We often assume that the ability to quickly learn material and master different fields of study comes down to how smart a person is, or how good of a memory they have. But research increasingly suggests that raw talent has very little to do with overall success in life, including success in learning. Instead, success has a lot to do with the strategies and techniques you choose to follow.
Over the years I’ve been blessed to work with TSM in researching the techniques used by various experts who have become leaders. Many of these strategies have been woven into our learning platform.
Whether you’re a high school student studying for a final exam, a college student struggling to keep up in class, or a psychology student preparing to take the EPPP, these learning techniques can make the difference between success and failure. These ten strategies can also spell the difference between a study process that is full of stress and frustration vs. one that is fulfilling and fun.
Does the thought of taking the EPPP give you anxiety? EPPP exam prep is an undertaking that can be stressful in and of itself. On one hand, stress can motivate us to meet deadlines and pursue our goals. On the other hand, though, stress can get in the way of something we want to accomplish like passing the EPPP.
For example, imagine you are taking the EPPP tomorrow. It’s the night before the exam and you are so worried about passing that you spend the night tossing and turning getting no sleep. When your alarm goes off in the morning you’re still immersed in worry. You rush through breakfast, forcing oatmeal down your anxious stomach, you briefly review your notes, and you head out the door. When you get to the testing center you check in, sit down, and reach for your pencil. It’s not there.
Now, it’s likely that a forgotten pencil will not be enough to send you home to sit the exam another day. A forgotten pencil can, however, leave you more anxious than you already are on exam day. You’ll expend much needed mental energy on finding a replacement pencil. And such anxiety, when it has passed the point of being helpful and motivating, can cloud your brain and disrupt your ability to do your best. This is not an ideal scenario for your goal of passing the EPPP.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, in his Ted Talk “How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed,” gives insight on how to deal with stress before it even happens. A trip to the airport without his needed passport got him thinking of the possibility of putting systems in place “that will prevent bad things from happening.” He describes something called “pre-mortem” which is when “you look ahead and you try to figure out what you can do to prevent those [bad] things from happening.”
See his full talk below:
Passing the EPPP takes time and dedication like it’s a part time job. When something absorbs so much of your time and energy, it’s important to do everything you can to ensure success. Here are seven practical steps you can take to boost your odds of passing the EPPP before, during, and after the exam.
Before the exam
- Mimic the study environment
Once you know where you’re taking the exam, check out the testing center and see what noises and surroundings might accompany you as you take the test. Will it be dead quiet? If so, then take a few practice tests in the dead quiet.
Furthermore, take a practice test under the time constraints you’ll have during the real deal. For instance, you might have about one minute per question give or take. Set a timer for one minute to know what it feels like to answer one question within that timeframe. Continue reading
At TSM, your success is what we strive for; it’s why the method exists. Success means motivated and supported study, confidence in the testing center, and a passing score. Take a look at how TSM helped one member succeed:
“I studied for the EPPP using TSM’s monthly online program, and I found it to be very helpful to me passing the exam, and just recently! I liked the attention to different ways people learn by providing material across video, audio, and written formats. The initial assessment and the resulting customized study plan according to the scores on the assessment were incredibly helpful. Topics are covered thoroughly and with explanations that are generally user friendly versus technical. Each topic includes a mind map (visual summary) and is followed by notes that you can revise and make your own. After reading on several topics, you take a quiz and get that content further reinforced. Everything is online so I didn’t have to worry about downloading and taking up data, or lugging stacks of study materials around. I felt connected to the support from TSM through the use of the program, specifically meeting via phone with an instructor to discuss study schedule and answer any questions and availability of chat with staff or peers who are studying themselves. Thank you for calling me every so often to check in, especially when I had put studying on pause. The program worked very well for me and I am so thankful that once in the actual exam, I felt very prepared after studying, and I passed.
While the program was excellent, it did take me a good amount of time to move through the material (as in there is heavy content). There are pros and cons of this, and since I have been out of school for some time, it was helpful to have more rather than less.
Thank you for taking the time to hear my feedback on the TSM program, and I hope that you continue to provide the service that you do.
