EPPP: How Embracing the Exam Can Lead to Success

As we begin to approach a new year, you might hear others start to consider New Year’s resolutions. Many often focus on health, family, career, goals, and even mindset. As you sit down to reflect on your experience preparing for the EPPP, take time to consider how you approach thinking about the exam. Do you believe in your ability to pass the test? Do you feel angry at having to take the exam in the first place? If the slightest thought of the EPPP results in negative thoughts and emotions, consider goals for altering your perspective.

Sien Beilock, author, Associate Professor in Psychology and leading researcher on impacts on performance, found that cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, can either be tied to a student’s poor performance or contribute to success.  This will depend on the frame of mind of the student going into the test. In other words, if you feel you are likely going to fail, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, likely inhibiting your performance.

Mindset is a powerful tool and part of preparing for the EPPP is not just reviewing terms and concepts but preparing your perspective. Mindset can have a direct connection to self-efficacy, or to your belief in your ability to do things. If you are able to tell yourself that you will be successful, the likelihood of success is improved. This powerful approach is why affirmations are proven to be so incredibly important.

Often in my work as a coach for AATBS, I came across several professionals studying for the exam and noticed common themes that often contributed to success or struggle. Those that tirelessly pushed forward, viewing the EPPP as a challenge that could be overcome, would consistently improve on practice tests. On the other hand, those who felt overwhelmed by the EPPP and struggled to believe in their ability to pass, often failed to show significant improvement over time.

Take time to consider what ways you might approach the exam differently moving forward. How can you embrace the test? Do you need to recommit to your goals? Do you need to eliminate negative thoughts and “venting” to others about how much you hate studying? Maybe you would benefit from some other creative approaches, including visualization, affirmations, and stress-reduction strategies.

As you begin to prepare for the new year, here are a few ways you might embrace the EPPP:

  1. Commit to no negative talk about the exam
  2. Generate a list of the ways that passing the EPPP will help you in your career goals
  3. Visualize yourself taking and passing the EPPP. What emotions and sensations do you feel?
  4. Create an affirmation you can say daily, such as “I am committed to passing the EPPP” or “The EPPP is a challenge that I will overcome.”