Are you a tactile (kinesthetic) learner?

Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST

Are you able to absorb information better by moving while studying? Do you do your best thinking while you walk or exercise? Did you get in trouble as a child because you tapped your pencil too much or were continually moving? If any of these sound familiar you may be a tactile-kinesthetic learner.

As you continue to prepare for your licensing exam, be sure to identify your learning style so that you can build a study prep program around it. The three major learning styles are kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learning. Many people benefit from parts of all three forms; however one approach is dominant as the best way to learn.

What is a kinesthetic learner?

A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns through movement. This learning style is often forgotten because it isn’t as traditional as auditory or visual. A kinesthetic learner can better absorb and understand new material through movement of the body.

Pay attention to how your body moves and reacts during your next study session. Is your pencil moving or tapping as you read? Does it help to read the material out loud as you walk throughout your house? This learning style is a powerful one, and your study program can benefit from implementing more kinesthetic learning.

You may be a kinesthetic learner if

  • You continuously move your leg or shake your leg while reading.
  • You talk with your hands.
  • You have good hand-eye coordination.
  • You are good at sports.
  • You like to use a pen or highlighter to make notes while reading.

 Study tips to help kinesthetic learners

  • Place toys or objects you can play with on your desk while studying.
  • Listen to audio study guides while you are exercising.
  • Stand up and walk around while you read new material.
  • If you feel tired while studying, stop every 30 minutes and do a few jumping jacks.
  • Keep a sketch pad handy during study session so you can draw diagrams or systems.

As a kinesthetic learner, you know how to make your study times more productive. Turn on music, allow yourself to move, and prepare to learn everything you need for your exam. Remember, to be realistic with your goals and break down study time into short increments.

Combining your learning style and the right study aids is crucial to your exam preparation. To make it easier, check out the Taylor Study Method (TSM) which offers research-based packages that help each of the different learning styles. If you are a kinesthetic learner, you will like the coaching and access to TSM’s community of supportive experts. You are not alone in your efforts so be sure to reach out for help from a proven system.

Are you a visual learner?

Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST

Have you figured out your learning style? Have you aligned your study plan to coordinate with your learning style? If you grasp new information better through seeing it, then your learning preference may be visual. As you continue to understand the three learning styles, this article will focus on everything you need to know as a visual learner.

What is a visual learner?

A visual learner is someone who likes to see what they want to learn. The space that is created by visually seeing information aids in the learning process. The term for this is visual-spatial learning.

If you like to see concepts written out versus hear about them, you are a visual learner. Your ability to see how the information looks helps you absorb the material and memorize it. Just because you are a visual learner doesn’t mean that you don’t include other learning styles such as auditory or kinesthetic. The goal is for you to identify the best way you learn the material then align your study plan to match it.

 You may be a visual learner if you:

  • Make lists to help you learn or stay organized.
  • Find it useful to write out your thoughts and ideas.
  • Prefer reading material and study guides versus listening to audio recordings of the same information.
  • Find it helpful to highlight, underline, or make notes in your study guides.
  • Re-write information you have learned. For example, you re-write lecture notes.

Tips to help visual learners

  • Write things down. Whether it’s a term or process, be sure to write it out.
  • Utilize flashcards to help memorize and understand the material.
  • Watch videos that cover the concepts and theories you are learning.
  • Visualize critical concepts as symbols, acronyms, or picture. For example, in learning systems, draw a diagram or image to represent it.
  • Arrange your notes in an outline.

There are many more tips, techniques, and strategies available for visual learners. Don’t waste your valuable time on a study approach that isn’t tailored to your individual need. Now that you know the power of being a visual learner make studying easier by learning about the Taylor Study Method.

This is a research-based package that helps each of the different learning styles. The Taylor Study Method is especially helpful for visual learners because it offers video lessons for deeper dives into more difficult content. It also provides Flash Cards to aid in over 750 key terms. You want to do your best, pass your exam, and take the next step in your career so be sure to get the right support through the process.

Are you an auditory learner?

Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST

When you are learning new material, do you read it aloud? Is it helpful to hear the information read to you? Do you prefer learning through lectures and discussions versus reading? If these ways of learning are useful, you may be an auditory learner. If your learning style is auditory and your study program is 90% visual, then you will less likely remember the information for the exam.

Each person learns information differently. As you prepare for your exam, it is helpful to identify how you learn and retain information. There are three major learning styles which include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Over the next few weeks, we will explore each of these. This post will explore everything you need to know about auditory learning.

