Regardless of which educational program psychologists choose to complete,
they will not be able to prescribe legally in New Mexico or Louisiana unless
they take a national certification exam.
The only exam available is the Psychopharmacology Examination for
Psychologists (PEP), developed by the American Psychological Association's
College of Professional Psychology. The PEP was "primarily developed to
be made available for use by state and provincial psychology licensing
authorities when they set requirements to implement newly enacted laws,"
according to the exam's brochure, available online.
To take the exam, candidates must have a doctoral degree in psychology,
possess a license in good standing, and have successfully completed a"
postdoctoral program of education in an organized program of intensive
The PEP is administered on computer at Sylvan Technology Centers across the
country. Candidates have three hours in which to complete 150 multiple-choice
questions. If a candidate's score falls below "the recommended passing
score"—the psychological association would not confirm for
Psychiatric News what the passing score is—then the exam may be
taken a second time after a 90-day wait. Candidates who fail the second time
must wait a year to retake the exam.
The fees for the exam as of June 30 included a $200 examination fee and an
application fee of $325 for psychological association members or $395 for