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angiepie05

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I moved my whole life from paradise (San Diego) to upstate New York to complete my post doc and become licensed in New York. I completed my required supervised hours in October 2015, and since then, have unsuccessfully attempted the EPPP 4 times. In New York, a converted score of 75 is considered a passing score. On my first attempt, I scored a 71. Then a 69, then a 65, and then finally a 69 again. My ego has been bruised and psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and specifically financially – I feel defeated. Beyond defeated.

I have fallen into a deep depression and I cannot seem to pick myself up from it. I now have no income and student loans haunting me. I am stuck in New York away from my family and friends.

I used AATBS (the full, very expensive program) my first time. That was when I scored the highest (a 71). After my first unsuccessful attempt in October 2015, I did the online weekend workshop with Psych Prep, and continued using AATBS. I took the exam again one month later in November and scored a 69. I then hired TWO tutors: one for content, and another for exam strategies. I also did a webinar with Academic Review. I also continued with AATBS and reviewed the material from Psych Prep. I took the exam a third time in March 2016 and scored the worst: a 65. How is that even possible with ALL the preparation I did? That was when my depression really hit me hard.

In July 2016, I attended a weekend workshop in Boston hosted by Academic Review. I also continued using AATBS and Psych Prep. I also reached out to one of the instructors from the Academic Review workshop and began very expensive private tutoring with her for a few months. I scheduled my test (now my 4th attempt) for November 2016. This time, I felt SO ready. I was scoring well on practice exams, my attitude was awesome, and my anxiety level was low. I drove to the testing center telling myself that "today is the day I will become a licensed psychologist." Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the printer printed out 2 sheets of paper rather than only one. I scored a 69 this time.

My score print out each time vary. The first time, I passed all sections except Stats & Research Design (I completely bombed that). The second time, I did decent on Stats, but bombed the section with all the diversity models. The third time, I scored mediocre on all sections and bombed Stats again. The fourth time, I bombed Stats and Physiological Psych.

I cannot describe the defeat I feel. I signed up with the Taylor Study Method and have been using it since mid-November, but I find myself having difficulty concentrating. Not only do I have such a negative attitude (yes I know, I need to fix that), I am also SO BORED with it. I do not mean to sound egotistical, but 99% of what is on TSM are terms I already know.

I really just don't know what to do anymore. I absolutely CANNOT fail a 5th time. Does anyone have any pointers? Has anyone been/ is in the same boat as me? Thank you so much for your help!
 

AppsAintNoThang

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I moved my whole life from paradise (San Diego) to upstate New York to complete my post doc and become licensed in New York. I completed my required supervised hours in October 2015, and since then, have unsuccessfully attempted the EPPP 4 times. In New York, a converted score of 75 is considered a passing score. On my first attempt, I scored a 71. Then a 69, then a 65, and then finally a 69 again. My ego has been bruised and psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and specifically financially – I feel defeated. Beyond defeated.

I have fallen into a deep depression and I cannot seem to pick myself up from it. I now have no income and student loans haunting me. I am stuck in New York away from my family and friends.

I used AATBS (the full, very expensive program) my first time. That was when I scored the highest (a 71). After my first unsuccessful attempt in October 2015, I did the online weekend workshop with Psych Prep, and continued using AATBS. I took the exam again one month later in November and scored a 69. I then hired TWO tutors: one for content, and another for exam strategies. I also did a webinar with Academic Review. I also continued with AATBS and reviewed the material from Psych Prep. I took the exam a third time in March 2016 and scored the worst: a 65. How is that even possible with ALL the preparation I did? That was when my depression really hit me hard.

In July 2016, I attended a weekend workshop in Boston hosted by Academic Review. I also continued using AATBS and Psych Prep. I also reached out to one of the instructors from the Academic Review workshop and began very expensive private tutoring with her for a few months. I scheduled my test (now my 4th attempt) for November 2016. This time, I felt SO ready. I was scoring well on practice exams, my attitude was awesome, and my anxiety level was low. I drove to the testing center telling myself that "today is the day I will become a licensed psychologist." Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the printer printed out 2 sheets of paper rather than only one. I scored a 69 this time.

My score print out each time vary. The first time, I passed all sections except Stats & Research Design (I completely bombed that). The second time, I did decent on Stats, but bombed the section with all the diversity models. The third time, I scored mediocre on all sections and bombed Stats again. The fourth time, I bombed Stats and Physiological Psych.

I cannot describe the defeat I feel. I signed up with the Taylor Study Method and have been using it since mid-November, but I find myself having difficulty concentrating. Not only do I have such a negative attitude (yes I know, I need to fix that), I am also SO BORED with it. I do not mean to sound egotistical, but 99% of what is on TSM are terms I already know.

I really just don't know what to do anymore. I absolutely CANNOT fail a 5th time. Does anyone have any pointers? Has anyone been/ is in the same boat as me? Thank you so much for your help!

It sounds like it's not an issue with prep, necessarily. I do wonder, though, what your emotional state is when you're exactually taking the exam. We all know the impact of distress and negative thinking on our performance. Do you sleep well the night before? Are you panicking before or during? Have you taken the in house practice exams to help for getting used to the environment?

I'm so sorry you're going through this .
 
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I'm really sorry you are going through this. The EPPP is a horrible exam, and seems so completely unnecessary.

It sounds like it's not an issue of preparation. Are you taking a lot of practice exams? What are your practice exam scores like?

One thing that jumped out at me from your post is that you are using different study materials (it sounds like you have switched after each exam?). I'm wondering if this might be overwhelming for you? I'm studying for the EPPP right now, and originally started with AATBS, then mixed in some Academic Review and Psych Prep that was passed down to me, and it just got to be really overwhelming for some reason. So I looked at all of them and decided that Academic Review was best (for me) and put the rest to the side.

