Train Your Brain for Confidence on Exam Day

Exam day is often associated with anxiety. Whether the thought of taking the EPPP evokes negative emotions from test taking in your school days or more recent graduate school days, the anxiety can impact your EPPP test score.

Confidence on exam day is key to succeeding. So, how do you combat test anxiety and replace it with confidence?

Begin by understanding why the thought of test taking evokes anxiety.

Neurologically, due to your past experiences of anxiety during exams, the mere thought of test taking now ignites the feeling of anxiety in your brain’s cingulate gyrus, which is located deep in the cortex. Your brain has made an association between test taking and anxiety. Therefore, the two have been “wired” together in your brain and anxiety is now a habitual response to the thought of test taking.

To replace anxiety with confidence on exam day, your brain has some rewiring to do. Thankfully, due to the brain’s remarkable plasticity, certain associations can be reversed.

Throughout the Taylor Study Method process, you will take roughly 4,000 questions before EPPP exam day. If, during those practice questions, you stimulate the conditions of a test within the safe and relaxed environment of the TSM study process, your brain can begin to associate testing with relaxation or calmness.

In a way, TSM is providing you with 4,000 moments for your brain to adopt the habit of relaxing during an exam.

During these moments, you can actively practice desensitizing yourself to anxiety by going through stress relief strategies. To combat stress as it arises you might do a power stance, express gratitude, or focus on breathing. The more you practice stress-relief techniques and learn to relax during mock exam questions, the more your brain will remain calm at the thought of test taking.

Ultimately, by the end of the TSM study process, you will be capable of replicating your relaxed state throughout the actual EPPP exam.

And, as if reducing anxiety isn’t enough, taking 4,000 test questions before the exam has multiple benefits. Frequent testing improves memory and reinforces the information you will need to pass the EPPP. Practice tests can also reflect how well you understand the material before you take the test, so they can be an indicator of when you are ready to sit the exam.

The consequence of habitual relaxation during test taking, paired with increased memory and a surety that you’re ready, is confidence. And confidence during exam day is crucial to a passing score.

Are you interested in allowing our 4,000 test questions to help you combat test anxiety and pass the EPPP? Find out the many ways TSM can support you specifically to pass the EPPP.

For more information on how TSM can help you prepare confidently for your exam, call us at 877-510-5445.


Further Reading



A Healthy Brain for Exam Prep Success

How do you spend your time when you’re not studying or working? What you do during your time off may be just as important as what you do while you’re studying. Be careful how you treat your brain!

Just as an Olympic athlete will take care of his body even during off season when he is not training or competing, those preparing for the EPPP  (or any major exam) should take care of their minds even during those times of the day when you’re not actually studying.

Neuroscientists have done experiments on habitual actions and have noticed that they can literally alter the physiological structure of the brain. Something as simple as responding immediately to a text message, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, or checking your email with every notification can be enough to train your brain to find attentiveness difficult, to find quiet contemplation awkward, and to find sustained concentration and patience to be a chore.

In other words, our neoplastic brains adapt to the situations we put them in, and this adaptation is not always for the better. When you pass your EPPP and become a licensed psychologist, you will need qualities like attentiveness, concentration, patience, and contemplation. What you do now – minute to minute – is creating the neuropathways in your brain that make these qualities easier or more difficult.

Of course, no one can live completely free of distractions. And it’s important you have time to relax doing something enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with spending time on social media or texting someone back quickly. The key, however, is to confine such activity to your off hours and to give your full attention and focus to your studies when you sit down to study. Best of all, if you create the habit of applying full focus during study time, you’ll find it easier to apply that focus in other study sessions and for the marathon that is exam day.

What to Do When the Internship Is Over   

So, you’ve completed, or are about to complete, your internship. What’s next?

Unlike graduate school, or the internship itself, there is no guided process of how to proceed after the internship. Lucky for you, we have provided 10 steps to take after your internship with advice from the American Psychological Association (APA).

  1. Know the requirements.

What does your state require for licensure? Typically, you would earn your degree, complete supervised internships and postdoc hours, and pass the EPPP. From there, you would take your state’s jurisprudence or ethics exam and, if your state has one, an oral exam.

Some states allow you to sit for the EPPP directly following internship hours. Other states, however, have different requirements. At Taylor Study Method, we can provide you with your state’s specific requirements so you do not have to guess. Email us at or call us at 877-510-5445.

  1. Make a study plan.

Decide when you want to take the exam and form a study schedule around that. It typically takes about 3 to 4 months to study for the EPPP. At TSM, we can help you formulate a study schedule that suits your time frame.

See our expert tips on creating a study schedule here.

  1. Know where you want to practice.

Do you live close to the border of another state? Or have you always dreamed of living across the country someday? Learn the licensing requirements of where you might want to practice psychology someday.

Once again, TSM can provide you with state-specific requirements.

  1. Talk with the licensing board.

Although TSM can provide you with state-specific requirements, the APA suggests visiting the licensing board websites of the states you are interested in. Ask them questions until you fully understand the steps toward licensure and stay up to date on any state regulations.

  1. Plan your postdoc, if applicable.

Ask us at TSM to see if a postdoc experience is right for you because some states do not require it. If you do pursue postdoc, look for an experience that meets your state’s licensing requirements and one that will, per the APA, “enhance your knowledge and facilitate long-term career goals.” You can either continue at your internship site or find a new site that peaks your interest.

Before you begin your postdoc, the APA advises creating a contract that outlines your state’s licensing requirements and how the site, supervisor, and you will meet those requirements.

  1. Apply with the state board.

Once your prerequisites are met, request an application from the State Board of Psychology (SBP), fill out the application, and return it. TSM can assist you in this process. Once the SBP approves your application, you are ready to book your EPPP spot.

  1. Apply with Pearson VUE.

Upon SBP approval, submit your application to Pearson VUE, which is the company that administers the EPPP.

Before you take this step, however, consider this: Once your fees are paid to Pearson, you must take the EPPP within 90 days. Therefore, you should be close to finishing studying and confident in your exam prep when you apply.

  1. Take the EPPP.

If you use TSM to prepare for the EPPP, you will be able to sit for the exam with confidence. We will assure you of your readiness based on your practice test scores, which are a regular feature of our study model.

All the work will be worth it when you pass the EPPP. And when you do pass, submit your results to the SBP.

  1. Sit for jurisprudence.

Once you pass the EPPP and submit your results, it is time to sit your state’s Jurisprudence Exam (if applicable), which covers state-specific regulations and mental health laws. Upon passing this exam, you are ready to be a licensed psychologist.

  1. Keep a record.

After all that hard work, the APA suggests storing your credentials into a credentials bank. For a small fee, you can locate your data in one place, such as the National Register or ASPPB Credentials Bank. You can store documents such as transcripts, your EPPP and jurisprudence scores, recommendation letters, proof of internship and postdoc hours, as well as state licensure forms.

We invite you to see how the Taylor Study Method can support you as you prepare to pass the EPPP. Become a member for free at For more information, call us at 877-510-5445.

Further Reading

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

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

Make 2018 Your Year to Pass the EPPP

Attention all psychology candidates!

There are a number of good reasons why you should make 2018 your year to pass the EPPP. In a
live interview yesterday with Robin Phillips, Dr. Graham Taylor discussed the significance of
2018 and the various reasons why it would be prudent to aim for passing the psychology
licensing exam this year.

During the interview, Dr. Graham Taylor spoke about decay theory, upcoming changes to the
EPPP, procrastination, and much more. You can watch the entire interview below: