Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

October 18, 2019, 12:03:13 am

Author Topic: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psychology - Tips, Tricks and Regrets  (Read 9238 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

cookiedream

  • MOTM: APR 17
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Respect: +375
How I Got a Raw 48 in Psychology - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« on: March 20, 2017, 07:13:30 pm »
+25
GENERAL ADVICE
Shout out to my amazing Psych teacher who gave me most of the advice in this post! Also shout out to one of my friends, who got raw 49, for adding some advice here ^^

Three things I followed consistently and I found essential were:
   1. ASKING YOUR TEACHER REGULARLY: Have a routine where every day, or at least every three days, you have around 5 questions for your teacher. Whether they be questions from the textbook or questions you thought of yourself, keep asking your teacher Psych-related things.

   2. CHECKPOINTS!!!! Do. Checkpoints. It's a great way to consolidate your knowledge and to get you more familiarised with VCAA-type questions as the year goes on. After every topic we cover, and after I've finished the relevant textbook questions, I did every single question in Checkpoints that was related to that topic. Sometimes Checkpoints gave weird answers, so I'd stay after school and go through them with my teacher.
 
   3. REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS: Psych is really hard to forget because of all the links I made to real life applications. So try to apply the concepts you learn all around you. It'll become easier to remember the stuff for the end of year exam.
   

How did you take your notes?
- Took notes on my laptop during class
- Did all my exercises handwritten - good for your memory compared to typing and it's good practice throughout the year for the exam
- I had a recording app on my phone, and for several chapters I recorded my notes. Admittedly, I only listened to them a few times when I wasn't listening to music

Did you do tutoring?
No.

Were you ahead or did you try to go ahead of everyone else?
Around the start I tried and before term 2 ended I finished unit 3. But this was a bad mistake as I ended up completely forgetting about the chapters I got ahead in so I wasted my time :/ And it unfortunately turned out that the stuff I was learning about in the textbook was incorrect (I was learning about the Baddeley and Hitch Model of Working Memory, which VCAA describes in a way different to the textbooks smh)

Did you go to any lectures?
Yep. I went to 3 lectures for Psych during the months before the exam. They were good refreshers and I felt that if I stayed back home instead, I would procrastinate instead.

What was your SAC average/What SAC averages should I be aiming for?
I think 90 or 92%, I forgot. I think as long as you try to stay at around the top it's a pretty safe spot. But the exam is what really counts in the end.

To put it simply, VCAA doesn't look at your SAC averages, they look at your ranking. So if everyone in your cohort gets 40% and you get 41%, then you get scaled to 100% and get Rank 1 and that is all that VCAA looks at - just so they can moderate SAC difficulties against the cohort's performance on the exam. This applies to all VCE subjects (hence I will be putting this in all my guides ahaha)

After a SAC, did you discuss answers with others?
Most of the time, no. For a lot of people it's not healthy either as there's a high risk of adding further unnecessary stress. So I wouldn't recommend it.

_________

For topic-specific advice, I'll try doing it according to what's covered in the current study design. Because I've done the previous study design, I may not cover some topics :/

UNIT 3:
(according to the current study design)

| NERVOUS SYSTEM  |
- Flowcharts! Have a diagram for the divisions of the nervous system then link this to neurons (structure and functions) then neurotransmitters etc etc.


| STRESS |
- Visuals! Not sure if they still have it, but in the Oxford textbook there was a flowchart of Lazarus and Folkman which made the model easier to memorise.

- Applications! Give examples that are significant to you; try applying the different models to different situations where you felt stressed


| LEARNING |
- Videos! Personally I found LTP difficult to process and memorise, so I watched this video on it and ignored the parts which were irrelevant to the course. There's also this video that's really helpful too.

- Tables! Have a table on the similarities and differences between operant conditioning, classical conditioning and observational learning.

- For questions asking you to outline the steps of operant conditioning or observational learning, use dot points to list the steps then define them while directly relating to the scenario. For example, when talking about the 'Retention' step in observational learning, try writing something along the lines of: "(Person 1) formed and kept to memory a mental representation of (Person 2) (insert action that's being learned)" e.g. "Bob formed and kept to memory a mental representation of Steve kicking the soccer ball.