Also, I would add on to what @AppsAintNoThang mentioned above. Are you getting anxious during the exam? Is it possible you are reading the questions too quickly and not picking up on the tricky and/or convoluted wording that some of these questions may contain?

As far as the Taylor Study Method, this is anecdotal, but of the few people I have known who have used it, they haven't been happy with it. They have said that the prep materials are too easy and are subpar when compared to Academic Review, AATBS, and/or Psych Prep. Like I said, extremely small sample size, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

Again, I'm so sorry you are going through this. :(
 
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I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but there was a relatively new professor at my program that took it several times before he passed. It was embarrassing for him, but he eventually passed. It probably did take him like 5 times. He's also one of the most anxious people I know who manages to still function well professionally and I imagine that probably had a lot to do with it. Could be true for you too? Someone else on SDN who had that issue in the past considered taking propanolol to help w/ the test-taking anxiety. Taking the practice tests in house could help with anxiety too. Sorry you're going through such a tough time. It would be really hard to be in your position so far away from your usual support system. Hope you're finding some social support in NY - maybe you can find someone else to study with just so it won't feel quite so boring and lonely? though as others have said it doesn't sound like a problem with prep- though you don't mention your practice test scores.
 
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psych.meout

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I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but there was a relatively new professor at my program that took it several times before he passed. It was embarrassing for him, but he eventually passed. It probably did take him like 5 times. He's also one of the most anxious people I know who manages to still function well professionally and I imagine that probably had a lot to do with it. Could be true for you too? Someone else on SDN who had that issue in the past considered taking propanolol to help w/ the test-taking anxiety. Taking the practice tests in house could help with anxiety too. Sorry you're going through such a tough time. It would be really hard to be in your position so far away from your usual support system. Hope you're finding some social support in NY - maybe you can find someone else to study with just so it won't feel quite so boring and lonely? though as others have said it doesn't sound like a problem with prep- though you don't mention your practice test scores.

But if anxiety is responsible for their testing problems (which seems possible based on their variable performance on the same sections), wouldn't taking practice tests in low-anxiety situations be less effective than trying to replicate the situation and context of the actual test atmosphere, e.g. state dependent learning/memory?
 

angiepie05

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It sounds like it's not an issue with prep, necessarily. I do wonder, though, what your emotional state is when you're exactually taking the exam. We all know the impact of distress and negative thinking on our performance. Do you sleep well the night before? Are you panicking before or during? Have you taken the in house practice exams to help for getting used to the environment?

I'm so sorry you're going through this .


Thank you for your message :) My first time, I would say my anxiety level was moderate; it was all brand new to me. The second and third time, mores the third time, my anxiety level was low going into the test, but as each question progressed, I felt my stress level skyrocketing because the questions were SO hard. The fourth time, I was beyond confident and was only feeling a bit anxious. At one point, halfway through, I got very anxious because I was taking a lot longer than I usually do, but I told myself that it was ok because this meant I was thoroughly reading each question and I still had a good amount of time left. I am considering taking a practice exam in house, but at this point, I want to go to a different testing center, because now the test proctors there know me and it's embarrassing. I know they mean well, but when they say things like "I hope you get it this time," it actually does more damage than good.
 

angiepie05

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I'm really sorry you are going through this. The EPPP is a horrible exam, and seems so completely unnecessary.

It sounds like it's not an issue of preparation. Are you taking a lot of practice exams? What are your practice exam scores like?

One thing that jumped out at me from your post is that you are using different study materials (it sounds like you have switched after each exam?). I'm wondering if this might be overwhelming for you? I'm studying for the EPPP right now, and originally started with AATBS, then mixed in some Academic Review and Psych Prep that was passed down to me, and it just got to be really overwhelming for some reason. So I looked at all of them and decided that Academic Review was best (for me) and put the rest to the side.

Also, I would add on to what @AppsAintNoThang mentioned above. Are you getting anxious during the exam? Is it possible you are reading the questions too quickly and not picking up on the tricky and/or convoluted wording that some of these questions may contain?

As far as the Taylor Study Method, this is anecdotal, but of the few people I have known who have used it, they haven't been happy with it. They have said that the prep materials are too easy and are subpar when compared to Academic Review, AATBS, and/or Psych Prep. Like I said, extremely small sample size, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

Again, I'm so sorry you are going through this. :(

Thank you very much for reaching out. It could be possible that I am getting overwhelmed, but what I am finding is that each study material offers a "different perspective" of a term. For example, in my AATBS books, when discussing a term, it is just a general overview. The weekend workshop for Psych Prep showed me how it's applied in a question/answer format. Academic Review (especially when working with the tutor) went into detail about the term.

As far as anxiety, I found that the only time my anxiety level skyrocketed during the actual exam was my second and third attempt. I was confident going in, but the questions were harder and harder. I've been told that New York purposely chooses the hardest test questions since they only require the EPPP. whereas other states require the EPPP and a jurisdiction exam.

Before I began studying, I took a practice exam just to see my baseline score and scored an embarrassingly 37%. Now I know practice exams and the actual exam are scored much differently, so I tried to keep a positive attitude. For my first attempt, my practice exam scores were low, in the 50% range... but that was when I scored the highest on the real exam! From Nov 2015 to Nov 2016, I was able to raise my practice exam scores dramatically; I was able to consistently score in the low 90's, my highest being a 94%, which is why I was super confident I'd pass. I mean, if I scored a converted score of 71 on the actual exam when my practice exam scores were in the 50's, then surely I'd get the extra 4 converted scores on the actual exam after scoring in the 90s in the practice exam, right?!? Nope. It's all so emotionally draining.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I could be wrong, but I don't think individual states are allowed to select test items. I'd imagine that's managed nationally by the test developers. Might be one less thing to have to worry about.
 

psych.meout

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Thank you for your message :) My first time, I would say my anxiety level was moderate; it was all brand new to me. The second and third time, mores the third time, my anxiety level was low going into the test, but as each question progressed, I felt my stress level skyrocketing because the questions were SO hard. The fourth time, I was beyond confident and was only feeling a bit anxious. At one point, halfway through, I got very anxious because I was taking a lot longer than I usually do, but I told myself that it was ok because this meant I was thoroughly reading each question and I still had a good amount of time left. I am considering taking a practice exam in house, but at this point, I want to go to a different testing center, because now the test proctors there know me and it's embarrassing. I know they mean well, but when they say things like "I hope you get it this time," it actually does more damage than good.

