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Home > AP Courses and Exams > AP Exam Information > The AP Psychology Exam

The AP Psychology Exam

Home >  AP Courses and Exams >  AP Exam Information >  The AP Psychology Exam

The AP Psychology Exam

Exam Content

The AP Psychology Exam, which debuted in 1992, is a relative newcomer among AP Exams. The exam tests knowledge of topics included in a one-semester introductory college course in psychology. The following table reflects the approximate percentage of the multiple-choice section of the exam devoted to each content area:

2-4% history and approaches
8-10% research methods
8-10% biological bases of behavior
6-8% sensation and perception
2-4% states of consciousness
7-9% learning
8-10% cognition
6-8% motivation and emotion
7-9% developmental psychology
5-7% personality
5-7% testing and individual differences
7-9% abnormal behavior
5-7% treatment of abnormal behavior
8-10% social psychology

A note about the DSM and the AP Psychology Exam

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published in May 2013 with revisions to the criteria for the diagnosis and classifications of mental disorders. In the interest of fairness and to allow time for publishers to integrate such changes into pertinent sections of AP Psychology textbooks, the College Board has made the following decisions regarding upcoming AP Psychology Exams:

  1. Questions on the 2014 AP Psychology Exam will adhere to the terminology, criteria and classifications referred to in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR).
  2. Beginning with the 2015 AP Psychology Exam, all terminology, criteria and classifications referred to among multiple-choice and free-response items will adhere to the new fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).

Multiple-Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, refer to the Course Description.
  AP Psychology Course Description, Effective Fall 2013 (.pdf/445KB)

Free-Response Questions

The free-response questions evaluate students' mastery of scientific research principles and their ability to make connections among constructs from different psychological domains. Students may be asked to analyze a general problem in psychology (e.g., depression, adaptation) using concepts from different theoretical frameworks or subdomains in the field, or they may be asked to design, analyze, or critique a research study.

Below are free-response questions from past AP Psychology Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Chief Reader's Report for past administrations.

If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, please contact us at ssd@info.collegeboard.org. Note: versions of these PDFs with enhanced accessibility will be available in the upcoming academic year.

Free-Response Questions 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 1999-2003


2014: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines


2013: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Score Distributions


2012: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
 Score Distributions


2011: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Score Distributions


2010: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Score Distributions


2009: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Grade Distributions


2008: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Grade Distributions


2007: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Grade Distributions


2006: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Grade Distributions


2005: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Grade Distributions


2004: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1 Sample Responses Q2 Grade Distributions


2003: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Grade Distributions


Important Note: PDF Files
The links to exam questions for this course are in Adobe® PDF format, and you will need to use the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® to view them. If you don't have Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher installed on your computer, choose the link for the Adobe Web site below for installation instructions. For help downloading and printing PDF files, choose the link "PDF Troubleshooting" below in "See also."


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