What is an auditory learner?

An auditory learner finds the most benefit from listening to study material and questions. Also, they are better able to retain information if they read it out loud and then listen to the recording. For example, someone with this learning style will find it helpful to read the exam questions out loud and answer them. Speaking the information helps them remember it better.

Someone who is an auditory learner doesn’t mean that they don’t also learn information from visual and kinesthetic styles. Auditory learners can absorb and recall information better when it is delivered through hearing. Knowing your learning style can cut down on test-taking anxiety and frustration.

You may be an auditory learner if

  • You find it helpful to have someone ask the question, and you verbalize the answer to them
  • You like someone to tell you directions versus reading directions
  • You discuss answers versus write out answers
  • You use rhymes to remember information
  • You read questions out loud then you provide the answers

Tips to help auditory learners

  • Listen to recordings of exam questions and study material
  • Read each exam question out loud then verbalize the answer
  • Record your reading of questions and answers in a voice memo app
  • Describe information in detail including steps and processes
  • Participate in group discussions of exam material

Finding your learning style is crucial to your exam preparation. You invest time and money to prepare for your exam so be sure to get the most out of your study material.TSM has provided every narrative definition in our program with an accompanying audio file for auditory-supported learning. Check out TSM’s research-based packages that help each of the different learning styles.

 

Procrastination: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

You know that term paper is due soon. You’ve got to get your client documentation ready for the audit. You need to study for your EPPP licensure exam next month. So why are you struggling to get started on all that work?

For nearly all of us, procrastination, or the act of delaying things, is a part of life. Even when we’ve experienced success getting things done in the past, the desire to put something off can strike any time.

Depending on the situation, procrastination has its positives along with ways it makes life harder. Normal levels of procrastination offer us unexpected benefits, while chronic, severe procrastination can cause us harm. Here’s a rundown of the good, bad, and ugly ways procrastination impacts our lives.


The Good


You’ll be more creative and insightful.
Have you heard the saying “your first guess is usually right?” Studies show that this often isn’t correct, and it’s better for us to take time to process to make the best decisions. Appropriate levels of procrastination gives us additional time to generate new creative, innovative ideas and for our subconscious to generate materials and solutions.


You’ll learn time management and productivity.
Procrastination doesn’t always mean doing nothing. While procrastinating one task, you might well be getting another one done. This is where the joke comes from that students clean during final exam prep; for many this is true! Through procrastination, we can develop time management skills, such as when to prioritize what tasks and what’s ultimately most important.


Your health can benefit.
Surprisingly to many, typical levels of procrastination benefit your health. Procrastinating sometimes can help you relax, reducing your stress and have lowered anxiety. A great part of procrastination is that we can all be reassured that doing it sometimes is healthy and normal.


The Bad


You might be predisposed to it.
Ever wondered why your classmates or colleagues procrastinate less than you? The answer is in your genes. Research suggests that those of us who score high on impulsivity are inherently more likely to chronically procrastinate. If this describe you, you’ll need to work extra hard on prioritizing to keep your procrastination at healthy levels.


It’s harder to progress.
Regular procrastination helps us prioritize, but procrastinating chronically means we’re getting stuck by not getting things done. Or we’re getting the wrong things done by cleaning when we should be studying. Avoiding critical tasks will keep us stuck in a rut, a self-defeating behavior that makes us unable to move forward in ways important to our life.


You might feel worse.
Students who procrastinate chronically feel worse about themselves, studies show. You’re more likely to temporarily feel worse about yourself after a major episode of procrastination, particularly for something important like a test. To mitigate this feeling and reduce your likelihood of severe procrastination again, practice self-forgiveness.


The Ugly


Your work quality will decrease
. Chronic and serious procrastination often results in lower quality work than we otherwise would have done. While some people believe they do their best work at the last second, research shows in reality this is rarely true. Students who chronically procrastinate also tend to receive lower grades.


You’re ultimately creating more work.
By putting off work in extreme ways, we make work pile up and, in the end, must produce a product with more effort than through proper schedule. And in many cases, we’re not just hurting ourselves. Last minute procrastination often means our classmates, colleagues, or loved ones are picking up slack, adding to their work and potentially causing feelings of resentment.


It could harm your mental health.
Chronic procrastination can have potentially serious consequences to ourselves. Severe procrastinators experience more stress, lower self-worth, perfectionism paralysis, and more illnesses. Ultimately, repeating this pattern regularly can lead to clinically significant episodes of depression and anxiety.

