Dennis Laker
(Hanover graduate with a University of Illinois Ph.D.)

The first thing to remember about the AGREs is that they are not the end of the world, and they won't kill you.

Preparation. It has been reported by psych majors in the past that the best review for the AGREs was a good psych book. This advice still stands. The book I reviewed was Silverman's Psychology. It was the easiest to read and the best written intro book I found. When you prepare, merely take about an hour a day and leaf through the book. Be sure to look at every picture and read every caption. When you seen an experiment reported, read it. Don't try to memorize it or anything else. You'd be surprised how a simple glance at something will bring back a whole storehouse of information. Start this daily review as soon as possible. Then sprinkle such a schedule of reviews with a few 2-3 hour sessions, say a nice Saturday night when all good Hanover students should be studying. Read what interests you, and get interested in the rest it's the easiest way to enjoy what you are doing. Read, if you must, areas you are not familiar with (physiology), review the rest. But remember, look at everything, almost anything can and might be asked. The summaries in Silverman were excellent.

The Test: Get a good night's sleep the night before. For some of you, those who will be taking the GREs in the morning, your day is set. For those who are only taking the AGREs, well, try to relax during the morning.

The test was perceived by other students and myself as being unbiased. All aspects of psychology seemed to be covered. There were social psychology questions, such as communication patterns. There were history of psychology questions. A relatively strong emphasis was placed on experimental psychology on the test. Questions often took the form of giving a design and then asking you to mark what should be controlled for, or what is the independent variable, or the dependent variable. Some statistical questions were on there, too. Questions relating to physiology seemed to center around one specific area. This area then had a great number of questions about it. On my test, the rods and cones of the eye were emphasized. About 20 questions were asked about them. Abnormal behavior was sprinkled throughout the test. Questions concerning schizophrenia, psychopathic behavior, the defense mechanisms, etc. were heavy. Very little emphasis was placed on the psychometric aspects of psychology. Although some appeared, there wasn't much. Human development wasn't stressed very much. A few questions concerning Piaget and Erikson did appear, though.

Again, although most of my test emphasized social, experimental, and abnormal psychology, the emphasis of your test may be totally different. People in the past have come up against heavily biased tests in the direction of social, physiology, and experimental.

Don't Ponder!!!! Answer the questions you know and skip the ones you don't. The questions don't always increase in difficulty as the section progresses. Some of the last questions are often the easiest. So if you don't know the first one or two, don't fret; just skip them and come back when you have finished the others. I had time to do so, and you probably will too. Some of your questions will be experimental, and won't count toward your grade. Work hard, the more questions you get to, the better chances for a higher score. Don't guess, a certain percentage of your wrong answers will be subtracted from your score, but if you can narrow it down to two or three, it might be beneficial to take a chance. Some of the questions are very picky, so don't hope to get them all right.

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