GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS Psychology practice+test.pdfGRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS Psychology Test Practice Book ... Test questions are written by the committee and by ... with

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  • G R A D U A T E R E C O R D E X A M I N A T I O N S

    Psychology TestPractice 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

    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 bookcontains 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.


    Table of ContentsPurpose of the GRE Subject Tests ........................ 3

    Development of the Subject Tests ....................... 3

    Content of the Psychology Test ........................... 4

    Preparing for a Subject Test ................................. 5

    Test-Taking Strategies .......................................... 5

    What Your Scores Mean ...................................... 6

    Practice Psychology Test ...................................... 7

    Scoring Your Subject Test .................................. 41

    Evaluating Your Performance ............................. 44

    Answer Sheet ..................................................... 45

    Purpose of the GRESubject TestsThe GRE Subject Tests are designed to help graduateschool admission committees and fellowship sponsorsassess the qualifications of applicants in specific fieldsof study. The tests also provide you with an assessmentof your own qualifications.

    Scores on the tests are intended to indicateknowledge of the subject matter emphasized in manyundergraduate programs as preparation for graduatestudy. Because past achievement is usually a goodindicator of future performance, the scores arehelpful in predicting success in graduate study.Because the tests are standardized, the test scorespermit comparison of students from different institu-tions with different undergraduate programs. Forsome Subject Tests, subscores are provided in addi-tion to the total score; these subscores indicate thestrengths and weaknesses of your preparation, andthey may help you plan future studies.

    The GRE Board recommends that scores on theSubject Tests be considered in conjunction with otherrelevant information about applicants. Because numer-ous factors influence success in graduate school, reli-ance on a single measure to predict success is notadvisable. Other indicators of competence typicallyinclude undergraduate transcripts showing coursestaken and grades earned, letters of recommendation,the GRE Writing Assessment score, and GRE GeneralTest scores. For information about the appropriate useof GRE scores, write to GRE Program, EducationalTesting Service, Mail Stop 57-L, Princeton, NJ 08541,or visit our Web site at

    Development of theSubject TestsEach new edition of a Subject Test is developed by acommittee of examiners composed of professors in thesubject who are on undergraduate and graduate facul-ties in different types of institutions and in differentregions of the United States and Canada. In selectingmembers for each committee, the GRE Program seeksthe advice of the appropriate professional associationsin the subject.

    The content and scope of each test are specified andreviewed periodically by the committee of examiners.Test questions are written by the committee and byother faculty who are also subject-matter specialists andby subject-matter specialists at ETS. All questionsproposed for the test are reviewed by the committeeand revised as necessary. The accepted questions areassembled into a test in accordance with the contentspecifications developed by the committee to ensureadequate coverage of the various aspects of the fieldand, at the same time, to prevent overemphasis on anysingle topic. The entire test is then reviewed andapproved by the committee.


    Subject-matter and measurement specialists on theETS staff assist the committee, providing informationand advice about methods of test construction andhelping to prepare the questions and assemble the test.In addition, each test question is reviewed to eliminatelanguage, symbols, or content considered potentiallyoffensive, inappropriate for major subgroups of the test-taking population, or likely to perpetuate any negativeattitude that may be conveyed to these subgroups. Thetest as a whole is also reviewed to ensure that the testquestions, where applicable, include an appropriatebalance of people in different groups and different roles.

    Because of the diversity of undergraduate curricula,it is not possible for a single test to cover all thematerial you may have studied. The examiners, there-fore, select questions that test the basic knowledge andskills most important for successful graduate study inthe particular field. The committee keeps the testup-to-date by regularly developing new editions andrevising existing editions. In this way, the test contentchanges steadily but gradually, much like most cur-ricula. In addition, curriculum surveys are conductedperiodically to ensure that the content of a testreflects what is currently being taught in the under-graduate curriculum.

    After a new edition of a Subject Test is first adminis-tered, examinees responses to each test question areanalyzed in a variety of ways to determine whethereach question functioned as expected. These analysesmay reveal that a question is ambiguous, requiresknowledge beyond the scope of the test, or is inappro-priate for the total group or a particular subgroup ofexaminees taking the test. Answers to such questionsare not used in computing scores.

    Following this analysis, the new test edition isequated to an existing test edition. In the equatingprocess, statistical methods are used to assess thedifficulty of the new test. Then scores are adjusted sothat examinees who took a difficult edition of the testare not penalized, and examinees who took an easieredition of the test do not have an advantage. Varia-tions in the number of questions in the differenteditions of the test are also taken into account inthis process.

    Scores on the Subject Tests are reported as three-digit scaled scores with the third digit always zero.The maximum possible range for all Subject Test totalscores is from 200 to 990. The actual range of scores fora particular Subject Test, however, may be smaller. Themaximum possible range of Subject Test subscores is20 to 99; however, the actual range of subscores forany test or test edition may be smaller than 20 to 99.Subject Test score interpretive information is providedin Interpreting Your GRE Scores, which you will receivewith your GRE score report, and on the GRE Web siteat

    Content of thePsychology TestMost editions of the test consist of about 215 multiple-choice questions. Each question in the test has fiveoptions from which the examinee is to select the oneoption that is the correct or best answer to the ques-tion. Some of the stimulus materials, such as a descrip-tion of an experiment or a graph, may serve as thebasis for several questions.

    The questions in the Psychology Test are drawnfrom courses of study most commonly offered atthe undergraduate level within the broadly definedfield of psychology. Questions may require recallingfactual information, analyzing relationships, applyingprinciples, drawing conclusions from data, evaluatinga research design, and/or identifying a psychologistwho has made a theoretical or research contributionto the field.

    The Psychology Test yields two subscores inaddition to the total score. Although the test offersonly two subscores, there are questions in threecontent categories:

    1. Experimental or natural science oriented (about40 percent of the questions), including learning,language, memory, thinking, sensation andperception, physiological psychology, ethology,and comparative psychology. They contribute tothe experimental psychology subscore and thetotal score.


    2. Social or social science oriented (about 43percent of the questions). These questions aredistributed among the fields of clinical andabnormal, developmental, personality, andsocial psychology. They contribute to the socialpsychology subscore and the total score.

    3. General (about 17 percent of the questions),including the history of psychology, appliedpsychology, measurement, research designs,and statistics. They contribute to the totalscore only.

    The questions on which subscores are based aredistributed throughout the test; they are not set asideand labeled separately, although several questions froma single content area may appear consecutively.

    Preparing for a Subject TestGRE Subject Test questions are designed to measureskills and knowledge gained over a long period of time.Although you might increase your scores to someextent through preparation a few weeks or monthsbefore you take the test, last-minute cramming isunlikely to be of further help. The following informa-tion may be helpful.

    A general review of your college courses isprobably the best preparation for the test. How-ever, the test covers a broad range of subjectmatter, and no one is expected to be familiarwith the content of every question.

    Use this practice book to become familiarwith

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