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There will be four exams. The first three exams are non-cumulative and each cover one third of the course (lectures & textbook chapters). The third midterm exam will be given on the second to last day of class. 

See Missed Work to learn what to do if you need to miss an exam.

To take this course, you MUST be available to take your exam during the university-assigned final exam slot (see the course calender). 

We cannot give early final exams.

What do the exams cover?

Exams will test your understanding of topics presented in lecture and text, including overlapping and nonoverlapping material between the two sources. Roughly half the exam questions will assess content that came from both lecture and the text, 25% from lecture only, and 25% from the textbook only.Although some (~25%) of questions will assess your understanding of key terms, most questions (~75%) test conceptual understanding or the ability to apply concepts to new situations.

Each midterm exam is non-cumulative. To know which content is covered on each exam, check the Course Calendar. The calendar specifies which dates apply to each exam. All lectures and readings that were due within those dates will be covered on that exam. 

What types of questions are on the exams?

Each exam includes non-cumulative multiple-choice questions and one or two short-answer essay questions. We will provide sample questions before each exam to give you a feel for the kinds of questions we like to ask. 

How do you recommend studying for exams?

Here are some specific exam study strategies we recommend:

Approaching the content:

Many students find it helpful to start by studying their lecture notes, along with the lecture outlines and slides available in Canvas. Starting with lectures is a smart idea because they are less overwhelming than the textbook chapters and 75% of what is on the exam will be covered in lectures! Walk through the lectures and work to re-teach yourself the main concepts and studies described in the lecture. Pay attention to key terms/concepts, big ideas/theories, and specific cases and studies. Know what main ideas the studies were used to support. It is good to know key figures emphasized in class (e.g., Darwin, Penfield) but dates/names generally not necessary.

Next, go back through the textbook, starting with the chapter summaries to remind yourself of what was covered in each chapter. Take some time to look for both overlapping content (do you remember it from studying your lecture notes?) and non-overlapping content. Dig into the non-overlapping content. Make sure to understand bolded terms, the content covered in interactive figures, and check-your-understanding questions at the end of each study unit, as these highlight more important concepts. Content that doesn't fall into one of these categories is fun and interesting to learn, but is unlikely to show up in an exam question.

Making sure you've mastered the material: 

Check out these tips for success from previous Psych 101 students!

Take time to organize your notes, make a study guide, and start thinking like a teacher:

Look for gaps in your knowledge:

Study with a friend:

Quiz yourself:

You can also quiz yourself using practice questions written by Dr. Grisham to get a feel for the sorts of questions that we will ask on Psych 101 exams. See the next section to learn more.

Any tips when actually taking the exam?

Will there be practice questions to help us prepare for exams?

Yes! Several days before each exam, we will provide sample questions (via email) to give you a feel for what we consider to be important concepts and how our questions are designed to require conceptual understanding and application. These questions are no comprehensive--some may relate to actual questions on the exam and some may not. We strongly recommend that you use these practice questions to evaluate your study strategies and dive further into the material if needed. This means you should attempt the questions after you have already studied the material (following the study advice we share above) but while you still have time to study more if needed.

Is there a final exam?

The fourth exam—given during the final exam slot—will consist of a cumulative multiple-choice test covering all concepts from the course. **As noted in the section on in-person lectures, this fourth exam will be optional for students with no more than 3 unexcused absences from lecture. Those students can choose to not take the fourth exam, or can use it to drop and replace a lower exam grade. Note that if the test is considered “optional,” then it can only help you: if this optional test is your lowest exam score, or you chose not to take it, then it will not count toward your grade.