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PhD/PsyD EPPP - How to Prepare, Practice, & PASS

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ItsNotMe_ItsYou, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. ItsNotMe_ItsYou

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    I hope this thread can become a resource for anyone who is planning to take or retake the EPPP in the foreseeable future. To my knowledge, no such thread exists. I believe it would be beneficial to have one centralized location for future test-takers to discuss and share how to best prepare, practice, and ultimately pass the EPPP.

    Helpful topics may include, but are not limited to:
    • When to start studying for the EPPP
    • Preparing to study: Gathering materials; Developing a reasonable study schedule
    • Most helpful study materials
    • Least helpful study materials
    • Recommended EPPP study apps
    • Helpful study tips (e.g., mnemonics)
    • Studying w/ a buddy: Yay or nay
    • How to approach practice tests
    • Managing test anxiety
    • Self-care
    • Things to avoid
    • Q&A about difficult concepts
    • Ways to save money
    • Other
    I also hope this thread can be a place where we can motivate, support, and encourage one another throughout this process.

    I wish everyone the best of luck, and let's try to keep this thread going.
     
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  3. chrostopherhenandex

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    What company should I fork out money too?
     
  4. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    None, if you can help it. Try to get your hands on an older copy for free.
     
  5. foreverbull

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    If you don't have free materials, I would contact colleagues from your program for old stuff and/or see if you can find written materials used in the wanted/for sale thread, at least you can get them discounted that way. I found Psychprep written materials to be good preparation, but some people swear by AATBS, Taylor Method, etc.
     
  6. SLB-CO

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    If someone else is paying for your study materials or you really feel like purchasing them yourself, I can say that I've been very happy with AATBS, though I'm not sure I'd purchase it if you have access to free materials and/or are paying out of pocket. I have the bronze package, so placement exam, books, audio lectures, section quizzes, and practice tests. It's rather straightforward and I feel like they have covered the basics without getting into depth you don't need. But take that with a grain of salt - I haven't taken the EPPP yet.

    If you do get a package, it probably still helps to use other materials. I have access to some older exams from other programs and it's been a nice double-check to make sure my knowledge is carrying over.

    I've been aiming for one section/week, with most studying on the weekends and some in the evenings. From the AATBS books I have been making my own notecards so that I actively learn the material and then listening to the related audio lecture when I'm cleaning for review, with the section review tests a few days later. I've been taking practice tests about once every two weeks. I've nearly reviewed all content (two sections left) and will then review from the notecards I made/take practice tests weekly until I feel ready. I'm aiming to take the exam before the holidays if all goes well, but haven't scheduled anything yet.
     
  7. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    Logically: you know that I/O is going to be an area of weakness. Then there are subdivisions of the test. You’re gonna be crap at I/o unless you went to a weird program. So study that more.

    Then there’s gonna be four choices. Statistically B is the the most frequent correct answer. If you can eliminate two, it’s a true false test. If there are two competing questions, one of them is clearly correct because they’re exerting effort in that direction. Generally there is one obvious bad answer. Eliminate that. Now your chances for correctly guessing the correct response is 33.33333%. Both/ none means one os correct at a 50/50 choice, but the opposite of “all” is generally a better choice. Use logic to make guesses. Some weird ass therapy that has a Japanese name? Go with answers that favor a gestalt approach.

    Tl;dr: think about it as if you’re making the test.
     
  8. awishingstar

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    I've scheduled for December 11. Using the PsychPrep written materials, the EPPP flashcard app (~$15 CAD on the app store) which I'm finding useful, and have AATBS audio files though I haven't cracked into them as that's not my favorite study method. Reading and making notes from about one section per day, and shuffling through flashcards in random order and googling the concepts in the evenings while I watch TV.

    This process sucks but apparently I'm more myelinated now than when I studied for the GRE so that's a plus.
     
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  9. debs4ever

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    I'm scheduled for Wednesday, November 15. I'm feeling ill-prepared. I have failed both online practice tests offered by ASPBB. It doesn't give me a scaled score so I don't know how close I got. I used psych prep and think it's been ok. Found a free trial through Prepjet- does anyone know anything about this company?
     
