We interviewed two of our recent graduates, Marissa Nalani Dean and Julie Shuman, because they scored in the 99 percentile of all students that took the Major Field Test for Psychology. We wanted to know what they did to prepare for the test, and what they’re doing in the future!
(L-R) Marissa Dean, Julie Shuman)
What is the Major Field Test (MFT)?
Dean: The MFT is a standardized national exam to test a psychology major’s understanding of core concepts.
Shuman: The major field test in psychology is similar to the psychology GRE. It covers all psychology topics and is designed to test the efficiency at which the program has trained the students. Students who score in the higher percentiles have grasped the main content associated with a degree in Psychology.
How did you prepare for the MFT?
Dean: I had previously studied for the Psychology GRE Subject Test, so I did no additional preparation for this. I studied seriously for all of my classes at Ursuline and had built up a solid base of knowledge.
Shuman: I prepared by going through both a general psychology textbook and the Psychology GRE practice book. The most effective way for me to prepare was by going out with friends and bringing my study materials. This prevented me from falling asleep while studying and also provided an opportunity to explain the topics to someone else. I found that explaining to my friends the different theories helped to create solid memory pathways for the information.
Describe the experience of taking the MFT
Dean: I felt calm and prepared, so I did not overanalyze the questions or agonize about my responses.
Shuman: Taking the MFT was a very stressful experience. It took me a little over an hour and I was mentally drained by the time the test was over.
Discuss how the Psychology program at Ursuline helped you to succeed on the MFT
Dean: Dr. Edmonds’ classes taught me all the core concepts I needed to know. I had to prepare for challenging exams and perform independent research.
Shuman: The Psychology program fully prepared me for the MFT by teaching me most of the relevant information directly and giving me the tools to learn the rest independently. The professors lecture thoroughly on the topics and both know their strengths. Dr. Edmonds and Dr. Frazier pay close attention to the way their students learn so that they can best assist them on their path. They best helped me by encouraging me and giving me extra tasks to help me stay motivated in class.
How did you feel when you realized how well you scored?
Dean: Elated. I was so thankful and I took time to really appreciate what I had achieved.
Shuman: I was very excited when I first found out my score. I did not think I had done well at all on the test and when I got my score I thought it was a mistake. Once it sank in, I told anyone who would listen.
What is your next step toward your career?
Dean: I am attending a doctorate program in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.
Shuman: At this time I am looking for a job relating to young adults going through a traumatic event. I hope to spend the next year working in that community then go on to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on anxiety, depression, and relational PTSD.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Dean: I would not be where I am today in my journey as a Psychology student without the tremendous mentorship of Dr. Edmonds.
Shuman: The Psychology program at Ursuline was instrumental in my success as a student. The professors encouraged me to learn things that were interesting to me and to pursue my passion. I can tell that they will continue to be helpful as I look for a graduate program.