Before I began studying, I took a practice exam just to see my baseline score and scored an embarrassingly 37%. Now I know practice exams and the actual exam are scored much differently, so I tried to keep a positive attitude. For my first attempt, my practice exam scores were low, in the 50% range... but that was when I scored the highest on the real exam! From Nov 2015 to Nov 2016, I was able to raise my practice exam scores dramatically; I was able to consistently score in the low 90's, my highest being a 94%, which is why I was super confident I'd pass. I mean, if I scored a converted score of 71 on the actual exam when my practice exam scores were in the 50's, then surely I'd get the extra 4 converted scores on the actual exam after scoring in the 90s in the practice exam, right?!? Nope. It's all so emotionally draining.

The bolded passage, your high scores on ostensibly valid practice tests, and your other comments here really make it seem that there are some non-test factors primarily at work here, e.g. anxiety.
 

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I'm just curious given the information that you've provided if you plan to stay in NY after licensure. If not, might it be possible for you to apply for licensure in another state (e.g., wherever you plan to settle)? I don't fully understand the way that NY handles the EPPP score conversion for their own pass rate, but I got the sense from the Psych Prep Study Strategies audio that NY's cutoff translates closer to a 75% whereas most other states use a 70% cutoff (and not all who do have a jurisprudence exam, BTW). You could still physically take the exam in a test center in NY, you would just need to apply for licensure again through the state you hope to be licensed in. Your scores are so close to that 70%, maybe going through a state where that is the cutoff will get you where you need to be for licensure. If you don't plan to stay in NY, not bing able to meet cutoff for their licensure may not be necessary for you.
 

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I'm just curious given the information that you've provided if you plan to stay in NY after licensure. If not, might it be possible for you to apply for licensure in another state (e.g., wherever you plan to settle)? I don't fully understand the way that NY handles the EPPP score conversion for their own pass rate, but I got the sense from the Psych Prep Study Strategies audio that NY's cutoff translates closer to a 75% whereas most other states use a 70% cutoff (and not all who do have a jurisprudence exam, BTW). You could still physically take the exam in a test center in NY, you would just need to apply for licensure again through the state you hope to be licensed in. Your scores are so close to that 70%, maybe going through a state where that is the cutoff will get you where you need to be for licensure. If you don't plan to stay in NY, not bing able to meet cutoff for their licensure may not be necessary for you.
The NY score cutoff is the same as other states'... they just report it differently. The NY score of 75 isn't a percentage, it's equivalent to a overall score of 500.

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If it's an anxiety thing, you might want to inquire about getting testing accommodations. You might have to get diagnosed with testing anxiety or something, but it might help.


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erg923

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If it's an anxiety thing, you might want to inquire about getting testing accommodations. You might have to get diagnosed with testing anxiety or something, but it might help.


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Or we could just some propranolol before our next exam and save a bunch of time and money...
 
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I moved my whole life from paradise (San Diego) to upstate New York to complete my post doc and become licensed in New York. I completed my required supervised hours in October 2015, and since then, have unsuccessfully attempted the EPPP 4 times. In New York, a converted score of 75 is considered a passing score. On my first attempt, I scored a 71. Then a 69, then a 65, and then finally a 69 again. My ego has been bruised and psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and specifically financially – I feel defeated. Beyond defeated.

I have fallen into a deep depression and I cannot seem to pick myself up from it. I now have no income and student loans haunting me. I am stuck in New York away from my family and friends.

I used AATBS (the full, very expensive program) my first time. That was when I scored the highest (a 71). After my first unsuccessful attempt in October 2015, I did the online weekend workshop with Psych Prep, and continued using AATBS. I took the exam again one month later in November and scored a 69. I then hired TWO tutors: one for content, and another for exam strategies. I also did a webinar with Academic Review. I also continued with AATBS and reviewed the material from Psych Prep. I took the exam a third time in March 2016 and scored the worst: a 65. How is that even possible with ALL the preparation I did? That was when my depression really hit me hard.

In July 2016, I attended a weekend workshop in Boston hosted by Academic Review. I also continued using AATBS and Psych Prep. I also reached out to one of the instructors from the Academic Review workshop and began very expensive private tutoring with her for a few months. I scheduled my test (now my 4th attempt) for November 2016. This time, I felt SO ready. I was scoring well on practice exams, my attitude was awesome, and my anxiety level was low. I drove to the testing center telling myself that "today is the day I will become a licensed psychologist." Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the printer printed out 2 sheets of paper rather than only one. I scored a 69 this time.

My score print out each time vary. The first time, I passed all sections except Stats & Research Design (I completely bombed that). The second time, I did decent on Stats, but bombed the section with all the diversity models. The third time, I scored mediocre on all sections and bombed Stats again. The fourth time, I bombed Stats and Physiological Psych.

I cannot describe the defeat I feel. I signed up with the Taylor Study Method and have been using it since mid-November, but I find myself having difficulty concentrating. Not only do I have such a negative attitude (yes I know, I need to fix that), I am also SO BORED with it. I do not mean to sound egotistical, but 99% of what is on TSM are terms I already know.

