2021 Exam Information
AP Exams will cover the full content in each course, giving students the opportunity to receive college credit and placement.
Given the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, some students may feel unsure about taking AP Exams in May. So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams. Every AP student should keep their options open by registering for the exam on time because there will still be a $40 fee for late orders.
AP Questions and Feedback Throughout the Year
AP practice exams and past exam questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank. Personal progress checks are also available to ensure your students build mastery of content and skills. The progress dashboard highlights progress for every student and class across units.
Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description (CED).
Scoring rubrics – general scoring criteria for the document-based and long essay questions, regardless of specific question prompt – are available in the course and exam description (CED).
Encourage your students to visit the AP U.S. History student page for exam information and exam practice.
- THU, MAY 6, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL
AP U.S. History Exam Day
The AP U.S. History Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.
Section 1A: Multiple Choice
55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score
Section 1B: Short Answer
3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score
Section 2A: Document-Based Question
1 Question | 1 Hour (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score
Section 2B: Long Essay
1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score
Exam Questions and Scoring Information
Scoring rubrics - general scoring criteria for the document-based and long essay questions, regardless of specific question prompt – are available in the course and exam description (CED).
2020 Free-Response Questions
Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including the 2020 free-response questions, personal progress checks, the question bank, and three practice exams aligned to the current course. Please note that scoring worksheets for the practice exams use past averages.
If your students answered free-response questions on the AP Exam in 2020, you can access their responses in the Student Response Portal. Learn more about how to access 2020 FRQs and students’ exam responses.
To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.
2019 Free-Response Questions
For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.
Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.
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Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information
For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2018 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.