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AP Psychology Exam Grading Process?

Hi friends, trying to get a grip on what to expect for the AP Psychology exam. Can someone explain how exactly our responses are scored? I'm mostly curious about the free-response section since it seems pretty subjective. Any insights?

8 months ago

Hey there! Absolutely, understanding the scoring can definitely help you go into the exam with more confidence. The AP Psychology exam, like all AP exams, has a fairly standardized grading process to ensure objectivity as much as possible, even in free-response sections that might seem subjective at first glance.

For the multiple-choice section, which is the first portion, it’s pretty straightforward: you get a point for each question you answer correctly. There’s no penalty for incorrect answers, so it’s always worth it to take your best guess if you’re unsure!

The free-response section is graded by trained AP readers, who are typically college professors and high school AP teachers. These readers follow a specific scoring guideline, which is essentially a rubric that outlines what you need to include to earn points. Each free response question usually has several parts, and the rubric details what elements are required for full credit for each part. For instance, if you’re asked to describe an experiment, points might be allocated for describing the hypothesis, the independent and dependent variables, and the potential results. How much detail you provide about each element may lead to slight score variations, but as long as you had those 4 things, you'd likely be in good shape.

To get an even clearer sense of what's going to be asked of you, you could look at the College Board's sample free-response questions and the scoring guidelines from past exams. They're pretty detailed and help show what an ideal answer should include. Also, practicing with these past questions and self-scoring them can provide great insight into how the readers will be evaluating your work.

Best of luck on your exam! You’ve got this!

8 months ago

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