Psychology Test Practice Book

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                Psychology Test
                Practice Book
                This practice book contains
                 one actual full-length GRE Psychology Test
                 test-taking strategies

                Become familiar with
                 test structure and content
                 test instructions and answering procedures

                Compare your practice test results with the performance of those who
                took the test at a GRE administration.

                Visit GRE Online at

     Leading.           This book is provided FREE with test registration by the Graduate Record Examinations Board.
      Note to Test Takers: Keep this practice book until you receive your score report. The book
              contains important information about content specifications and scoring.

            Copyright  2001 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved.
             and GRE are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service.
                                                                               The GRE Board recommends that scores on the
               Table of Contents                                           Subject Tests be considered in conjunction with other
                                                                           relevant information about applicants. Because numer-
   Purpose of the GRE Subject Tests ........................ 3             ous factors influence success in graduate school, reli-
   Development of the Subject Tests ....................... 3              ance on a single measure to predict success is not
                                                                           advisable. Other indicators of competence typically
   Content of the Psychology Test ........................... 4            include undergraduate transcripts showing courses
   Preparing for a Subject Test ................................. 5        taken and grades earned, letters of recommendation,
                                                                           the GRE Writing Assessment score, and GRE General
   Test-Taking Strategies .......................................... 5
                                                                           Test scores. For information about the appropriate use
   What Your Scores Mean ...................................... 6          of GRE scores, write to GRE Program, Educational
   Practice Psychology Test ...................................... 7       Testing Service, Mail Stop 57-L, Princeton, NJ 08541,
                                                                           or visit our Web site at
   Scoring Your Subject Test .................................. 41
   Evaluating Your Performance ............................. 44            Development of the
   Answer Sheet ..................................................... 45
                                                                           Subject Tests
                                                                           Each new edition of a Subject Test is developed by a
Purpose of the GRE                                                         committee of examiners composed of professors in the
                                                                           subject who are on undergraduate and graduate facul-
Subject Tests                                                              ties in different types of institutions and in different
                                                                           regions of the United States and Canada. In selecting
The GRE Subject Tests are designed to help graduate
                                                                           members for each committee, the GRE Program seeks
school admission committees and fellowship sponsors
                                                                           the advice of the appropriate professional associations
assess the qualifications of applicants in specific fields
                                                                           in the subject.
of study. The tests also provide you with an assessment
                                                                              The content and scope of each test are specified and
of your own qualifications.
                                                                           reviewed periodically by the committee of examiners.
   Scores on the tests are intended to indicate
                                                                           Test questions are written by the committee and by
knowledge of the subject matter emphasized in many
                                                                           other faculty who are also subject-matter specialists and
undergraduate programs as preparation for graduate
                                                                           by subject-matter specialists at ETS. All questions
study. Because past achievement is usually a good
                                                                           proposed for the test are reviewed by the committee
indicator of future performance, the scores are
                                                                           and revised as necessary. The accepted questions are
helpful in predicting success in graduate study.
                                                                           assembled into a test in accordance with the content
Because the tests are standardized, the test scores
                                                                           specifications developed by the committee to ensure
permit comparison of students from different institu-
                                                                           adequate coverage of the various aspects of the field
tions with different undergraduate programs. For
                                                                           and, at the same time, to prevent overemphasis on any
some Subject Tests, subscores are provided in addi-
                                                                           single topic. The entire test is then reviewed and
tion to the total score; these subscores indicate the
                                                                           approved by the committee.
strengths and weaknesses of your preparation, and
they may help you plan future studies.

