Course Overview

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.

Course Content

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%

Course Skills

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 in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section 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.

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.