National Psychology Exam FAQ

Preparing for the exam

You must be familiar with the use and purpose of several tests. The exam curriculum lists six specific tests that require detailed knowledge and a wider number of tests that you need to be familiar with.

Please note that tests undergo regular revision and new versions are periodically published. If the more recent version of a test does not have Australian norms, the Board will accept older versions that have been normed on the Australian population. When a new version has Australian norms, a two-year period is allowed to transition between test versions.

The Guidelines for the national psychology exam outline who needs to sit the exam.

The following groups must pass the exam before applying for general registration as a psychologist:

  • provisionally registered psychologists undertaking a 4+2 or 5+1 internship program
  • overseas-trained psychologists seeking general registration in Australia
  • individuals intending to return to practice as psychologist who have not practised for more than 10 years (individuals returning to practice after five years may be required to pass the exam), and
  • individuals who are directed to sit the exam by the Board, or by a panel or tribunal, relating to an application for registration under Part 7 of the National Law, or a notification about their health, performance or conduct under Part 8 of the National Law.

There are two groups who are exempt from sitting the exam:

  • New Zealand psychologists applying for general registration in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition arrangements, and
  • Applicants for general registration who have completed the higher degree pathway and apply for general registration are exempt from sitting the exam. The higher degree pathway refers to a Board-approved postgraduate qualification accredited as a fifth and sixth year of study in psychology. This includes:
    • an accredited six-year professional Masters qualification, or
    • an accredited doctorate, or
    • a combined Masters/PhD qualification.

Doctoral students who wish to apply for early general registration under the provisions included in the Statement of assessment for provisional psychologists (PDEC-76 form) fall within this exemption.

 

Overseas-trained practitioners are required to pass the exam. The exam is only available in Australia.

Generally, the Board will require overseas trained practitioners to be registered as a provisional psychologist and complete a minimum three-month transitional program in Australia before applying for general registration.

For more information please visit the Board's webpage for overseas applicants.

Overseas applicants need to ensure they meet the mandatory registration standards, including the English language skills registration standard. The Board may apply additional conditions to an overseas-trained practitioner's registration to ensure they meet all registration standards.

Applicants from New Zealand who apply under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition arrangements are exempt from sitting the exam.

The Board is aware that there are books, resources and training programs that focus on helping candidates to prepare for sitting the national psychology exam.

It is important for you to know that these courses and resources have been developed independently from the Board and we have not contributed to or provided advice on their development.

When preparing to sit the exam we strongly recommend that you read the national psychology exam curriculum, the Guidelines for the national psychology exam, and the additional resources developed by the Board to assist you. The additional resources include: A brief orientation to the national psychology exam and the Recommended reading list. To help you understand the types of questions and format of questions in the exam, we recommend that you complete the sample exam questions available on our website and the practice questions.

We recommend that you use your judgement about how to prepare for the exam and consult your supervisor in designing a comprehensive plan of study that is based on the curriculum and associated resources developed by the Board.

Please review the National psychology exam candidate manual for further tips in preparing for the exam.


 

Before the exam

To register for the exam, you first need to create an account on the exam portal. You will be notified by email within five working days when your account has been activated.

Once your account on the exam portal has been activated, you can register to sit the exam through the exam portal.

You can reset your password on the exam portal by clicking the 'forgot password' button and following the prompts.

You can sit the exam at a number of Kryterion testing centres across Australia.

When you pay for and book the exam on the exam portal, you can choose your preferred testing centre to sit your exam. It is not mandatory to sit the exam in the state that you completed your training.

After paying for and booking your exam, you will receive a confirmation email with the details of the testing centre and requirements for the exam day. The candidate is responsible for scheduling the exam and presenting at the right time and exam centre.

 

If your chosen venue is not available on the scheduled exam date, it means all of the available times have been booked for that day.

Don't worry! Some of the larger centres like Sydney and Melbourne have multiple testing centres so another venue might have availability.

In addition, availability beyond the scheduled exam date will be offered to candidates where venue availability has been exhausted.

Additional testing dates are added progressively. If you don't see availability at your preferred venue, contact the National Examinations Coordinator for assistance.

 

Paying for the exam

AHPRA only accepts credit card payment (including Visa or Mastercard debit cards) for the exam. Payment must be made through the exam portal.

Your bank may apply an international transaction fee to MasterCard or Visa purchases where the transaction is made in Australian dollars but the party accepting the card is overseas.

Please check with your bank regarding their fees.

Payment confirmations are sent automatically to the email address listed on your exam candidate account. Try checking your email account's spam or junk folder. If you haven't received a confirmation email, contact the National Examinations Coordinator for assistance.

 

Sitting the exam

You should arrive at the test centre at least 15 minutes before your exam time.

If you are late, don’t panic. The test centre staff will do all they can to ensure you can sit your exam. If you aren’t able to sit the exam contact the National Examinations Coordinator as soon as possible for assistance.

All formal exams have rules relating to conduct. Professional and ethical conduct is especially important in the context of regulation of psychology because fraudulent or dishonest conduct in connection with an exam has the potential for practitioners who are not qualified or not otherwise competent and safe to practise to be improperly registered.

We always expect you to demonstrate ethical and professional conduct, including: before, during and after sitting the exam.

Before you sit the exam, you will be asked to sign an agreement that you will adhere to the exam rules, follow the strict confidentiality guidelines to protect the integrity of exam questions, and behave in a professional manner.

We consider misconduct during an exam as a serious matter. There are some exam rules, that if breached, could have significant impact on your future capacity to sit an exam, or to be or remain registered. The following are examples of conduct that will not be tolerated:

  • Falsifying results
  • Fraudulent or dishonest conduct
  • Copying, photographing, saving, removing or disclosing to any third party the contents of the exam
  • A failure to comply with any rule or instruction by an exam supervisor or proctor, and
  • Breaches of the Board’s Code of Ethics.

Please review the National psychology exam candidate manual which highlights our expectations for professional conduct.


 

After the exam

If you could not sit or complete your exam due to exceptional circumstance beyond your control, you can apply for special consideration. See the Candidate manual for more information on how to apply for special consideration.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 19/07/2019