AP Psychology Exam: Study Plan and Resources

The AP Psychology exam is an opportunity for high school students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in psychology and potentially earn college credit. To excel on the exam, it's crucial to have a well-structured study plan and access to quality study resources. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you prepare effectively for the AP Psychology exam:

Creating Your Study Plan:

1. Know the Exam Format:

  - Familiarize yourself with the format of the AP Psychology exam. It consists of two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section.

2. Set Clear Goals:

  - Define your goals for the exam, such as the score you aim to achieve. Having clear objectives will guide your study plan.

3. Create a Study Schedule:

  - Develop a study schedule that covers all the topics outlined in the AP Psychology curriculum. Allocate more time to challenging areas or topics you're less familiar with.

4. Break It Down:

  - Divide your study plan into manageable chunks. Assign specific topics or units to each study session to ensure comprehensive coverage.

5. Consistency Is Key:

  - Dedicate consistent daily or weekly study time. Regularity in your study routine will help you retain information effectively.

Top Resources for AP Psychology:

1. Textbooks:

  - "Psychology" by David G. Myers: This widely used textbook offers comprehensive coverage of AP Psychology topics. Make sure you have access to the most recent edition.

2. Online Courses:

  - Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers free online courses on psychology that align with the AP curriculum. Their interactive lessons and quizzes can be valuable study tools.

  - Coursera and edX: These platforms offer psychology courses from top universities, providing in-depth knowledge on specific topics that can complement your AP preparation.

3. Review Books:

  - "Barron's AP Psychology" and "Princeton Review's Cracking the AP Psychology Exam" are popular review books that provide practice questions and content review.

4. Flashcards:

  - Create or use flashcards to memorize key terms, concepts, and theories. Apps like Quizlet offer pre-made sets for AP Psychology.

5. Practice Tests:

  - Use official AP Psychology practice exams available on the College Board website. These exams closely resemble the real test and provide valuable practice.

  - Consider other practice test books like "5 Steps to a 5: AP Psychology" and "Barron's AP Psychology" for additional practice questions.

6. Online Resources:

  - Websites like AP Central (College Board's official AP resource) and AP Psychology Community provide sample questions, exam tips, and valuable insights from experienced AP Psychology teachers.

  - Psychology Today and American Psychological Association (APA) offer articles and resources that can help you understand real-world applications of psychology concepts.

Effective Study Strategies:

1. Active Learning:

  - Engage actively with the material. Summarize, teach, or discuss topics with classmates to reinforce your understanding.

2. Practice Multiple-Choice Questions:

  - Regularly practice multiple-choice questions to improve your test-taking skills and knowledge retention.

3. Free-Response Practice:

  - Work on timed free-response questions to get comfortable with the format. Practice effective essay-writing skills and include relevant examples and terminology.

4. Mind Maps and Diagrams:

  - Use visual aids like mind maps, concept maps, and diagrams to organize complex information and relationships between concepts.

5. Mnemonics:

  - Create mnemonic devices to remember lists, theories, or key terms.

6. Study Groups:

 - Join or form a study group with peers. Discussing concepts and teaching each other can deepen your understanding.

7. Self-Assessment:

  - Periodically assess your progress with practice tests and quizzes. Identify areas where you need improvement and adjust your study plan accordingly.

Exam Day Preparation:

1. Review Your Notes:

  - On the day of the exam, review your notes and key concepts briefly but avoid cramming. Focus on building confidence in your knowledge.

2. Get a Good Night's Sleep:

  - Ensure you get adequate sleep the night before the exam to stay alert and focused during the test.

3. Bring Required Materials:

  - Check the College Board's website for the list of items you need to bring to the exam, such as a valid ID, No. 2 pencils, and a calculator (if allowed).

4. Manage Your Time:

  - During the exam, allocate time wisely. Don't spend too much time on a single question. Move on and return if needed.

5. Stay Calm:

  - Maintain a calm and positive mindset. Anxiety can affect your performance. Trust your preparation and stay confident.

By following this study plan and utilizing these resources, you can enhance your preparation for the AP Psychology exam. Remember that success comes from consistent effort, active learning, and effective test-taking strategies. Good luck with your AP Psychology exam!


In conclusion, preparing for the AP Psychology exam requires a well-structured study plan and access to quality study resources. This comprehensive guide has provided you with strategies to create an effective study plan, top resources for AP Psychology, and study strategies to maximize your preparation.

Remember that success on the AP Psychology exam is not solely about memorizing facts but understanding the underlying concepts and applying them to real-world scenarios. Active learning, practice tests, and self-assessment are key components of your preparation.

As you progress in your studies, stay focused, maintain a consistent study schedule, and use the resources available to you wisely. With dedication and a positive mindset, you can excel on the AP Psychology exam and earn college credit for your efforts. Best of luck in your AP Psychology journey!