Overview of the AP Psychology Exam - Barron's AP Psychology, 7th Edition

Barron's AP Psychology, 7th Edition (2016)

Overview of the AP Psychology Exam

The AP Psychology exam has two parts: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. You will have two hours to complete the whole test. The multiple-choice portion of the exam contains 100 five-choice (A to E) questions. You will have 70 minutes to complete this section. Overall, the questions in the latter part of the exam are a little more difficult than the early ones.

The score for the multiple-choice section of the AP exam is based on the number of questions answered correctly. No points are deducted for questions answered incorrectly or left blank. Since there is no “guessing penalty,” you should try to answer every multiple-choice question on the exam.

The free-response section of the test consists of two questions, and you must answer them both. Unlike most other AP exams, you will not be given a choice of topics. You will have 50 minutes to complete this portion of the exam. Some students find writing two full essays in such a short amount of time to be difficult. Chapter 16 includes some helpful suggestions for tackling this section of the exam.

Your score (ranging from 1 to 5) on the exam will take into account your performance on both the multiple-choice and free-response sections, with the multiple-choice section counting for twice as much. This means that two-thirds of your score depends on your performance on the multiple-choice questions, and the other one-third of your score is based on the quality of your essays.

Each year, the exact breakdown of the percentage of people who earn each score differs. More information on score breakdowns in past years is available from the College Board (see the College Board website: www.collegeboard.org/ap).


*Remember: All directions on the Diagnostic and Practice Tests will look similar to those you may see on test day. Since this is an eBook, all responses should be recorded separately.