AP Psychology Exam Info And Course Content

The Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology exam lasts 2 hours and has 2 sections. The first section is multiple choice, has 100 questions, lasts 70 minutes and counts for 66.6% of your overall exam score. The second section is free response — it will consist of 2 questions where you’ll have 50 minutes to complete it. The exam seeks to evaluate 14 core concepts in psychology. It’s important to have at least one AP psychology review book to help you prepare.

Next Exam:

Monday, May 7th, 2018 – 12:00pm – 2:00pm (2 hrs)

Last Time The Exam Changed:

The AP Psychology exam has never been changed, and there are no plans for changing it in the next 3 years.

The Best AP Psychology Textbooks for 2018

TextbookTitleOur RatingPrice
Best Overall AP Psychology TextbookMyers' Psychology for
Advanced Placement
Second Edition



Dr. David Myers

(Best Overall)
4.9View Price
AP Psychology 2017 2018 5 steps to a 55 Steps to a 5
AP Psychology, 2017 Edition



McGraw Hill

(Best Value)
4.7View Price
Barron's AP Psychology, 2017 EditionBarron's AP Psychology
7th Edition



Barron's

(Fastest Review)
4.5View Price
Cheapest AP Psychology TextbookCracking The AP Psychology Exam
2017 Edition


The Princeton Review
(Best on a Budget)
4.4View Price
DSM-5 for AP Psychology ReviewDiagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

5th Edition



America Psychiatric Association

(Important Background)
5.0View Price

Best Overall AP Psychology Textbook

If you are serious about getting a 5 on your AP psychology exam, look no further than the best of the best, Myers’ Psychology for Advanced Placement, Second Edition. This book goes above and beyond to truly teach you all the fundamentals required to ace the test. Unlike other books that teach you the test material, this book teaches you about psychology so that you’ll have a much stronger foundation for any pursuit you have going into college.

While it is a bit more pricey than some of the other books, it is clearly differentiated as being more broad, easier to understand and more eloquently written. Dr. David Myers has such command over the subject and is an exceptionally gifted writer; you will enjoy reading this textbook, it won’t even feel like study.

We recommend this AP psychology textbook to any student who is highly motivated to get the highest possible score on the exam, which is a 5.

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Most Affordable AP Psychology Review BookMcGraw Hill’s 5 Steps to a 5: AP Psychology, 2017 Edition is likely to be the best bang for your buck you can find in terms of AP Psychology textbooks.

Unlike the review books from Barron’s and The Princeton Review, this textbook goes above and beyond the test material to ensure you have the correct fundamental understanding of the 14 principles outlined in the AP Psychology exam.

One criticism we have on this book is around the practice test. Frankly, the practice test in this book are quite a bit easier than what you will experience on the big day, so we caution you to not only rely on these practice tests to asses your readiness for the exam.

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AP Psychology Review Book by Barron'sIf you are in a rush to study and simply want to know what you will be tested on, then Barron’s AP Psychology, 7th edition is the right review book for you.

Barron’s book has 15 multiple choice practice questions for each unit which is useful for reviewing specific topics that you’re not sure about instead of having to do a whole practice exam.

You also get a bonus online exam that scores your test automatically and has detailed explanations of the correct answers.

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Best Value AP Psychology TextbookIf you are low on funds (and let’s face it, many high school students are) but you still want to get a great textbook for your studies, then you may want to consider The Princeton Review’s Cracking the AP Psychology Exam, 2017 edition.

This book is both the least expensive and shortest in length, and effectively covers the topics that you will see on the test. If your goal is simply to get a good score (maybe not a 5) and you want to quickly prepare before your exam, then you will do fine with this book. However, if you are serious about getting a good score, we have to say that this book is insufficient to meet the needs of the majority of ambitious students.

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Important Background: DSM-5, 5th Edition

DSM-5 for AP Psychology ReviewThe Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) is by no means required reading to pass the AP Psychology exam, but it is a great tool for students who are set on pursuing a career in psychology. This will give you a much stronger understanding of the terminology used in the textbooks and exam, instead of simply memorizing words.

“All terminology, criteria, and classifications referred to in multiple-choice and free-response questions adhere to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5)”

CollegeBoard.org, AP Central

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AP Psychology Video Study Guide

It’s important to take your studies seriously and aim for the highest possible score. AP Psychology is one of the more popular tests to take so getting a higher score is critical in order to stand out.

This video was very helpful for getting us prepared to absorb the material in the books. You should take an hour or so to watch this video:

Free AP Psychology Practice Tests, Questions & Answers

Since free response is worth 33% of the test and only consists of two questions, you have to nail this part of the exam. Luckily, every year the previous exam’s questions are releases so students can prepare for the line of questioning and get a good grasp on answers that did well. Here are some of the best sites to look into practice questions and answers:

Recommended Online Study Guides

In addition to the books, there are a variety of high quality study guides available for free on the web. We’ve hand picked our favorites if you need a refresher before the big day.

We wish you the best of luck on your AP exam and hope our textbook reviews helped you along the way.