2017-18 AP History Updates
Updates to the AP history courses and exams will take effect in the 2017-18 school year and are reflected in the updated course and exam description available below. These changes do not require teachers to resubmit their syllabi to the AP Course Audit or attend professional development.
AP World History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university world history course. In AP World History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; making historical comparisons; utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time; and developing historical arguments. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.
School and district administrators: Considering AP World History for your school or district? Download the course framework (.pdf/1.52MB), an overview of the course and exam. You can also download a practice exam (.pdf/2.23MB).
Essential Course Resources
AP History Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning SkillsSee the disciplinary practices and reasoning skills that students need to develop in AP history courses.
Course Overview Modules for AP World HistoryTake a guided tour of AP World History with a series of video presentations that provide a detailed look at the course framework, the exam, the AP Course Audit process, helpful resources, and more. Some modules are being revised to align with the 2017-18 AP history course and exam updates.
AP World History Course Overview
The two-page Course Overview provides a succinct description of the course and exam.
AP World History Course and Exam Frequently Asked QuestionsFind answers to common questions about the course, exam, and AP Course Audit.
Course Planning and Pacing Guides
Written by AP teachers, these versatile guides demonstrate a variety of ways to plan and pace the AP World History curriculum across one academic year. Each author presents a host of ideas for activities, resources, and assessments.
These guides do not yet reflect the 2017-18 AP history changes, but updated versions will be available soon.
Anthony Arzate, Wilson High School, Long Beach, Calif.
This course is taught at a diverse, urban public high school. The teacher focuses on developing historical thinking skills in both chronological and thematic contexts.
Aaron Marsh, Vashon Island High School, Vashon, Wash.
This course is taught at a small public high school in a rural setting near a large city. The teacher emphasizes peer teaching and group work in his class.
Robert Hallock and Kathryn Smoot, Sammamish High School, Bellevue, Wash.
This course is taught at a suburban public high school. The teachers use a problem-based learning approach to make the content more relevant and accessible to 21st-century students.
The following course planning and pacing guides were written before the 2016-17 revisions to AP World History but are still useful.
Sharon Cohen, Springbrook High School, MD
This course is taught at an ethnically diverse public suburban high school where the teacher emphasizes student inquiry as a way to engage students to investigate the past and analyze their sources.
Ryba Epstein, Rich East High School, IL
This course is taught at a diverse public suburban high school where the teacher uses differentiated instruction and various types of activities and formative assessments to optimize students' chances for success.
Bram Hubbell, Friends Seminary, NY
This course is taught at a small independent school where the teacher uses seminar-style discussions and emphasizes the essay as the main assessment format.
Erik Vincent, Dunwoody High School, GA
This course is taught at a suburban public high school as an interdisciplinary World History/World Literature class with an emphasis on critical and analytical writing.
2016-17 Course and Exam Revisions
Revisions to the AP World History course and exam launched in 2016-17. These revisions pre-dated the updates to the AP history courses taking effect in 2017-18.
College Board Store
Find AP World History publications, released exams, and more in the College Board Store.
AP and Higher Education
Higher Education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Ed site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.
This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy search.
Meet the current Development Committee for AP World History.