With the professionalization of the mental healthcare field came the need for organizations dedicated to maintaining credibility. In 1961 the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) was created as an alliance of state and territorial agencies in charge of licensing psychologists all over the United States and Canada. Since its inception the ASPPB has sought to contribute to the development of the profession and to serve as a source of information for potential psychologists. As of today every state and all provinces in Canada are members of the ASPPB and the organization is the most respected governing authority in charge of regulating and credentialing psychologists. In 1965 the organization created the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in order to have a standardized test for burgeoning psychologists. Today, the EPPP is the standard examination for individuals wishing to enter the professional field of psychology.
The EPPP is utilized as one component of bestowing licensure on individuals seeking to be certified psychologists. Other requirements may be necessary depending on the state for which an individual is applying for licensure. These can include a certain number of supervised clinical hours and state board permission. All potential test-takers should check with locality they are seeking licensing in for further requirements. The EPPP is designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge of the core competencies of psychology. Potential candidates are expected to have a deep knowledge and thorough understanding of psychology practices. The majority of test-takers will have already received their doctoral degree in psychology prior to taking the test. Once an individual has passed the EPPP and met other local requirements then they are licensed to be a practicing psychologist. Thus passage of the EPPP is necessary to be considered a professional psychologist.
The first step in taking the EPPP is to contact the jurisdiction for which an individual is seeking licensure. The local authority will review candidate’s qualifications and determine if they meet the requirements for testing. It is very important to note that all individuals can only apply to take the EPPP in one jurisdiction at a time. Once a decision is made the candidate is informed of the decision either by letter or email. If a candidate is granted permission then they are able to sign up for the EPPP. During the online application process all potential test-takers must pay a $600 dollar exam fee. After the application has been processed the ASPPB will send individuals an Authorization to Test letter. From that point candidates have 60 days to schedule their EPPP exam. If an individual fails to take the test within that window then they will be removed from the eligibility list and must apply for a new 60 day window. These requests must be in writing and contain a reason why the test was not scheduled. Special accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities and should be promptly requested during the application process. Scheduling is done through Prometric testing. When contacting Prometric candidates need to provide several pieces of information. They include their daytime phone number, name of the examination sponsor (ASPPB), registration ID number (listed on the Authorization to Test letter), and their name as it appears on identification documents.
|Sections of the EPPP Test|
|EPPP Test Subject Areas||Percentage|
|Biological Bases of Behavior||12%|
|Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior||13%|
|Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior||12%|
|Growth and Lifespan Development||12%|
|Assessment and Diagnosis||14%|
|Treatment, Intervention, Prevention, and Supervision||14%|
|Growth and Lifespan Development||15%|
Candidates are expected to arrive to their scheduled exam site at least half an hour before the exam is scheduled to begin. For admission, candidates must bring one government issued, photo ID, along with a secondary ID. The EPPP is a computer based test that takes place at Prometric Testing Centers across the country. There are no scheduled breaks for this test, however, test-takers may opt to take an unscheduled break, but it will not stop the timer for the exam. The exam period is scheduled to last four hours and fifteen minutes.
The Exam for Professional Practice in Psychology is made out of 175 questions, along with an additional 50, unscored, pretest questions. All 225 questions deal with eight major content areas: Biological Bases of Behavior; Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior; Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior; Growth and Lifespan Development; Assessment and Diagnosis; Treatment, Intervention, Prevention and Supervision; Research Methods and Statistics; and Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues. 
The EPPP is scored from a range of 200 to 800. The ASPPB recommends that all jurisdictions recognize a 500 or higher as a passing score. This was decided in 2011 during the ASPPB’s standard setting evaluation. 500 or higher is only a recommendation, localities may choose their own scores for passage. Currently, the vast majority of jurisdictions use the ASPPB recommendation. Test results are generally made available to local licensing authorities within 6 business days after the 15th and last day of each month. Once scores are received locally each jurisdiction has its own time frame for getting candidates their scores.