- Do diagrams for classical conditioning!!! Something like, say for the Little Albert experiment:
   Before Conditioning
   NS (neutral stimulus: white rat) --------> no response
   UCS (unconditioned stimulus: loud noise) ---------> UCR (unconditioned response: fear du to the loud noise)
   During Conditioning
   UCS
   + NS (consistently associated together) ---------------> UCR (fear due to loud noise)
   After Conditioning
   CS (conditioned stimulus: white rat) ------> CR (conditioned response: fear due to the white rat)

- Key words for the steps in observational learning are:
   Attention: "watching closely"
   Retention: "forming and keeping in memory a mental representation of"
   Reproduction: "has the mental and physical capacity to (insert action)"  [whatever you do, do NOT say that they actually did the action. That happens after the 'Reinforcement' step]
   Motivation: "wants to"
   Reinforcement: "perceives the prospect of a positive result from (insert action)"

- Keep in mind that for a lot of the classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning questions, there's a set formula for answering the question. Keeping to this formula will make your answer easier to follow for the examiner marking it


| MEMORY |
- Visuals! Have a chart of Atkinson and Shriffin's model with definitions for each store. Make a diagram of the brain, use colours for each region, label them and describe in detail their roles. Our teacher set this as a task for us and I found it really helpful as I stuck it up on my wall.

- Applications! Particularly for context and state dependent cues.

- Key terms! When it came to the serial position effect, incorporate and define these terms: "primacy effect", "asymptote", "recency effect"

- Key terms! For questions about Loftus' research on eyewitness testimony, there were a few terms I tried to stick with: "retrieval", "reconstructive nature", "biased by a question's wording", "misinformation", "updated memory trace"



UNIT 4:
(according to the current study design)

| CONSCIOUSNESS |
- Key terms! When defining the instruments that indicate different states of consciousness, remember DAREA (e.g. The EEG detects, amplifies and records electrical activity in the brain in the form of brain waves")

- Key terms! When it came to explaining why someone is in a certain state of consciousness, I tried to reason through "content limitations" and "time orientation" most of the time because personally they were the most straightforward. Again, this will be different for different people. (e.g. (name 1) is in a state of Normal Waking Consciousness as their perception of the passage of time is close to real time, evident by (name 1) answering (name 2) that 5 minutes went by when it actually did. In addition, (name 1)'s course of thinking is more focussed and relevant to what's around them, as seen by (name 1) talking to (name 2) about the soccer game that had just finished.")


| SLEEP |
- Table! For the different stages in sleep, I had a table briefly describing each stage and describing the features of each stage in terms of things like EEG reading, eye movement (EOG reading), muscle activity (EMG reading), heart rate (EKG reading), breathing rates, body temperature etc etc.

- Graphs! For the comparison of sleep across the lifespan, I often referred to a graph in the textbook that showed how much sleep each age approximately needs and the proportion of NREM to REM.

- Key terms! When there were questions asking for the effects of sleep deprivation, I always checked if they were asking for psychological or physiological effects. For psychological effects, my go-to effects were: Lack of motivation, lack of concentration and slower reaction time. For physiological effects, my go-to effects were: droopy eyelids, lowered energy levels and hand tremors. My teacher told me to avoid fatigue as this is kind of ambiguous and may or may not be applicable to either psychological or physiological effects - people have differing opinions about it.


| MENTAL HEALTH |
- Charts! When it came to studying the biopsychosocial approach, I used the pie chart for the biological, psychological and social risk factors and protective factors.

- Key terms! When defining the biopsychosocial approach, include 'holistic' and 'mental and physical health'


| RESEARCH METHODS |
- PRACTICE THIS REGULARLY. Since 1/2, I hated the chapters on research methods because of how dry and boring they were. But they're really important, especially for the current study design.

- Key terms! When writing your hypothesis, follow this simple formula: Population - IV - DV - IV (e.g. VCE students who have a greater proportion of fruit in their diet will have higher ATARs than those who don't)

- When operationalising variables, ALWAYS consider: time, place, how the DV is measured and any other extra information that's in the scenario. When it came to questions asking you to operationalise the variables or to write an operational hypothesis, write a concise research hypothesis first then under it operationalise your IV and DV.

- If they ask you for weaknesses in an experimental design, and you write something about the effects of individual participant differences, includes examples that are specific to the scenario. (e.g. Individual participant differences, such as the age of the participants, are a weakness to the design as……)

- When you're considering if an experiment is able to be generalised, consider these three things:
   - Is there a possibility that confounding variables may have negatively affected the results?
   - Was a representative sample collected?
If you answer yes-no-yes, then congratulations you have an experiment that can be generalised. Most studies, however, will not have any possible generalisations.

_______

REGRETS AND WHAT I SHOULD'VE DONE:
- No flashcards
   I had all of my written notes in a binder book, and it was tedious to constantly flip through pages as I sometimes skipped pages and wrote things on random pages. Having flashcards would've been really great…

- Should've consistently looked through my notes
   I had an on/off routine with Psych. Sometimes for days on end I didn't study for Psych and I ended up finding time to study the day the before a sac. Don't do what I did. Do 5 questions per day from checkpoints or do 20 minutes study per day, doesn't matter - it'll be better than no study at all.

