You’ve been studying for a long time at this point. You’ve reviewed all the material, taken the practice tests, and put in the time needed to achieve a passing score. As you get closer to your exam date, there are a few things you should consider and prioritize:
1. A final review of Ethics and Abnormal Psychology Ethics and Abnormal Psychology are what you might consider the “heavy hitters” for the exam. They are most emphasized and can require in-depth knowledge of the material. If you have only reviewed book materials on these subjects once or twice through, consider one more final thorough review. Prioritize concepts in the domains you continue to struggle with and seek clarification, support, or assistance through your EPPP Coach or a study buddy. You want to feel confident with the material in these two domains before test day.
2. Picking and choosing what you can feasibly cover and learn Everyone finds that there comes a point in time in your study process where you have to start making educated decisions on what material to consistently review. For example, if you struggle to understand statistics, you may need to make the decision to embrace your inner Elsa and “let it go.” Your time may be better spent reviewing other material you feel you can adequately improve on. Choosing to review the same concepts over and over that you continue to struggle with may just not be a good use of your time, particularly as your test date gets closer.
3. Developing a “week before” study plan The week before you test is incredibly important as well as how you structure your time. By this point, I hope you have come to realize that you cannot simply cram for the material during this amount of time. In fact, the week before your test should be more focused on self-care and anxiety management. A final review of the material should be prioritized, However, you should also be focusing most energy on obtaining social support, getting adequate sleep, and managing anxiety levels.
4. Consider taking time off work As you prepare for the approaching exam, it’s helpful to consider the week of your test (both before AND after the exam). I do not recommend having plans to go to work once your test is finished or making plans for a drink with friends. Consider how you might feel if the test does not go well. Would you want to go in to work the next day? Also, consider how tired you might feel even if you do pass the test. From my own experience and that of several individuals I have coached along the way, most find the only thing they want to do after the test is sleep. Keep your schedule light so you can choose what your body and emotional needs are after the test is complete.
5. Leaning into your support system I am sure that you have heard time and time again that having a support system is important. If you have not done so already, it’s time to utilize it. Share with your family and friends your feelings regarding the exam and advocate for what you are needing. If you have already completed a study plan for the week before the test, review it and consider where you might need some help or support. Have a friend on standby ready to answer your call when you leave the testing center. Call your parents and set up a babysitter so you can take that well-deserved nap. Thinking ahead will serve you well as you lean into your support systems to share worries, fears, excitement, and joy.