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Important Updates

2019-20 AP Course Audit: What You’ll Need to Do

To give you more time to familiarize yourself with the new resources and supports that launched in August, you won’t be required to submit a syllabus for course authorization until the 2020-21 school year.

If you’re teaching AP World History: Modern in 2019-20, you’ll need to:

  • Submit an AP Course Audit Form
  • Download the AP World History: Modern unit guide

These steps will ensure that your course appears on the AP Course Ledger and that you have access to online score reports in July 2020.

AP Course Audit

All schools that want to label a course “AP” must get authorization through the AP Course Audit.

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Designing Your AP World History: Modern Course


The AP World History: Modern course should be designed by your school to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course in world history. The purpose of your course should be to understand the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. Your course should highlight the nature of changes and continuities over time and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. Students develop analytic skills through exposure to historical documents, visual and statistical evidence, and conflicting interpretations.

There are no specific curricular prerequisites for students taking AP World History: Modern.

Getting to Know the Course and Exam

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the AP course and exam.

AP World History: Modern Course and Exam Description

This is the core document for this course and is updated for the 2019-20 school year. New unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED also more clearly outlines how material will be assessed on the exam, provides instructional strategies, and gives information on the AP Program in general.

Creating Your Syllabus

Use these resources to design your AP World History: Modern syllabus.


AP World History: Modern curricular requirements:

  • The students and teacher have access to a college-level world history textbook, diverse primary sources, and multiple secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past.
  • The course provides opportunities to deepen student understanding of the required content outlined in each of the units described in the course and exam description.
  • The course provides opportunities to deepen student understanding of the course themes.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop the historical thinking skills:
    • Skill 1: Developments and Processes
    • Skill 2: Sourcing and Situation
    • Skill 3: Claims and Evidence in Sources
    • Skill 4: Contextualization
    • Skill 5: Making Connections (through the application of the 3 historical reasoning processes—comparison, causation, continuity and change)
    • Skill 6: Argumentation (using historical reasoning processes)

AP World History: Modern resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a college-level world history textbook (in print or electronic format) published within the last 10 years for individual use inside and outside of the classroom. The textbook is supplemented when necessary to meet the curricular requirements.
  • The school ensures that the teacher has a copy of the most recent edition of a world history textbook and other appropriate materials to support instruction.
  • The school ensures that each student has copies of primary sources and other instructional materials used in the course for individual use inside and outside of the classroom.
  • The school ensures that each student has access to support materials for the world history course, including scholarly, college-level works that correspond with course topics; writings by major history authors; as well as standard reference works such as encyclopedias, atlases, collections of historical documents, and statistical compendiums, either in a school or public library or via the internet.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP World History: Modern and have met or exceed the required alignment to the learning objectives and skills in the course curriculum framework. The list below is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by the College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary, supporting resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.

  • AMSCO. AP World History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination. 1st edition. Perfection Learning.
  • Bulliet, Richard W., Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, and David Northup. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 6th edition. National Geographic/Cengage Learning.
  • Bentley, Jerry, Herbert Ziegler, and Heather Streets Salter. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, AP® UPDATED Edition. 6th edition. McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Hansen, Valerie and Kenneth R. Curtis. Voyages in World History. 2nd edition. National Geographic/Cengage Learning.
  • Pollard, Elizabeth, Clifford Rosenberg, and Robert Tignor. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart. 1st edition. W.W. Norton.
  • Strayer, Robert W., and Eric W. Nelson. Ways of the World with Sources, for the AP® Course. 3rd edition. Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group.
  • Von Sivers, Peter, Charles A. Desnoyers, and George B. Stow. Patterns of World History: Combined Volume. 2nd edition. Perfection Learning.