We all want to pass our licensing exams. If we don’t pass, we may prolong our progress to licensure by several months. Preparing for exams takes a lot of time and money. One way people have sought to save money is by sharing an exam prep login. In other words, letting a friend or colleague access license exam test prep material under your username and password.
Paying half (or less) of the price feels a lot better than paying the whole price, and sharing an exam prep login provides a sense of community around your study experience. But before offering your password to someone else or using someone else’s account, here are some things you should consider.
No burying the lede here. Sharing a test-prep login is no better than buying a book and then photocopying it to give to your friend. You bought one book, not two. The same applies to test prep programs: You signed up for one program, and agreed to use it just for yourself. From the first moment someone else logs in with your credentials (or you log in with someone else’s), you and they are creating a second program that no one paid for. There’s no other word to use here. It’s stealing.
It’s against the Terms of Service
Login sharing is explicitly prohibited by the Terms of Service of most (perhaps all) exam prep providers — including us. You agree to abide by those terms when you sign up for your prep course. The fact that you may not have read those terms doesn’t mean that you aren’t bound to them.
If you get caught, your account may be permanently closed without any eligibility for a refund. And yes, you can get caught: Companies can see when two different devices in different locations are logging in to the same account. If you lose access at a time when you don’t feel fully prepared for your exam, you may need to then purchase additional materials from other providers. So you would risk paying well over what the cost would have been if you had simply purchased the original course on your own.
You may not be ready for the exam
Prep courses are designed to prepare people to pass their exams if they follow the entire course. If you split up who gets different parts, you miss out on the full course, which in turn makes you not fully prepared. It’s true that some courses give you multiple opportunities to take practice tests. However, this is typically designed for you to repeat the tests with more preparation and confidence, not for sharing.
You could lose friends
Refer to the prior two points. If anyone gets caught sharing a login, you all lose out. This can lead to anger and finger-pointing over losing access to the material. Or worse, one or more people in your group may not pass their exam — and may blame you.
It’s on your conscience
You’re moving toward licensure in a career that is supposed to better society. The job of a therapist relies, in a very fundamental way, on a trusting relationship between you and your clients. Sharing a login is a violation of trust. As such, it’s not a great way to enter the field.
Test prep will become more expensive for everyone
We’ve written previously about why test prep is so expensive. People sharing login information only force test prep companies to spend time and money policing login data, a cost that they ultimately pass along to customers. Whether you realize it or not, you are affecting how expensive that test prep program will be for future users.
Listen, we get it. We’re all therapists here ourselves. We understand that prelicensed therapists are often broke, and that therapists suffer a lot of work-based exploitation. Indeed, we’re champions of prelicensed therapists around here. But we also recognize that there are good ways and bad ways to manage in difficult circumstances. Sharing a test-prep login is a bad way. So before agreeing to share a login or use someone else’s login, ask yourself why you are considering the possibility. If money is the main reason, there are other ways to solve the problem. It may be better to simply find a less expensive prep course, purchase written materials on the used market, or go back to your grad school textbooks. If you’re wanting a shared study experience, then you and your colleague should each purchase their own accounts.
Whatever the reason is, there’s probably a better way to serve that purpose. A way where once you and your colleague both pass, neither of you will have to feel guilt about how you got there.