The first part of the two-part Qualifying Examination is an in-depth assessment of clinical competence. Students give a written and oral presentation of a conceptually challenging clinical case and explore diagnosis, treatment planning, case formulation, and legal and ethical issues as applied to that case. In-depth questioning about the case helps to assess whether students have successfully synthesized the elements that must be balanced in the clinical endeavor. Those elements include theory, cultural and social sensitivity, and an interpersonal awareness of the process between clinician and client.
The second part of the Examination covers the core competencies of clinical psychology, e.g., social and cultural bases of behavior, biological bases of behavior, cognitive and affective bases of behavior, lifespan development, research methods, and statistics, etc. This part of the Examination is multiple-choice format, similar to the format used in the national licensing examination, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.