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Course Updates

AP Psychology has been updated for the 2019-20 school year to make things clearer for you and your students.

Course and exam information is now clearly presented in a course and exam description (CED).

The CED organizes the course into nine commonly taught units.

  1. Scientific Foundations of Psychology
  2. Biological Bases of Behavior
  3. Sensation and Perception
  4. Learning
  5. Cognitive Psychology
  6. Developmental Psychology
  7. Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
  8. Clinical Psychology
  9. Social Psychology
  • By organizing the course content and skills into units, we’re able to give you and your students free formative assessments—personal progress checks—that you can assign throughout the year to measure student progress.
  • We want to respect your time and expertise by providing a road map you can modify and adapt to your local priorities and preferences. You can choose to follow this suggestion for how content can be sequenced and paced. As always, you’ll have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

The CED defines specific learning targets and skills for students.

  • Specific learning targets are included in the course framework so that it’s clear for you and your students exactly what they should be able to do.
  • In the framework, each learning target is clearly connected to specific course content. With this kind of specificity, you and your students will know how that content will be assessed on the AP Exam.
  • The framework outlines distinct skills that AP Psychology students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think like psychologists, such as applying psychological theories in authentic contexts and analyzing research studies.
  • Throughout the CED, you’ll find thoughtful suggestions for pairing course content with these skills.

Some course content has been updated to better align with recent developments in the field.

  • Content related to hypnosis has been removed.

Exam Updates

Starting in the 2019-20 school year:

  • The skills defined in the CED will be assessed in the same proportions on all versions of the exam. (Currently, because there aren't any defined course skills, the assessed skills vary.)
  • The 2 free-response question tasks will stay consistent from year to year so that you and your students know what to expect on exam day.
  • The total number of possible points for the free-response section will be 14—7 points for each question. (Currently, the number of points for each free-response question ranges from 5 to 8.)
  • The weighting, timing, and number of questions on the exam aren't changing.
  • The relative weight of different content areas on the multiple-choice section isn't changing.

Key Dates for AP Psychology Teachers

Summer 2019

  • 2019 AP Summer Institutes begin. Updated AP Psychology workshop materials will be available to provide context on the CED, unit guides, and other new resources.
  • 2019 CED binders are available. You can preorder your free copy now using the 2019-20 AP Course and Exam Description Preorder Form.
  • August 1: The AP Classroom system resources—including unit guides, personal progress checks, progress dashboard, and question bank—become  available, along with interactive tutorials on how to make the most of these resources with your students.
    • Completing a simple digital activation process will give you immediate access to the system and ensure your students can register for the exams by the new fall deadlines.*
    • If you’re teaching a new AP Psychology course in 2019-20, you’ll need to have your AP Course Audit form approved by your administrator before you can access the system.*
  • Mid-August: 1-day workshops begin.
  • Your school’s AP coordinator will set up your class sections in the system. If your coordinator chooses not to create class sections, you can create your own.
  • Familiarize yourself with the system and start exploring the resources.
  • As you create your sequencing and pacing calendars, use the Course at a Glance and unit guides in the CED to inform your decisions. These can also help you determine how to fit the personal progress checks into your instruction so you and your students can receive timely instructional feedback.
  • Access the AP question bank to see what questions are available for you to assign to your students for instructional and assessment purposes throughout the year.
  • Before classes start, log in to the system to get join codes for each of your class sections.*

2019-20 School Year

On the First Day of Class

  • Post the join code for your class section on the board or distribute it to your students. Tell students to log in and join you class section before the next class.*
  • October 4: Preferred deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams. 
  • November 15: Deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams.
  • Use your progress dashboard to see where students are demonstrating strength and where they have opportunities for further growth.
  • January 31, 2020: Deadline, if applicable, to submit your AP Psychology Course Audit form and have it approved by your administrator for 2019-20 AP Course Audit authorization.*
  • Before March: If your course started after November 15, 2019, make sure that all your students have joined your AP Classroom section and are following your AP coordinator’s directions about registering for AP Exams.*
  • March 13, 2020: Deadline for your AP coordinator to place exam orders for students in courses that started after November 15, 2019.*
  • Use the AP question bank and feedback on the progress dashboard to help students prepare for their AP Exams.
  • May 2020: AP Exam administration.

* = required action