AP Psychology

Course Goals and Description

AP Psychology is a full-year course designed to provide students with a broad overview of the diverse field of psychology and prepare students for the AP Psychology Exam given in May. In order to achieve these goals, the majority of class time will be devoted to lectures, discussions, and review sessions. However, time will also be allocated for demonstrations, experiments, and class activities. Active participation in these activities will help clarify certain areas of study and should add to everyone’s enjoyment of the class.

It is extremely important that all students in AP Psychology read all modules in the Myers’ textbook. It is truly an excellent text. Unfortunately, not all of the material in the text can be addressed in class due to time constraints. Still, that material will appear on quizzes and exams. Therefore, in addition to reading the text, I strongly urge you to use the printed study guide.

WEBSITE: http://www.rhsmpsychology.com  Please use the website and Veracross.  Using these sites is the best way to keep up-to-date if you are sick or out of town. Also, please use my quizlet site to learn essential voabulary words and concepts.

TEXTBOOK WEBSITE: Psychology, 9th Edition Companion Website

E-BOOK WEBSITE: http://ebooks.bfwpub.com/myers9ein modules

Myers, David G. (2010). Psychology, Ninth Edition, in Modules  (9th ed.). New York: Worth.

Straub, Richard O. (2010). Study Guide to Accompany Psychology (9th ed. in Modules). New York: Worth.


Course Requirements and Grading

Homework & Concept Quizzes (20% of grade)
Homework will be assigned throughout the term and will generally consist of essays and critical thinking questions that will prepare you for the AP Exam in May. It is absolutely imperative that you hand in your homework assignments ON TIME.  You will be docked 5% of the possible points for each day that your homework is late.  Due to the format of some assignments (e.g., matching, fill-in-the-blank), you may NOT hand them in after I have returned the graded assignments to the rest of the class.  If you are ill or out of town, you can get all homework assignments online and email your homework to me.

As part of your homework, (often daily) you will be given a Concept Quiz consisting of  seven (7) psychological terms that you must define. I will give you the terms the day before the quiz. (Check online if you are absent). The quizzes will typically be given during the first few minutes of class, so don't be late. I do not give "make-up" concept quizzes. Therefore, if you are excused on the day of a concept quiz, I will drop your score of 0.

Unit Tests (20% of grade)
During each semester, a short 25 point multiple choice test will be given at the conclusion of each unit. These tests only take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Therefore, class will be held following each test. These tests occur approximately once per week, so be prepared.

Exams (20% of grade)
Subsequent to the completion of every three or four units, an exam worth 75-100 points will be given.  These exams will consist of multiple choice and free response questions.  Often, these exams will be given over a two-day period. 

A comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of each semester. Each final exam will account for 20% of your semester grade.  (The final exam given at the end of the second semester will include material from both the first and second semesters.)

The final exam given during the 2nd semester will consist of a practice AP Psychology Exam. It will be administered over a two-day period and will cover material from both semesters. It will be scored in the same manner as the "real" exam (i.e., you will obtain a score of 1-5). You must take the exam on the scheduled days. 

Research Paper (20% of grade)
As you will soon learn, RESEARCH IS THE FOUNDATION OF PSYCHOLOGY!!. Therefore, during the yearlong course, you will develop, carry out, and report on a simple research project of your own design. A detailed description of the format and requirements of the research project will be provided in separate handouts. 

Extra Credit:  When you hand in an assignment BEFORE the due date, you will receive 10% extra credit. However, extra credit points are considered to be "extra". If you are missing any assignments at the end of the semester, you will lose any extra credit points you earned.

Grading: Each semester, your letter grade for the class will be computed on a percentage basis as described in your "Upper School Student-Parent Handbook".

Honor Code: I take the issue of cheating very seriously. If you are caught cheating, it will be reported to the disciplinary committee. This doesn’t just involve tests and exams. You are expected to do your own work when completing homework assignments. In many cases, I actually encourage you to "discuss" homework questions with each other, but you must use your own words when completing the written assignments. Don’t risk serious consequences by resorting to something as stupid as cheatingAlso, no cell phones are allowed in class.  You may not listen to music during class or during tests. Finally, use your computer outside of class. If I have an assignment that requires your laptop, I will let you know ahead of time. Otherwise, no laptop activity is allowed during class.

Your Responsibilities
You must read and respond to email at least twice daily.  Not knowing about a responsibility or assignment sent by email is not an excuse.  Also, since you have been provided with an external hard drive, it is your responsibility to back-up your work.

Finally, you are required to take the AP Exam in May. Failure to take the AP exam as scheduled will result in:
1. Removal of the AP exam designation from the second trimester transcript, which will, in turn, remove the GPA "boost" given to AP classes.
2.  Rowland Hall will notify colleges of the change to the final transcript.
3.  The student must notify the college in writing explaining the incident.


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