Feeling worried from procrastination related to your test? You don’t need to stress out any longer. Taylor Study Method has got your back with exam prep materials that will get motivate you to prepare to pass. We’re honored to be your trusted study partner.

5 tips for finding the right clinical supervisor

Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST

The task of finding a great clinical supervisor can be a daunting task. Many clinicians that have been through the supervision process has advice to share and what they think you should avoid in a supervisor.

I had an incredible clinical supervisor who taught me everything she knows which I contribute to my success today. After our formal clinical supervision ended, we developed a friendship, and she is still my mentor. I hope you have a similar experience as I did and to help you find the right fit, here are the best five tips for finding the right clinical supervisor.

Tip #1 Clinical style and personality

Look for a supervisor who has a clinical style and personality that you like. As you are starting out, you may not know your clinical style yet, but you can identify the approach you relate most with.

You can find out their clinical style by asking them about their experience, their thoughts on best clinical practices, and what type of clients they enjoy working with. Ask them about their counseling style and approach they use most often. Listen to what resonates with you and if you are turned off by anything they share.

Tip #2 Talk with their previous supervisees

In the decision process of choosing the right supervisor ask them if you can have the contact information of other supervisees, they worked with. Then ask two or three of these people about their experience, what did they like or not like.

This is a great way to find answers to your questions about the supervisor from others that have worked with them. I would recommend that you ask at least two different people in case one of them had a bad experience personally versus one that was caused by the supervisor.

Tip #3 Make sure they have time for a new supervisee

It may sound silly to think that you have to ensure that the supervisor has time to see you, but don’t overlook this crucial tip. I have seen clinical supervisors take on many supervisees at once then not be able to provide time to meet their needs for licensure.

Ask the potential supervisor how many people they are currently working with. Also, ask about the typical hours they offer for supervision. For example, if they can only see you on Tuesdays from 2:00p-3:00p and you are working during that time, it probably won’t work. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you need including late day or evening hours that may better fit with your schedule.

Tip #4 Cost of supervision

Finances can be stressful especially when you aren’t licensed as a clinician and trying to gain supervision hours. The cost of supervision differs by geographical region, experience, and other factors.

Ask about the cost of each supervision meeting and the ability to negotiate a different rate. For example, if they charge $100 for each session, ask if they would consider charging $75 if you pay a month at a time. That way they would receive a lump sum versus payment at each session. They may be inclined to give you a deal since you are willing to give that amount of payment at once.

Tip #5 Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Finding the right clinical supervisor can be stressful and may cause you to overthink the process. Don’t make it harder than it is. This is just one part of your clinical career. If your supervisor isn’t fantastic, so what, you will learn from others as you continue your experience.

Don’t get stuck and not be able to move forward if you have a negative experience. Learn what you can from it and seek out other clinicians in your network for support. Join a local clinical association or meet up group. There is support around you but you have to be the one to reach out.

You will make the best decision for you in choosing a clinical supervisor. Each of these five tips can help you through the process, but at the end of the day, pick the supervisor that feels like the best fit. Keep moving forward, and this part of your beginning career will fly by before you realize it.

Am I Ready to Take the EPPP?

A key factor of success on the EPPP is preparedness. A passing score is more likely if you take the exam when you are ready. Do you think you might be ready to take the exam but you aren’t quite sure? To know if it’s time to take the plunge or study some more, it’s important to take an honest evaluation of where you are at.

Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate whether you’re ready or not to take the EPPP.

How well have I done on practice exams?

  • Your practice test scores are a good indicator of how well you might do on the exam. If your scores are low or barely passing, you might not be ready. If you’re scores are consistently higher, especially on a variety of exams so that you’re not just memorizing questions, then it might be time to sit the exam.

Have I taken a realistic practice exam?

  • If you’re getting high scores on practice exams but aren’t setting a timer or putting your study notes aside, a good next step could be to take a practice exam in an environment similar to the real exam.  Perhaps go to the local library at the hour you would take the exam with only the things you would bring to the testing center.  Then set the timer and see how well you do.

Have I talked to others who have taken the exam?

  • A friend who has already taken the exam can help you prepare for what’s to come. Ask your friend about their test taking strategies and overall experience with the EPPP. When did they take breaks? What surprised them about the exam taking experience? Did they go into the exam feeling ready or do they wish they would have studied more?