Best wishes to you! – Nicole”
In the video below, Dr. Graham Taylor shares the six steps for successfully passing the EPPP. Learning these six secrets could make the difference between a pass or fail on the psychology licensure exam.
This video occurred as part of TSM’s ongoing series of Facebook Live broadcasts every Thursday. These can be viewed at 12:00 pm PST through our Facebook page, where viewers are encouraged to write in with their questions. (Due to Dr. Taylor’s travelling schedule, there will be no broadcast next week, although the live videos will resume at the normal time on September 7th.)
Has your dedication to the EPPP become an unhealthy obsession? Of course, passing the EPPP takes dedicated study, as if it were a part time job. When it comes to work, however, there is a difference between dedication and workaholism or, in this case, study-aholism.
Authors, Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker describe the difference between work engagement and workaholism in their article Passion for Work: work engagement versus workaholism.
Clarifying the difference between a healthy dedication and an unhealthy obsession can help you better understand your relationship with your EPPP studies.
Gorgievski and Bakker point out and define the one thing necessary to thrive at any job: passion. Continue reading
As part of TSM’s ongoing mission to help you prepare for the EPPP, Dr. Graham Taylor has been offering weekly broadcasts via Facebook Live. These broadcasts, which occur every Thursday at 12:00 pm PST at our Facebook page, are open to the public. Viewers are encouraged to write in their questions, which Dr. Taylor will address during the live stream.
Last week Dr. Taylor spoke about important changes that are coming to the EPPP. In addition to the new test, known as “EPPP Step 2”, the ASPPB is also introducing changes to the existing EPPP. These changes will be implemented on February 15th 2018 and affect how the various domains are weighted. Watch the video below to learn everything you need to know about these changes.
If there is one constant in life, it’s change. The important field of psychotherapy is certainly no exception. As our world becomes ever more advanced, the problems we face both as a society and as individuals become correspondingly more complex and difficult to resolve. One way to adapt and thrive in such an environment is to realize the connections that often exist between different components of a subject. This integration process helps to reduce the total number of pieces involved in mentally processing the problem and thus makes it easier to understand and develop effective measures for.
How is the field of psychotherapy moving toward integration? Dr. Gelso, in his article entitled: “Emerging and Continuing Trends in Psychotherapy: Views From an Editor’s Eye” lays out various ways he has seen the industry evolve over the last several decades. We will examine some of these below.
If your mind drifts off at some point during EPPP studying, you’re not alone.
Judson Brewer, Psychiatrist and author of The Craving Mind, says in his Ted Talk, A Simple Way to Break Bad Habits, that “about half of us will drift off into a daydream” while trying to pay attention to something.
Brewer explains how bad habits, such as losing focus, are formed and how we can achieve focus with curiosity. He says,
“The paradox here is that mindfulness is just about being really interested in getting close and personal with what’s actually happening in our bodies and minds from moment to moment. This willingness to turn toward our experience rather than trying to make unpleasant cravings go away as quickly as possible. And this willingness to turn toward our experience is supported by curiosity, which is naturally rewarding.”
See Brewer’s full talk below.
Summer weather and activities can be a distraction and a difficult temptation to resist while studying for the EPPP. How do you study for the EPPP when you would rather be soaking up the summer sun?
A rush of dopamine rewards us when we give into temptation. This is how habits are formed. When you do something that is immediately rewarding you are strengthening those neuropathways, eventually making it easier to give into temptation and more difficult to be disciplined the next time you are tempted.
For example, say you have a set EPPP study time for each afternoon and you are constantly faced with the temptation to participate in outdoor summer activities that force you to choose between studying and being in the sunshine. The decision to skip studying becomes easier with each temptation that is given into, therefore making discipline much more difficult to accomplish over time.
The good news, however, is that discipline becomes much easier to accomplish when those neuropathways are strengthened over time. We know that dopamine is a factor in habituation and that the more you choose to study, the easier that decision will become. Incorporating immediate reward into your EPPP studies could therefore help studying become a habit. Continue reading