- Leaving checkpoints to the last minute (day before exam)
   Was kinda lazy with checkpoints, so I ended up doing about half of it throughout the year and leaving the other half of it to the day before the exam.
   
- PROCRASTINATION
   Still have this problem :( I wasted my time A LOT during the year through YouTube, games and other stuff. I still waste my time a lot, even being in Year 12 smh. Not using my laptop at all entirely is helpful, but even that gets difficult :(

________

EXAM ADVICE:

Some general tips would be:
   1. BE SPECIFIC!!! Wherever you can, always refer to the scenario. Always include the names of the people in the scenario and what's happening with them.

   2. HIGHLIGHT KEY TERMS: Whether they be underlined or bolded already, still highlight them to draw your attention.

   3. USE DOT POINTS WHERE YOU CAN: It'll be much easier for the eyes of your examiners, who would undoubtedly be extremely tired from reading hundreds of students' answers for hours on end.

   4. USE YOUR READING TIME WELL: I read the Section C scenario first, then Section B, then Section A. If I had time in the end, I reread the Section C scenario two or three times and did a little brainstorm on the things I'd write.

   5. UNDERLINE KEY TERMS IN YOUR ANSWER: For example, "An emotion-focussed coping strategy would be to watch Netflix the whole day, allowing (insert name) to take their mind of VCE, which is their source of stress"

   6. WHEN YOU NEED TO WRITE MORE AT THE BACK OF YOUR SAC OR EXAM BOOKLET, PUT IN BRACKETS "(REFER TO BACK, ON PAGE [number] )" AND HIGHLIGHT IT: This goes especially for your exam, where some poor person will be photocopying all the exams and may miss out on you saying that there's more at the back, so they don't photocopy that bit so the examiners never see it. Of course they'll be more careful than that, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


When did you finish the course?
My teacher finished the course at around late August or September. After that, we used all our classes studying or giving the teacher practice section Cs for her to mark and give feedback on.

How many practice exams did you do?
I ended up getting 39 done before the exam. Of course you don't need to do this much, there are people who did less and got over 40. I just put in the extra effort to get more practice and just in case I came across a kind of question I couldn't do (though unfortunately didn't find one that had a section c saying "evaluate the results". Still salty about that……)

What was your study routine for the exam?
- On the weekends, I woke up early in the morning and did practice exams at the time of the real exam (i.e. Woke up at 8, had breakfast, then did my prac exams from 9:00-11:45).

- After each exam, I put myself in the shoes of a really harsh examiner and I marked my exams. If there was a slight mistake, I would take away a mark. After marking, I would put on a separate piece of paper the topics I should cover and the questions relevant to them (e.g. Process of classical conditioning - Multiple Choice Questions 4 and 5)

- With two other friends, we did a practice exam after school in strict timed conditions like a real exam - with tables and chairs set up. 

- I was part of a Psych study group on Skype, where we asked and answered each other's questions

- I had stuck up on my walls near my desk the entire study design, which I annotated throughout the year

- Had a book which consisted of all my errors. I read over this almost every single day and before I went to sleep every night.

Which companies did you get your practice exams from?
- Every single VCAA past exam from 2002 (just didn't do the questions that wasn't relevant to the current course)
- Engage Wiki (warning, some of their questions are kinda weird as far as I remember)
- Lisachem
- TSSM
- NEAP
- Trials for Teachers
- Chemology
- STAV
- ePsych
- Kilbaha
- A+ books

What did you do the day before the exam?
As said in the REGRETS section, I left doing the rest of my checkpoints to the day before. For the entire day. But I went to sleep early, at 10:00, so I could at least consolidate what I learned.

What did you do on the day of the exam (in the morning)?
The time of the exam was 9:00-11:45 so I came to school at 8:15. I casually went over some stuff with my other Psych friends, but other than that we relaxed and motivated each other that we were all amazing and we were going to do our best in the exam. Having positive vibes before entering the exam room is really important and gave me confidence in my own abilities.

What did you do during the exam?
The exam was held in a large theatre in my school, with a huge clock projected to the front wall and desks spaced out in neat rows and columns. I was in the middle of the room.

Whenever I felt stressed and frustrated, in both reading and writing time, I did some deep breathing exercises. At first I was scared that it would use up time, but really it's better to have a few minutes to clear your head and do the exam with a clear, focussed mind.

When reading time started, I flipped the booklet open to Section C, which I read over twice. Then I switched to section B and made a mental note of the terms to highlight when writing times starts. I then switched to Section A, where I read the first half of the multiple choice and answered the first 5 questions, mentally rehearsing it a few times.