Have I talked with my coach or mentor about if I’m ready?

  • Who has been there for you throughout the exam preparation process? This person can help you understand if you’re ready to take the exam by taking an objective approach to whether you’re ready or not. Have them help you evaluate your readiness and take their thoughts into consideration.

Could I teach the material to a friend?

  • A sign of your understanding of a subject is the ability to teach what you know. If you don’t think you’re quite ready to take the exam, teaching is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the material. When you get to the point of being able to teach concepts and key terms so that others can understand, it’s a sign you might do well on the exam.

 

Further Reading

Find Post-Summer Motivation in Three Easy Steps

Summer isn’t over until Labor Day says it’s over. But with the end in sight, the upcoming season of kicking your EPPP studying into gear can make you anxious if you’re not ready for it.

Here are three easy steps to swing out of summer and into productivity.

Step One: Strategize

The best strategy for getting back into the swing of studying is to create a routine. An effective routine saves your brain the energy of constant decision making. For example, if you decide to make your bed at the same time every morning, you are free from the decision-making process of when (or if) to make your bed every day. Erasing the decision-making process will help you consistently get out the door on time.

So, before you do anything else, create a manageable study routine. When you look at your calendar, fit in your fixed commitments first; those things that cannot be moved such as work, appointments, etc. Then, consider when and where you are most productive and fill in study sessions from there. For example, if you are morning person it might be wise to get your study session out of the way first thing in the morning. Furthermore, decide ahead of time where you are the most productive such as the library or a coffee shop.

Step Two: Look Back

Sometimes, getting motivated is as easy as remembering your passion and how far you’ve come. Ask yourself why you want to get licensed. Why did you decide to take the EPPP in the first place? Why are you passionate about this field? Remembering why you have a goal of passing the EPPP will help you get motivated to study.

Once you remember why you’re pursuing licensure, look back at how far you have already come. You have accomplished a lot to get to the point of being eligible to take the EPPP. This exam is the last step between you and licensure, so you have already come so far.

Step Three:  Envision Success

When you pass the exam, what will you do to celebrate? Who will be congratulating you? Envisioning what a passing score will feel like can be enough to get you motivated. So, plan something celebratory for after the EPPP as a reward for accomplishing your goal.

Speaking of goals, set small goals for yourself throughout the study process and give yourself rewards for meeting them. A little reward goes a long way when it comes to motivation. Rewarding yourself with restful things such as a walk in the park or time with friends will keep you from burning out.

Further reading

 

EPPP & Test Anxiety

Impact on Test Performance

Think about how stressed you are before an exam.

Now, think about how stressed you might before an exam like the EPPP (read E-triple-p).

Since I’m sure you’re already a little worked up over a past test that was particularly stressful, or one that is coming up that is putting some extra pressure on you, I want to remind you that you’re ok. You’re going to be fine! That’s right—I’m going to go ahead and make that bold presumption. I know it’s stressful and hard to believe that you’re going to survive but take a little faith that you will.

The future clinician in me wants me to remind you that if at any time you feel that your anxiety about testing, something else, or just generally feels as though it is impairing your life—please see a mental health professional. Although it could be typical anxiety, it could be something that breaks the threshold into clinical disfunction.

To give a little face to the beast, it is important to examine test-taking anxiety and the impact that it can have on our overall test scores, especially the EPPP. Test Anxiety (TA) is extremely common among students, one study noting that 20% of respondents endorsed some form of test-taking anxiety, whether non-clinical or clinical [1]. With such a high number, you might think that there would be a wealth of information on how to handle it. Unfortunately, it’s quite the contrary.

Signs and Symptoms of Test Anxiety

Anxiety can manifest in a few different ways, and it is important to note that it will present differently for each person.  Physically, anxiety, including Test Anxiety, can present as a rapid heart rate, profuse sweating [3], psychomotor agitation (think: bouncing your leg or fiddling with a pencil), or other “nervous habits” such as biting nails [4].

Anxiety tends to present in a rather unfortunate way behaviorally. For example, avoidance behaviors are very common in anxiety issues. These behaviors could include procrastination or avoiding test preparation [3].  Think about it this way: have you ever been so nervous about an exam or an assignment that you just avoided doing it altogether rather than face the stress? Even though we intellectually know that putting off the stressful event won’t truly alleviate the stress, it is so much easier to postpone than to address the issue at hand [2]. We will talk more about how to avoid and address these issues in the “ways to cope” section of this blog.

