What You Need to Know About the AP Psychology Exam
The College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program enables high school students to study college-level subjects. Most colleges grant credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP exam grades. You may want to check with the colleges of your choice to find out their policies. Enrollment in AP Psychology has increased annually since its inception to become one of the most popular of 37 AP courses and exams offered.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about the AP Psychology Exam
Why Take the AP Psychology Exam?
AP Psychology is an exciting course to take not only because it gives you an opportunity to understand your own behavior and mental processes better, but also because it enables you to learn more about other people and animals. Benefits of taking such a challenging course can include strengthening your transcript, proving to yourself that you can do it, and starting college with some credit. Admissions officers from Adelphi University to Yale University have told me that their number one criterion for admissions decisions is the strength of an applicant's high school program.
Additional benefits are sometimes offered. Some high schools weight or scale AP course grades. Because some colleges charge per credit, you can save money. Getting three or more credits for the price of the exam is a good value.
The College Board reports, "Studies have shown that AP students are more likely to maintain a high grade point average and graduate from college with honors than their college classmates of similar ability...."
What Is the Format of the Exam?
The following table summarizes the format of the AP Psychology exam.
The exam is 2 hours long. During the first 70 minutes, you have 100 multiple-choice questions to answer. At the end of the 70 minutes, your booklet and answer sheet will be collected. However, no matter how early you finish this first part of the exam, you cannot begin the free-response questions (essays) early. The multiple-choice section counts for two-thirds of your score. If you have time remaining after you complete the questions, you can go back to those you were uncertain about or want to reread. You are limited to 50 minutes to answer two required essay questions.
Who Writes the AP Psychology Exam?
Development of each AP exam is a multi-year effort that involves many education and testing professionals and students. At the heart of the effort is the AP Psychology Development Committee, a group of highly regarded college and AP high school teachers from diverse backgrounds who are typically asked to serve for 3 years. The committee and experienced test-item writers create a large pool of multiple-choice questions. With the help of psychometricians (measurement psychologists) at Educational Testing Service (ETS), these questions are then pre-tested with college students who are enrolled in introductory psychology at selected colleges and universities. Questions are evaluated for accuracy, appropriateness, clarity, and assurance that there is only one possible answer. Data from pre-tests allow each question to be categorized by degree of difficulty.
In general, the easiest questions to answer are at the beginning of Section 1, and the most difficult questions at the end. After additional development and refinement, Section I of the exam is ready to be administered.
Numerous free-response questions (essay questions) are written for possible inclusion on the exams. After these questions are edited, discussed by committee members, and pre-tested with college psychology classes, the committee chooses essay questions for inclusion on a specific AP Psychology exam. They ensure that the free-response questions cut across content areas, are well presented and unambiguous, as well as considerably different from each other. Only free-response questions that will allow for clear and equitable grading by the AP readers (scorers) are selected.
After exams have been scored, the AP Psychology Development Committee and ETS evaluate the test results. The College Board can use the results to further course development in high schools and to plan future exams.
Today on Education.com
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- First Grade Sight Words List
- GED Math Practice Test 1