Saturday, April 29, 2017

Exam Day Details for CFHS AP Psych Students

This Monday, you'll be taking the AP Psych Exam. I know you're ready to rock that test, so here's what Chippewa Falls AP Psych students need to know:
  • The exam begins at 12:00 at the old Notre Dame Middle School. (See Map below) Arrive a few minutes early, if possible, to locate your testing room, as there will be more than one testing room for this exam. 
  • You will be automatically excused from 4th - 7th hours (release @ 11:10 AM) for testing. If you wish to use the morning hours to prepare at home, your parents will need to call you in to excuse you from hours 1-3.
  • Since there will be little time between the end of your 3rd hour class and the exam start, consider packing a LIGHT lunch to eat on the way/before the exam begins. However, you can't bring food into the exam rooms. You may pack a snack in your backpack to eat during the break, though. 
  • NOTE: If you are also taking the AP Chem exam in the morning you will DEFINITELY want to pack a lunch to eat quickly between exams. You will NOT have time to leave the test site to get food.
  • You need to provide your own transportation to the test site. Arrange carpools ahead of time, if necessary. Don't wait until the last minute!
  • Be sure to practice a solid pre-test regimen: get plenty of sleep the night before, eat healthful meals, and of course, review your course materials!
  • In case you lost them, these directions were provided by Ms. Ebner during pre-registration.
  1. A couple of #2 pencils (for the MC part). Maybe your lucky pencil?
  2. A couple of pens (blue or black) for the FRQs. Be sure to have a couple in case one runs out of ink!
  3. A photo id (government issued or school id)
  4. I recommend bringing a NICE eraser. You don't want to smear up your scantron form with a crappy, dry, ineffective one if you wish to change answers.
  5. A watch (that does not beep!), in case you are seated in a place where the clock is not easy to see. NO smartwatches, or any type of watch that can communicate externally.
  6. A sweatshirt? It's ideal to dress in layers so you can adjust if you're too hot/cold.
  1. Cellular phones, beepers, MP3 players, or personal data assistants (PDAs)
  2. Books, correction fluid, dictionaries, highlighters, or notes
  3. Scratch paper (notes can be made on portions of the exam booklets)
  4. Calculators
  5. Watches that beep or have an alarm
  6. Portable listening or recording devices (even with headphones) or photographic equipment
  7. Clothing with psych-related information on it (e.g. sorry, even Psych Club shirts are a no-no)
  8. Food or drinks

The former Notre Dame Middle School is located at 3 South High Street, Chippewa Falls, WI. (See map below). Enter through the doors that say "Goldsmith Coffee Bar" and go up a half flight of stairs. Look for signs to direct you to your testing room. You will need to bring a picture ID.

Good luck, everyone! You can do it!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tips and Tricks for Preparing for Your AP Psych Exam

There are SO many things you can do to help you review for your AP Psych Exam, and it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear! Here are some links and general tips, including some important "Do's" and "Don'ts" to help you out.

What NOT to Do:
The following strategies have been shown by researchers to be ineffective (people using them don't do much better than people who hadn't studied at all), so DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THEM.
  • Re-reading your textbookSkimming over previously read passages of your text is a terrible way to study, in part because 1.) it is time-consuming, 2.) you don't actually retain any more info after doing this, and 3.) (even worse) it fosters the "illusion of mastery,"  which leads to WORSE performance. For example, you may think you "know" something just because you think to yourself, "oh, sure, that seems familiar," when actually you aren't able to answer questions about it correctly. Of course, this tip assumes you read the textbook the first time. Also, note that there is nothing wrong with looking up a specific topic that you don't understand in order to get a question clarified or answered. Just avoid passive re-reading of whole chapters (or the whole book).
  • Highlighting stuff in your notesWhile it sure makes stuff look pretty, there is little processing going on when you highlight terms or ideas in your notes. Since memory is the product of thinking about something, you're better off doing something that forces you to think about the material.
What works?
  • Distributed PracticeYou may remember this being called "the spacing effect" in your textbook. Spacing out study of your material, rather than planning one giant cram session, leads to better memory. In fact spacing is most powerful once a little "forgetting" has set in. So, study a topic until you feel you've "got it," then come back to it in a day or two and quiz yourself. This strategy can also be a time-saver, since less overall time is needed to achieve the same result as cramming. However, it takes more planning, which is the hard part.
  • Retrieval Practice or Self-Testing. There is NO BETTER way to prepare yourself for a test than to practice pulling information from memory. There are LOTS of online tools to help you do this, and I've included some of them below.
  • Use what you've learned this year about memory! If you are continuously stumbling over the same term, researcher name, or list of things you need to recall, use encoding strategies to help you! Mnemonics, acronyms, chunking, and DEEP PROCESSING/ELABORATIVE REHEARSAL (thinking about connections between course concepts and what you already know.
So...where do I start?
  1. Take a practice testThis will help you identify areas of strength and weakness and provide you with feedback about how "far" you have to go yet to achieve mastery. If you haven't already taken advantage of a weekend practice exam, here are some options to get you started:
  2. Narrow your focus and make a plan. If you found out that you rock at Abnormal Psychology, but are not exactly comfortable with Developmental Psych, use that to plan your study sessions! 
  3. In the last couple of days before the test, plan time for "polishing." 
    • Review Famous Psychologists to help practice many different areas of the course. Can you identify how these people are similar to each other? Different? 
    • Use the "combine sets" feature on Quizlet to study multiple topic areas at once.
    • Study with a friend: take turns quizzing each other on major course topics (using flashcards or term lists).
Want a helpful list of the NEED-TO-KNOW terms for the AP Psych Exam? This list won't probably get you a 5, but it will make sure you've got the absolute basics down.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Slides from Psych Disorders and Treatment Unit

Although it goes against my better judgment to provide students with copies of slides from class (see this post for the research on this topic), given the high number of students that either have missed substantial numbers of class days already this unit and who plan to yet next week, I'm posting the three slide shows used in conjunction with this unit's material.

HUGE NOTE OF CAUTION: As you will plainly see if you do explore these resources, there are a LOT of slides and information we did not use in class. This is because I alter and shift what I use every year and retain unused slides in case I need them in the future. So, PLEASE do not send me panicked emails trying to alert me that there is stuff that we "missed," especially in the Psych Disorders slides. My canned response will be: "I know. That was on purpose."

Psych Disorders Notes

Biomedical Treatments