I really just don't know what to do anymore. I absolutely CANNOT fail a 5th time. Does anyone have any pointers? Has anyone been/ is in the same boat as me? Thank you so much for your help!
Have you taken any of the practice tests physically at the testing center? For exposure and building confidence.
 

smalltownpsych

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I think you really need to improve your test taking skills. That first score of 37 points to that. I think my first practice exam with no studying was about 60 and that is because I am good at taking multiple choice tests. I am pretty sure that it is a skill that can be developed and people that don't have it naturally tend to build up psychological barriers to improving it. Just like we do with any other skill. Maybe get a hold of some practice tests for something unrelated to psychology and start learning how to get better scores without improving your knowledge. Figure out why you are selecting the wrong answers even when you know the information. It often has to do with reading complex sentence structures accurately and correctly interpreting the words such as some, many or all or seldom, often or never to determine the right answer more so than knowing what Holland's personality types are.
 
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HeMadeAWay

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I moved my whole life from paradise (San Diego) to upstate New York to complete my post doc and become licensed in New York. I completed my required supervised hours in October 2015, and since then, have unsuccessfully attempted the EPPP 4 times. In New York, a converted score of 75 is considered a passing score. On my first attempt, I scored a 71. Then a 69, then a 65, and then finally a 69 again. My ego has been bruised and psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and specifically financially – I feel defeated. Beyond defeated.


I took the EPPP in January and I did not pass, so I understand how you feel. I purchased the PsycPrep system approximately $1400. I studied between July and December, and took off work December and January. I am devastated...

I contacted my feedback psychologist at PsychPrep, and she informed me that "The paradigm that worked well in graduate school (“I study the material, I do well on the test”) can really be a problem because the EPPP is a test that always has unfamiliar content no matter how much you study. This is why it is so important to focus on practicing and hone your test-taking skills. Finally, consider taking some practice tests from other EPPP test prep companies at some point in order to get a sense of how you score on unfamiliar items."

I am considering purchasing Academic Reviews test only $449 or $799. I am trying to stay positive, but the EPPP prep cost, work facility fees, and supervision fee splitting have caused a financial hardship.
 

HeMadeAWay

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I took the EPPP in January and I did not pass, so I understand how you feel. I purchased the PsycPrep system approximately $1400. I studied between July and December, and took off work December and January. I am devastated...

I contacted my feedback psychologist at PsychPrep, and she informed me that "The paradigm that worked well in graduate school (“I study the material, I do well on the test”) can really be a problem because the EPPP is a test that always has unfamiliar content no matter how much you study. This is why it is so important to focus on practicing and hone your test-taking skills. Finally, consider taking some practice tests from other EPPP test prep companies at some point in order to get a sense of how you score on unfamiliar items."

I am considering purchasing Academic Reviews test only $449 or $799. I am trying to stay positive, but the EPPP prep cost, work facility fees, and supervision fee splitting have caused a financial hardship.
 
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BKPHD

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I took the EPPP in January and I did not pass, so I understand how you feel. I purchased the PsycPrep system approximately $1400. I studied between July and December, and took off work December and January. I am devastated...

I contacted my feedback psychologist at PsychPrep, and she informed me that "The paradigm that worked well in graduate school (“I study the material, I do well on the test”) can really be a problem because the EPPP is a test that always has unfamiliar content no matter how much you study. This is why it is so important to focus on practicing and hone your test-taking skills. Finally, consider taking some practice tests from other EPPP test prep companies at some point in order to get a sense of how you score on unfamiliar items."

I am considering purchasing Academic Reviews test only $449 or $799. I am trying to stay positive, but the EPPP prep cost, work facility fees, and supervision fee splitting have caused a financial hardship.

JESUS! Over 2K to take a test?! I am suddenly filled with rage (actually I don't know why it took me so long, now that I think about it). For all of APA's talk of having an increased emphasis on "cultural diversity," they sure make it prohibitively expensive to treat the underserved populations they purport to care so much about. Not even talking about the cost of education and training (thats a whole 'nother can of fish that I don't feel like opening). How has this been allowed for so long? It feels so predatory and unethical. But I guess just like every other awful thing, we've let it continue because "that's just the way it is." Shameful.
 
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psych.meout

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JESUS! Over 2K to take a test?! I am suddenly filled with rage (actually I don't know why it took me so long, now that I think about it). For all of APA's talk of having an increased emphasis on "cultural diversity," they sure make it prohibitively expensive to treat the underserved populations they purport to care so much about. Not even talking about the cost of education and training (thats a whole 'nother can of fish that I don't feel like opening). How has this been allowed for so long? It feels so predatory and unethical. But I guess just like every other awful thing, we've let it continue because "that's just the way it is." Shameful.
To be fair, this seems far less unethical than accrediting programs that are unfunded and have poor outcome statistics. $2000 is a drop in the bucket compared to some of these programs that cost >$30,000 per year, whose students are unlikely to match at accredited sites and therefore lock themselves out of many job prospects.
 
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BKPHD

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To be fair, this seems far less unethical than accrediting programs that are unfunded and have poor outcome statistics. $2000 is a drop in the bucket compared to some of these programs that cost >$30,000 per year, whose students are unlikely to match at accredited sites and therefore lock themselves out of many job prospects.
I guess that "can of fish" got opened anyway... well here's my take on it. Yes, I agree that APA offering accreditation to deploma mills is predatory and unethical, but going to a diploma mill is also a choice. Taking the EPPP isn't. Yeah, buying the prep materials is a choice but look at the threads on this site- even the most qualified clinicians don't know what the hell the exam is asking for half the time. "Answer what you think the test is looking for, not what the actual correct response is, etc." This makes people feel like the $1500 prep materials are a requirement in order to pass, and turns out you can fork over a months rent and still fail. What kind of system prides itself on ethics yet allows (and profits handily from) this kind of coercion? I dunno. Maybe I'm the only one, but the whole thing reeks to me.
 
