Psychology book summaries

So you have a major test coming up in a few weeks and although you have been a good student, it is still a lot of information to remember during your psych test. What do you do? Well, the best thing to do, regardless of whether you actually read the chapters when they were originally assigned or not, is summarize the information from your psychology book that will be on your test. Is that possible? Yes, it is. All you have to do is follow the easy steps listed below and you will successfully pass your psych test. If you are clueless when it comes to summarization, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you how to effectively summarize information from your psychology book so you are adequately prepared for your psych test.

Listed below are some helpful tips that can teach you how to summarize information from your psychology book:
• Make a List of Chapters

The first step in summarizing information is to make a list of the chapters that will be featured on your psychology test. Most courses have an accessible syllabus (i.e. online or paper) that tells you key concepts, questions, assignment due dates and exam dates. Look on your syllabus and make a note of what chapters will be on the next psychology test. Also, make a note of the key concepts, major themes and topics linked to that test. It is important to note you will probably be able to find that information on your syllabus. If it is not listed directly on the syllabus, the page numbers will probably be listed.

• Skim Each Chapter

Now that you know what chapters are going to be on the test, you can go skim each chapter for relevant and important definitions, theories, key concepts, etc. Think back to your instructor’s lecture on a particular chapter, did he/she keep going over certain concepts? If yes, then you need to take note of those concepts because they are probably going to be on your psych test. Once you have located “important pieces of information” write them down or highlight them in your book. You may need to review those key pieces of information several times before the test.

• Sum It Up

Now that you have skimmed the chapters, sum up each chapter. In other words, write down the information in your own words. What do you think the individual chapters are trying to tell you? What should you be getting from the chapters? What can you learn from the chapters? If there are questions at the end of the chapters – answer them. These questions will help you summarize what you have learned. They may also help you gain a better perspective of key concepts and themes.

• Ask Questions

If you are trying to summarize information for a psych test, do not be afraid to ask your peers or instructor questions. In other words, if you do not understand something in one of more of the chapters – ask someone. The last thing you want to do is summarize wrong information. You want to make sure you are learning the correct information or you will more than likely fail the test. Plus, if you are confused about something, more than likely others are too so your question may help everyone.

• Organize Your Notes

Once you have skimmed the chapters and summed them up, you will need to organize your notes. Place your notes somewhere accessible and organize them by date and/or topic. Review your notes and the chapters in your psychology book several times before your psychology test.


How to Study. (2014). How to study and write for Psychology. Retrieved from

Shpungin, E. & Lyubansky, M. (2014). Study tips for psychology. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Retrieved from

West Virginia Department of Education. (2014). Summarization techniques. Retrieved from

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