GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS
This practice book contains
one actual full-length GRE Psychology Test
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 www.ets.org/gre
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.
EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE, ETS, the ETS logos, GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS,
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 www.gre.org/codelst.html.
Scoring Your Subject Test .................................. 41
Evaluating Your Performance ............................. 44 Development of the
Answer Sheet ..................................................... 45
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
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 www.gre.org/codelst.html.
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
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
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
Do not wait until the last five minutes of a
testing session to record answers on your
PSYCHOLOGY TEST 5
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