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futureapppsy2

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I guess that "can of fish" got opened anyway... well here's my take on it. Yes, I agree that APA offering accreditation to deploma mills is predatory and unethical, but going to a diploma mill is also a choice. Taking the EPPP isn't. Yeah, buying the prep materials is a choice but look at the threads on this site- even the most qualified clinicians don't know what the hell the exam is asking for half the time. "Answer what you think the test is looking for, not what the actual correct response is, etc." This makes people feel like the $1500 prep materials are a requirement in order to pass, and turns out you can fork over a months rent and still fail. What kind of system prides itself on ethics yet allows (and profits handily from) this kind of coercion? I dunno. Maybe I'm the only one, but the whole thing reeks to me.
This is how every single licensing exam works, though. The EPPP is fairly low intensity compared to the bar or the USMLE.
 
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psych.meout

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I guess that "can of fish" got opened anyway... well here's my take on it. Yes, I agree that APA offering accreditation to deploma mills is predatory and unethical, but going to a diploma mill is also a choice. Taking the EPPP isn't. Yeah, buying the prep materials is a choice but look at the threads on this site- even the most qualified clinicians don't know what the hell the exam is asking for half the time. "Answer what you think the test is looking for, not what the actual correct response is, etc." This makes people feel like the $1500 prep materials are a requirement in order to pass, and turns out you can fork over a months rent and still fail. What kind of system prides itself on ethics yet allows (and profits handily from) this kind of coercion? I dunno. Maybe I'm the only one, but the whole thing reeks to me.
I totally empathize with people spending large amounts of money to pass the EPPP, especially based on what I've read about the content and structure of the test. I understand how frustrating it can be to have done all the work required of a doctoral program only to have a single test stand between you and your career.

That said, these are still related issues. The EPPP is meant as a gating mechanism to protect the public from psychologists who may not be competent to practice psychology, just as the licensing exams do for other fields, like medicine. We have other mechanisms for the same purpose, like requiring students to attend accredited internships and accredited programs, but these have been somewhat vulnerable to predatory institutions gaming the system, e.g. developing captive internships for just their students to boost their match ratings.

https://www.researchgate.net/public...utes_of_Clinical_Psychology_Graduate_Programs

Graduate programs' correlates with doctoral recipients' scores on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) were determined. Higher EPPP score was associated with larger faculty-to-student ratios, smaller clinical programs, traditional as opposed to professional program orientation, and Ph.D. rather than Psy.D. awarded. Programs approved by the American Psychological Association and those that scored favorably on a number of objective indices also produced graduates with high EPPP scores. Among the more frequently used admissions requirements, median Quantitative score on the Graduate Record Examination correlated most highly with EPPP score.

I know this study is 20 years old, but it shows that, at least back then, the EPPP was sort of working as intended.
 
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BKPHD

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I totally empathize with people spending large amounts of money to pass the EPPP, especially based on what I've read about the content and structure of the test. I understand how frustrating it can be to have done all the work required of a doctoral program only to have a single test stand between you and your career.

That said, these are still related issues. The EPPP is meant as a gating mechanism to protect the public from psychologists who may not be competent to practice psychology, just as the licensing exams do for other fields, like medicine. We have other mechanisms for the same purpose, like requiring students to attend accredited internships and accredited programs, but these have been somewhat vulnerable to predatory institutions gaming the system, e.g. developing captive internships for just their students to boost their match ratings.

https://www.researchgate.net/public...utes_of_Clinical_Psychology_Graduate_Programs



I know this study is 20 years old, but it shows that, at least back then, the EPPP was sort of working as intended.
I'm not feeling very comforted by this. If the goal is to use the EPPP as a screener for unqualified practitioners, why would a financial barrier be the mechanism of choice? In other words, as we've seen on this board, the test is not a measure of what is taught in programs, but of ones ability to adapt to the test itself. If you spend enough money on testing prep, whose purpose is to help you adapt to the test, then what makes the test an effective screener? Obviously money is no issue to those from diploma mills. Am I missing something?
 

psych.meout

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I'm not feeling very comforted by this. If the goal is to use the EPPP as a screener for unqualified practitioners, why would a financial barrier be the mechanism of choice? In other words, as we've seen on this board, the test is not a measure of what is taught in programs, but of ones ability to adapt to the test itself. If you spend enough money on testing prep, whose purpose is to help you adapt to the test, then what makes the test an effective screener? Obviously money is no issue to those from diploma mills. Am I missing something?
Are you seriously arguing that the cost of study materials is a financial barrier to completing the EPPP and those people from diploma mills (you know, the ones who are in six figures of debt) are better prepared to shoulder the burden of paying for those materials than those students who went to "better" (e.g. smaller cohorts, higher match rates, etc.) funded programs (and who, therefore, have much, much less debt)?

Did you even read the abstract I cited?
 

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Are you seriously arguing that the cost of study materials is a financial barrier to completing the EPPP and those people from diploma mills (you know, the ones who are in six figures of debt) are better prepared to shoulder the burden of paying for those materials than those students who went to "better" (e.g. smaller cohorts, higher match rates, etc.) funded programs (and who, therefore, have much, much less debt)?

Did you even read the abstract I cited?
No no, not that grads of diploma mills are better prepared, just that they might be in the mindset of, to quote what someone said earlier, $2K is a mere "drop in the bucket" compared to the debt of grad school, so "what the hell, I'll fork it over if it means I'll pass." All I'm saying is that it feels wrong to me that the APA is touting its own ethical standards while milking cash from students who are required to pass an exam whose content doesn't reflect curriculum but expensive testing prep materials instead.
 
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psych.meout

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No no, not that grads of diploma mills are better prepared, just that they might be in the mindset of, to quote what someone said earlier, $2K is a mere "drop in the bucket" compared to the debt of grad school, so "what the hell, I'll fork it over if it means I'll pass."
Except that's not what the study I cited found. The correlation was between EPPP performance and the attributes of what are typically seen in higher quality programs, including "larger faculty-to-student ratios, smaller clinical programs, traditional as opposed to professional program orientation, and Ph.D. rather than Psy.D. awarded."

