First and foremost, everyone at TDC wishes you good health during this time.
There is a lot of uncertainty as we navigate this novel virus and we are well aware of the profound impact it is having on everyone. While we remain hopeful things will settle and become more predictable in the near future, we thought it would be helpful to provide resources and information to:
- Help you stay abreast of any changes with your testing sites
- Identify best study practices due to Pearson’s delay
- Offer some guidance to manage your anxiety
Testing Site Information
Pearson Vue is the testing vendor for all California MFT exams as well as Social Work exams nationwide. They are providing updates on a daily basis regarding possible cancellations, safety concerns, and testing policies. Pearson and Prometric announced that beginning March 17th, they are closed for 30 days until April 16th. You can access this information on their website:
If you are taking the National MFT exam, you will need to check with PTC and Prometric:
Please check with your state’s licensing board if you have questions regarding extensions on expiration dates/testing deadlines.
Identify best study practices for your situation.
It is uncertain whether Pearson will be able to reopen April 16th or whether this will be extended longer. It is also unknown what scheduling will be like when it reopens. We know everyone’s personal lives and responsibilities look different right now. If there are other priorities or if the uncertainty is overwhelming you, consider putting your studies on hold. Remember we always provide extensions free of charge if you haven’t taken your exam. If you need an extension, submit your request here:
Working on a deadline.
Hold off on taking your final mocks until your exam date nears. However, be sure to complete all mocks with 3-4 days remaining before your exam date to allow adequate time to review.
I was ready to test. What do I do now?
There are many people who were scheduled to take the exam over the next few weeks and completed most of the program, including mocks. If you are in this situation, we recommend you spend a little bit of time each week, until mid-April, reviewing your materials. You can review based on the areas you’re struggling with, or can start back at step 1 and move through the steps of the program up until the mocks. It would be best to stay away from the mocks until closer to your exam date. This will allow you to pace yourself and continue to feel connected to the knowledge you’ve gained during your studies. Holding off on the mocks will allow you to practice and enhance your reasoning skills when you are closer to your exam date.
Once testing centers re-open and you are able to schedule your new exam date, you can dive back into your studies with greater intensity. We will also update this blog to provide further guidance as the dynamics shift. If you’ve already taken all of your mocks please see the next section on retaking them.
In general, we do not recommend retaking mock exams, as improvements are more often than not due to memorization of answers (which is not what we want) rather than true learning. Instead of retaking these exams, we recommend giving yourself the opportunity to thoroughly review your mock exams and make sure you understand the reasoning behind the correct answers. As you review the rationales, keep a list going of any content areas you want to brush up on (the recall questions you missed). More importantly, though, see if you can identify patterns as to what you are getting wrong and why. See if you can identify what led you to the answer you chose and what you need to modify in your thinking in similar questions moving forward. For example, do you tend to choose answers that are action-oriented when the test is wanting you to stay in the moment with the client and respond more to their process/feelings? Or on the other end, are you tending to choose answers that sound good because they involve feelings when the test actually wants you to respond actively to something directly in the question?
That being said, we know there are still people who will want to retake their mocks. To have your mocks reset, please submit a request to email@example.com and they can process your reset. Please note this will be limited to one time per user. With the uncertainty of when testing sites will reopen, we encourage you to consider waiting to take your mocks until you have a scheduled exam date. If you have not already taken your mocks, please save them as resets will not be processed for mocks taken after today, March 17th.
Anxiety is inevitable, but it’s important to keep anxiety manageable. What are some concrete steps you can take at this time to manage anxiety?
- Do not over study. Most people are spending more time at home over the next few weeks. Even if you are homebound, it’s still important to limit the amount of time you study. Spend no more than 2 hours studying before taking a break. If you go beyond this time limit, you will not effectively absorb or retain information. Moderation will allow you to use your time efficiently and allow you to feel more confident in your knowledge.
- Build up self-care. Be creative. It’s important to still engage in activities that will keep you socially connected and bring you joy. Here are a few suggestions some TDC team members are practicing right now. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments section, too!
- Stay in touch with your loved us even if it is over video. relationships and meaningful connections help during these times.
- Find a fun project at home. This might be the time to tidy up that garage or reorganize the closet, or take up knitting.
- Join a virtual book club to both stay connected and occupy your mind.
- Build a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can be helpful on exam day, during your studies, and as we all try to cope with an increased level of uncertainty. Here is a link to one of our blogs that provides a few mindfulness techniques: https://www.therapistdevelopmentcenter.com/blog/manage-anxiety-using-mindfulness/
- Build tolerance for uncertainty. A greater ability to tolerate uncertainty is linked to lower levels of anxiety. Take little steps to work on building your tolerance. Consider holding off on finding an answer to a question you have, don’t immediately look it up online or call a friend. Tolerate not knowing for a little while longer. Take a walk or a drive without a particular destination in mind. Read a book or watch a show without knowing what it’s even about or reviews received.
- Exercise. Take the time to engage in some form of exercise on a daily basis. This could consist of taking a walk, biking, running, yoga. Even if you can only do something for a few minutes, that short time can help decrease anxiety.
- Eat healthy (with exceptions). We recognize this might be a difficult task as shelf stores are frequently empty. But, do the best you can and still try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. And, if you want to treat yourself to ice cream or some other sweet here or there, that is ok, too.
- Manage your physical health. If you are feeling sick, please be sure to take good care of yourself. Studying can be put on hold if necessary, don’t push yourself if your body is unable to handle it. Get sufficient sleep, practice relaxation, eat healthy, enjoy nature. If you have more serious health concerns, please reach out to your medical team.
- Receive professional support. If your anxiety is overwhelming you and you cannot get it under control on your own, please reach out to a mental health professional. Many are providing telehealth during this time, so even if you are remaining in the home, resources are available.
We’re here for you.
TDC coaches, as always, are available via email to answer any questions you may have during this time. We will continue to update this document to answer frequently asked questions and provide any updates we are made aware of in the days and weeks to come.
Please take care of yourself.