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Important Updates

Support for Students and Schools Impacted by Coronavirus
In response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re providing free, live AP online classes and review lessons. We’ll also offer at-home testing for 2020 AP Exams. Note that any related adjustments to 2020 AP Exams, such as length or content covered, may not be reflected on all AP Central pages. Visit at Taking the Exams for the latest exam information.

AP World History: Modern Updates and New Resources for 2019-20
To help more students prepare for—and succeed on—the AP World History: Modern Exam, we’ve clarified the course’s focus starting with the 2019-20 school year and are introducing new resources for your classroom. We’ve also moved exam registration to the fall, a best practice that improves students’ chances of earning college credit and placement.

In addition to these new resources and processes—which are coming to most AP courses in fall 2019— we’re making updates to the content covered in AP World History. Starting in the 2019-20 school year, AP World History: Modern will begin in 1200 CE rather than in the Paleolithic Era.

Download the new course and exam description (CED)

New AP Resources
AP Classroom is now available. Designed with AP educators, it helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access AP unit guides with aligned resources, topic questions, personal progress checks, the progress dashboard, and your question bank.

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Course Overview

AP World History: Modern is an introductory college-level modern world history course. Students cultivate their understanding of world history from c. 1200 CE to the present through analyzing historical sources and learning to make connections and craft historical arguments as they explore concepts like humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.

Course Content

Influenced by the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a description of the course requirements necessary for student success.

The AP World History: Modern framework is organized into nine commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

 Unit  Exam Weighting
 Unit 1: The Global Tapestry  8%–10%
 Unit 2: Networks of Exchange  8%–10%
 Unit 3: Land-Based Empires  12%–15%
 Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections  12%–15%
 Unit 5: Revolutions  12%–15%
 Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization  12%–15%
 Unit 7: Global Conflict  8%–10%
 Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization  8%–10%
 Unit 9: Globalization  8%–10%


Historical Thinking Skills

The updated AP World History: Modern framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like historians.

 Skill  Description
 1. Developments and Processes  Identify and explain historical developments and processes.
 2. Sourcing and Situation  Analyze sourcing and situation of primary and secondary sources.
 3. Claims and Evidence in Sources  Analyze arguments in primary and secondary sources.
 4.Contextualization  Analyze the contexts of historical events, developments, or processes.
 5.Making Connections  Using historical reasoning processes (comparison, causation, continuity and change), analyze patterns and connections between and among historical developments and processes.
 6.Argumentation  Develop an argument.


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 Education 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 Development Committee for AP World History: Modern.