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AP Psychology is an introductory college-level psychology course. Students cultivate their understanding of the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes through inquiry-based investigations as they explore concepts like 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.
AP Psychology Course at a Glance
Excerpted from the AP Psychology Course and Exam Description, the Course at a Glance document outlines the topics and skills covered in the AP Psychology course, along with suggestions for sequencing.
AP Psychology Course and Exam Description
This is the core document for this course. Unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED was updated in the summer of 2020 to include scoring guidelines for the example questions.
AP Psychology CED Errata Sheet
This document details the updates made to the course and exam description (CED) in September 2019. It includes printable copies of the updated pages, which can be used as replacement sheets in your CED binder. Note: It does not include the scoring guidelines, which were added to the online CED in the summer of 2020.
AP Psychology CED Scoring Guidelines
This document details how each of the sample free-response questions in the course and exam description (CED) would be scored. This information is now in the online CED, but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.
The course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced coursework in the field of psychology at the undergraduate level.
The AP Psychology framework is organized into nine commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.
|Unit||Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)|
|Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology||10%–14%|
|Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior||8%–10%|
|Unit 3: Sensation and Perception||6%–8%|
|Unit 4: Learning||7%–9%|
|Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology||13%–17%|
|Unit 6: Developmental Psychology||7%–9%|
|Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality||11%–15%|
|Unit 8: Clinical Psychology||12%–16%|
|Unit 9: Social Psychology||8%–10%|
The AP Psychology framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like psychologists.
|Skill||Description||Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)|
|1. Concept Understanding||Define, explain, and apply concepts, behavior, theories, and perspectives.||75%–80%|
|2. Data Analysis||Analyze and interpret quantitative data.||8%–12%|
|3. Scientific Investigation||Analyze psychological research studies.||12%–16%|
AP and Higher Education
Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.
This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.
Meet the Development Committee for AP Psychology.