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What You Should Already Know

This is an Advanced Placement course, so you should already have some experience with psychology, or you should have already taken APPSY 59 (AP Psychology Part 1) or its equivalent. You should be ready to handle the rigor of college-level material. If you have not taken an introductory-level psychology course, I recommend that you do that before taking this course. Although I have had some students take AP Psychology without having taken an introduction to psychology course, most of them have had difficulty keeping up. Those who have been motivated enough to “catch up” by supplementing the course with a high school text, however, have been successful (McMahon’s Psychology and You is an excellent choice).

At the risk of sounding patronizing, I must tell you that to succeed in this course you must know how to read well. You must also be willing to read. The high school, college, and university students who have the greatest difficulty with studying psychology at any level are those who do not read the assigned textbooks. Because I did not write the national test you will take in May, I can only guess what will be on it. Some college and university colleagues of mine have commented on how much more difficult the AP psychology test is than an introductory psychology course is on their campuses. The breadth of material you need to know and understand can only be acquired through your commitment to read. At the end of the prologue of your textbook (Myers 2004, p.16), the author quotes Charles Eliot: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, and the most patient of teachers.” The corresponding Web site for your textbook is available at This site is very helpful if you need additional clarification.

You should also know that I see myself as somewhat of a spy. Although I have never read the actual AP tests that my students have taken, I do have my students tell me what content areas they feel they under-learned, over-learned, or adequately learned relative to the questions they found on the test. This feedback has guided me in planning what information to teach you. I have ordered and seen only two (1994 and 1999) of the past AP psychology tests that were analyzed and made available through the College Board. Both of these tests are available to you to order (with a credit card) through:

The College Board, Advanced Placement Program
Dept. E-05, P.O. Box 6670
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6670
or (609) 771-7243.

Course Learning Outcomes

You will have fun observing your own and others’ behavior. You will prepare to know yourself and others better than you do now. You will learn to look to the past, the present, and the future. Each of these time perspectives applies to looking at yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and your world. You may even learn to laugh, cry, ponder, and marvel at your own and others’ behavior.

In addition to gaining an awareness of individual behavior, you will also get practice measuring and testing how well you have learned principles of human behavior. You will have the opportunity to read course material, check your understanding, get feedback, and self-correct—a process that will let you know whether or not you have learned the material.

Because this course is designed to prepare you to take and pass the national AP psychology test in May, my instruction will be a guide to taking and passing that test. All of your assignments and tests in this course will model that test.

David Myers, the author of your textbook, is an excellent author. More of my students pass the AP test using his book than using anyone else’s. (Using his textbook, more than 80 percent of my students pass the AP exam each year. In 2005, 100 percent of them passed!) One former student of mine was unable to enroll in AP psychology because of schedule conflicts. She made arrangements with me to read Myers’ text, meet with me to ask questions when needed, and then take the test. Without ever receiving class instruction, she passed the test with the highest score (5) just by reading the Myers’ text and occasionally asking for clarification. That is how this course works; you must read Myers’ book, and I will supplement your reading and guide you through the course. The lessons in this course are intended to highlight what he has written and add anything I have found on the past AP psychology tests that he has not included in his book.

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Describe psychology’s history and scientific methods.
  2. Describe and define the neurology and biology of human behavior.
  3. Identify and describe the nature and nurture of human development.
  4. Explain how sensation, perception, and states of consciousness relate to each other.
  5. Describe how learning and memory are acquired.
  6. Review and identify past essay question topics.

Course Materials

Myers, David G. Psychology: 7th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers, 2004.

This text is available through BYU Independent Study and the BYU Bookstore. You can order books online by going to or by calling Toll Free at 1-(800) 253-2578 or locally at (801) 422-2400.

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Summary: 6 computer-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Course Requirements

APPSY 60: Advanced Placement Psychology Part 2 is divided into six lessons. You are required to complete each lesson and do the reading associated with the first five lessons. Lesson six is an analysis of past essay questions and procedures used for grading the written answers.

The computer-graded (Speedback) assignments at the end of the lessons will give wrong-answer feedback. You may retake the computer-graded assignments once, but you will be charged a fee.


Let me explain how Self-Checks work. As you read each lesson, you will see that the beginning of the lesson has an outline, which is immediately followed by learning outcome objectives. At the end of each objective, you should complete the Self-Check questions. You will receive feedback for your correct or incorrect answers when you click on the submit button. Please take the time to reflect on your understanding by responding to the questions and reviewing the feedback. If you can correctly answer them, you probably understand the lesson well enough to go on. If, however, you are unclear, just go back to the content in that lesson or in the corresponding reading in the textbook. This will ensure that you do not get in over your head. Although the Self-Check questions and answers are not graded, they provide an excellent self-directed guide for you.

Speedback Assignments

At the end of each lesson, you will answer some Speedback questions. These questions are great for two reasons: first, you will get to practice taking multiple-choice questions just like you will take on the national AP test in May. Like my Grandma Liedtke used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” Second, you will get feedback on the questions you answered. Not only will you get your score back, but you will get “wrong-answer feedback” so you will know what questions you got wrong with an explanation regarding the reason it was not correct. These assignments will contribute to 70 percent of your grade.

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Summary: 1 computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course, must have proctor when taking test.

You will take a proctored final exam after you have completed the Speedback assignments for every lesson. You will receive a score on this exam, but you will not receive wrong-answer feedback. It will contain fifty multiple-choice questions covering lessons 1-5 and the chapters from Myers’s Psychology textbook associated with those lessons. You must score at least 50 percent on this exam to pass the course, and this score will make up 30 percent of your final grade.

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Assignment Grade Weight
1 Speedback Assignment 10%
2 Speedback Assignment 10%
3 Speedback Assignment 10%
4 Speedback Assignment 10%
5 Speedback Assignment 10%
6 Speedback Assignment 10%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

Grade Breakdown by Percentage

You will notice that the grade breakdown isn’t the same as traditional breakdowns. The rigor of this course’s lessons and reading inspires me to model the national pass-rate practice. Because scores of 3, 4, or 5 are passing scores on the national AP Exam, I will emphasize the same grading principle in this course and award the grades as identified above.

Your grade will be determined as indicated below:

A 100-95 C 69-65
A- 94-90 C- 64-60
B+ 89-85 D+ 59-57
B 84-80 D 56-53
B- 79-75 D- 52-50
C+ 74-70 E (fail) 49 or below

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Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase a 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete the course.

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Getting Help

To help you succeed in this course, Independent Study has a science tutor available, free of charge. If you think you could use a tutor’s help to give you further explanation or help with content-related issues as you go through this course, feel free to use the information below to contact your tutor.

Phone: 1-800-914-8931

You may also use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study with questions or comments.

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Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.