Introduction to Educational Psychology

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CLEP® Introduction to Educational Psychology Examination Guide

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

2017 CLEP Official Study Guide

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This study guide provides practice questions for all 33 CLEP® exams. The ideal resource for taking more than one exam. Offered only by the College Board.

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Introduction to Educational Psychology

Overview

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. Any time test takers spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Please note that the questions on the CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology exam will continue to adhere to the terminology, criteria, and classifications referred to in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) until further notice.

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) was published in May 2013 with revisions to the criteria for the diagnosis and classifications of mental disorders. In the interest of fairness and to allow time for publishers to integrate such changes into pertinent sections of textbooks, the College Board has decided to align the tests with the DSM-IV-TR.

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.

Educational Aims and Philosophies (5%)

  • Lifelong learning
  • Moral/character development
  • Preparation for careers
  • Preparation for responsible citizenship
  • Socialization

Cognitive Perspective (15%)

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

Behavioral Perspective (11%)

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

Development (15%)

  • Cognitive
  • Social
  • Moral
  • Gender identity/sex roles

Motivation (10%)

  • Social-cognitive theories of motivation (e.g., attribution theory, expectancy-value theory, goal orientation theory, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, 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, behavior disorders)
  • Ability grouping and tracking

Testing (12%)

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

Pedagogy (10%)

  • Planning instruction for effective learning
  • Social constructivist pedagogy (e.g., scaffolding)
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • Classroom management

Research Design and Analysis (5%)

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

Study Resources

Most textbooks used in college-level introduction to educational psychology courses cover the topics in the outline given earlier, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Introduction to Educational Psychology exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test.

You may also find it helpful to supplement your reading with books listed in the bibliographies that can be found in most educational psychology textbooks

Textbooks

A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

  • Eggen and Kauchak, Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms (Pearson/ Merrill/Prentice Hall)
  • Fetsco and McClure, Educational Psychology: An Integrated Approach to Classroom Decisions (Pearson/Allyn & Bacon)
  • Jackson and Ormrod, Case Studies: Applying Educational Psychology (Prentice Hall)
  • Ormrod, Educational Psychology: Developing Learners (Prentice Hall)
  • Parsons et al., Educational Psychology (Wadsworth/Cengage)
  • Santrock, Educational Psychology (McGraw-Hill)
  • Slavin, Educational Psychology: Theory into Practice (Allyn & Bacon)
  • Snowman and Biehler, Psychology Applied to Teaching (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Woolfolk, Educational Psychology (Allyn & Bacon)

Online Resources

These resources, compiled by the CLEP test development committee and staff members, may help you study for your exam. However, none of these sources are designed specifically to provide preparation for a CLEP exam. The College Board has no control over their content and cannot vouch for accuracy.

Score Information

Credit Granting Score for Educational Psychology

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.

*The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated CLEP processes and procedures for developing, administering, and scoring the exams. The score listed above is equivalent to a grade of C in the corresponding course. The American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. Visit the ACE CREDIT website for more information.