When writing time started, I flipped to Section B where I highlighted the key terms for all the short answer questions (at least I think I did…) then I answered the questions. After this, I did Section A and did Section C last as I had more time to think about my answer. I wrote most of my answers in dot points and for Section C I underlined key terms I had in my answer, so it's easier for the examiners to read.

(Note: My teacher doesn't recommend this way of approaching the sections in the exam. She said it's better to start with Section A in writing time as it provides retrieval cues for the rest of the questions.)

What did you do after the exam?
Like for my SACs, I tried getting out of the exam room as fast as I can. Psych was over and done with, so there was no need to talk about anything for another couple of months (when the examiner's report came out, I talked about it with a few friends).

_______________________________________________

And I think that's it for now. Will update if I think of any more things to say.
Feel free to ask me any questions.

Best of luck to everyone in their Psych journeys!
- cookiedream

Edit 1:
How to make Psych more interesting?  (been asked this question, so I shall put my response on here ^^)
- Videos! Since 1/2, Crash Course Psychology was my go-to channel for summarising or familiarising myself with Psych concepts in a fun and more interesting way. How they present and teach the topics is so cute, with their animations and the engaging dialogue.

- Teach others or even yourself! After doing the work and research and consolidating your knowledge, pretend that you're a Psychology teacher and teach an audience the concept in a way you think will not bore them (or in the way you want to be taught). So what I did was that I pretty much gave myself a lecture using silly examples (to which I often cracked myself up) and personal anecdotes

- Games! Around the start of the year, I made small cards where on one side I had questions related to the sleep topic and on the back I had the answers. I stuck these cards up on doors around the house, and I did this thing where I cannot go through a door unless I can answer the questions. Sadly for me this didn't last long though. If you do this, try having a time limit too! Perhaps, 5 multiple choice questions in 5 minutes. Or maybe have a point system.

Edit 2: Added spacing to make it more readable ;D Also deleted the stuff on p-value, since it's no longer relevant to the current course.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 11:36:02 am by cookiedream »
VCE: (click the links below to view my guides)
2016: Methods [44], Psych [48]
2017: Eng Lang [49], Bio [50], Chem, Spec
ATAR: 99.75 | UMAT: 88th
2018-2022: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ Monash University

Joseph41

  • Administrator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • Oxford comma and Avett Brothers enthusiast.
  • Respect: +6263
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 07:15:41 pm »
+4
*Ah-MAH-zing*. Wow.

Great thread, cookiedream - thank you so much! ;D This is going to benefit many a soul.
One wug.

cookiedream

  • MOTM: APR 17
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Respect: +375
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:57:53 pm »
+2
*Ah-MAH-zing*. Wow.

Great thread, cookiedream - thank you so much! ;D This is going to benefit many a soul.

Thanks Joseph41!! I really hope it does :)
VCE: (click the links below to view my guides)
2016: Methods [44], Psych [48]
2017: Eng Lang [49], Bio [50], Chem, Spec
ATAR: 99.75 | UMAT: 88th
2018-2022: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ Monash University

jem_

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Respect: +1
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 08:07:35 pm »
+3
I wish someone had given me this advice last year, this post is amazing  ;) ;)
2016: Psychology (49)
2017: English, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematical Methods (CAS), Health and Human Development

Joseph41

  • Administrator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • Oxford comma and Avett Brothers enthusiast.
  • Respect: +6263
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:14:00 pm »
+1
I wish someone had given me this advice last year, this post is amazing  ;) ;)

Welcome to the forums, jem_. Stick around! ;D ;D ;D
One wug.

howey

  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 210
  • Respect: +75
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 06:46:46 pm »
+2
Great post this - will help many students!! So much great advice!

"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up" - Babe Ruth

Joseph41

  • Administrator
  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *****
  • Posts: 9640
  • Oxford comma and Avett Brothers enthusiast.
  • Respect: +6263
Re: HOW I GOT A RAW 48 IN PSYCH - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 06:51:29 pm »
+1
Great post this - will help many students!! So much great advice!

And this coming from the ATAR Notes Psych lecturer! That's a great compliment, cookiedream. ;D
One wug.

cookiedream

  • MOTM: APR 17
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Respect: +375
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 11:45:39 am »
+3
Good luck for Thursday everyone!! Remember to keep cool, stay positive and believe in yourself!

All the best ;D

- cookiedream
VCE: (click the links below to view my guides)
2016: Methods [44], Psych [48]
2017: Eng Lang [49], Bio [50], Chem, Spec
ATAR: 99.75 | UMAT: 88th
2018-2022: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ Monash University

31415926535

  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Respect: 0
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 12:42:54 pm »
+1
GENERAL ADVICE
Shout out to my amazing Psych teacher who gave me most of the advice in this post! Also shout out to one of my friends, who got raw 49, for adding some advice here ^^

Three things I followed consistently and I found essential were:
   1. ASKING YOUR TEACHER REGULARLY: Have a routine where every day, or at least every three days, you have around 5 questions for your teacher. Whether they be questions from the textbook or questions you thought of yourself, keep asking your teacher Psych-related things.
   2. CHECKPOINTS!!!! Do. Checkpoints. It's a great way to consolidate your knowledge and to get you more familiarised with VCAA-type questions as the year goes on. After every topic we cover, and after I've finished the relevant textbook questions, I did every single question in Checkpoints that was related to that topic. Sometimes Checkpoints gave weird answers, so I'd stay after school and go through them with my teacher.
   3. REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS: Psych is really hard to forget because of all the links I made to real life applications. So try to apply the concepts you learn all around you. It'll become easier to remember the stuff for the end of year exam.
   
How did you take your notes?
- Took notes on my laptop during class
- Did all my exercises handwritten - good for your memory compared to typing and it's good practice throughout the year for the exam
- I had a recording app on my phone, and for several chapters I recorded my notes. Admittedly, I only listened to them a few times when I wasn't listening to music

Did you do tutoring?
No.

Were you ahead or did you try to go ahead of everyone else?
Around the start I tried and before term 2 ended I finished unit 3. But this was a bad mistake as I ended up completely forgetting about the chapters I got ahead in so I wasted my time :/ And it unfortunately turned out that the stuff I was learning about in the textbook was incorrect (I was learning about the Baddeley and Hitch Model of Working Memory, which VCAA describes in a way different to the textbooks smh)

Did you go to any lectures?
Yep. I went to 3 lectures for Psych during the months before the exam. They were good refreshers and I felt that if I stayed back home instead, I would procrastinate instead.

What was your SAC average/What SAC averages should I be aiming for?
I think 90 or 92%, I forgot. I think as long as you try to stay at around the top it's a pretty safe spot. But the exam is what really counts in the end.

After a SAC, did you discuss answers with others?
Most of the time, no. For a lot of people it's not healthy either as there's a high risk of adding further unnecessary stress. So I wouldn't recommend it.

_________

For topic-specific advice, I'll try doing it according to what's covered in the current study design. Because I've done the previous study design, I may not cover some topics :/

UNIT 3:
(according to the current study design)

| NERVOUS SYSTEM  |
- Flowcharts! Have a diagram for the divisions of the nervous system then link this to neurons (structure and functions) then neurotransmitters etc etc.

| STRESS |
- Visuals! Not sure if they still have it, but in the Oxford textbook there was a flowchart of Lazarus and Folkman which made the model easier to memorise.
- Applications! Give examples that are significant to you; try applying the different models to different situations where you felt stressed

| LEARNING |
- Videos! Personally I found LTP difficult to process and memorise, so I watched this video on it and ignored the parts which were irrelevant to the course. There's also this video that's really helpful too.
- Tables! Have a table on the similarities and differences between operant conditioning, classical conditioning and observational learning.
- For questions asking you to outline the steps of operant conditioning or observational learning, use dot points to list the steps then define them while directly relating to the scenario. For example, when talking about the 'Retention' step in observational learning, try writing something along the lines of: "(Person 1) formed and kept to memory a mental representation of (Person 2) (insert action that's being learned)" e.g. "Bob formed and kept to memory a mental representation of Steve kicking the soccer ball.
- Do diagrams for classical conditioning!!! Something like, say for the Little Albert experiment:
   Before Conditioning
   NS (neutral stimulus: white rat) --------> no response
   UCS (unconditioned stimulus: loud noise) ---------> UCR (unconditioned response: fear du to the loud noise)
   During Conditioning
   UCS
   + NS (consistently associated together) ---------------> UCR (fear due to loud noise)
   After Conditioning
   CS (conditioned stimulus: white rat) ------> CR (conditioned response: fear due to the white rat)
- Key words for the steps in observational learning are:
   Attention: "watching closely"
   Retention: "forming and keeping in memory a mental representation of"
   Reproduction: "has the mental and physical capacity to (insert action)"  [whatever you do, do NOT say that they actually did the action. That happens after the 'Reinforcement' step]
   Motivation: "wants to"
   Reinforcement: "perceives the prospect of a positive result from (insert action)"
- Keep in mind that for a lot of the classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning questions, there's a set formula for answering the question. Keeping to this formula will make your answer easier to follow for the examiner marking it

| MEMORY |
- Visuals! Have a chart of Atkinson and Shriffin's model with definitions for each store. Make a diagram of the brain, use colours for each region, label them and describe in detail their roles. Our teacher set this as a task for us and I found it really helpful as I stuck it up on my wall.
- Applications! Particularly for context and state dependent cues.
- Key terms! When it came to the serial position effect, incorporate and define these terms: "primacy effect", "asymptote", "recency effect"
- Key terms! For questions about Loftus' research on eyewitness testimony, there were a few terms I tried to stick with: "retrieval", "reconstructive nature", "biased by a question's wording", "misinformation", "updated memory trace"

