The Multiple Choice Section of the AP Psychology Exam

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  • 0:03 AP Psychology Exam
  • 1:19 Instructions
  • 3:12 Scoring
  • 5:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Preparing to take the Advanced Placement Psychology Exam? In this lesson, we'll explore the Multiple Choice section of the AP Psychology Exam, including how to save time, how to find the best answer choice, and how it's scored.

AP Psychology Exam

Meryl is a senior in high school, and she's preparing to take the AP psych exam. But she's still a little unsure about the way the test is structured and what she should do to increase her chances of passing.

The Advanced Placement, or AP, exams allow students to earn college credit should they pass. There are many different subjects that students can take. One of them, the one that Meryl is taking, is the AP Psychology Exam, which requires knowledge equivalent to that learned in an introductory psychology class in college. What does that mean? If Meryl passes the AP psych exam, it will be like she's already taken the intro to psych course at her local college. She'll start college with that class already checked off!

There are two sections on the AP psych exam: a Free Response section, which involves writing two essays, and a Multiple Choice section, which has 100 multiple choice questions. Meryl will have an hour and ten minutes to complete the Multiple Choice section, and it will be 2/3 of her score on the test overall, so it's important that she knows how to use her time wisely and how to do well on that section of the test! Let's look at some tips for how Meryl can do well on the Multiple Choice section of the test.


Where should Meryl even start with tips for taking the Multiple Choice section of the AP psych exam? Like most things, it's best to start at the beginning. In the case of a test, that's with the instructions.

Remember that Meryl will have to answer 100 questions in 70 minutes. That's not a lot of time! Meryl needs to use every minute wisely. One way to save some minutes on the AP exam is to memorize the instructions before test day. That way, Meryl won't have to read and try to understand the instructions on test day. Instead, she can skim them and jump right in.

The instructions for the AP psych exam (and other AP exams) can be found on the College Board website. The College Board is the company that puts out the AP exams. The exam instructions don't change much from year to year - generally, the gist tends to be the same.

In 2014, the instructions were as follows: 'Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by five suggested answers or completions. Select the one that best answers the question or completes the statement.' Again, these instructions might vary from year to year, but the gist is likely to remain the same, so Meryl should remember that she'll need to select the best option from the answer choices.

What does it mean that she'll have to select the best option as opposed to selecting the right option? It means that some questions may have more than one right answer. Meryl will be expected to choose the most right, or best, answer listed. This means that Meryl will want to consider all possible answers. If she notices that answer choice A is a right answer, she'll still want to read B, C, D, and E. Who knows? There may be a better one further down.

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