As the AP® exam draws near, students often become increasingly anxious. Review games and activities can target areas students need to review while also adding a bit of levity and fun to review days. 


There are tons of ideas for gamifying review that you can find online, but here are some of my favorites! 


  • AP Classroom offers electronic versions of old practice exams and allows you to see the questions that students answer correctly or incorrectly. This is a useful diagnostic tool to determine what students know and what they need to focus on during the review. You can examine questions that many students struggled with and start the class with a similar question projected.  


  • Students can answer practice questions electronically on free programs like Socrative, and you can clarify any misunderstandings they may have. Even without the use of a practice exam, starting each class with two or three review questions from chapters students found challenging is a terrific way to address challenging topics in a specifically targeted approach. 


  • Kahoot! offers quiz games, which students love. There you can find several pre-made review games for AP Psychology that can be easily implemented for any chapter. This allows each student to participate and to identify what they know and what they need to review. Just for fun: hand out simple prizes for the winner of the games! 


  • The Pyramid review game is another fun, quick review which can be implemented if you have a few minutes at the beginning or the end of a class. Create a five- or six-level pyramid like the one below and then choose a topic. For example, you might choose types of attribution, which is often a challenging topic within the Social Psychology unit. Fill each level with a type of attribution (just world phenomenon, fundamental attribution error, self-serving bias, etc.).  




Create the slide so that each level is revealed individually. Students will partner up and take turns facing the projector. One student will give clues while the other faces away from the projector and guesses the terms that are described. Give students about 30 to 45 seconds for each level. You can play one game in about four minutes to start class each day and it serves as a nice review. If you have a few extra minutes, you can walk through terms students struggled with describing or identifying. 


This is just a small sample of some of the ways in which you can review with your students in preparation for the AP exam. Whatever method you choose, make it a goal to identify student strengths and where they need extra help. While we never seem to have enough time to review everything we want, taking the time to pinpoint where students need the most support can provide high-impact review in the days leading to the exam.  


Best of luck to your students on May 3rd! 


A tip for next year: We know that distributed practice is more effective than massed practice, but it is also a good idea to implement small review opportunities into your daily class routine or to interweave chapters from the first semester into the second semester exams.  


An easy way to accomplish this is by taking ten questions from each chapter covered in the first semester and adding those to the end of each second semester exam. If only a single chapter is incorporated for review and students are provided notice that this will occur, they can review that chapter as well as the one you are currently studying. When all chapters from first semester are covered, students are less likely to go back and review all this material.  


Laura Brandt currently teaches AP® Psychology at Libertyville High School in the Chicago suburbs and online at the Center for Talent Development through Northwestern University. She has taught AP Psychology since 1997 and has served as a reader, table leader, and question leader for the AP Psychology Exam. She also serves as an examiner for the IB Psychology. Laura was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award from the American Psychological Association and recognized with the Margaret Moffett Teaching Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. She was also a finalist for the Illinois Teacher of the Year. Laura earned her master’s degree in U.S. History at Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago, and her administrative certificate form Concordia University. She is currently working on her Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction.