PSY 101 Frequently Asked Questions
And a few not so frequently asked
The questions are organized into three groups: questions about classroom routines, questions about the tests and grades, and questions about the psychology learning center.
Questions about classroom routines:
1. Why is the course information sheet so long?
2. Do I have to come to class?
3. Do I have to bring my book to class?
4. I have an old copy of the textbook. Is that okay?
5. I can’t stand my teacher. Can I change sections?
6. It’s the 10th week and only half the class shows up. Did they all withdraw?
7. Do people fail this class?
8. Who’s the easiest teacher for PSY 101?
9. Why do some of my friends have long handouts from their PSY 101 class?
10. Where can I get another teacher’s handouts?
11. How do I know which material will be on a test?
12. What does my teacher mean when she says I’m an adult now?
13. The people sitting behind me talk all the time and the teacher doesn’t
tell them to be quiet; what can I do?
Questions about tests and grades:
1. I missed my B test. Can I make it up?
2. I missed a whole unit, will that hurt my grade?
3. How do I know what my overall grade is?
4. So, where do I take the “A” test? (I didn’t pay attention when you described this in class.)
5. Is there extra credit?
6. Is there a midterm?
7. Who made up the tests?
8. Why is the C test always harder than the A and B tests?
9. Why do I always do worse on the C test?
10. Why do I always do better on the practice tests?
11. What score do I need to pass?
12. How can I see what I got wrong on a test?
Questions about the learning center:
1. Where do I get the practice tests?
2. How many different practice tests are there?
3. I don’t have a photo ID; can I still take the C test?
4. The course information sheet says I have to bring a pencil to the learning center for tests, but they’re all on computer. Do I need a pencil at all?
5. Isn’t there supposed to be a teacher there who can help me?
6. Can I use MindTap in the learning center?
7. What’s with the Ψ all over the place?
8. My mother knows I’m special; why don’t I get my way in the learning center?
Questions about classroom routines:
1. Why is the course information sheet so long? It’s really long when you have it all on paper. We’ve moved it online now, so what you were handed out in class is just an abridged version. Overall it’s so long because it contains all the rules and regulations governing the course. You should read it. Some teachers will hold you to it and expect that you know what’s in it. Others will remind you about things that are in it. Think of it as the PSY 101 rulebook.
2. Do I have to come to class? Do you want to pass? Your teacher may withdraw you due to non-attendance (or maybe not: MCC has changed the rule on this, starting in 2017). Most teachers will probably leave you in class as long as you’re taking the unit tests and maintaining a passing average. But no student does as well on the tests on their own as they do when they are consistently attending class.
3. Do I have to bring my book to class? No, you don’t have to, but it often helps. If your teacher tends to ask you to look at specific things in the book during class, then get in the habit of bringing it. Be careful, though: from what I’ve seen, the pages are flimsy and might not hold up to a lot of back-and-forth turning.
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4. I have an old copy of the textbook. Is that okay? Maybe. Check the ISBN (the book identification number: in 2017 it is 9781323425046). We moved to a completely new book for the fall of 2016, which is totally customized for our course. Do not buy the mass-market Lilienfeld text. Only buy the version we’re using.
5. I can’t stand my teacher. Can I change sections? Only if another section has openings. Occasionally you’ll have a teacher who you just can’t tolerate, and you might really benefit from switching. More frequently it’s just a first-impression problem. Give your teacher some time. And if you do withdraw without getting “green-slipped” into a different section, there’s no guarantee you’ll have a class at all. Try to change sections only if you really really have to.
6. It’s the 10th week and only half the class shows up. Did they all withdraw? Nope. Some have withdrawn or quit (or been withdrawn by the teacher); most of those who aren’t showing up are either lazy about it, or have had some rotten things happen in their lives. Most of the ones missing are still taking one or two unit tests, but they’re generally not doing as well as they could have been had they been in class.
7. Do people fail this class? Yes. Most of those who fail don’t do the work and don’t take all the opportunities offered to them to pass. Some fail despite that. The tests are all multiple choice and straight from the book, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. I’ve had some students who re-took the class three times before they passed. You’d better study and use the materials made available to help you pass.
8. Who’s the easiest teacher for PSY 101? No one’s easier or harder, because the tests are all the same no matter who your teacher is. (Well, not the same as in you can cheat with your friend from another class section, but the same as in from the same test bank – see the section on test questions below.) But some teachers will teach more directly to the test than others. Some just describe material that’s on the test and others bring in thoughts, ideas, facts, and stories that are pertinent, but for which there are no specific test questions. Whether one of these styles is easier for you or not, I do not know.
9. Why do some of my friends have long handouts from their PSY 101 class? Each teacher teaches the same material on the same schedule, but each teacher has his or her own method, own style. Some teachers provide students with lengthy handouts that summarize all the material in the unit objectives. Some teachers have shorter sets of handouts. Some teachers have no handouts at all. Feel free to use anyone’s handouts you get access to, but don’t hold your teacher accountable for another teacher’s handouts.
10. Where can I get another teacher’s handouts? There is no depository for these. Some teachers have them available on Blackboard, which is password-protected. Some keep copies in the “Courses” folder of the “M-drive” (MCC’s computer mainframe). Others only hand them out in class. Your best bet is probably a fellow student in another teacher’s class.
11. How do I know which material will be on a test? Be sure to consult the study guide (the study guide is online and hard to miss from the Psychology Learning Center web site). Basically, we cover everything in the book, but it’s divided into 20 learning objectives. Each learning objective is numbered (there are 20 per unit), and next to the number is a brief list of text headings, which you will find in the textbook. You will not be tested on material that is not listed there, but most everything in the book is.
12. What does my teacher mean when she says I’m an adult now? I think it means you’ll be expected to assume responsibility for the events that happen to you. You know, like if you miss a test, you can expect your teacher to think that you made a rational adult-like decision to miss the test. It sort of also means that you’ll be treated like a low-wage employee working for a heartless corporation where we teachers are management. Pretend that you need the job, okay?
13. The people sitting behind me talk all the time and the teacher doesn’t tell them to be quiet; what can I do? First, tell your teacher what’s going on. A lot of times we teachers just don’t hear the incessant talking. After all, we’re running our mouths quite a lot ourselves, and then the rooms are generally structured to project sound from the front (the stage) out to the audience (where you sit), but not the other way around. So let your teacher know it’s going on and that it bothers you. Second, see if you can sit elsewhere. Some inconsiderate students won’t stop talking until they’re threatened with extreme sanctions (I’ve had to threaten to call security before some students would learn to behave respectfully) – and though we teachers have the right to remove misbehaving students from class, many teachers are reluctant to be so heavy-handed.
Questions about the tests and grades:
1. I missed my B test. Can I make it up? No. B tests are only given in class on the scheduled date. If you miss it, you miss it. Take the A and C tests for that unit.
2. I missed a whole unit, will that hurt my grade? If you do nothing about it, yes. You can, however, ask your teacher if you can get a “makeup C test permission slip.” It’s up to your teacher to give you one, and you may only receive one if you’ve missed the entire unit (i.e., you did not take an A, B, or C test for that unit). You can then take that permission slip to the learning center and request the makeup test during final exams week (don’t lose that slip). If you skip this, you’ll get a zero for the unit, and that’s not good for your grade at all.
3. How do I know what my overall grade is? Grades will be live in Blackboard, but there may be a delay processing the paper B-tests. They’re usually posted by Wednesday after the C-test deadline for the most recent unit. You have to be in the “Testing” section of Blackboard, and then your current average isn’t listed, but it’s the result of the “running points” divided by the number of units you’ve finished. Individual test scores are also shown. Check this regularly to make sure there aren’t any errors. You can also ask your teacher for your grade, but your teacher might not be carrying a copy of the grades.
4. So, where do I take the “A” test? (I didn’t pay attention when you described this in class.) This question is most amusing when asked around the 12th week of class. The psychology learning center is inside the main electronic learning center in 11-110 (and as of this writing, we don’t know where it’ll be at the new Downtown campus). At Brighton, log in at the main electronic learning center desk, then turn left. The psychology learning center is all the way in the back corner to the left.
5. Is there extra credit? Nope. There are no additional assignments, no papers, no homework, and no extra credit projects.
6. Is there a midterm? No. Just the 7 unit tests. The highest score on each will be averaged together to form your course grade.
7. Who made up the tests? Evil little people who live in faraway places. We have a very large test bank, and individual tests are created by choosing one question for each learning objective, randomly, from this test bank. Every test has 20 questions. Every question represents one unique learning objective as defined in the study guide.
8. Why is the C test always harder than the A and B tests?
It’s not. Sometimes it just seems that way. Keep trying. One test might be harder than another, but that will be a random effect. Like I just said in question 7, above, we have a very large test bank, and individual tests are created by choosing one question for each learning objective, randomly, from this test bank.
9. Why do I always do worse on the C test? Because you expect it to be easier. You don’t always do worse on the C test, but sometimes it might seem that way. A lot of students will rush to the C test while the material is fresh on their minds after taking a B test, or they’ll put it off until the deadline and then hurry in without having studied additionally for it. Study between tests and in the long run, you’ll do better.
10. Why do I always do better on the practice tests? Do you really? After one closed-book attempt?
11. What score do I need to pass? Your score on any one test doesn’t matter. What matters is the overall average you have after the highest score from each unit has been calculated. If you score a 14 (raw score) or 70% on a test, you have what’s needed for a C there, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a 70% average after the next unit. If you’re happy with a C, think ahead: you might get a unit where your highest score is still an F; that will pull down your average. So when you get a 70%, you need to aim for a higher grade to help you out when you get lower grades.
12. How can I see what I got wrong on a test? If it was a paper-and-pencil test (such as the in-class B-test), take your “feedback sheet” or “receipt” to the study side of the psychology learning center and ask the teacher on duty to go over it with you. If it hasn’t yet been scanned into the system, the teacher will have access to a paper copy. If it was a computerized test, you can review it immediately after finishing and prior to logging out of the testing system. At any later time, just ask the teacher on duty (the tutor), who will bring up your test on a computer and you can see exactly what you did wrong, and get some help at the same time.
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Questions about the learning center:
1. Where do I get the practice tests? You can sit at one of the computers in the learning center and access two separate practice tests – an icon for each should be readily available on the computer screen. One of these is an in-house production available only from Psychology Learning Center computers; the other resides on in MyPsychLab and can also be accessed from home if you have an account (see the link from the home page of the psychology learning center web site).
2. How many different practice tests are there? Three: one available only from the Psychology Learning Center computers, and one available in MyPsychLab (which is easily accessed from the Psychology Learning Center’s computers, but you can also access it from home or anywhere). A third is only in your teacher’s possession and might be used in class.
3. I don’t have a photo ID; can I still take the C test? Not a chance. No A test or C test will be given without a photo ID. (However, it need not be an MCC student ID.)
4. The course information sheet says I have to bring a pencil to the learning center for tests, but they’re all on computer. Do I need a pencil at all? Occasionally the computer system crashes and then we have to give paper tests like we do the B test. Be prepared.
5. Isn’t there supposed to be a teacher there who can help me? That depends on what your problem is and the time of day. There won’t always be a teacher on hand, but most hours during the week are covered; Fridays are generally a bad time. A schedule of duty assignments is posted on the wall of the learning center (at Brighton) facing the student desks (on the study side). Now and then an assigned instructor will be absent, but mostly, if one is assigned for the hour then they’ll be there. Some times are busy, however, and you might not get a chance even though a teacher is on hand.
6. Can I use MyPsychLab in the learning center? First off, MyPsychLab is a study aid created by the textbook publisher, and you buy access to it when you buy a new textbook. Currently we don’t have a way to allow everyone access through dedicated computers in the learning center, so you have to useMyPsychLab on any computer with a keyboard so that you can log in using your personal code. Most of the computers in the Psychology Learning Center have no keyboards.
7. What’s with the Ψ all over the place? The Greek letter Ψ (“psi”) is frequently used as a shorthand symbol for “psychology,” so you’re bound to see it in various forms, creatively designed or not, in conjunction with professional psychology.
8. My mother knows I’m special; why don’t I get my way in the learning center? It’s entirely possible that your mother is mistaken.