AP Psychology

AP Psychology Course Overview

The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.

AP Psychology Course Content

The AP Psychology course includes the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes represented by the following topics:

• History and Approaches

• Research Methods

• Biological Bases of Behavior

• Sensation and Perception

• States of Consciousness

• Learning

• Cognition

• Motivation and Emotion

• Developmental Psychology

• Personality

• Testing and Individual Differences

• Abnormal Behavior

• Treatment of Abnormal Behavior

• Social Psychology

AP Psychology Exam Structure


Assessment Overview

The AP Psychology Exam measures students’ knowledge of the 14 key topics and fields of study in psychology and tests their ability to define, compare, and apply concepts and research findings. Questions are based on key terminology, scientific methodology, and theories associated with each subfield.

Free-response questions may require students to interrelate different content areas and to analyze and evaluate psychological constructs and, more generally, theoretical perspectives.

Format of Assessment

Section I: Multiple Choice | 100 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 66.6% of Exam Score

• Define and explain content from a range of course topics

• Apply skills of comparison and interpretation to course concepts, theories, and scientific methods

Section II: Free Response | 2 Questions | 50 Minutes | 33.3% of Exam Score

Topics/themes addressed by these questions may include (but are not limited to) the following:

• Analyze a unique scenario using concepts from different theoretical frameworks or subdomains in the field

• Design, analyze, or critique a research study