Individuals seeking state licensure for psychology careers will likely be required to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This is a multiple choice examination designed to assess the test taker’s proficiency in eight different content areas.
The eight content areas tested are:
- Biological basis of behavior: accounts for 12 percent of the exam
- Cognitive-affective basis of behavior: accounts for 13 percent of the exam
- Social and multicultural basis of behavior: accounts for 12 percent of the exam
- Growth and life span development: accounts for 12 percent of the exam
- Assessment and diagnosis: accounts for 14 percent of the exam
- Research methods and statistics: accounts for 8 percent of the exam
- Ethical, legal, and professional issues: accounts for 15 percent of the exam
Test takers have four hours and fifteen minutes to complete the 225 multiple choice questions on the exam. Tests are given at authorized Prometric testing centers. Test takers may take the exam no more than four times in any twelve-month period.
Scores on the examination range from two hundred to eight hundred points. This is a scaled score based on the number of questions answered correctly. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) recommends a passing score on the exam of four hundred fifty, though individual jurisdictions may have different guidelines.
The ability to effectively pass the licensure exam may be dependent on the quality of one’s doctoral education. The pass rate on the EPPP examination can be very different for graduates of different programs. For example, the University of Connecticut’s school psychology students have a pass rate of only 37.5 percent while Georgia State’s school psychology students have a pass rate of nearly 91 percent. These pass rates are a very important factor to consider when choosing a doctoral program. Spending six years obtaining a doctoral degree becomes meaningless if one is not able to obtain a license to practice psychology.
Individuals obtaining a doctorate in psychology will likely need to take the EPPP exam to obtain state licensure. Careful review of the eight test content areas should help ensure a passing score on the exam.