In addition, anxiety can also present behaviorally similarly to aggression [6]. Again, think about your own life. Have you ever been so stressed out or nervous that you just “snap” at someone? Even if you know that whatever set you off wasn’t that big of a deal—it just seemed like it at the time [6]. Research suggests that the thing that sets you off when you’re under a lot of stress is just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and the poor barista that made the mistake got the brunt of your built-up stress and anxiety [6].

Depression is also another major presentation of anxiety [6]. Rather being able to maintain a constant state of stress, the reaction is to retreat within themselves into a state of depression [6]. It is our natural response—there’s some major danger presented to us (in this case, an exam), and the length of time that our “fight-or-flight” response has been activated simply cannot remain activated any longer. In an over-compensation by our body to preserve itself is to move in the complete opposite direction of the heightened state of arousal experienced during periods of high stress [6].

Overview of the EPPP

If you’ve never heard of the EPPP, you’re lucky. The EPPP is the licensure exam faced by most psychology graduate students. Along with the EPPP, you will also need to take another similar exam before licensure based on in which state you will be practicing. Therefore, you will need to be able to generalize these strategies and this infomration to more than just one major standardized exam standing between you and your license.

To better face the monster, let’s get a deeper understanding of the EPPP itself. This exam is geared for doctoral level psychology students is governed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) [8]. At the time that this blog is being written the EPPP is a one-part exam that is to be taken over 4 ½ hours [7]. However, this will likely be a two-part exam by the year 2020 [8]. This exam includes 225 questions [7], of which only 175 are scored [9]. When the director of the ASPPB was asked about the test, she described it as “essentially everything you learned in graduate school” [10]. Just a little bit intimidating, right?

If you would like to read more on the EPPP, check out our blog post on the EPPP and licensure requirements for professional psychology.

Test Anxiety on Overall Outcomes

I know it already seems stressful enough, but let’s dive into the actual, research-based negative outcomes associated with test-anxiety. One 1990 article written by Zollar and Ben-chain note that in our age our lives seem to be determined by our overall test performance [11]. I.e., if we do poorly on an exam, it reflects directly on us and on our overall self-definition [11]. Not only do they impact our own self-definition, they can impact the way that others’ view us. In such a competitive society, we need some easy way to compartmentalize and rank people [12]. Fortunately or unfortunately, standardized exams seem to be the best solution at this time. Knowing that our exam performance could impact the way that employers or other graduate programs view us, there is an added level of stress.

One study found a significant relationship between a student’s level of test anxiety on major exams and their overall performance [12]. By using Spielberger’s Test Anxiety Inventory, Rana and Mahmood were able to demonstrate that students that experienced high levels of a cognitive factor of test anxiety (worry) did significantly worse on these exams [12]. They were able to use these findings to conclude that many students’ overall low performance or underachieving on certain exams could be attributed to unchecked high levels of Test Anxiety [12].

Of course, there is a good level of stress, sometimes referred to as eustress [13]. However, the stress that this blog is talking about is much more detrimental. Eustress refers to that positive level of stress that motivates you to get things done and to get them done well. For example, you might be a little worried about doing well in a particular class, so you ensure that you do all of the assignments and study a little extra for the exams. The stress that has been shown to be associated with negative outcomes is taking that level of stress to the extreme, distress [13], and in this case, Test Anxiety [1].

Ways to Cope with Test Anxiety

Thankfully, treatment for TA has been shown to be quite effective [3]. Rather than just be doomed to wander the halls of your higher-education institution, there are some treatments offered by professionals and some interventions that you can do by yourself. First, of course, if you feel like you are suffering from TA, please seek professional help. Many college campuses offer free or low-cost mental health care. Feel free to speak with the professional about what you might be going through. They offer a judgement-free space to air your issues, and they may even have resources for your classes that could help you cope better with the test anxiety.

Additionally, there are simple training techniques that you can take to improve your own Test Anxiety symptoms. For example, time management is a major step that you can take to better your anxiety. This isn’t to say that you don’t already have good time management skills, but sometimes our anxiety takes that away from us. When syllabus week rolls around, look at all the major exams that you will need to prepare for. Set yourself a schedule—actually budget specific time that you will be in the library or other study space plugging away at the material. If it might help you, have a gentle accountability buddy. This is someone who will gently remind you that you have some studying to do, or who could gently guilt you into making sure that your work gets done.