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  10. debs4ever

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    Are Academic Review and AATBS sister companies? I was called both looking for additional information and was referred to the same person "Brandon." I spoke with him briefly re: AATBS, but he wasn't available when I called Academic Review.
     
  11. cantstocans

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    Thanks for the heads-up. Just signed up for free trial of Prepjet- easy and very helpful. I skipped the diagnostic test and was able to take some well written short quizzes in areas of weakness.
     
  12. himala

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    I fortunately successfully passed without really purchasing anything. I borrowed study materials from other people who have passed before me. BUT I did do the $65 practice tests from Pearson (two of them) because I thought it would be the most accurate reflection of what the actual EPPP would be like. I trying to keep the EPPP simple in my mind, I thought of the EPPP studying process as needing to focus on two things:

    CONTENT
    • Learn surface-level, basic, general information about each content area of the EPPP. Example: Haley –> Strategic Family Therapy, and Minuchin –> Structural Family Therapy.
    • Make sure to study the most in areas most likely to be asked about (i.e.,Ethical/Legal/Professional Issues; Assessment and Diagnosis; Treatment, Intervention, Prevention, and Supervision) and dabble in the area least likely to be asked about (i.e., Research Methods and Statistics).
    • Keep knowing what you already know, and utilize creative techniques for things you don’t know yet (e.g., mnemonics!!!)
    CRITICAL THINKING
    • Think about on your own clinical experiences to answer questions. Example: assessment measures used in clinical work like Vineland when working with children with autism, etc.
    • Especially think back on clinical work when answering questions on ethics.
    • Get into practice of watching out for key words like “except”, “not” and “true” / “false”.
    • Watch out for answers that seem to stand out from the rest, especially ones with words like “must” and “always”.
    General tips for both Content and Critical Thinking:

    • Do as many practice questions as you can.
    • WRITE YOUR OWN TEST QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!!!
     
  13. awishingstar

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    I wrote and passed today with a score of 598! :soexcited: The flashcard app ended up being too overwhelming (recall vs. recognition) so I ditched it early on. I read all the psychprep materials, did ~1 practice exam a week for 5 weeks, and spent the final two days before the exam doing rote memorization of things I consistently got wrong on practice exams. I'm working 4 days a week right now so I essentially did 3 5-hour days per week for five weeks... no evenings. I was given Psychprep and AATBS audiofiles but didn't end up using them much. The psychprep reading material + practice exams & quizzes seemed more than enough.
     
    #12 awishingstar, Dec 11, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  14. himala

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  15. enduroevo

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    Did you find your scores on the practice exams mapped on fairly well with your real score?
     
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  17. awishingstar

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    I ranged from 57% on Psychprep Exam A (without any studying) and steadily went up 2-3% on each subsequent practice exam. I only passed the last one, Exam E, with 70.5%. My scaled score on the actual EPPP was a very comfortable pass, so I think the common consensus that people tend to get 10-15% higher on the EPPP than the practice exams holds true!
     
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  18. KAC0106

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    I need help. I failed 2 times though I improved significantly the second time around, I just cant come up with a doable schedule. I have time during the week to study, don't want to review on weekends unless I have to. I would like to give myself 6 months, I have yet to get a good schedule I can stick too.
     
  19. boomshakalaka

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    I will offer you some help. After failing twice you NEED to study on weekends regardless of whether you would like to or not. Six months is also way too long of a study schedule. Three months of focused studying should be sufficient, others have passed successfully with less. Something I found helpful was reminding myself that my study materials (i.e., AATBS, psychprep) contained almost everything I need to know for the EPPP. Sit down, memorize the stuff, take some practice tests and move on with your life.
     
  20. RejectClinical

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    When to start? I personally wouldn't do it longer than 3 months out. Personally, I think 6 weeks is enough (provided you have the time to dedicate to studying). I scheduled 6 weeks out and studied intensely for maybe 3-4 of those weeks (with a day or two off per week). Longer than that and I would have made myself EVEN crazier.