UNIT 4:
(according to the current study design)

| CONSCIOUSNESS |
- Key terms! When defining the instruments that indicate different states of consciousness, remember DAREA (e.g. The EEG detects, amplifies and records electrical activity in the brain in the form of brain waves")
- Key terms! When it came to explaining why someone is in a certain state of consciousness, I tried to reason through "content limitations" and "time orientation" most of the time because personally they were the most straightforward. Again, this will be different for different people. (e.g. (name 1) is in a state of Normal Waking Consciousness as their perception of the passage of time is close to real time, evident by (name 1) answering (name 2) that 5 minutes went by when it actually did. In addition, (name 1)'s course of thinking is more focussed and relevant to what's around them, as seen by (name 1) talking to (name 2) about the soccer game that had just finished.")

| SLEEP |
- Table! For the different stages in sleep, I had a table briefly describing each stage and describing the features of each stage in terms of things like EEG reading, eye movement (EOG reading), muscle activity (EMG reading), heart rate (EKG reading), breathing rates, body temperature etc etc.
- Graphs! For the comparison of sleep across the lifespan, I often referred to a graph in the textbook that showed how much sleep each age approximately needs and the proportion of NREM to REM.
- Key terms! When there were questions asking for the effects of sleep deprivation, I always checked if they were asking for psychological or physiological effects. For psychological effects, my go-to effects were: Lack of motivation, lack of concentration and slower reaction time. For physiological effects, my go-to effects were: droopy eyelids, lowered energy levels and hand tremors. My teacher told me to avoid fatigue as this is kind of ambiguous and may or may not be applicable to either psychological or physiological effects - people have differing opinions about it.

| MENTAL HEALTH |
- Charts! When it came to studying the biopsychosocial approach, I used the pie chart for the biological, psychological and social risk factors and protective factors.
- Key terms! When defining the biopsychosocial approach, include 'holistic' and 'mental and physical health'

| RESEARCH METHODS |
- PRACTICE THIS REGULARLY. Since 1/2, I hated the chapters on research methods because of how dry and boring they were. But they're really important, especially for the current study design.
- Key terms! When writing your hypothesis, follow this simple formula: Population - IV - DV - IV (e.g. VCE students who have a greater proportion of fruit in their diet will have higher ATARs than those who don't)
- When operationalising variables, ALWAYS consider: time, place, how the DV is measured and any other extra information that's in the scenario. When it came to questions asking you to operationalise the variables or to write an operational hypothesis, write a concise research hypothesis first then under it operationalise your IV and DV.
- If they ask you for weaknesses in an experimental design, and you write something about the effects of individual participant differences, includes examples that are specific to the scenario. (e.g. Individual participant differences, such as the age of the participants, are a weakness to the design as……)
- When you're considering if an experiment is able to be generalised, consider these three things:
   - Is the p-value less than 0.05?
   - Is there a possibility that confounding variables may have negatively affected the results?
   - Was a representative sample collected?
If you answer yes-no-yes, then congratulations you have an experiment that can be generalised. Most studies, however, will not have any possible generalisations.
- When you're stating if your results are statistically significant, consider your p-value and explain it. For instance, "the results of this experiment was statistically significant, as the p-value was 0.04 which is less than 0.05. This means the likelihood that the results were due to chance alone is 4%

_______

REGRETS AND WHAT I SHOULD'VE DONE:
- No flashcards
   I had all of my written notes in a binder book, and it was tedious to constantly flip through pages as I sometimes skipped pages and wrote things on random pages. Having flashcards would've been really great…

- Should've consistently looked through my notes
   I had an on/off routine with Psych. Sometimes for days on end I didn't study for Psych and I ended up finding time to study the day the before a sac. Don't do what I did. Do 5 questions per day from checkpoints or do 20 minutes study per day, doesn't matter - it'll be better than no study at all.

- Leaving checkpoints to the last minute (day before exam)
   Was kinda lazy with checkpoints, so I ended up doing about half of it throughout the year and leaving the other half of it to the day before the exam.
   