Are people from these programs also spending thousands on prep materials? We don't really know for sure, but we also don't know if that would be a limiting factor after all. Just look at OP, they have spent significant amounts of money on test prep and are still failing despite scoring well on practice tests. Clearly, something else, e.g. test anxiety and other affective variables, are at work and cost really hasn't been the issue. Maybe it's more complex than simply looking at the cost of prep materials.

All I'm saying is that it feels wrong to me that the APA is touting its own ethical standards while milking cash from students who are required to pass an exam whose content doesn't reflect curriculum but expensive testing prep materials instead.

Oh, is the APA the one selling the prep materials now?

Funny how dismissive you are of the craven greed of for-profit schools, because the students "chose" to attend those programs, while you harp on and on about the injustice of firms not associated with the EPPP charging for study materials.
 

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Except that's not what the study I cited found. The correlation was between EPPP performance and the attributes of what are typically seen in higher quality programs, including "larger faculty-to-student ratios, smaller clinical programs, traditional as opposed to professional program orientation, and Ph.D. rather than Psy.D. awarded."

Are people from these programs also spending thousands on prep materials? We don't really know for sure, but we also don't know if that would be a limiting factor after all. Just look at OP, they have spent significant amounts of money on test prep and are still failing despite scoring well on practice tests. Clearly, something else, e.g. test anxiety and other affective variables, are at work and cost really hasn't been the issue. Maybe it's more complex than simply looking at the cost of prep materials.



Oh, is the APA the one selling the prep materials now?

Funny how dismissive you are of the craven greed of for-profit schools, because the students "chose" to attend those programs, while you harp on and on about the injustice of firms not associated with the EPPP charging for study materials.
Woah, I'm not dismissing it at all! It's wrong. I don't like it. Never said otherwise. I just also don't like how the APA has required all students pass a licensure test that doesn't appear to be based on curriculum, but on expensive study materials. That's all I was saying.
 

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I think you are making this a much bigger deal than it needs to be. I know a whopping "1" person who actually paid for study materials. Outside this board, I've never heard of someone failing. The pass rate is fairly high and is likely REALLY high when you factor out the diploma mills. Most seem to use various hand me downs from 5+ years ago, random study guides made by friends and the DSM-5 since many of the study materials are from before it came out.

I'm studying now. It mostly sucks because it's taking time away from other work I could be doing - in a world with infinite time I'd actually kind of enjoy reviewing some of this stuff (it is after all - what got me into this field in the first place). Maybe I'm sick. Either way I think people psych themselves out over this thing way too much. We will see if I am singing a different tune in a couple months after I take it!
 
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BKPHD

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I think you are making this a much bigger deal than it needs to be. I know a whopping "1" person who actually paid for study materials. Outside this board, I've never heard of someone failing. The pass rate is fairly high and is likely REALLY high when you factor out the diploma mills. Most seem to use various hand me downs from 5+ years ago, random study guides made by friends and the DSM-5 since many of the study materials are from before it came out.

I'm studying now. It mostly sucks because it's taking time away from other work I could be doing - in a world with infinite time I'd actually kind of enjoy reviewing some of this stuff (it is after all - what got me into this field in the first place). Maybe I'm sick. Either way I think people psych themselves out over this thing way too much. We will see if I am singing a different tune in a couple months after I take it!
That's good to know. I'm only just applying for internship this year (my 4th), so my only exposure to the EPPP so far has been from this board. Thanks for the reality check!
 

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That's good to know. I'm only just applying for internship this year (my 4th), so my only exposure to the EPPP so far has been from this board. Thanks for the reality check!
I used some old practice tests and bought the cheapest study package I could find. I was debating not getting a study package because I thought they were a bit overpriced myself, but i allowed emotion to win over reason and forked over the cash. The test prep companies charge a high price because when this much is riding on it, we pay the asking price. It's all about risk aversion and how we evaluate cost benefit ratios from a psychological perspective.
 
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eremitestar

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I know a whopping "1" person who actually paid for study materials. Outside this board, I've never heard of someone failing.
Yes, this! I don't know anyone who shelled out the money for those expensive study materials, and I only know one person who didn't pass on the first try. Everyone I know has used hand-me-down materials from postdoc sites or people in their program. I also think claiming the material isn't based on curriculum is going too far. Much of what was on the test was covered in my program. There are exceptions, but that's mostly due to specialization. For example, I work with adults, so much of the child and family stuff was unfamiliar to me. Also, keep in mind that the material on the test comes mostly from classic, seminal studies, not up to the minute cutting-edge research. I think that's what people mean by "give the answer they want, not the right answer." Base your answer on the foundational studies they want you to know, not that paper your lab put out last year.
 

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Woah, I'm not dismissing it at all! It's wrong.

I guess that "can of fish" got opened anyway... well here's my take on it. Yes, I agree that APA offering accreditation to deploma mills is predatory and unethical, but going to a diploma mill is also a choice. Taking the EPPP isn't. Yeah, buying the prep materials is a choice but look at the threads on this site- even the most qualified clinicians don't know what the hell the exam is asking for half the time. "Answer what you think the test is looking for, not what the actual correct response is, etc." This makes people feel like the $1500 prep materials are a requirement in order to pass, and turns out you can fork over a months rent and still fail. What kind of system prides itself on ethics yet allows (and profits handily from) this kind of coercion? I dunno. Maybe I'm the only one, but the whole thing reeks to me.

Again, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars for degrees that might be basically worthless if the programs or students' internships are unaccredited. You are at best minimizing this, because it's a "choice" and detracts from your pet peeve about the EPPP.

Woah, I'm not dismissing it at all! It's wrong. I don't like it. Never said otherwise. I just also don't like how the APA has required all students pass a licensure test that doesn't appear to be based on curriculum, but on expensive study materials. That's all I was saying.
You are the only one here making this assertion. Study materials might help, but they are not necessary, and it's somewhat obtuse to argue that the EPPP is based on the study materials and not curriculum or other knowledge bases (e.g. what eremitestar was talking about), especially since the study materials are sold by separate third parties.
 
