AP PSYCHOLOGYThe Exam

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Important Updates

New Exam for Classroom Use
A secure 2016 AP Psychology Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Previously Secure Exam Now Publicly Available
A 2012 AP Psychology Exam—previously available only through your AP Course Audit account—is now available below. This means you can now use the questions from this older exam without restriction.

  • Event
    • Mon, May 7, 2018

    AP Psychology Exam Day 2018

    • Noon | 2 hrs

Exam 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.

A note about the DSM and the AP Psychology Exam: All terminology, criteria, and classifications referred to in multiple-choice and free-response questions adhere to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Psychology student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

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

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

Be sure to review the Student Performance Q&A. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

Note: The version of the AP Psychology Exam administered internationally in 2015—recently released to teachers as a practice exam—had been administered in 2014 to a small and randomly selected group of students in U.S. schools for equating purposes. Given the 2014 administration, several multiple-choice questions on that exam were not aligned with DSM-5. In order not to disadvantage students who took the international version of the exam this year, those six questions were removed from scoring. They were removed from the practice exam PDF as well, so as not to have current students practicing on outdated material.

 
2017: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

   

Exam Resources