- PROCRASTINATION
   Still have this problem :( I wasted my time A LOT during the year through YouTube, games and other stuff. I still waste my time a lot, even being in Year 12 smh. Not using my laptop at all entirely is helpful, but even that gets difficult :(

________

EXAM ADVICE:

Some general tips would be:
   1. BE SPECIFIC!!! Wherever you can, always refer to the scenario. Always include the names of the people in the scenario and what's happening with them.
   2. HIGHLIGHT KEY TERMS: Whether they be underlined or bolded already, still highlight them to draw your attention.
   3. USE DOT POINTS WHERE YOU CAN: It'll be much easier for the eyes of your examiners, who would undoubtedly be extremely tired from reading hundreds of students' answers for hours on end.
   4. USE YOUR READING TIME WELL: I read the Section C scenario first, then Section B, then Section A. If I had time in the end, I reread the Section C scenario two or three times and did a little brainstorm on the things I'd write.
   5. UNDERLINE KEY TERMS IN YOUR ANSWER: For example, "An emotion-focussed coping strategy would be to watch Netflix the whole day, allowing (insert name) to take their mind of VCE, which is their source of stress"
   6. WHEN YOU NEED TO WRITE MORE AT THE BACK OF YOUR SAC OR EXAM BOOKLET, PUT IN BRACKETS "(REFER TO BACK, ON PAGE [number] )" AND HIGHLIGHT IT: This goes especially for your exam, where some poor person will be photocopying all the exams and may miss out on you saying that there's more at the back, so they don't photocopy that bit so the examiners never see it. Of course they'll be more careful than that, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

When did you finish the course?
My teacher finished the course at around late August or September. After that, we used all our classes studying or giving the teacher practice section Cs for her to mark and give feedback on.

How many practice exams did you do?
I ended up getting 39 done before the exam. Of course you don't need to do this much, there are people who did less and got over 40. I just put in the extra effort to get more practice and just in case I came across a kind of question I couldn't do (though unfortunately didn't find one that had a section c saying "evaluate the results". Still salty about that……)

What was your study routine for the exam?
- On the weekends, I woke up early in the morning and did practice exams at the time of the real exam (i.e. Woke up at 8, had breakfast, then did my prac exams from 9:00-11:45).

- After each exam, I put myself in the shoes of a really harsh examiner and I marked my exams. If there was a slight mistake, I would take away a mark. After marking, I would put on a separate piece of paper the topics I should cover and the questions relevant to them (e.g. Process of classical conditioning - Multiple Choice Questions 4 and 5)

- With two other friends, we did a practice exam after school in strict timed conditions like a real exam - with tables and chairs set up. 

- I was part of a Psych study group on Skype, where we asked and answered each other's questions

- I had stuck up on my walls near my desk the entire study design, which I annotated throughout the year

- Had a book which consisted of all my errors. I read over this almost every single day and before I went to sleep every night.

Which companies did you get your practice exams from?
- Every single VCAA past exam from 2002 (just didn't do the questions that wasn't relevant to the current course)
- Engage Wiki (warning, some of their questions are kinda weird as far as I remember)
- Lisachem
- TSSM
- NEAP
- Trials for Teachers
- Chemology
- STAV
- ePsych
- Kilbaha
- A+ books

What did you do the day before the exam?
As said in the REGRETS section, I left doing the rest of my checkpoints to the day before. For the entire day. But I went to sleep early, at 10:00, so I could at least consolidate what I learned.

What did you do on the day of the exam (in the morning)?
The time of the exam was 9:00-11:45 so I came to school at 8:15. I casually went over some stuff with my other Psych friends, but other than that we relaxed and motivated each other that we were all amazing and we were going to do our best in the exam. Having positive vibes before entering the exam room is really important and gave me confidence in my own abilities.

What did you do during the exam?
The exam was held in a large theatre in my school, with a huge clock projected to the front wall and desks spaced out in neat rows and columns. I was in the middle of the room.

Whenever I felt stressed and frustrated, in both reading and writing time, I did some deep breathing exercises. At first I was scared that it would use up time, but really it's better to have a few minutes to clear your head and do the exam with a clear, focussed mind.

When reading time started, I flipped the booklet open to Section C, which I read over twice. Then I switched to section B and made a mental note of the terms to highlight when writing times starts. I then switched to Section A, where I read the first half of the multiple choice and answered the first 5 questions, mentally rehearsing it a few times.

When writing time started, I flipped to Section B where I highlighted the key terms for all the short answer questions (at least I think I did…) then I answered the questions. After this, I did Section A and did Section C last as I had more time to think about my answer. I wrote most of my answers in dot points and for Section C I underlined key terms I had in my answer, so it's easier for the examiners to read.

(Note: My teacher doesn't recommend this way of approaching the sections in the exam. She said it's better to start with Section A in writing time as it provides retrieval cues for the rest of the questions.)

