Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology that integrates the scientific knowledge of the field with its practical applications. It is concerned with assessing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental disorders, abnormal behavior, and other psychiatric issues. BSc psychology is an undergraduate-level degree that is offered by many institutions in India. It is generally for the duration of 3 years, divided into 6 semesters. According to the New Education Policy, some colleges are also offering 4-year courses for the same degree.
Clinical psychology graduates (with RCI license) are trained to work with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, who may be suffering from a wide range of psychological issues. They not only deal with individual problems, but also offer therapy to couples, families, and groups. In addition to treating people’s mental health problems, practitioners in this specialty of psychology also support communities, engage in conducting research, and offer training to aspiring clinical psychologists.
The problems addressed by clinical psychologists include adjustment issues, traumatic stress reactions, emotional and psychological problems including serious mental disorders, interpersonal or social problems, behavioral problems including substance abuse disorders, intellectual, cognitive, and neurological conditions such as learning disabilities, and more psychological issues. They are also involved in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
The skills required to be a clinical psychologist:
- Behavioral assessment using interview method
- Administration and interpretation of psychological tests
- Supervision and training of student trainees in clinical psychology
To be eligible for a Bachelor’s degree in Science (Honors) Clinical Psychology, candidates must opt for the science stream with PCB (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) during 11th and 12th grade, and pass all the subjects with a minimum 50% score from a recognized board. Particular Universities require different minimum cutoff marks for BSc Clinical Psychology. Students may also have to appear for entrance examinations.
Once graduated with a Clinical Psychology course such as B.Sc. Clinical Psychology, Candidates can register for Master’s in Psychology programs like MA Psychology, and MA Clinical Psychology. MSc Psychology /Clinical Psychology, etc.
Common courses in BSc (Hons.) Clinical Psychology
Courses taught during the program include Introduction to Clinical Psychology, Neurobiology, Forensic Science and Criminalistics, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Educational Psychology, Basics of Lifespan Development, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Abnormal Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Research Methodology, Statistics, Psychological testing, etc.
How to prepare for entrance exam?
Here are some tips and instructions that students should keep in mind while preparing for entrance examination.
- Psychology entrance examinations for BSc Psychology are usually based on course material for Grades 11th and 12th for Psychology and Biology. Students are advised to read NCERT textbooks thoroughly.
- Aspiring candidates must go through the detailed syllabus of various entrance examinations (such as CUET, Christ University Entrance test, NPAT) carefully and proceed with their preparation covering each topic mentioned in the syllabus. They should familiarize themselves with the format of the test, including the number of questions, time limit, and type of questions (e.g., multiple choice, essay, etc.).
- Entrance exams for BSc Psychology also often include questions on General knowledge and Current Affairs. Candidates are advised to stay up to date on current happenings and world events by inculcating a habit of going through newspapers daily.
- Students must also prepare for Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Preparatory books by RD Sharma, RS Aggarwal, and Pearson Publication are helpful.
- you must go through previous years’ question papers to familiarize yourself with the syllabus and content of entrance examinations. Practicing by solving PYQs and appearing for mock tests can help you assess your performance level. You must also learn to manage your time in the exam. You should practice by allocating a certain duration for particular sections of the exam and trying to finish all the questions within the stipulated time.
- Some reference books on basics of psychology helpful for cracking BSc Psychology entrance exams: Psychology (Pearson) by Saundra K. Ciccarelli and J. Noland White, Introduction to Psychology by Morgan and King, Psychology by Baron and Misra, Statistics in Psychology and Education Paperback by SK Mangal, Abnormal Psychology (Pearson).
- Lastly, you must begin your preparation well before the entrance exam dates to ensure you are adequately prepared. You must remember, that although the journey to successful preparation is difficult, it is rewarding too. Their constant determination and perseverance will prove to be fruitful.
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