Last Updated: February 24, 2021
What is an EPPP?
EPPP stands for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology. It's a test to get you certified as a Psychologist. This test is used in all of the US and Canada, and was made by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). The test was made to protect the public from harm by ensuring that psychologists are competent in their field. If you have a degree in psychology, then you need to take this exam to become a licensed Psychologist.
If you've graduated from an accredited psychology program and have your degree, and have completed two years of supervised clinical practice, then you can apply for the test. The school that you earned your degree from must be approved by the ASPPB. Some areas make it mandatory that you have your doctorate degree in psychology too. It's best to take the EPPP within 2 years of graduating, so the information is still fresh in your mind.
The ASPPB will help you study for the exam by offering practice exams, they want you to succeed. There are also many study guides you can buy in stores or online for under $100. Some people take months or even a year or two to study and prepare for the certification exam. To apply for the EPPP, you can do it online at asppb.net. This is a new system that they just started on January 26, 2015. You'll have to get a Permission to Test letter from your state or provincial Board of Psychology, because the ASPPB will need to see it.
The Certification Exam
The application fee for the EPPP is $600 if you're in the US or Canada, and you can pay it online when you apply. If you're in Puerto Rico, it costs $450.
Tests are given at Prometric Testing Centers, so it is a computer exam. When you get to a Prometric center to take your exam, you'll have to pay their fees. It's completely multiple choice, and there are 225 questions on the EPPP. You'll have 4 hours and 15 minutes to finish it. A lot of the questions are general ones that test your knowledge of the broad practice of psychology. It tests what you know in 8 areas:
- Bases of behavior: biological
- Bases of behavior: cognitive and effective
- Bases of behavior: social and cultural
- Growth and lifespan development
- Patient assessment and diagnosis
- Prevention, intervention, treatment and supervision of patients
- Research methods, statistics
- Professional, legal and ethical problems
If you are having a tough time with one question, remember that the test was created to protect the public from harm. Try to pick the answer that will be the best thing for your patients.
After the Exam
You take the test, and then your results are sent to the psychology board of the state or province that you live in. Then the provincial or state board gives you your license, once you show them proof that you have professional liability insurance. If you haven't passed, then you can take the test again in 60 days. You can keep trying to pass the test up to 4 times per year. Each time you retake the EPPP, you will have to pay all the fees again. So it's best to study as much as you can, and pass the first time.
After the EPP, some states and provinces require you to pass a local ethics exam. Depending on where you live, there may be an oral exam or interview as well.
Is the EPPP Important?
Wondering if you should even bother taking the EPPP? The answer is yes. It's the most important test a Psychologist can take. Even if you've graduated from college or university, and completed a supervised practicum, you will not be licensed until you pass the EPPP. You can not practice psychology legally without it. If you call yourself a Psychologist, and you haven't passed the EPP, then you can be fined.