Study Tips: Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)

One of the biggest concerns many early career psychologists have is how to go about preparing for and successfully taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The Early Career committee has gathered some tips from psychologists who have recently taken and passed the exam in order to give some guidance to those of you who are getting ready to embark on this challenging journey.

Study Tips

  • Give yourself enough time to prepare. Many individuals spend between 4-6 months studying. Don’t short yourself on study time, only to find that you feel unprepared come test day! The exam covers a large amount of material, and providing yourself enough time to retain so much information is key to success.

  • That being said, decide on a test day and make every attempt to stick to it! You may only register up to 60 days in advance of taking the actual test. For some people, it may be advantageous to have the accountability of registering for a test date, knowing that they will have to devote several hours a week for a two-month time period to fully commit to studying. For others, having a test date in mind is enough motivation. Either way, keep in mind that waiting too close to your desired test date to register may mean that your closest testing site is unavailable at the day and time you prefer. Signing up a full 60 days in advance increases the likelihood of being able to test at your most convenient time and test center.

  • Don’t try to prepare all on your own! Test study materials are essential to proper preparation. You can often save expenses by asking friends who have recently taken the EPPP to buy their materials from them, or try to buy gently used test materials online. However, be aware that the EPPP is frequently updated and used materials may be outdated by the time you take the test.

  • Take as many online quizzes and tests as possible. They are the closest experience you can get to actually taking the exam itself. Many test prep companies charge additional fees for the online tests — they are worth it! Don’t despair if you do poorly on the initial test; many people score quite low on the practice tests. They are designed to be challenging, perhaps even more than the actual exam.

  • Prioritize the areas of the test that are most heavily weighted; you want to spend the most time studying those areas that were encompass the greatest number of test questions; make your next priority the areas in which you feel you are most likely to retain information. If there is a content area that accounts for a small portion of the test and you feel that you are less likely to do well in that area, spend less time studying it, as you will be better off using your time for content that is more frequently asked and that you have a better chance of memorizing come test time.

  • If possible, plan to make the day before and the day of your test as stress-free as possible. Do something nice for yourself after you take the test. You will not be allowed to bring ANY items into the test room (you will receive a locker for personal items), so make sure you eat and use the restroom before entering the testing room unless you want to sign out and sign back in during the exam.

  • Expect to walk out feeling as though you failed, and know that if you prepared properly, you probably passed. And if for any reason you don’t pass the first time, give yourself time to process the feeling and take the test again.

  • Be prepared to wait what will feel like an eternity (in reality a few weeks) to find out your results, as you do not receive them immediately upon finishing the exam. Reach out to other friends and colleagues who are going through or have been through the process for support. Use good self-care methods and know that you will get through what is a very stressful and time-consuming experience.

Study Resources

The Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences seeks to enhance the skills of mental health professionals through highly effective education on content and conceptual knowledge relevant to their professions. We specialize in preparation for mental health licensure examinations, and continuing education. We help psychologists, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists and nurses, just to name a few.