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Again, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars for degrees that might be basically worthless if the programs or students' internships are unaccredited. You are at best minimizing this, because it's a "choice" and detracts from your pet peeve about the EPPP.


You are the only one here making this assertion. Study materials might help, but they are not necessary, and it's somewhat obtuse to argue that the EPPP is based on the study materials and not curriculum or other knowledge bases (e.g. what eremitestar was talking about), especially since the study materials are sold by separate third parties.
As I just admitted to Ollie, my only exposure to EPPP study prep has been from this board, so I certainly can cop to not being fully informed. Glad to see the exam has such staunch defenders out there though!
 

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Its not "based on expensive study materials." Its not like its a secret code and you'll need to know that for EPPP purposes, one of Freud's psychosexual stages is ANOVA.

Mostly people just mean it requires basic test-taking skills and not just knowledge, so practice matters. Yes, that probably isn't ideal but its not like its rocket science to know to avoid answers with the words always/never when guessing. We can all nitpick answers we disagree with in the sections we know really well but you only need a 70% to pass, so its not like a couple questions will make or break anything. Especially since some sections (ethics, stats) are so flippin basic I think half our techs could pass them. Don't stress about it. Its an annoyance, not a trauma.
 
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I'm really sorry you are going through this. The EPPP is a horrible exam, and seems so completely unnecessary.

It sounds like it's not an issue of preparation. Are you taking a lot of practice exams? What are your practice exam scores like?

One thing that jumped out at me from your post is that you are using different study materials (it sounds like you have switched after each exam?). I'm wondering if this might be overwhelming for you? I'm studying for the EPPP right now, and originally started with AATBS, then mixed in some Academic Review and Psych Prep that was passed down to me, and it just got to be really overwhelming for some reason. So I looked at all of them and decided that Academic Review was best (for me) and put the rest to the side.

Also, I would add on to what @AppsAintNoThang mentioned above. Are you getting anxious during the exam? Is it possible you are reading the questions too quickly and not picking up on the tricky and/or convoluted wording that some of these questions may contain?

As far as the Taylor Study Method, this is anecdotal, but of the few people I have known who have used it, they haven't been happy with it. They have said that the prep materials are too easy and are subpar when compared to Academic Review, AATBS, and/or Psych Prep. Like I said, extremely small sample size, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

Again, I'm so sorry you are going through this. :(


Hi there.
For those struggling to pass what has finally worked?
 

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Hi everyone! It's been about 7 months since I posted the original post. I had no idea there was so much action on this thread-I never received any notification for any of it! So I apologize if I never responded to you. I am happy to inform you all that I took my exam for the 5th time in March and passed. I barely passed, but passing is still passing. Once I fully dived into Taylor Study Method, it helped me and I learned a lot. In addition, I didn't go to the original testing center. This time I took the test for NY in Vermont. It felt nice walking into a new environment without the judgement of the test proctors. For anyone still struggling like I did, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'd recommend directly messaging me as opposed to replying to this thread because I am not getting notifications for those
 
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Ollie123

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Either way I think people psych themselves out over this thing way too much. We will see if I am singing a different tune in a couple months after I take it!

Just to follow up on my own post....not singing a different tune. Singing very much the same tune. Pay zero dollars, use old study materials, study hard but don't feel like you need to go overboard/dedicate your life to it and don't stress. The latter is probably the most important of all.
 
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I love happy endings. Congratulations to all.
After I took my first practice exam PEPPP with a 485 - good enough for me to know I don't need to study much longer and may have something to offer here - I joined this board that I have been stalking. I commented to my husband as we drove home that I cannot imagine how a verbally challenged or ESL student could pass that test without years of study.
I have been working as a school psych and out of grad school for 25 years. My command of the English language rescued me many times when I had no knowledge base for a particular item. I mention this because others did not dwell on the high level of challenging vocabulary and complex sentence structure in some questions. On the practice test, there was only one word I did not know by definition, but I saw many that would be a stumbling block for test-takers. I thought my age and distance from grad school would be a detriment but I believe now, that the years of extra exposure to our complex English language actually helped me!
 
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I've taken the exam 5xs and still haven't passed. I learned that I struggled with reading and understanding the questions. It's not so much the knowledge content because I know most of it with probably the exception of statistics (who loves stats!?).

I'm currently using all AATBS materials when I was using psych prep before. I have anxiety and I think that might be the problem.

Just wished I could get an individual coaching is what I think I need. So far, I've heard two people tell me to consider testing accommodations. But I'm not sure how that even works.
 

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I've taken the exam 5xs and still haven't passed. I learned that I struggled with reading and understanding the questions. It's not so much the knowledge content because I know most of it with probably the exception of statistics (who loves stats!?).

I'm currently using all AATBS materials when I was using psych prep before. I have anxiety and I think that might be the problem.

Just wished I could get an individual coaching is what I think I need. So far, I've heard two people tell me to consider testing accommodations. But I'm not sure how that even works.
Maybe ask your physician for some beta blockers that you can take shortly before the test. Also, work on other methods to alleviate and/or tolerate anxiety and still perform.

As far as accommodations go, I'd be skeptical of getting them without a note from a provider and possibly a diagnosis as well. I know it's not quite the same, but a friend of mine did a practica at their university's clinic and they had many students looking to take the MCAT and LSAT who needed actual diagnoses to get accommodations, so they did a lot of psychometric testing.
 

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Maybe ask your physician for some beta blockers that you can take shortly before the test. Also, work on other methods to alleviate and/or tolerate anxiety and still perform.

As far as accommodations go, I'd be skeptical of getting them without a note from a provider and possibly a diagnosis as well. I know it's not quite the same, but a friend of mine did a practica at their university's clinic and they had many students looking to take the MCAT and LSAT who needed actual diagnoses to get accommodations, so they did a lot of psychometric testing.