                                                         PSYCHOLOGY TEST                                                         3
                                                          PRACTICE BOOK
     Subject-matter and measurement specialists on the            Scores on the Subject Tests are reported as three-
ETS staff assist the committee, providing information         digit scaled scores with the third digit always zero.
and advice about methods of test construction and             The maximum possible range for all Subject Test total
helping to prepare the questions and assemble the test.       scores is from 200 to 990. The actual range of scores for
In addition, each test question is reviewed to eliminate      a particular Subject Test, however, may be smaller. The
language, symbols, or content considered potentially          maximum possible range of Subject Test subscores is
offensive, inappropriate for major subgroups of the test-     20 to 99; however, the actual range of subscores for
taking population, or likely to perpetuate any negative       any test or test edition may be smaller than 20 to 99.
attitude that may be conveyed to these subgroups. The         Subject Test score interpretive information is provided
test as a whole is also reviewed to ensure that the test      in Interpreting Your GRE Scores, which you will receive
questions, where applicable, include an appropriate           with your GRE score report, and on the GRE Web site
balance of people in different groups and different roles.    at
    Because of the diversity of undergraduate curricula,
it is not possible for a single test to cover all the         Content of the
material you may have studied. The examiners, there-
fore, select questions that test the basic knowledge and      Psychology Test
skills most important for successful graduate study in
the particular field. The committee keeps the test            Most editions of the test consist of about 215 multiple-
up-to-date by regularly developing new editions and           choice questions. Each question in the test has five
revising existing editions. In this way, the test content     options from which the examinee is to select the one
changes steadily but gradually, much like most cur-           option that is the correct or best answer to the ques-
ricula. In addition, curriculum surveys are conducted         tion. Some of the stimulus materials, such as a descrip-
periodically to ensure that the content of a test             tion of an experiment or a graph, may serve as the
reflects what is currently being taught in the under-         basis for several questions.
graduate curriculum.                                             The questions in the Psychology Test are drawn
    After a new edition of a Subject Test is first adminis-   from courses of study most commonly offered at
tered, examinees' responses to each test question are         the undergraduate level within the broadly defined
analyzed in a variety of ways to determine whether            field of psychology. Questions may require recalling
each question functioned as expected. These analyses          factual information, analyzing relationships, applying
may reveal that a question is ambiguous, requires             principles, drawing conclusions from data, evaluating
knowledge beyond the scope of the test, or is inappro-        a research design, and/or identifying a psychologist
priate for the total group or a particular subgroup of        who has made a theoretical or research contribution
examinees taking the test. Answers to such questions          to the field.
are not used in computing scores.                                The Psychology Test yields two subscores in
    Following this analysis, the new test edition is          addition to the total score. Although the test offers
equated to an existing test edition. In the equating          only two subscores, there are questions in three
process, statistical methods are used to assess the           content categories:
difficulty of the new test. Then scores are adjusted so          1. Experimental or natural science oriented (about
that examinees who took a difficult edition of the test             40 percent of the questions), including learning,
are not penalized, and examinees who took an easier                 language, memory, thinking, sensation and
edition of the test do not have an advantage. Varia-                perception, physiological psychology, ethology,
tions in the number of questions in the different                   and comparative psychology. They contribute to
editions of the test are also taken into account in                 the experimental psychology subscore and the
this process.                                                       total score.

4                                            PSYCHOLOGY TEST
                                              PRACTICE BOOK
   2. Social or social science oriented (about 43         Test-Taking Strategies
      percent of the questions). These questions are
      distributed among the fields of clinical and        The questions in the practice test in this book illus-
      abnormal, developmental, personality, and           trate the types of multiple-choice questions in the test.
      social psychology. They contribute to the social    When you take the test, you will mark your answers on
      psychology subscore and the total score.            a separate machine-scorable answer sheet. Total testing
   3. General (about 17 percent of the questions),        time is two hours and fifty minutes; there are no
      including the history of psychology, applied        separately timed sections. Following are some general
      psychology, measurement, research designs,          test-taking strategies you may want to consider.
      and statistics. They contribute to the total           Read the test directions carefully, and work as
      score only.                                            rapidly as you can without being careless. For
    The questions on which subscores are based are           each question, choose the best answer from the
distributed throughout the test; they are not set aside      available options.
and labeled separately, although several questions from      All questions are of equal value; do not waste
a single content area may appear consecutively.              time pondering individual questions you find
                                                             extremely difficult or unfamiliar.
Preparing for a Subject Test                                 You may want to work through the test quite
                                                             rapidly, first answering only the questions about
GRE Subject Test questions are designed to measure           which you feel confident, then going back and
skills and knowledge gained over a long period of time.      answering questions that require more thought,
Although you might increase your scores to some              and concluding with the most difficult questions
extent through preparation a few weeks or months             if there is time.
before you take the test, last-minute cramming is
                                                             If you decide to change an answer, make sure
unlikely to be of further help. The following informa-
                                                             you completely erase it and fill in the oval
tion may be helpful.
                                                             corresponding to your desired answer.
   A general review of your college courses is
                                                             Questions for which you mark no answer or more
   probably the best preparation for the test. How-
                                                             than one answer are not counted in scoring.
   ever, the test covers a broad range of subject
   matter, and no one is expected to be familiar             As a correction for haphazard guessing, one-
   with the content of every question.                       fourth of the number of questions you answer
                                                             incorrectly is subtracted from the number of
   Use this practice book to become familiar
                                                             questions you answer correctly. It is improbable
   with the types of questions in the GRE
                                                             that mere guessing will improve your score
   Psychology Test, paying special attention to the
                                                             significantly; it may even lower your score.
   directions. If you thoroughly understand the
                                                             If, however, you are not certain of the correct
   directions before you take the test, you will
                                                             answer but have some knowledge of the question
   have more time during the test to focus on the
                                                             and are able to eliminate one or more of the
   questions themselves.
                                                             answer choices, your chance of getting the right
                                                             answer is improved, and it may be to your advan-
                                                             tage to answer the question.
                                                             Record all answers on your answer sheet.
                                                             Answers recorded in your test book will not
                                                             be counted.
                                                             Do not wait until the last five minutes of a
                                                             testing session to record answers on your
                                                             answer sheet.

                                          PSYCHOLOGY TEST                                                       5
                                           PRACTICE BOOK
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