Why an Assessment Exam is the Key to Passing the EPPP

For most testing programs, an assessment exam is the first step in your study plan. Some find this to be silly, stating “why would I take an assessment exam when I haven’t even started studying?” Arguably, the assessment exam is the most important tool to prepare for the EPPP. An assessment exam provides you with a framework for how to structure your study plan. It gives you a sense of where you are at in terms of your starting point and how much time you should reasonably allocate towards preparing for the exam. Finally, it allows you your first exposure to what you might come to expect when sitting down to take the exam.

After you take the initial assessment, you will be provided with a breakdown of your scores for each domain on the exam. This is essential information to gain insight into your areas of strength and weakness when it comes to the material. You will learn how your content knowledge from past experience and education has prepared you as well as areas you find you might struggle in. Many often find they are surprised by how they perform in each area of the test. For example, it is common to find that many are surprised by lower initial assessment scores in abnormal psychology and ethics given the level of detail required for these domain areas. It is important to not assume you know how you will perform on the exam until you allow yourself an opportunity to put your base-level knowledge to the test.

Taking an assessment exam also helps to provide you with a reasonable timeline for studying and preparing for test day. It is not uncommon for your assessment exam to fall around 40-50%, indicating a need to allocate approximately 3-4 months of study time for around 20-25 hours per week. However, this is not always the case, some can be surprised to get close to a passing score, suggesting they may not need as much preparation time as others.

Taking the assessment exam provides insight in to how long it takes for you to take the test, how you feel as you approach questions, and when you begin to fatigue and require a break. As you take the assessment, you may come to learn other important factors about yourself, this exam, and your performance that can assist in preparing you adequately for the test. For example, you might notice that you experienced a high level of anxiety at the start of the exam and as you came across unfamiliar questions. You might notice that you struggle to time yourself efficiently and need practice with pacing. All of this information is helpful to notice and integrate into your study plan. If you notice anxiety is high during the assessment exam, you will likely benefit from implementing anxiety management skills training into your study plan as well as practicing those skills during practice tests. The assessment exam provides all of this information for you right away so you can be sure to plan out the most effective study plan tailored to your specific needs.

If you have taken the assessment exam or are debating if it might be beneficial for you, don’t hesitate to consult with an EPPP Coach who can walk through many of these considerations with you and help to implement a study plan that will ensure that you are set up for success. For most coaches, we strongly recommend that you take the assessment exam before having your first coaching appointment to better understand what plan might be best for you and what you might need to do to confidently pass on test day.

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