Practice: The Psychology Licensing Preparation

Renee Carson:

Milly Noy:

| Instructional Objective | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process | References |

Instructional Objective

The learners will become familiar with the content and types of questions they will encounter on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

Learners & Context of Use

The game is designed for pre-licensure therapists who need to pass the licensing exam in order to work with clients.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to be the first person to help your client move from a state of distress to well-adjustment by winning 4 mental health tokens.

Game Materials

* Game board
* 6 game pieces for players
* A six-sided die
* 1 stack of cards for each of the 8 categories
* 1 stack of Fortune(?) cards
* 1 stack of Mental Health(M) cards
* 1 bag of Mental Health tokens (pennies)

Time Required

The game is for 2 to 6 players and will play for approximately thirty minutes to an hour.

The Rules


1. Open the board and place the card stacks on their corresponding spaces.

2. Put the game pieces on the couch.

3. Give each player one Mental Health token.

4. Each player picks one category from the eight to work with for this session.

5. Roll to see who goes first. The player with the highest number goes first. Play follows to the next player clockwise.


Game Play

Players move around the board in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction - whichever they choose, but they must always follow this direction.

1. At the beginning of their turn, a player answers a question from his or her category asked by the player on their left.

  • If they answer incorrectly, they do not get to roll the die and advance.

  • If they answer correctly, they may roll the die and move the number of squares they rolled.

If a player lands on a:

Blank space - The player waits there for their next turn.

Fortune(?) space - The player takes a card from the Fortune pile. The player does whatever the card commands.

Challenge space - If the player wants a Mental Health token from the player on their right, they can now challenge them if they so choose. If this is the case:

  • The challenger takes a card from his or her category's stack of cards and reads the question to the player being challenged.

    • If the player being challenged is incorrect, they lose a Mental Health token.
    • If the player is correct, the challenger loses a Mental Health token.

  • If a Challenge is not made, play continues to the next player.

Mental Health(M) space - The person to the player's left will take a Mental Health card and read it to the player.

  • If the player answers incorrectly, the don't receive a Mental Health token.

  • If the player answers correctly, they get a Mental Health token.

5. To win: A player must collect 4 Mental Health tokens, reach the couch space and answer one last question.

  • If a player reaches the couch space with 4 tokens and answers the question incorrectly, then they must pick up a chance card and do what it says.

  • If a player reaches the couch space with 4 tokens and answers the question correctly, they win.



Design Process

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) consists of 200 multiple choice questions within 8 areas, with each item having 4 possible responses. Our first thoughts about how the game would be designed revolved around a game board which would represent the brain. Players would start at the brain stem and progress through the lobes – from basic to highest intelligence. This would be reflected in easy questions at the beginning to the most advanced at the end. We ended up going through another board idea before we came to the final version that would be based on the Monopoly layout.

We searched the web for information regarding the EPPP and accumulated a lot of information regarding the test including sample test questions. We interviewed a psychology student who is going to take the EPPP in the near future and talked to a few other psychology students and they all said that a game to help them prepare for the EPPP would be awesome. There aren’t any games out there, yet, to help students study for the EPPP. There are practice tests that students can buy, though.

Once a psychologist is licensed, they will be able to work with clients, independently of a supervisor. We used this idea – to take a client through from distress to mental health – as a device that would drive the players to move through the board. As the player collects Mental Health tokens, the client gets better.

To make it more fun and interactive between the players, we came up with Challenge squares. This also represents the competition that the students feel when taking the test. Not all people pass, even with high scores. The challenge areas of the game follow the reality of the test. The worse your competition does, the more likely you will pass the test. The Challenge squares allow players to challenge others for their Mental Health tokens. If they don’t pass the Challenge, you can take one of their tokens.We had tried to come up with a different board setup and thought of using a labyrinth as a model. We thought we would then incorporate mini-boards that would attach to the main board. These mini-boards would represent different places, such as a mental health ward. The players would start out with a scenario with a client, like they would have in real life, and have to travel the board in search of items to collect in order to help the client.

We ended up not going with the labyrinth idea because it could get too complicated. The goal of the game is to help the students learn the content of the eight categories on the test and we decided that a monopoly type board would better enable this to happen. We rejected the brain board idea as well. The Monopoly board would allow us to have more spaces for interactivity and people would be familiar with that type of board so there were be less time trying to figure out how to get around the board.

During usability testing we found a number of small discrepencies that interfered with understanding the game. Due to this feedback we made the following changes:

  • Made the fortune and the Mental health cards reflect the graphics on the board
  • Added further clarification in the rules regarding set up
  • Added further elaboration in the rules about how the game is played
  • Made it a little easier to win to keep the game from taking too long

What we would do differently:

  • Make it more obvious which answer on the cards is the correct one

    • Including putting the answers either in their own booklet or putting it smaller upsidedown in a corner

  • Make it abundantly more clear to players what the different variations of the game are

    • For instance, one person can just use the cards as flash cards and two or more players could use them without the board, testing each other turning it into a type of game show like Jeopardy

  • Make the tokens something other than pennies



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Last updated October 29 2001