AP Psychology Syllabus

AP Psychology- Course Syllabus 2018 - 19

Clyde A. Erwin High School               Mr. McKeown             Room: 3305

Email: brian.mckeown@bcsemail.org             Phone: (828) 232-4251 ex. 3305


            Myers, David G.  Psychology Seventh Edition in Modules.  Worth Publishers, New York, NY, 2004.  To purchase this book please see: www.worthpublishers.com

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. (from Advanced Placement Course Description in Psychology)  For more information on this and other Advanced Placement courses please visit www.collegeboard.com and select AP Central.

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will prepare to do acceptable work on the AP Psychology exam offered on May 9, 2019.   Students will study the major core concepts and theories of psychology.  They will be able to define key terms and use them in their everyday vocabulary.
  2.  Students will learn the basic skills of psychological research.  They will be able to devise research projects, interpret and generalize from results, and evaluate the validity of research reports.

  3. Students will be able to apply psychological concepts to their own lives.  They should be able to recognize psychological principles when they are encountered in everyday situations

  4. Students will develop college-level reading, writing, and thinking skills.


       5. Students will learn about psychology as a profession, the diversity of careers in psychology, and the educational requirements that must be met to pursue such careers.



Classroom Behavior:

            To be successful in AP Psychology students need to be in class on time, prepared to learn, and be cooperative class participants.  The class requires positive participation in class-work, group-work, and experiments.

Academic Honesty:

The misuse of academic materials is taken seriously.  A student using another’s work for any part of an assignment, with or without his permission, will be considered academically dishonest, lose credit, and be given a referral.  This includes unauthorized collaboration and plagiarism.

                All work that you turn in should be a result of your own thinking and using someone else’s ideas/thoughts while claiming they are your own shows a lack of character and integrity.


            Students must seek instructor’s assistance whenever an assignment, grade, or activity is not understood, or receives a grade lower than expected.  I will be happy to meet with you in person or answer your questions via email should you have any concerns. . It is highly recommended that students be prepared to attend tutoring every Thursday after school in order to better prepare for the AP Exam on May 9th  2019. Additional help may be obtained before or after school in individual or small group tutoring sessions. Please let me know when you need an appointment.


            Individual and group participation is a centerpiece and therefore attendance is mandatory!  It is understood that illness or family situations may necessitate an absence. It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to discuss make-up work with the teacher.

                We encourage parents to make any appointments (i.e.-doctor or athletic or music) outside the school day and to take vacations during school vacations.

                Students planning on being absent from class on a long-term basis must make prior arrangements with the instructor and the student services office.


    Hand-Written Work (i.e.: module outlines)

Outside written work should be completed on 8 ½” x 11” paper Cornell note style with appropriate citations in the left column.  Papers should be stapled or bound with a paper-clip to keep papers together and organized with identifying information on the first page.

    Type-Written Work (i.e.: research papers/typed projects)

Outside typed work must be typed double-spaced on 8 ½” x 11” paper with 1” margins.  12-point Times or another standard font is acceptable. Identifying information must be included on cover page (title, name, period, date, teacher’s name.)


Active participation is an integral part of the AP Psychology course and will consist of daily participation in class and class activities, presentations, formal and impromptu speeches.  Class participation will consist of positive, active participation in class discussion and group activities.


A variety of exams will be used in preparing students for the AP Psychology exam.  Quizzes will include multiple choice, identification, short answer, and application questions.  Tests will consist of a multiple choice section and an identification/free response section.


Projects to help students understand and apply the knowledge they have acquired will be introduced throughout the year.  Students will have ample time to prepare the information and will have an understanding of how the assignment will be graded.

    Final Exam

A cumulative final, including a multiple choice section and a short answer section, will be given after the AP Psychology exam on May 9th, 2019.

Grading Scale:

90-100%               A (outstanding achievement)

80-89%                  B (above-average achievement)

70-79%                  C (average, minimal achievement)

60-69%                  D (unacceptable)

0 – 59%                 F (failure to meet objectives of the course)

Grading System:

            This class will use a total point system, tests will be worth 100 points- points for other assignments will vary.


Percent of Grade

General Assignments:

Tests, Projects, Free Response Questions, class and homework



Midterm Exam


Semester Final Exam


Tests will be given upon completion of each unit    

Vocabulary quizzes will occur each day

A minimum of one quiz will be given for each chapter, two for each unit self produced, hand-written notes from reading assignments may be used on quizzes

Projects will be assigned for each unit and will be graded based on a rubric/checklist

Summary writings will be assigned and will involve analysis of case studies- expect at least two per month.

The AP exam includes TWO free response questions- in preparation students will be given three major free response/writing assignments per semester – tests will include one free response question worth 10% of the grade.

Home/class-work will be given to support class discussions as necessary- terms/objective note-cards will be assigned for every chapter/unit: due test day.    

Expect 2 – 3 reading assignments each week



Late and Make-up Work

    Late Work

                No assignments will be accepted for full credit after the due date.

All assignments are due on the scheduled date at the beginning of the class.

                Contact the teacher for special circumstances.

    Make-up Work

Some in-class assignments cannot be made up, because of their experiential nature.  However an alternative assignment will be assigned to offset any loss of credit if absence is cleared.


Most in-class assignments and tests may be made-up.  It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for make-up in a timely manner with the teacher.

Suggested Materials for AP Psychology

One 3-ring binder with 14 dividers.

Composition book.

Wire-bound note-cards OR note-cards with “O-Rings” (samples will be shown in class)

Resources for Teaching AP Psychology

Myers, David G.  Psychology Seventh Edition in Modules.  Worth Publishers, New York, NY, 2004, with     accompanying instructor’s resource manual, study guide, and test bank (on CD-ROM)

Video Series:  Discovering Psychology

Video Series:  The Brain

Video:    The Stanford Prison Experiment

Myers, David G.  Psychology Eighth Edition in Modules.  Worth Publishers, New York, NY,