Ap Psych Free Response Questions College Board
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The AP Psychology exam has one of the lower average scores of all AP exams. However, if you know how to prepare, it can actually be one of the easier AP exams to take. Reading this guide will make you an expert on the AP Psych free-response section. By the end of this article, you'll know exactly what the format of the free-response section is, what types of questions you'll be asked, what graders will be looking for in your answers, and the best tips for studying for AP Psych FRQ.
The AP Psychology free-response section is the second and final section of the AP Psych exam. You'll answer free-response questions after the multiple-choice section ends. The AP Psych FRQ section lasts 50 minutes and consists of two questions.
Below are two examples of the types of free-response questions you'll see on the AP Psych exam. For each of these AP Psychology FRQ examples we'll go through the answers so you can see exactly how points are earned. Both sample questions come from the second sitting of the 2021 AP Psych exam.
As we mentioned above, this question, like all AP Psychology free-response questions, is worth seven points. You might notice there are seven bullet points to answer which makes it easy to see just where you can earn each point!
Be meticulous about going over all the terms covered in your class so that you don't second-guess yourself on the test. This is especially important for the Concept Application free-response question for which you will be asked to describe how terms relate to certain situations. You need to understand the terms beyond just the ability to pick their correct definitions out of a multiple-choice lineup. Flashcards are a particularly useful study tool for AP Psychology.
Right in the official scoring guidelines for the AP Psychology free-response questions is the following statement: "The response must apply the concept to the prompt; a definition alone will not earn the point." This is a key point that many AP Psych students overlook. For example, for the first sample question above, simply stating the definitions of motor cortex, algorithm, reciprocity norm, etc. won't earn you any points. You must always relate them back to the question and, in this case, how they relate to Damian and his behavior. The AP Psych FRQs require more than just regurgitating vocab definitions; you must always connect it back to the question itself.
You can know all about the format and types of questions you'll see on AP Psychology FRQ, but the way to really test and improve your skills is by answering practice problems. Doing so helps you become even more familiar with free response types and helps you see more clearly which types of questions are easy for you and which you need to study more.
Choosing high-quality practice questions is key to ensuring you're really practicing what you'll be seeing on the exam. Fortunately, the College Board (who designs AP exams) has dozens of old, official AP Psych free-response questions easily available.
Currently, the College Board has AP Psychology FRQ from 2021 as well as 1999-2019. That's dozens of free-response questions for you to review and try out! The AP Psych exam was updated in 2019, so we recommend focusing on the most recent FRQ, but the free-response question format and topics didn't change all that much, so even older AP Psych FRQ answers and sample questions are still valuable.
AP Psychology free-response questions are often the most challenging part of the AP exam. However, by knowing what to expect from this section, you'll give yourself a great shot at getting a high score. The free-response section contains two questions:
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Of these 262,700 students, 6 students achieved a perfect score from all professors/readers on all free-response questions and correctly answered every multiple-choice question, resulting in the rare and impressive feat of earning all 150 of 150 points possible on an AP Psychology Exam.
The AP Psychology exam is one of the shortest AP exams, clocking in at just two hours, and comprises two sections. The first section features multiple-choice questions and the second section is made up of free response questions.
Once you have taken some kind of formative assessment, score it to identify the areas you already understand and those in need of improvement. It can be helpful to have a teacher or friend score your free response essays, as these are more subjective than the multiple-choice section. From an accurate practice test, you will get a better idea of where to focus your studying efforts.
Once you have your theory down, test it out by practicing multiple-choice questions. You can find these in most study guides or through online searches. You could also try taking the multiple-choice section of a practice exam. Many sample questions with answers and explanations can be found in the official course description. Varsity Tutors offer numerous free AP Psychology diagnostic tests which contain an abundance of multiple-choice questions to practice with. Study.com also provides a free 50-question practice test. Try to keep track of which concepts and vocabulary are still tripping you up, and go back over this material.
To effectively master the free response section of your AP Psychology exam, you should have a good understanding of what task verbs you will commonly encounter, and precisely what each is asking you to do. The College Board provides the following definitions for the most commonly encountered directives on this exam:
The best way to prepare for the free response prompts is to practice them and study the scoring examples provided by the College Board. The College Board has the free response questions used on the AP Psychology exam dating back to 1999 posted on their website. These authentic student responses with real scoring explanations should give you a good idea of how the free response questions are scored, and where points are commonly lost.
All AP exams will be offered online so that students can take them at home. Additionally, the exams will be shortened in length to 45 minutes and require free-response questions only for the majority of the subjects.
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