AP World History: Modern Course and Exam Frequently Asked Questions

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Update on AP World History

Since our announcement about changes to AP World History for 2019-20, we’ve received thoughtful, principled feedback from AP teachers, students, and college faculty. Learn more about the changes we’ll make in response to this feedback.

Questions about the course

 

In AP World History: Modern, students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes from approximately 1200 C.E. to the present, across the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

For a bit more detail on AP World History: Modern, go to the course home page.

AP World History: Modern is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college or university modern world history course.

No, there are no prerequisites for AP World History: Modern. Students should be able to read a college-level textbook and write grammatically correct, complete sentences.

The College Board does not recommend specific textbooks. However, a list of example textbooks appropriate for the course appears on the AP Course Audit page for this course.

Any motivated student should be given the chance to benefit from an AP course. And if your school offers the PSAT/NMSQT, you should use AP Potential™. This free online tool allows you to identify students who are likely to succeed in AP based on their PSAT-related scores or SAT scores. Such scores have been proven to be stronger predictors of AP success than high school grades or GPA.

These resources will help:

  • The AP World History : Modern and Exam Description (.pdf/6.39MB) defines the course. If you only download one thing this year, make this it.
  • Starting in August 2019, you will have access to AP Classroom, a dedicated online platform designed to support you and your students throughout your AP experience. The platform features a variety of powerful resources and tools to give you year-long support and enable your students to receive meaningful feedback on their progress as they prepare for the AP Exam.
  • Professional development such as one-day workshops and AP Summer Institutes are great for novices and experts alike.
  • The AP World History Teacher Community gives you the opportunity to learn from colleagues and create a library of resources.

Yes, provided that key concepts and other course requirements are fully addressed. 

Coverage of the United States is included in relation to its interaction with other societies (through colonization in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Revolutionary War, and the nation's expansion, for example) and is limited to appropriate comparative questions about U.S. involvement in global processes.

Yes, provided that the class meets all year long so that students can cover the course content.

The Teacher Community for this course might be the best source for answers. You’ll also find articles, tools, and resources to help you teach every aspect of the course on the course home page.

Questions about the AP Course Audit

 

The AP Course Audit is a course authorization process that provides teachers and administrators with guidelines and requirements for offering AP courses. It also ensures that AP courses across high schools meet the same college-level criteria.

Watch a quick video introduction about the AP Course Audit.

Yes. Every school wishing to offer an AP course must participate in the AP Course Audit.

The AP Course Audit requires the online submission of two documents: the AP Course Audit form and the teacher’s syllabus. The AP teacher and the school principal (or designated administrator) submits the Course Audit form, acknowledging the curricular and resource requirements. The syllabus, detailing how the AP course requirements will be met, is submitted by the AP teacher for review by college faculty. To give you more time to familiarize yourself with the new resources and supports launching in August, teachers won’t be required to submit a syllabus for course authorization until the 2020-21 school year. Go to the AP Course Audit page  for this course for more information and guidance about the requirements for the 2019-20 school year.

The AP Course Audit website will give you the tools you’ll need to create and submit your syllabus for authorization, including information and guidelines.

Visit AP Course Audit for more FAQs, resources, and info about the whole course audit process.

Questions about the exam

 

The exam measures students' knowledge of modern world history and their ability to think historically. Questions assess students’ understanding of the skills and learning objectives outlined in the course framework. The exam features multiple-choice, short-answer, document-based, and long essay questions.

For more information, visit The AP World History: Modern Exam.

These resources will help:

  • Secure exams from the AP World History course are available on the AP Course Audit website. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page. 
  • Starting in August 2019, you will have access to AP Classroom, a dedicated online platform designed to support you and your students throughout your AP experience. The platform features a variety of powerful resources and tools to give you year-long support and enable your students to receive meaningful feedback on their progress as they prepare for the AP Exam.
  • Get sample free-response questions and scoring practice from Teaching and Assessing AP World History. Log in or learn more
  • Free-response questions (FRQs) with student samples and scoring guidelines from the 2017 and 2018 AP World History exams can be accessed on the exam page.
  • Scroll down the Scoring column in the free-response questions table to find the Chief Reader Report, a resource previously known as the Student Performance Q&A. In it, the Chief Reader describes how students performed on the FRQs, typical student errors, and specific concepts that challenged students the most that year.
  • The Past Exam Questions page features questions and scoring information from the May 2016 exam administration and earlier.
  • Released exams—full AP World History exams that were administered in the past—are available through the College Board store.

The exam is given each year in early May. Go to the Exam Calendar for the most current exam dates.

That depends on the college. Some require higher scores than others. Tell your students to use the AP Credit Policy Info tool to verify the credit/placement policies at the colleges they are considering.

Visit the World History: Modern Exam page for answers. You'll find specifics about the exam format and more.