Why AP Psychology is worth the challenge (opinion)


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Each major concept takes up a different proportion of the overall AP exam, so students can look at this and prioritize topics.

Veronica Langrehr, Co-Editor-in-Chief

    AP Psychology is an advanced level or placement course that offers a college structured approach to learning about the mind and history of psychology. The course is loaded with content. It consists of nine units, according to College Board, starting out with the perspectives and history of psychology and concluding with a glimpse into social psychology, also known as sociology. Units can highlight career options as well, in the neuroscience unit I learned about careers in behavioral neuroscience. 

    At CYHS, the class is taught by psychology teacher, Mr. David DeMarzo who instructs the introductory psychology class and AP. This class is very useful for preparation of a college structure, it is taught with lectures that go over key information as well as assigned readings and assignments. DeMarzo teaches the content and gives assignments that require development of time management skills to complete and balance with understanding the content. 

    “The assignments and working with deadlines, helps prepare for the expectations for college…also the [students’] follow-through and personal responsibility,” said DeMarzo. 

    This course is structured by teaching to content and then testing, these exams differ from a typical class as it is formatted how the official AP exam would be. It begins with a multiple choice section and then continues onto the free response question (FRQ). This free response question can be one from previous AP exams and can be centered around any information covered in the unit. 

    “I think this class will prepare me well because it gives me an introduction to studying in college and what some of the course work will be,” said junior Renee Ellis. 

    The official AP exam is scored on a scale of 1-5 with a three or higher considered “passing” as any score below a three is not accepted by colleges for credit. And in the CYHS class DeMarzo gives students the chance to earn half points on the FRQ while College Board has an “all-or-none” for getting the point for the requirements; it still offers a challenge however with applying concepts to a more “real-life” response. 

    I learned about how versatile understanding basic psychology ideas can help me understand others more and have background knowledge. I have found what you learn in this class gets mentioned more times than expected in other aspects of life. CYHS’ AP psychology class offers a deeper insight into psychological concepts and prepares students for advanced level education.