Course Syllabus


Course Purpose (From the College Board AP Psychology Course Description): 

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. 


Course Description: 

Students will be introduced to the various sub-fields of psychology and learn how they explain the behavior and mental processes of humans and other animals. Students will gain an understanding of how the sub-fields of psychology are linked together and how they are supported by empirical evidence. 


Course Objectives:  

Students will be able to...

  1. Students will learn the history, concepts, methodology, and vocabulary of contemporary psychology.
  2. Students will learn to read and evaluate psychological research papers and critically apply their content to broad psychological theories and everyday life.
  3. Students will develop advanced critical thinking skills.
  4. Students will prepare for success on the AP Psychology exam.



Materials for course:


Pens (blue/black ink only)

2 inch 3 ring binder

Loose leaf paper (plenty of it!)

Post-it notes for documenting throughout your textbook

Spiral notebook (designated solely for this class that can be turned in each week)

Highlighters for reading strategy exercises

3 x 5 Index cards


Required Textbook:

Myers, David G., Myers’ Psychology for AP, 8th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers/BFW, 2006.


Additional Readings:

Gerrig, R. (2007). The psychology of survivor. Dallas, Texas: Benbella Books

Brown, A., & Logan, C. (2005). The psychology of the simpsons. Dallas, Texas: Benbella Books.

**Pick one of the two above for your outside reading assignment


Zimbardo, Philip Discovering Psychology, 19th Edition.  Annenberg Media, 2010


Periodicals such as Scientific American, Scientific American Mind, and Psychology Today


Suggested Review Books:


( There are classroom copies of all of these.  Ask to take a look and see which one you prefer)


AP Psychology: Crash Course by Larry Krieger.  

Barron’s  AP Psychology by Robert McEntarffer and Allyson J. Weseley, Ed.D.

5 Steps to a 5 AP Psychology, 2012-2013 Edition by Laura Maitland


We will follow County policies in regards to absences.  In our classroom, you are responsible for the work you have missed due to an absence.  Plan to turn in all work that was due on the day missed at the time you return and prepare to ask the teacher for the work that was missed.  You will be given two days to turn in the work from the day(s) you were absent. It is your responsibility to get your make up work to and from the teacher.


This course will be graded similarly to a college course.  You will be tested in the same format as the AP test you will take in May.  This will enhance your chance of doing well on that test and prepare you for the style of testing seen in a college course. You will also keep a reading log throughout the class.  This will be done in the spiral notebook that needs to be able to stay in class when asked. This reading log will be graded on your ability to show that you are exploring what you have read, not merely summarizing or providing a superficial or oversimplified analysis.


Grading Percentages:

Tests (multiple choice and essay): 50%

Quizzes: 25%

Participation/Classwork/Homework-Reading Log: 25%


Grades will consist of F.R.Q.'s, quizzes, tests, homework (reading assignments), and classwork (projects, seminars, etc.). In addition, you will have a mid-semester exam, the AP Exam in May and a final exam at the end of the school year.


Grading Scale:

A 93-100

B 92-85

C 84-77

D 76-70

F Below 70

Please keep in mind that I do not curve grades on tests, quizzes, assignments, or exams.


Reading Log:

Students will be required to read and write extensively for each chapter in the book.  In their reading log, each student will have a list of term they will have to define and a list of objectives they will have to write about.  Students can expect several pages of writing per week.



Homework will be assigned every night in AP U.S. Psychology.  Assignments will always include the reading log, which involves reading and note-taking.  Additional assignments will include essay writing, research, and discussion questions.  Homework MUST be turned in on the assigned due date, at the beginning of the class period, in order to receive credit. 



Quizzes will be both announced and unannounced. Students must be prepared daily for a possible quiz on material covered in class as well as that assigned for homework the night before.  Some writing assignments also hold the value of quiz grades rather than homework grades. Quizzes will count as approximately 25% of the semester grade.



Students will take objective exams covering material from the textbook, supplemental readings, discussions, and lectures.  The design of each exam will be a multiple choice section and a free response question (FRQ).  

Most objective tests consist of 75 multiple choice questions and a 25 minute essay question. The tests are timed to approximate the time allowed on the AP Exam.  Occasionally, due to time constraints, the F.R.Q. part of a test is given on a different day than the multiple choice part.



The AP Psychology Exam is comprehensive, covering material from the entire semester. Students who are enrolled in the AP Psychology course are expected to take the AP Psychology Exam. Class time is allotted for review, and many students participate in informal study group review sessions and take a practice test, which is also scheduled outside of school hours.

The AP Psychology Exam includes a 70-minute multiple-choice section that accounts

for two-thirds of the exam grade and a 50-minute free-response section made up of two

questions that accounts for one-third of the exam grade. Multiple-choice scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers, and no points are awarded for unanswered questions. Because points are not deducted for incorrect answers, students are encouraged to answer all multiple-choice questions. On any questions students do not know the answer to, students should eliminate as many choices as they can, and then select the best answer among the remaining choices.


Free-response questions are an appropriate tool for evaluating a student’s mastery of scientific research principles and ability to make connections among constructs from different psychological domains (e.g., development, personality, learning). 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 to design, analyze, or critique a research study.


The AP Psychology Exam is ____________________________________



Extra Credit:

I rarely offer extra credit for any of my classes. However, AP Psychology is an exceptionally challenging course and I reserve the right to assign students extra credit work in order to master the course material, not just to boost his or her grade.  No extra credit work will be given to any student who does not make every attempt to attend tutoring, or who has any missing or late assignments.



The Key to Success:

The most important factor in this class is consistent effort and improvement.  Do not be discouraged if your grades seem low in the first grading period.  For many of you, this is your first AP course and some of you are taking several AP courses this semester.  The load can sometimes be heavy and even seem to be unbearable, but effective management of your time is the key.  What you learn in terms of writing, thinking and study skills will be well worth the effort. (Not to mention the money you may save on college credits!)



Course Summary:

Date Details Due