    Preparing to study: I would see what materials you can get from other students. Some internship/post-doc sites have the audios to study for the EPPP (I used PsychPrep's). They may also have old practice tests. I personally would refrain from buying anything. The exam is expensive enough as it is.

    All I did to study was take practice tests and study the audio from Psych Prep (I took notes on all the audio cds and then studied the notes). I also read over the Ethics code 3x. I passed with a huge buffer, so I can recommend that. I can't say about other study materials as I didn't use them (including apps). The Psych Prep audios also have helpful mnemonics. Sometimes it is helpful to make your own (since it will be more meaningful for you).

    Buddy: Yay! I met with a buddy to study. We didn't necessarily study together (we sat in silence and studied next to each other), but having that person to be accountable to was VERY helpful. I would highly recommend it!

    Practice Tests: I would take maybe 1 or 2 practice tests initially (see where you are) and then wait until you study some more to take others. I used them more as a "gauge" of where I was at throughout the process (e.g., how close to passing). A good chunk of the exam questions will not be directly from practice tests so I would refrain from relying on them too heavily to learn the material. The exception being the Ethics questions. I thought those were EXTREMELY helpful since I found that section tricky at times.

    Anxiety: I'd manage your anxiety using the principles you used in graduate school (think therapy). Also, refrain from procrastinating as this will most likely increase your anxiety.

    Self-care: Take nights off during the week. I always took 1-2 nights off per week (e.g., had a long day at work and was just too exhausted to study). You want to be diligent, but you need to give yourself a break. Also, don't cancel fun events just because you're studying for the EPPP. I kept date nights with my partner and fun activities going. In other words, don't suffer unnecessarily.

    Avoid: Come to the conclusion that you will not learn everything (i.e., there will be questions you don't know the answer to on the exam). Obviously, avoid procrastinating and realize that you will have to study at some point. Just doing practice tests won't be enough (IMO). Avoid NOT setting a date. AKA Set a date! That made me way more motivated and also helped me realize the end is in site. Also, avoid spending time on stuff you already known. Focus more of your time on the things you don't. Avoid relying on what people who supervised you did for the ethics questions. I've come to learn that not every psychologist is up-to-date in terms of ethics (sadly).

    $: See what people have lying around and borrow from them. Avoid spending any more $ than you have to! With the exam and the fees for your state, you're already spending $1k.
     
    #18 RejectClinical, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  21. MC_PsyD

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    Do you still have the audio files? Willing to sell?
     
  22. Mindfulpsych22

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    I passed the exam last week (scaled score of 700). I used old hand-me-down written materials. I would also avoid purchasing materials if you can. A few strategies I used:

    1) did not use the audios included. I learn and retain information the best when I explain it so I recorded myself (using the voice memo app on my phone) explaining the material I was having the most difficulty remembering or retaining. This was very helpful when I was tired of sitting and studying- I’d listen to them while working out, going for walks, driving.

    2) I made “one sheets” for each section that contained the most important information/concepts from that section. These sheets were a mix of diagrams, written notes, charts, and graphics. I found that having to summarize, organize, and consolidate the material really helped me learn it.

    3) I’ve always struggled with test taking strategies so the first few practice tests I took, I made notes of my thinking/reasoning for selecting an answer each time I encountered a question I didn’t “know” the answer to right away. For all the ones I missed, I would compare my reasoning to the reasoning for the correct answer and look for patterns that led me to guess poorly or not eliminate more incorrect answers. This allowed me to find several thinking/strategy errors that I practiced remedying in subsequent practice tests.
    I also used the practice tests to try out different strategies (such as quickly moving through all the questions I knew then returning to the ones I was less sure of vs answering all the questions, even the ones I was unsure of, with a “gut” response and only doing a final review of a small portion). I learned what way of taking the test led to the most consistent best outcomes for me. Overall, I took about 10 practice tests plus the PEPPPO.

    4) I used videos from “Memorable Psychiatry” (on you tube) to review for the bio section, they are awesome.

    I also watched some you tube videos on the dsm and ethical decision making.

    I studied a bit over the course of several months because that helps me manage my anxiety better than intensely studying for a shorter period of time. Know what works for you- this is one of the keys to passing.
     