Developing some more pronounced study skills can also help. For example, rereading your notes the same day that they are written or even the next day can greatly improve your retention. Also, simply highlighting the information in your book can be helpful as well. By starting your studying early, it can actually help reduce the anxiety around studying! There is a myriad of different study skills that can help you improve your grade, so I don’t want you to limit your scope of study development just to this list. Please do your own research and see what works for you!

We can see that anxiety surrounding your studies can be detrimental to your overall performance. With some professional interventions or accommodations and some personal anxiety relief tactics, anxiety and TA is something that can be managed!

  1. American Test Anxieties Association. (2018). Retrieved from https://amtaa.org/
  2. Connon, H. A., Rash, J. A., Allen Gerwing, A. M., Bramble, B., Landine, J., & Gerwing, T. G. (2016). Post-Secondary Educators’ Perceptions of Students’ Test Anxiety. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning7(1), 9.
  3. Test Anxiety & Academic Performance (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mheducation.ca/blog/test-anxiety-academic-performance/
  4. Kerr, W. J., Dalton, J. W., & Gliebe, P. A. (1937). Some physical phenomena associated with anxiety states and their relationship to hyperventilation. Annals of Internal Medicine.
  5. Sarason, I. G. (1984). Stress, anxiety, and cognitive interference: Reactions to tests. Journal of personality and social psychology46(4), 929.
  6. Barrett, P. M., Rapee, R. M., Dadds, M. M., & Ryan, S. M. (1996). Family enhancement of cognitive style in anxious and aggressive children. Journal of abnormal child psychology24(2), 187-203.
  7. Zhou, E. (2018). Are You Dreading the EPPP? Here’s How to Prepare for it. Retrieved from http://blog.time2track.com/are-you-dreading-the-eppp-heres-how-to-prepare-for-it
  8. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.ASPPB.net/
  9. Reasons why you need to stop studying 3 days before your test. (2018). Retrieved from https://blog.taylorstudymethod.com/category/eppp-study-video/
  10. Cynkar, A. (2007). The Path to EPPP Excellence. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2007/09/eppp.aspx
  11. Zoller, U., & Ben-Chain, D. (1990). Gender differences in examination type, test anxiety, and academic achievement in college science: a case study. Science education, 74(6), 597-608.
  12. Rana, R., & Mahmood, N. (2010). The relationship between test anxiety and academic achievement.
  13. Le Fevre, M., Matheny, J., & Kolt, G. S. (2003). Eustress, distress, and interpretation in occupational stress. Journal of managerial psychology18(7), 726-744.

Myths About the EPPP

Maybe you’ve heard things about the EPPP keep you from taking the next step towards licensure. But, are you correct about what you believe about the EPPP?

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) collected common myths about the EPPP and countered with the truth in an article called “EPPP Myths versus Reality.” We have addressed some of those myths below and included how the Taylor Study Method can help you prepare to pass the exam.

Myth:

I am less likely to pass the EPPP if I receive a hard version of the exam.

Truth:

It is true that versions of the EPPP vary in difficulty. But the difficulty of the exam you receive is considered in how the exam is scored.  What that means is that each version’s passing score is equated to consistently test your level of knowledge. As the ASPPB puts it: “Practically speaking, this means that the “harder” forms require fewer correct answers to pass and “easy” forms require more.”

Myth:

Most people will fail the EPPP.

Truth:

Your chances of passing the EPPP are extremely high if you study with TSM. In fact, we are so confident that our program will make you successful that we bargain your purchase on it.

Myth:

The exam contains trick questions.

Truth:

Some questions might have more than one answer that seems somewhat correct. The point of this type of question is not to trick you, but to see if you understand why the correct answer is, indeed, correct. In addition, the EPPP questions have gone through review workshops to ensure they meet the specific criteria set by the ASPPB.

Whether you once believed these myths to be true or you are uncertain you would be able to pass the EPPP, we believe you can do it. The dream is yours, and the reality can be yours too.

 

Further Reading

 

 

Digital Distractions: Staying focused in an increasingly distracting world

I know I’m guilty. I see my phone light up or hear a buzz, and in an instant, I’m pulled out of whatever I am doing, no matter how deep into the task I may be. Distractions are all around us and avoiding them is next to impossible. After all, that phone buzz might be something trivial like an Instagram notification, or it could be an email from a professor with vital information about an assignment—I might as well check to be sure. And just like that, I’m lost in all the notifications and Buzzfeed quizzes that come my way. Without even knowing it, an entire hour can be wasted.

