Preparing for Multiple Choice Tests (a true mark of an Advanced Placement course):
Common Reasons for Low Test Scores
• Lack of adequate preparation.
• Not reading the questions thoroughly. You must read every word and every option.
• Careless errors caused by overconfidence. Again, read carefully.
• Not understanding what the question is really asking (usually a result of careless reading)
• Failure to master the vocabulary, important names, and research (use those flashcards!)
• Not listening in class and not taking notes (test questions/answers are ‘leaked’ every day!)
• Not keeping up with the reading – the lectures will make more sense and you can ask
clarifying questions if you’ve done the reading.
• Lack of adequate preparation (this bears repeating!).
Stay Motivated: Active engagement, and tenacity. Sitting at your desk with an open book in front of you and looking at the words on the page does not constitute learning. Cramming Does Not Work: Reading the material for the first time the night before the test is an ineffective, unproductive way to “study.” There are only a handful of individuals who can cram the night before and be successful. Most students need to pace their studying so all that is necessary the night before the test is a review of the material.
Use the course CD: PsykTrek 3.0 to help. It has lots of great practice on it.
Target Sheets for each chapter and suggested vocabulary for each unit can be found on this website. Download this information.
Read Weiten: Set aside 30 minutes each night to read a few pages in the textbook.
Good Note Taking: Take notes on your reading and answer the corresponding reading guide questions. My big suggestion is to read ahead, take notes, but use something like Cornell or Dialectical Journal so that you have room on the page to add to what we do in class. This is a fantastic way to stay active in and out of class and review the notes you have already taken.
Cards that FLASH: Make flash cards for vocabulary contained in the reading. Use them.
Quiz Yourself: Answer questions in the text book practice tests that pertain to the night’s reading. Be sure that you understand why the right answer is right and why the wrong answers are wrong.
Review Book for AP Exam: Purchase one of the AP Psychology review booklets and use it to supplement the text – these booklets are NOT a substitute for your textbook or the lectures. Remember, we learn best when the material is presented in context, not in isolation. Your textbook and the class lectures provide invaluable explanations and examples.
Graphic Organizers: Use the graphic organizers for each unit in the text and those provided by the instructor -- these provide a great summary of important info.
Create a Study Group or Partner: After reading and answering the questions, discuss the information learned with a family member or friend. If you find you are having difficulty relating the information to another person, go back and reread the section until you feel comfortable with the material. The best way to test your understanding is to try to teach the information to someone else.