Strategy Drills - Part IV: Test-Taking Strategies for the AP Psychology Exam

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Strategy Drills
Part IV: Test-Taking Strategies for the AP Psychology Exam


The drills in this chapter are designed to help you hone your test-taking skills before you begin your psychology review. Use these drills to practice the various smart-tester strategies you have learned.


Before you can answer a question, you need to know what it is asking. To avoid careless errors, put the question into your own words before you try to answer it. On some questions, you may find it useful to circle the key word(s) in the question. Use the following drill questions to practice Smart-Tester Strategy #1: Understand the Question/Key Words. The answers are on this page.

7.Which of the following best summarizes the differences between the psychoanalytic and the behaviorist perspectives?

22.Louis is suffering from severe headaches and occasional moments of disorientation or even mental paralysis. His doctors are interested in examining his brain for lesions. Which of the following technologies would prove most useful in examining various regions of Louis’s brain?

39.The somatosensory cortex is the primary area of the

58.In the processing of visual information, a fully integrated image does not appear until the information has reached which of the following regions of the brain?

78.If a participant does not report a stimulus when no stimulus is present in a signal-detection experimental trial, it is known as a

89.The lower the p-value of a study, the


Before you even think about looking at the answer choices, you need to have an idea of what the answer to the question might be; otherwise, you will be adrift in a sea of confusion, tricks, and traps. Use the following questions to practice both Understand the Question/Key Words and Predict the Answer. Speaking of answers, see this page to check your work on these questions.

5.Thomas knows how to roast meat, cook vegetables, and prepare salad. In order for him to learn to prepare a meal for 20 people, Thomas will most likely employ which of the following learning techniques?

What does the question ask?

What’s your answer?

22.The endocrine system is a collection of glands that

What does the question ask?

What’s your answer?

35.What was Wilhelm Wundt’s contribution to the field of psychology?

What does the question ask?

What’s your answer?

45.Which of the following best explains why regeneration is essential for taste receptors?

What does the question ask?

What’s your answer?

72.Which of the following technologies is most useful in the study of brain waves?

What does the question ask?

What’s your answer?


Now, practice the first two smart-tester strategies (Understand the Question/Key Words and Predict the Answer) and then find the “credited response” from the choices given. If you’re having trouble, use POE to get your answers into the right ballpark. Once you’ve crossed off what you can, take a smart guess! Answers are on this page.

15.Of the following variables, which typically requires a measurement that is more complex?

Understand the Question/Key Words.

Predict the Answer.






35.Which of the following most accurately states the role of the iris?

Understand the Question/Key Words.

Predict the Answer.

(A)To provide adaptive trait distinctions (eye color) within a species

(B)To dilate or constrict the pupil in order to regulate the amount of light that enters the eye

(C)To refract light that enters the eye, projecting it onto the retina

(D)To house the aqueous humor and supply the eye with oxygen and nutrients

(E)To transduce visual sensations into visual perceptions of color

42.The nature-nurture controversy concerns

Understand the Question/Key Words.

Predict the Answer.

(A)the question of determinism versus free will

(B)the degree to which the kinesthetic prowess of an individual overrides other aspects of intelligence

(C)the degree to which inborn processes versus environmental factors determine behavior

(D)the natural tendency of humans to nurture their young

(E)the role of unconscious processes as a determinant of behavior

66.Prior to the fall of the Berlin wall, East Berlin schools de-emphasized the individuality of the student. As a result, many of the children from those schools tend to have a(n)

Understand the Question/Key Words.

Predict the Answer.

(A)optimistic explanatory style

(B)pessimistic explanatory style

(C)internal locus of control

(D)external locus of control

(E)indiscriminant set of expectancies

85.A prototypic example of a category is called a(n)

Understand the Question/Key Words.

Predict the Answer.


(B)defining feature





Before you can write a smart essay, you need to Work Over the Question, then Chart It, Count It, and Sketch It. Practice your smart essay steps on the following essay question. You don’t need to write the full essay now, but if you feel like taking it all the way, go “write” ahead! Before you do, be sure to compare your smart steps with ours on this page.

1.One of the major approaches to learning is classical conditioning.

A.Explain the process of classical conditioning, defining and illustrating all necessary terms. Show how classical conditioning could be used to

(1)Condition a monkey to “appreciate” the works of only certain artists

(2)Teach a group of students a mathematical concept

B.Explain how both extinction and spontaneous recovery transpire. Use one of the above examples to illustrate.


You are going to read an awful lot of wrong answer choices while working on Section I of the AP Psychology Exam. And, believe it or not, a lot of those choices are not only wrong, but also just plain silly. Using your knowledge of psychology, plus the information in the question itself, examine each of the following sets of answer choices to determine which is the best answer to the question. Remember, if it’s silly, extreme, or fallacious, it cannot be the answer to any question. Check your POE smarts on this page when you’re finished.

4.Blah, Blah, Blah?

(A)Obese people have fewer but larger fat cells than average-weight people.

(B)Obese people have many more fat cells than average-weight people.

27.Connectionist approaches blah, blah

(A)are carried out by individual segments of the brain

(B)occur simultaneously through the action of multiple networks

47.Blah, blah, chunking?

(A)Christina remembers two new phone numbers by recognizing that each has a familiar exchange and that the second half of each represents a familiar date in history.

(B)Chelsea learns her times tables by methodically practicing one set each night and then reviewing with flashcards.

85.Blah, blah, person-centered psychotherapy blah

(A)suppresses negative feelings that arise within the client

(B)uses a didactic approach to teach the client to correct maladaptive behavior

(C)accepts the client unconditionally so that his or her desire for healing will grow

92.Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

(A)repressing the client’s deviant feelings

(B)slowly altering the contingencies of reinforcement for the client

(C)removing the underlying causes of a client’s problems for the client


Think about what you’ve learned in Part IV, and respond to the following questions:

· How will you change your approach to multiple-choice questions?

· What is your multiple-choice guessing strategy? On which part of the test should you be most willing to guess?

· What will you do before you begin writing an essay?

· How will you change your approach to the essays, now that you know that graders are usually looking for 7 or 8 pieces of information on which to judge your essay?

· Will you seek further help, outside of this book (such as a teacher, Princeton Review tutor, or AP Students), on how to approach multiple-choice questions, the essay, or a pacing strategy?