Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Online Practice Tests - Check Your Progress!

As we enter into the final days of preparation prior to the AP Psychology Exam, don't dismiss the benefits of taking practice tests. There are a number of reasons these help with later performance, including:
  1. Practice testing/retrieval practice is one of the BEST ways to promote learning & memory. Now, full-length practice exams are not the only way to do this (flashcards can be used, too), but they are a great option, especially when reviewing outside of class.
  2. Reviewing items you missed may be a good way to pinpoint topics in need of further study or practice. Getting all the neurotransmitter questions wrong? Time to refresh your memory on that before doing more practice testing.
  3. And, unlike simple use of flashcards, practice tests present questions in the way they are likely to appear on the AP Exam: questions require application (not just recognition) of concepts, mix many topics from various parts of the course together, and force you to identify differences between correct and "almost correct" choices.
  4. Also, if you are concerned about pacing, some tests allow you to time yourself. If this is a source of anxiety for you, you can get a sense of what "feels" like the right pace.
Okay! I'm convinced! Where do I start?
Here are some FREE online AP Psych practice tests.
  • Kaplan's AP Psychology Pod - Includes TWO free tests and topic-specific practice questions. Can get immediate or delayed feedback about correct answers. You also get diagnostic feedback about which topics you need to review the most.
  • Barron's AP Psychology - Free, full-length practice exam. Can take timed or in "practice" mode where immediate feedback about correct answers is available.
  • Old AP Psych Tests from the College Board (1999 and 1994 versions) - If you prefer the paper and pencil route, and don't mind printing these publicly released versions, they can be a good option.
Good luck!

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