundings.

Explore the root cause of your test anxiety. If you are usually white-knuckled on test day due to lack of preparation, perhaps you should spend more time studying before the test until you are completely comfortable with your knowledge base. If you tend to cram, lose sleep, and eat poorly before exams, you can have a trusted friend or loved one remind you to get to the gym, eat balanced meals, and close the books at night so you can get plenty of sleep.

Self-prep talks may help you calm a mounting anxiety attack on test day. As you sit down in your cubicle to take the exam, take a moment to breathe and remind yourself that you are prepared and will pass this exam. Read the directions thoroughly before getting started and ask for clarification on any points you do not understand. Most importantly, remember that this is not a life-ending situation. You may retake the test up to three more times if you do not pass.

Last Updated: 05/08/2014

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