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Introductory Psychology CLEP
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Introductory Psychology CLEP Study Guide

Name of Exam: Introductory Psychology CLEP

Number of Questions: 95

Time Limit: 90 Minutes

ACE Recommended Passing Score: 50

Practice Test Available?: Yes - Click here

Cost: $80 + Sitting Fee (Usually no more than $20) at your testing site. Military can take CLEPs for free with Tuition Assistance. Check with your Educational Officer!

Difficulty 1-5 : 2
(One being the easiest, and five being the hardest)


Exam Description:

The Introductory Psychology CLEP tests the knowledge of terminology, principles, and theory of the Psychology field. Given certain scenarios, it will test your ability to evaluate and analyze them as well as to apply your knowledge to new situations.

Personal Thoughts:

The Introductory Psychology CLEP is one of the easier CLEP's, as noted by its place on the Clep Difficulty List The short of this is that you shouldn't be stressing out over taking it. Anyone who's taken a Psychology class in high school is well on their way to mastering this exam.

You do need to know the terminology, theories, and the people who created those theories. The test also touches on how the brain works (eyes, neurons, impulses, brain sections, etc).

Exam breakdown:

According to the College Board website, the Introductory Psychology CLEP exam is broken down as follows:

10%-11%Learning
08%-09%History, approaches, methods
08%-09%Biological bases of behavior
08%-09%Cognition
08%-09%Developmental psychology
08%-09%Psychological disorders and health
07%-08%Treatment of psychological disorders
07%-08%Social psychology
07%-08%Sensation and perception
07%-08%Motivation and emotion
07%-08%Personality
05%-06%States of consciousness
03%-04%Statistics, tests, and measurement

Areas of Study

A few of the topics that you will need to know are:

  • History of psychology
  • Approaches: biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic
  • Psychoactive drug effects
  • Cognitive process in learning
  • Reliability and validity
  • Perceptional development
  • Affective disorders
  • Samples, populations, norms
  • Types of tests
  • Biological and drug therapies
  • Cognitive therapies
  • Memory
  • Theories of development
  • Genetics
  • Gender identity and sex roles
  • Intelligence and creativity
  • Language
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Observational learning
  • Self–concept, self–esteem
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Attribution processes
  • Psychoses
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Theories of psychopathology
  • Heredity–environment issues
  • Research methods: longitudinal, cross–sectional
  • Growth and adjustment
  • Personality theories and approaches
  • Research methods: idiographic, nomothetic
  • Perceptional processes
  • Receptor processes: vision, audition
  • Sensory mechanisms: thresholds, adaptation
  • Thinking and problem solving
  • Theories of motivation
  • Dimensions of development: physical, cognitive, social, moral
  • Conformity, compliance, obedience
  • Group dynamics
  • Interpersonal perception
  • Endocrine system
  • Functional organization of the nervous system
  • Community and preventive approaches
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Assessment techniques
  • Hypnosis and meditation
  • Operant conditioning
  • Inferential statistics

This is not a comprehensive list, otherwise you'd be scrolling down all day. This is yet another of the exams that I suggest seeing the Exam-Specific thread at InstantCert for a complete listing of all exam topics. The forum members have done a great job of breaking down the specific topics you'll want to concentrate on (4 pages worth for this exam).

Contrary to what it looks like above, it's really not all that many topics. The goal is to study what you need. You'll find out more about InstantCert below if you haven't already heard of it.

Free study resources

Click on the titles to go to the study resource.

Association for Psychological Science - A conglomerate of teaching resource websites. Of note are the powerpoint slides, and the e-psych website. If you scroll down you'll see that it has a section for almost all of the Psychology disciplines. Probably one of the best free resources for psychology research on the net.

Sparknotes Psychology Study Guide - I include this one on almost every Psychology exam because it covers a little bit of everything. Don't rely only on this for the Introductory Psychology CLEP or you'll be in trouble, but definitely use the Psychology Glossary section for all your terminology needs.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology - A good site with a lot of resource material. Download the lecture sequences from Exploring Psychology for some good powerpoint slides covering each of the chapters. Also of note is the "Reverse Speech" under Demonstrations; not because it will help you on the Introductory Psychology CLEP test, but because quite a few of the backwards playing songs are hilarious! Some of those backwards translations are not kid friendly though so consider this a warning.

Wikipedia - Introductory Psychology - Wikipedia, the bane of paper-grading college professors everywhere. While I wouldn't recommend trying to quote Wikipedia as a source on a term paper, it's still one of the best free research sites on the Internet. Read the main page and then start digging into the specific links.

Recommended bargain-priced study resources

Always check your library first! You may be able to find some of these for free. You don't have to buy the officially recommended resources all the time. If you're the type of person that prefers to study from a textbook source however, then please see below.

CLEP Introductory Psychology (REA) - The Best Test Prep for the CLEP (Test Preps) - 205 pages of targeted material, which is just the kind I like. Some REA's are hit or miss, but this one is a good one. Know this book and you'll pass the CLEP.

Exploring Psychology, Sixth Edition, in Modules - Love those used textbooks! Original textbook price - $90 Used Textbook Price - 68 cents!!! As always, make sure the seller has good feedback if you go the used route.

Also, this is a paperback book that may or may not be bound (it may come as loose papers), if that's what you're looking for, then it's okay, otherwise consider the Hardcover Version instead. You can get it for around $3 used.

InstantCert Academy - Introductory Psychology Specific Exam Feedback - 4 pages of study notes, specific topics of study, and after action reports. Be sure to check out the Flashcards as well.

If you don't know what InstantCert is, then click here for the scoop as well as a discount code: **InstantCert Academy**

You'll find an InstantCert link for every exam here if that gives you an idea of the amount of information they have available. It's an outstanding resource.

Closing Thoughts

This is truly one of the easier CLEP exams out there. With just a little targeted study, most people not only pass the Introductory Psychology CLEP but they blow it out of the water. Dedicate a week or two and study the above material, and you can do the same. Go get those credits!

Best of luck!

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