The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (the EPPP) has been a source of stress for many postdoctoral students. Even though students have been preparing for the exam through classes and practical training, the entire process still feels like an insurmountable challenge. After all the hard work, late nights, and cups of coffee you have sacrificed for your professional career in psychology thus far, the last step towards licensure feels more like a mountain than a mere step. After speaking with professionals who have successfully completed their training and passed the EPPP, we have some tips on how to best prepare for the exam.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “the mind is the first to go.” It’s not a false statement, but it isn’t completely true either. Over time, memory and retention can decrease if we do not maintain brain fitness just like our muscle tone will decrease if we do not continue exercising. So, it is true that your ability to memorize can dwindle with age. But it is also true that there is something you can do about it. Brain fitness will help you memorize EPPP material and keep you sharp as you age.
Stress. We all know it, right? As graduate students, it can feel like we are constantly trying to escape these feelings of stress and anxiety. However, it turns out that anxiety can, in fact, be adaptive in some cases! One of the most prominent examples of stress impacting our everyday lives, in my opinion, is test-taking. Although graduate school in psychology entails a significant amount of writing, the general impression is that tests and exams are more stressful for students. Exams are necessary for our education, unfortunately. All the way from a simple quiz in statistics, to comprehensive exams, and of course — the EPPP.
It’s still haunting us. The EPPP, like a final boss to beat after all your academics have been completed and you’re finishing up your postdoctoral training hours, is waiting for you at the end of all your hard work. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) have worked to develop this exam to comprehensively test your ability to perform both clinical and research-based skills in a real-world setting.
How can you even think about taking a break right now?? It’s nearly exam time! I have a paper due! I must do some research for my dissertation!