Thanks! I started taking a natural anxiety pill that seemed to work. I do noticed that it helped me cope better but I'm still stressed. I just wanted to avoid taking any medications. I'll look into possible accommodations if I can get extra test time.

In the other thread, I mentioned that I check out after an hour or so. I'm working on my focus. I take the practice test during the 4 hours to keep my momentum steady.

Other than that, the materials hasn't been enough for me to be interested in learning so maybe I need to work on that.
 

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Thanks! I started taking a natural anxiety pill that seemed to work. I do noticed that it helped me cope better but I'm still stressed. I just wanted to avoid taking any medications. I'll look into possible accommodations if I can get extra test time.

In the other thread, I mentioned that I check out after an hour or so. I'm working on my focus. I take the practice test during the 4 hours to keep my momentum steady.

Other than that, the materials hasn't been enough for me to be interested in learning so maybe I need to work on that.
Are these new problems or are they preexisting ones that have been around well before the EPPP?
 

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Are these new problems or are they preexisting ones that have been around well before the EPPP?

New. Since I started taking the EPPP. The first time I took the test, I did it cold turkey since I had no idea what to expect. Then each test just got worse... Failing the test just made me feel like a failure and it definitely bruised my ego. I learned to get past it and try to keep my mental/emotional state in check. I made sure my environment doesn't affect my emotional state.

I think 4 hours is too long for me to be sitting there and taking the test. I have to take multiple breaks.
 

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Stats is the single biggest stumbling block for people beginning as undergraduates, and lasting all the way through the EPPP. You either have to learn stats, or expect that at some point along the way you are going to fail. I recommend doing anything and everything you need to do to learn these materials. Stats is is not truly difficult when it is taught properly. A good tutor can make all the difference.
 

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Stats is the single biggest stumbling block for people beginning as undergraduates, and lasting all the way through the EPPP. You either have to learn stats, or expect that at some point along the way you are going to fail. I recommend doing anything and everything you need to do to learn these materials. Stats is is not truly difficult when it is taught properly. A good tutor can make all the difference.

Thank you! You're right.. I have to learn these materials and I have tried. Unfortunately, I did not have a good stats teacher and most of us were left confused. I am going to find a tutor. I do like how Psych Prep explains in simpler term, but AATBS, is much more valuable to for the exam.
 
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But if anxiety is responsible for their testing problems (which seems possible based on their variable performance on the same sections), wouldn't taking practice tests in low-anxiety situations be less effective than trying to replicate the situation and context of the actual test atmosphere, e.g. state dependent learning/memory?
This is a super belated reply, but I just happened to run across this again. What I meant was to take the test (not hte PEPPO, but whatever the acronym is for the one you take at the testing center) in the testing center of choice which would be the closest approximation to the actual test atmosphere. You said it more clearly than I did though :)
 

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I moved my whole life from paradise (San Diego) to upstate New York to complete my post doc and become licensed in New York. I completed my required supervised hours in October 2015, and since then, have unsuccessfully attempted the EPPP 4 times. In New York, a converted score of 75 is considered a passing score. On my first attempt, I scored a 71. Then a 69, then a 65, and then finally a 69 again. My ego has been bruised and psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and specifically financially – I feel defeated. Beyond defeated.

I have fallen into a deep depression and I cannot seem to pick myself up from it. I now have no income and student loans haunting me. I am stuck in New York away from my family and friends.

I used AATBS (the full, very expensive program) my first time. That was when I scored the highest (a 71). After my first unsuccessful attempt in October 2015, I did the online weekend workshop with Psych Prep, and continued using AATBS. I took the exam again one month later in November and scored a 69. I then hired TWO tutors: one for content, and another for exam strategies. I also did a webinar with Academic Review. I also continued with AATBS and reviewed the material from Psych Prep. I took the exam a third time in March 2016 and scored the worst: a 65. How is that even possible with ALL the preparation I did? That was when my depression really hit me hard.

In July 2016, I attended a weekend workshop in Boston hosted by Academic Review. I also continued using AATBS and Psych Prep. I also reached out to one of the instructors from the Academic Review workshop and began very expensive private tutoring with her for a few months. I scheduled my test (now my 4th attempt) for November 2016. This time, I felt SO ready. I was scoring well on practice exams, my attitude was awesome, and my anxiety level was low. I drove to the testing center telling myself that "today is the day I will become a licensed psychologist." Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the printer printed out 2 sheets of paper rather than only one. I scored a 69 this time.

My score print out each time vary. The first time, I passed all sections except Stats & Research Design (I completely bombed that). The second time, I did decent on Stats, but bombed the section with all the diversity models. The third time, I scored mediocre on all sections and bombed Stats again. The fourth time, I bombed Stats and Physiological Psych.

I cannot describe the defeat I feel. I signed up with the Taylor Study Method and have been using it since mid-November, but I find myself having difficulty concentrating. Not only do I have such a negative attitude (yes I know, I need to fix that), I am also SO BORED with it. I do not mean to sound egotistical, but 99% of what is on TSM are terms I already know.

I really just don't know what to do anymore. I absolutely CANNOT fail a 5th time. Does anyone have any pointers? Has anyone been/ is in the same boat as me? Thank you so much for your help!

Hello!

I know your posting is from over a year ago but I’m in your same situation right now. I just failed the exam a third time. I just joined this group chat because I’m feeling lost as to what may be happening to my ability to pass this exam. I was wondering if you finally passed and if so what would you recommend. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and I completely understand your experience.

All the best!
 
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vpsych16

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Hello!

I know your posting is from over a year ago but I’m in your same situation right now. I just failed the exam a third time. I just joined this group chat because I’m feeling lost as to what may be happening to my ability to pass this exam. I was wondering if you finally passed and if so what would you recommend. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and I completely understand your experience.

All the best!
Psychology2017

What have you tried?
 
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