Psychology Board of Australia - National Psychology Exam
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National Psychology Exam

The national psychology exam has been in place since 1 July 2013. The exam is one regulatory tool that the Board may use to ensure that all applicants for general registration have obtained a minimum level of applied professional knowledge of psychology.

The exam helps to protect the public by ensuring that only those practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise psychology in a competent and ethical manner are registered. The exam also helps to ensure a consistent professional standard of psychologists nationally.

Dual delivery of the National Psychology Exam

The National Psychology Exam is offered by dual delivery for all four exam sittings each year. Dual delivery means that you can choose to sit the exam in a test centre (where available) or by online proctoring (OLP) from your home or workplace. In both modes candidates are monitored by a proctor.

Sitting the OLP exam

OLP allows you to sit the exam using a personal computer in your home or workplace (where available). In this situation the exam proctor is a virtual proctor (or an online proctor). OLP is an option if you prefer to sit the exam at home, live in a rural or remote area and would prefer not to have to travel to a test centre, or for health or other personal reasons, do not feel safe to attend a testing centre.

Document name PDF Accessible version Document date 
FAQ: Sitting the National Psychology Exam by OLP PDF
Word version
(191 KB,DOCX)
18 March 2022

Sitting an exam in a test centre

Exams undertaken in a test centre are also delivered by computer. The difference is that you use the test centre’s computer rather than your own computer as you would with OLP, and the exam proctor (sometimes called an invigilator or supervisor) is onsite in person rather than virtual. Sitting the exam in a test centre (where available) is an option if you don’t have a suitable space to sit the exam at home, are not confident with computer technology, or do not have reliable internet capacity. Test centres have limited capacity, so it is recommended that you book early. Test centres have more availability at the beginning of the exam period. You can register for an exam at any of the open testing centres across Australia.

If your personal circumstances or circumstances at the test centre change, you can change your exam registration from test centre to OLP (and vice versa) by contacting [email protected]. Details for the schedule of exams, including dates for registration periods, is available on the exam webpage.

If you are an exam candidate or a supervisor, we encourage you to review our:

  • Candidate manual for general information about the exam, and specific information about sitting the exam in a test centre

  • Online proctoring FAQs (below) to help you understand the rules and requirements for OLP and to help you determine the best exam option for you. It includes information about the OLP experience, how to prepare for the OLP exam and what to expect during the exam.

  • Exam resources listed on this webpage (Exam curriculum; Recommended reading list; A brief orientation to the national psychology exam)


For more information read our frequently asked questions.

Guidelines for the national psychology exam

Candidates preparing for the exam should read the Guidelines for the national psychology exam to learn about the purpose of the exam, eligibility to sit the exam, competency standards, exemptions and relevant policies before beginning their study.

Exam candidate manual 

Read the National psychology exam candidate manual carefully to understand the exam format and structure, to know how to prepare for the exam, how to apply for special accommodation and special consideration, what to expect on the day of the exam, and receiving results.

Resources to help you study for the exam

Read the exam curriculum, the recommended reading list, and other resources that support candidates to prepare for the exam. 

Candidates should use their judgment about how to prepare for the exam and should consult their supervisor in designing a plan of study based on the curriculum and the associated resources developed by the Board. 

Exam candidates should check the website regularly for updates to the exam resources. 

Exam curriculum

Candidates need to be familiar with the exam curriculum. The exam questions are derived solely from the curriculum. The exam assesses eight core competences through four exam curriculum domains (ethics, assessment, intervention and communication).

Exam curriculum (Word; PDF)

Recommended reading list

The reading list is recommended but not mandatory. The applied psychology field has extensive literature covering the curriculum domains, with many more resources that complement those in this list. The recommended reading list is updated from time to time as new editions, other journal articles, and improved texts become available. All exam questions can be mapped to a reference on this list.

Recommended reading list (Word; PDF)

A brief orientation to the national psychology exam

This document provides additional depth and detail about the exam curriculum. It provides detailed questions and examples to guide candidates in focusing their study for each of the eight competencies and four curriculum domains covered by the exam.

A brief orientation to the national psychology exam (Word; PDF)

Sample exam questions

Candidates can complete the sample exam questions and study the explanation of the preferred answer to understand the types of questions and format of questions in the national psychology exam.

Sample exam questions (Word; PDF)

Practice exam

After registering to sit the exam, candidates can complete the practice exam to experience how the exam is structured, the types and style of questions that will be asked, and how to manage exam time. The practice exam is designed to provide candidates with a ‘look and feel’ of the exam. The practice exam is optional to complete and is free of charge.

To register to sit the exam, candidates first need to create an account on the exam portal. Once registered, candidates can sit the practice exam at any time before their scheduled exam date. After successfully completing the practice exam, candidates won’t be allowed to re-sit it. Candidates who fail the practice exam can re-sit it after a day.

Exam failure

For the Policy and procedure for candidates who fail the exam three times see the Guidelines on the national psychology exam – Attachment A.

The Statement and plan for professional development form for candidates who have failed the exam three times (form SPPD-76) is available in the national psychology exam section on the forms page.

Information video

This video provides information about who needs to sit the national psychology exam and what they need to do in order to become a registered psychologist.



History of the exam

Find out about the planning, development and history of the national exam in Australia.

History of the national exam in Australia (word; PDF)

Need to sit the National Psychology Exam?

Examination portal

As easy as...

  1. Access the Examination Portal to set up your examination account.
  2. Allow five working days to receive notice that your account has been activated.
  3. Log in to your active account to take the Practice Exam and register for the National Psychology Examination.

Please note: Exam dates may vary across the exam period, depending on your venue’s available space and hours of operation.

2024 schedule of exams:

  • Monday 29 January – Friday 16 February
    Exam registration period:
    Monday 4 Dec – Friday 12 Jan
  • Monday 29 April – Friday 17 May
    Exam registration period:
    Mon 4 Mar – Fri 12 Apr
  • Monday 29 July – Friday 16 August
    Exam registration period:
    Mon 3 Jun – Fri 12 Jul
  • Monday 28 October –Friday 22 November
    Exam registration period:
    Mon 2 Sep – Fri 11 Oct


Address all examination queries to [email protected]

Page reviewed 15/01/2024