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GRE Psychology Test

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In 1979, Glenford Myers published a book that turned out to be a classic. Myers’s original The Art of Software Testing stood the test of time, 25 years on the publisher’s list of available books. This fact alone is a testament to the solid,...

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  1. This book is provided FREE with test registration by the Graduate Record Examinations Board. Graduate Record Examinations® This practice book contains one actual full-length GRE Psychology Test test-taking strategies PSYCHOLOGY Become familiar with test structure and content TEST test instructions and answering procedures PRACTICE Compare your practice test results with the performance of those who took the test at a BOOK GRE administration. Visit GRE Online at
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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 Most editions of the test consist of about 215 multiple- the particular field. The committee keeps the test up-to-date by regularly developing new editions and choice questions. Each question in the test has five options from which the examinee is to select the one revising existing editions. In this way, the test content changes steadily but gradually, much like most cur- option that is the correct or best answer to the ques- tion. Some of the stimulus materials, such as a descrip- ricula. In addition, curriculum surveys are conducted periodically to ensure that the content of a test tion of an experiment or a graph, may serve as the basis for several questions. reflects what is currently being taught in the under- 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
  5. 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
  6. Range of Raw Scores* Needed to Earn What Your Scores Mean Selected Scaled Scores on Three Your raw score—that is, the number of questions you Psychology Test Editions That answered correctly minus one-fourth of the number Differ in Difficulty you answered incorrectly—is converted to the scaled Raw Scores score that is reported. This conversion ensures that a Scaled Score Form A Form B Form C scaled score reported for any edition of a Subject Test 700 161-163 152-155 151-153 is comparable to the same scaled score earned on any 600 125-127 115-117 114-116 other edition of the same test. Thus, equal scaled 500 89-92 78-80 77-79 scores on a particular Subject Test indicate essentially 400 53-56 41-43 40-42 equal levels of performance regardless of the test Number of Questions Used to Compute Raw Score edition taken. Test scores should be compared only 214 214 215 with other scores on the same Subject Test. (For example, a 680 on the Computer Science Test is not *Raw Score = Number of correct answers minus one-fourth the number of incorrect answers, rounded to the nearest integer. equivalent to a 680 on the Mathematics Test.) Before taking the test, you may find it useful to For a particular test edition, there are many ways to know approximately what raw scores would be required earn the same raw score. For example, on the edition to obtain a certain scaled score. Several factors influ- listed above as “Form A,” a raw score of 125 through ence the conversion of your raw score to your scaled 127 would earn a scaled score of 600. Below are a few score, such as the difficulty of the test edition and the of the possible ways in which a scaled score of 600 number of test questions included in the computation could be earned on that edition. of your raw score. Based on recent editions of the Psychology Test, the following table gives the range of Examples of Ways to Earn raw scores associated with selected scaled scores for a Scaled Score of 600 on the three different test editions. (Note that when the number of scored questions for a given test is greater Edition Labeled as “Form A” than the range of possible scaled scores, it is likely that Number of two or more raw scores will convert to the same scaled Questions Questions Questions Questions Used score.) The three test editions in the table that follows Answered Answered Not to Compute were selected to reflect varying degrees of difficulty. Raw Score Correctly Incorrectly Answered Raw Score Examinees should note that future test editions may be 125 125 0 89 214 somewhat more or less difficult than the test editions 125 134 35 45 214 illustrated in the table. 125 143 71 0 214 127 127 0 87 214 127 135 34 45 214 127 144 67 3 214 Practice Test To become familiar with how the administration will be conducted at the test center, first remove the answer sheet (pages 45 and 46). Then go to the back cover of the test book (page 40) and follow the instructions for completing the identification areas of the answer sheet. When you are ready to begin the test, note the time and begin marking your answers on the answer sheet. 6 PSYCHOLOGY TEST PRACTICE BOOK
  7. FORM GR9981
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