What is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology?

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PsychologistThe Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is the licensing exam that is used in almost all of North America. The exam certifies that post-doctoral students can legally practice psychology. Continue reading to learn the details of this exam and how to successfully pass it.

Who Administers the Exam?

The exam is administered by The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). Their organization branched off from the American Psychological Association (APA) during the 1960s in an effort to improve mobility for licensed psychologists with the U.S. and Canada. Today, they serve both countries and advocate for testing and practice standardization. The public can submit complaints and verify a psychologists’ license through the ASPPB. All EPPP tests are now computer based and offered online through Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout North America.

The EPPP Exam

The EPPP is designed to assess the student’s comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of practicing psychology. The EPPP is a multiple-choice exam with 225 questions. Each question offers four choices. Examinees have four hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam. This equates to one minute per question. The ASPPB simultaneously uses four EPPP versions. Every six months, one form is removed and a new version is introduced. The EPPP exam’s scaled score ranges from 200 to 800. The standard score for independent psychology practice is 500, which equates to 70 percent correct.

What are the EPPP Exam’s Eight Domains?

The EPPP is divided into eight categories; each has a slightly different amount of content.

  • Biological Bases of Behavior – 12 percent.
  • Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior – 13 percent.
  • Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior – 12 percent.
  • Growth and Lifespan Development – 12 percent.
  • Assessment and Diagnosis – 14 percent.
  • Treatment, Intervention, Prevention, and Supervision – 14 percent.
  • Research Methods and Statistics – eight percent.
  • Ethical/Legal/Professional Issues – 15 percent.

Helpful Preparation Tips

Failing the EPPP can be quite upsetting, because doctoral students will typically spend many years studying and preparing. Students should use the eight domains to assess their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, the ASPPB offers 250 out dated questions, answer key and reference list for a nominal price. Post-doctorate graduates should take the test as soon as they are legally allowed by the state regulations. This is because scores are generally higher after graduate training. Keep in mind that students can take the exam up to four times within a 12-month period.

What are the Exam Requirements

The EPPP has very strict exam admission requirements. For example, students must provide two forms of ID and their signature sample. Students must also allow the exam proctors to take a digital facial photo and a palm vein scan. Students that fail to follow the exam admission requirements will be changed a hefty cancellation fee.

Why Do Certain Psychology Students Perform Well?

It is well established that graduates from regionally accredited university programs tend to score higher on the EPPP. Graduates of clinical psychology programs also score well because their programs have stricter admission standards and research requirements. In fact, the American Psychological Association  cites that students with high GRE scores who attend the most rigorous doctoral programs perform very well on the EPPP. Therefore, critics feel that since EPPP scores directly correlate to GRE scores, the exam favors students who excel at taking tests and memorizing factual knowledge.

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Overall, the EPPP is the standard exam that certifies that psychologists in the U.S. and Canada are competent and knowledge. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology is a difficult, but comprehensive test that ensures quality and consistency for practicing psychologists.