What did you do after the exam?
Like for my SACs, I tried getting out of the exam room as fast as I can. Psych was over and done with, so there was no need to talk about anything for another couple of months (when the examiner's report came out, I talked about it with a few friends).

_______________________________________________

And I think that's it for now. Will update if I think of any more things to say.
Feel free to ask me any questions.

Best of luck to everyone in their Psych journeys!
- cookiedream

Edit 1:
How to make Psych more interesting?  (been asked this question, so I shall put my response on here ^^)
- Videos! Since 1/2, Crash Course Psychology was my go-to channel for summarising or familiarising myself with Psych concepts in a fun and more interesting way. How they present and teach the topics is so cute, with their animations and the engaging dialogue.
- Teach others or even yourself! After doing the work and research and consolidating your knowledge, pretend that you're a Psychology teacher and teach an audience the concept in a way you think will not bore them (or in the way you want to be taught). So what I did was that I pretty much gave myself a lecture using silly examples (to which I often cracked myself up) and personal anecdotes
- Games! Around the start of the year, I made small cards where on one side I had questions related to the sleep topic and on the back I had the answers. I stuck these cards up on doors around the house, and I did this thing where I cannot go through a door unless I can answer the questions. Sadly for me this didn't last long though. If you do this, try having a time limit too! Perhaps, 5 multiple choice questions in 5 minutes. Or maybe have a point system.

Wait, when you say checkpoints what do you mean?

Bri MT

  • VIC MVP - 2018
  • National Moderator
  • ATAR Notes Superstar
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
  • invest in wellbeing so it can invest in you
  • Respect: +1812
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 12:46:12 pm »
+2
Wait, when you say checkpoints what do you mean?
checkpoints is a commercial book which has  previous VCAA exam questions and exam-style questions sorted by topic
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?

Want QCE help? Leave a post here :)

cookiedream

  • MOTM: APR 17
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Respect: +375
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 03:16:11 pm »
+1
another great post, can you take a look at question 7 e)i and ii for the sample exam i made a post about it on atar notes and people seem to be split in their answers

7e)i. I think you can say any design, as long as you justify it with its appropriate advantages whilst being specific to Amelia's investigation. If you're justifying repeated measures and how it eliminates individual participant differences, put in brackets one or two examples.

7e)ii. Compare how the items of the original List 2 and Amelia's proposed adjustment to List 2 are encoded into memory. That is, for the original List 2, talk about STM and how they are less likely to be recalled as a whole due to its limited capacity of 7+/- 2. Whereas, for the new List 2, talk about elaborative rehearsal and how this allows the items to be transferred from STM to LTM, at least temporarily, hence leading to better recall by participants.


Wait, when you say checkpoints what do you mean?



This checkpoints  ;D
VCE: (click the links below to view my guides)
2016: Methods [44], Psych [48]
2017: Eng Lang [49], Bio [50], Chem, Spec
ATAR: 99.75 | UMAT: 88th
2018-2022: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ Monash University

Butterflygirl

  • Trendsetter
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • An evil ferocious demon.
  • Respect: +4
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 06:51:36 pm »
+1
7e)i. I think you can say any design, as long as you justify it with its appropriate advantages whilst being specific to Amelia's investigation. If you're justifying repeated measures and how it eliminates individual participant differences, put in brackets one or two examples.

7e)ii. Compare how the items of the original List 2 and Amelia's proposed adjustment to List 2 are encoded into memory. That is, for the original List 2, talk about STM and how they are less likely to be recalled as a whole due to its limited capacity of 7+/- 2. Whereas, for the new List 2, talk about elaborative rehearsal and how this allows the items to be transferred from STM to LTM, at least temporarily, hence leading to better recall by participants.


(Image removed from quote.)

This checkpoints  ;D

Hey! just clarifying, but for observational learning, in the 'attention stage' do we have to say watching the behaviour closely? or the behaviour and the consequence?

and is this the same for what we need to mention for the other stages too?

Thanks!! :)

cookiedream

  • MOTM: APR 17
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
  • Respect: +375
Re: How I Got a Raw 48 in Psych - Tips, Tricks and Regrets
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2017, 07:51:44 pm »
+1
Hey! just clarifying, but for observational learning, in the 'attention stage' do we have to say watching the behaviour closely? or the behaviour and the consequence?

and is this the same for what we need to mention for the other stages too?

Thanks!! :)

It's mainly the behaviour that you keep a close watch on, but to be safe you can mention the consequence as well.
VCE: (click the links below to view my guides)
2016: Methods [44], Psych [48]
2017: Eng Lang [49], Bio [50], Chem, Spec
ATAR: 99.75 | UMAT: 88th
2018-2022: Bachelor of Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine @ Monash University