Is AP Psychology Hard? Can You Scale It Easily?

High school students have the opportunity to take up Advanced Placement courses for the betterment of their future education.

These courses allow an introduction to college-level education and act as skill-building courses. They also help to earn college credits that can be added when you pursue your degree.

What To Expect From AP Psychology

College aspirants need to know how difficult the AP course of their choice is likely to be. If you are considering AP Psychology, you should know about the course content and structure.

Since students often find this course difficult, it’s best to adjust your expectations accordingly.

AP Psychology is a useful course to take if you plan on continuing with psychology in college. As an advanced course, it covers most of the subfields under this subject.

Thus, you will be well-equipped to save on time and effort when you go forward with psychology in college.

Read: Should You Take the AP Capstone Exam?

Exam Pattern And Course Content

Firstly, AP Psychology is a course that studies human behaviors and actions. It covers various branches of psychology spanning through its history, to ethical and social aspects.

As a result, it is a long and rigorous course that requires a fair amount of dedication. Additionally, it may also require practical testing and experiment-based evaluations.

The AP Psychology exam has different weightage for different topics covered in the course.

It tests you on Research methods; Biological Basis of Behavior; Abnormal Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; and Cognition.

It also tests you on the psychology behind Learning; processes of Motivation And Emotion; Sensation and Perception; Consciousness; and Personality.

Finally, it looks into testing, treatment, and the different approaches to Psychology throughout history.

Skills Required

You will not require any prior knowledge to study AP Psychology, however certain skills will be necessary. For instance, you should have great analytical abilities.

You will have to reason out and understand different situations and the psychological approaches involved in them.

Additionally, memory skills are a fundamental requirement for this course. The lengthy course demands that you can store information and facts and apply them when needed.

Lastly, you must be able to write and express your analysis as you reproduce the information.

How Hard Is It To Score Well For AP Psychology?

Although the course you need to cover is vast, scoring on the exam is a different matter. In comparison to other AP courses, AP Psychology offers a chance to score much higher.

The number of students that score a 5 is greater for this course. However, it is advisable to note that these statistics don’t necessarily tell you how difficult the exam is.

It may be the case that the course is majorly pursued by highly driven students who generally score well.


It is always recommended that you refer to the opinion of other students who have taken this course. Since difficulty is a subjective factor to assess, personal opinions can give you a better idea.

Also, speak to the teacher who teaches AP Psychology in high school. The quality of teaching can often make a course more or less difficult.

AP Psychology is not an easy course, but it is definitely a scoring one with enough effort. Consult a school or career counselor for an expert opinion on which AP course is best for your academic future.

Related: Can You Get a Good Score in the AP Art History Exam?

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