I know I’m not alone, as has been confirmed by several surveys [1, 2, 3]. One study found as many as 97% of students found themselves distracted by their phones or other forms of technology [2].

Even though there seem to be several detrimental aspects to technology, it is simply not feasible that we entirely do away with technology. We seem to be faced with a double-edged sword. On one hand, our entire culture is entirely enmeshed with technology, with the academic sector seeming to be some of the deepest involved [4]. Because our educational system is so deeply involved with technology to the point of dependence, doing away with technology is simply not a practical goal.  Since we as students and budding professionals are required to be electronically connected, how can we make sure that we are focused on the task at hand, rather than the latest tweet?

The first tip to ensure that you are staying on task is to keep your goals in mind [5]. A good way to do this is to lay out a “to-do” list and prioritize what needs to be done first [6]. This allows for a second, yet integrally intertwined, tip—focus on only a few most important goals, rather than an entire list [5]. This allows you to keep a visual reminder of your task in front of you, as a sort of prompt to stay on topic. Keeping the list close also allows you to write down things you might be worried you will forget if you don’t attend to them right away. You are then able to stay on task better as you won’t need to run off on the occasional rabbit trail until one task is entirely accomplished [5].

By keeping fewer and the most important goals in mind, you are actually allowing yourself better focus [5]. Studies have shown that human working memory, the part of your mind that holds the tasks at hand, can only hold a maximum of about 3-5 items, give or take two items [7]. Because our minds can only hold such a finite number of meaningful trains of thought or tasks, it is important to be judicious about these slots [7]. As mentioned before, this gives you more working memory to devote to the task at hand, rather than the infinite number of other things vying for our attention [7].

Even with meticulously prioritized to-do lists, the temptation of social media still calls out. No matter how intently you intend on focusing, you are still human—breaks are required. This leads into the next tip: set predetermined breaks for yourself [8]. Our friends in behavioral science have helped to demonstrate that when we have a reward set out for us, we are more likely to keep working hard for that reward [9]. Moreover, you might be less tempted by that Facebook notification if you know that you will get to check on it in the next 50 minutes [8].

Another benefit of the pre-planned study break is the ability to return to your work refreshed and ready to go [10].  However, one article notes that only social media or internet-based breaks may not be enough to allow you to return to your studies energized [8]. Instead, the authors suggest more physically engaging activities, such as taking a walk outside (not just a couple laps around the library), organizing the stuff piling up around you, taking a shower, or even just chatting with a friend about something unrelated [8]. All of these options allow you a short reprieve from the studying that lies ahead and allows you to escape the computer screen for a bit [8].

Even with a study break and the most organized list possible, I will find that my mind wanders onto other things. Controlling “internal distractions” is also necessary to make the most of your study time [5]. These internal distractions can be defined as any internal stimuli (like thoughts, memories, or even conflicts) that act as diversions or aberrations from the task at hand [10]. These internal distractions can be taken care of through a variety of ways. The list to leave any pressing thoughts that pop up, sometimes referred to as a “parking lot”, is one way that you may already be employing [11]. Perhaps in order to manage these internal distractions, you need to have something to drown out your own thoughts—like background noise or music (both Spotify and YouTube have excellent playlists of focusing music) [12].  Offering strategies on how to handle these internal stimuli is even more subjective than these other general focus tips. In order to find what will work the best for you in terms of controlling internal distractions [12], you may need to spend some time consciously getting to know yourself and your study habits first.

Sometimes outside of regulating ourselves, we still need an external supervisor. Thankfully, some application developers have us in mind [11]. There have been several (free!) apps and extensions developed to help people like me (and a good proportion of the population) study more effectively by removing the temptations of social media [11]. These applications and extensions typically work in similar ways; by disabling access to whatever websites that you need “taken away” so that you can work [11]. Macintosh users can try the app “SelfControl” [11], and people using Google Chrome can also install the extensions “StayFocusd” or “I-Am-Studying” [11].

The demands on students seem to be greater now than they have been before, simply because we are living in the age of information. The need to be connected is ubiquitous. However, the same method through which we access so much information can also serve as a massive distraction. Implementing these focusing strategies can help you take more advantage of all of the data at your disposal while better blocking out the digital distractions!

Now, that’s enough time perusing a blog—get back to studying!