One of the final hurdles in obtaining your psychology license is prepping for and passing the EPPP.

This process is often extremely anxiety provoking – the last thing you want to do after completing the exhaustive undertaking of earning your doctorate degree is study for an all-inclusive exam of what you should have learned over the past several years of education, right?

The anxiety factor alone is enough for many people to put off preparing for the exam.

Then of course there are other roadblocks that offer convenient excuses to put EPPP preparation on the back burner – family, career, finances, health, etc.

However, the most important piece of advice for EPPP preparation is DO NOT WAIT.

The longer you wait, the larger the fear and anxiety of the exam grows; the harder it is to recall information you previously learned; the more comfortable you become regarding your current professional and career status; and the more “life” gets in the way.

Here are 6 ways to set yourself up for success before you actually start studying for the EPPP.

1. Practice self-care.

It is crucial to practice self-care before, during, and after the EPPP.

Before you start prepping for the EPPP, take a look at your self-care practice. Are you incorporating self-care activities into your schedule on a regular basis? If not, now is the time to start.

Take a look at these self-care resources to help you assess your current level of self-care and develop a plan for success:

2. Change your mindset.

Chances are that you’ve been hearing about the EPPP since the beginning of your graduate education – and subsequently built up a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety surrounding the whole process.

Now is the time to tackle those negative feelings that have accumulated over the years.

  • Read up on EPPP myths vs. realities.
  • Talk to friends and peers who have already taken the exam and get feedback on their experiences.
  • Steer clear of EPPP message boards as they have a tendency to provoke more anxiety and panic.
  • Ask your supervisor(s) for help with identifying your concerns and stressors related to the EPPP and how to handle them in a healthy way.
  • Lean on your support system for comfort and motivation.

3. Prepare financially.

There are many different costs surrounding the EPPP preparation and examination processes that can all add up – study materials, prep courses, state board approval, exam fees, etc.

While most of these costs can’t be eliminated, there are ways to make them more manageable.

  • Put aside a little money each month into an EPPP fund. If you have any funds leftover after the EPPP, treat yourself!
  • Study materials and practice exams can be expensive when buying them brand new, so ask around to find out if colleagues and peers are selling any old materials. You can also look online for individuals selling used study materials.
  • While negotiating the salary and benefits for your post-doc position, inquire about incorporating funding for study materials, exam prep courses, or exam fees.
  • Look for online discounts, sales, or promotions for EPPP study materials.
  • Check with your university to see if they have partnered with a specific company to provide their students with a discount on EPPP study materials.
  • Look for a credit card with an interest-free promotion that will allow you to pay off EPPP expenses over time without accruing interest. Just make sure to pay careful attention to the credit card policies and promotions or this option could end up backfiring.

4. Educate yourself.

Check out the website for your state’s licensing board to find out the passing score for the EPPP. This is also the perfect time to read up about other licensure requirements for your state.

The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) is the organization that is responsible for creating and maintaining the EPPP. Make sure to review their website to learn about current policies, procedures, and updates regarding the EPPP.

The ASPPB website also has information about how to register for the EPPP, a candidate handbook, a practice exam (available after you register and have been authorized to take the EPPP), content information, and FAQs.

The more you know about the EPPP ahead of time, the more confident you will feel about tackling the process.

5. Get your study materials.

Do your homework on the types of study materials that are available for the EPPP. Online exams, flashcards, workshops, live comprehensive study guides, webinars, and software programs are just some of the options available.

  • As you research different options, think about your personal learning style. Are you a visual learner? Then it’s probably best to skip any audio-based study aides.
  • Incorporate some online practice exams so you can get comfortable with the way the actual exam will be administered.
  • Ask around to get feedback on the EPPP study materials that your colleagues and peers used – they might even be willing to let you borrow or purchase their old materials.
  • Find out if your graduate program recommends a specific company or if they’ve partnered with a company to provide student discounts on EPPP prep materials.

There are many companies that provide these materials and services, and it’s important to find the right fit for you. Here are a few companies that provide EPPP study materials and services to get you started in your research:

6. Build your study plan.

You have prepared yourself for the EPPP process both emotionally and financially, you know the score you need in order to obtain licensure in your state, and you have even purchased your study materials.

Now what?

Now it’s time to build your study plan and schedule.

  • Decide when you want to start studying. Remember the most important piece of advice for EPPP preparation – DO NOT WAIT.
  • Determine how much time you are going to devote to studying on a daily or weekly basis and which days you will study. Will you study a little each day or devote one whole day per week to studying?
  • Identify the types of study methods you’ll be utilizing and when you’ll use them.
  • Set milestones for yourself during your study timeline. You can even treat yourself to rewards once you meet these goals!
  • Mark study time off in your calendar or planner – in ink!

Now stick to your study plan and schedule! This will ensure that life’s roadblocks do not derail your preparations for the EPPP.

And finally – start studying!

Now that you’ve successfully prepared for beginning your EPPP journey, you’re finally ready to start studying.

Best of luck to you as you begin this journey and remember that over 80% of test takers will pass the EPPP on their first try. And if you happen not to pass, don’t worry – you can always retake the EPPP at a later date.

Christina Wohleber, PsyD
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