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  23. enduroevo

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    Hello everyone!

    Wondering if I could get some EPPP advice.

    I have been studying for about six weeks thus far and have been using the Psychprep materials given to me by a friend. My study approach has been twofold: I’ve been going through each chapter and making copious flashcards for key terms, and then also listening to the Psychprep audio files in the car on the way to/from work to solidify the concepts. Although I don't have any chapter quizes from Psychprep, I have been taking quizes from AATBS after I finish studying/memorizing each chapter. I have to say I was surprised and a bit dismayed by the fact that after memorizing all the main key terms from the Psychprep materials, I still did fairly poorly on the AATBS chapter quizzes. There was so much random information on the AATBS quiz not covered in the psychprep materials. This made me think, well shoot, maybe Psychprep isn’t that good after all? Or, maybe I should be using both AATBS and Psychprep materials? I have study materials from both companies, but obviously this is really overwhelming, because the Psychprep and AATBS chapters can be like 100 pages long each (with tons of random, probably irrelevant facts---AATBS seems especially verbose to the point of being really annoying).

    Outstanding questions:

    1. Have others found Psychprep materials sufficient to pass the actual test? Is it best to stick to one system or another, Psychprep or AATBS, or use them both?

    2. Have others had similar experiences where they studied Psychprep materials or AATBS, and found that a lot of the material on one did not prepare you well for quizes on another?

    3. Lastly, although I have a ton of full length practice tests from various companies, I do not feel able to start taking the exams until I have sufficiently learned/memorized the materials from ALL chapters, given that these tests cover every area. Is it best to wait till after reviewing/learning all material before starting to take full length exams? It's really unfortunate they don't break them down by chapter/section.

    Any other recommendations / tips would be very appreciated!
     
  24. foreverbull

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    1. I had psychprep audio, psychprep written materials, and a handful of hand-me-down tests. It was plenty sufficient study material. Some folks in these forums say they do poorly on the tests or quizzes from various companies but pass the EPPP.

    As far as #3 goes:
    I spaced 3-4 full practice tests throughout my studying (I did one as a pretest, then studied 2-3 sections and took another, and so on until I finally just took one after reading all of the material/taking notes/audio. By that time, I was completely ready.

    People use many different strategies, but your methods sound very thorough. Some folks say about 100 hours of study time is a good rule of thumb. I was over it around the 90-hour mark and passed the Eppp. Good luck!
     
  25. berlin81

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    Based on my experience, PsychPrep has easier questions and their books for straightforward and more concise. I have found AATBS to be an overload of material, and their questions are somewhat harder. I'm in process of assessing which materials work best for me since I didn't pass the EPPP yet. For now I'm still using the AATBS practice exams but once I set a date to retake the exam, I'll likely add another program. The learning/cognitive psych chapter from PsychPrep is so much easier to read compared to AATBS, and I believe you can get access to it by signing up for a free trail.
     
  26. enduroevo

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    Berlin, did you already take the EPPP? If so what were your impressions re which study materials / sample exams are better?
     
  27. berlin81

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    Yes I took the EPPP before and did not pass. I'm naturally a really bad test taker so I'm taking my time to develop a plan with studying, and getting help from a personal tutor. As mentioned I think the AATBS program throws out too much material, and I think their practice questions are least similar to what's on the EPPP. To me PsychPrep has seemed better but I've also used practice questions for Academic Review. I liked AR's program in regards to it's "friendliness" (the rationales behind each question/answer was easier to understand, the online program is easier to navigate) but I think it has to do with my learning style than anything. In a nutshell, probably best to go with a program that suits you're learning style.
     
  28. AbnormalPsych

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    AATBS + Psychprep audio and tests was the combination I used.

    I found Psychprep's material to not provide enough depth for me to feel confident in truly understanding the concepts. AATBS was what I spent 90% of my study time on. I listened to the Psychprep audio 2x each to reinforce it, and took ~3 Psychprep practice tests. Once I hit above 70% on practice tests I stopped taking them and scheduled my exam.

    This was way too much - I did more than okay with this method.
     

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