Introduction to Educational Psychology

The Introduction to Educational Psychology exam covers cognition, teaching methods, child development, and learning assessment.

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The Introduction to Educational Psychology exam covers material that is usually taught in a one-semester undergraduate course in this subject. Emphasis is placed on principles of learning and cognition, teaching methods and classroom management, child growth and development, and evaluation and assessment of learning.

The exam contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Introduction to Educational Psychology exam require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities:

  • Knowledge and comprehension of basic facts, concepts, and principles
  • Association of ideas with given theoretical positions
  • Awareness of important influences on learning and instruction
  • Familiarity with research and statistical concepts and procedures
  • Ability to apply various concepts and theories as they apply to particular teaching situations and problems

The subject matter of the Introduction to Educational Psychology exam is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Cognitive Perspective (15%)

  • Attention and perception
  • Memory
  • Complex cognitive processes (e.g., problem solving, transfer, and conceptual change)
  • Applications of cognitive theory
  • Language

Behavioral Perspective (11%)

  • Classical conditioning
  • Operant conditioning
  • Schedules of reinforcement
  • Applications of behavioral perspectives

Development (15%)

  • Cognitive
  • Social/emotional
  • Moral
  • Gender identity/sex roles
  • Language acquisition

Motivation (10%)

  • Social-cognitive theories of motivation (e.g., attribution theory, expectancy-value theory, goal orientation theory, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and self-determination theory)
  • Learned helplessness
  • Teacher expectations/Pygmalion effect
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Applications of motivational theories

Individual Differences (17%)

  • Intelligence
  • Genetic and environmental influences
  • Exceptionalities in learning (e.g., giftedness, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders)
  • Ability grouping and tracking

Testing (12%)

  • Classroom assessment (e.g., formative and summative evaluation, and grading procedures)
  • Norm- and criterion-referenced tests
  • Test reliability and validity
  • Bias in testing
  • High-stakes assessment/standards-based testing
  • Interpretation of test results (e.g., descriptive statistics and scaled scores)
  • Use and misuse of assessments

Pedagogy (10%)

  • Planning instruction for effective learning
  • Writing objectives to align instruction with standards
  • Social constructivist pedagogy (e.g., scaffolding)
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • Classroom management
  • Technology in education
  • Differentiated instruction

Research Design and Analysis (5%)

  • Research design (e.g., longitudinal, experimental, case study, and quasi-experimental)
  • Research methods (e.g., survey, observation, and interview)
  • Interpretation of research (e.g., correlation versus causation, and descriptive statistics)

Multiculturalism (5%)

  • Ethnic, racial, and cultural issues
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)
  • Bilingualism/English as a second language
  • Gender differences
  • Immigration/social change
  • Culturally responsive teaching

Score Information

ACE Recommendation for Introduction to Educational Psychology

Credit-granting Score 50
Semester Hours 3

Note: Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from the American Council on Education (ACE). Contact your college to find out the score required for credit and the number of credit hours granted.

Add Study Guides

CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology Examination Guide

The Intro to Educational Psychology exam covers cognition, teaching methods, child development, and learning assessment.

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Study Resources: Introduction to Educational Psychology

A study plan and list of online resources.


ACE Credit Recommendations

Recommendations for credit-granting scores from the American Council on Education.