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Important Updates

2019-20 AP World History Changes
In response to valuable feedback from AP World History teachers, we’re making changes to AP World History in 2019-20 that better align it with the scope of content that most colleges and universities cover in a single course.

Exam Overview

The AP World History Exam measures students' knowledge of world history and their ability to think historically. Questions are based on key and supporting concepts, course themes, and the disciplinary practices and reasoning skills outlined in the course and exam description.

Encourage your students to visit the AP World History student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

Section I: Part A

Multiple Choice — 55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • Questions appear in sets of 2 to 5.
  • Students analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
  • Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.

Section I: Part B

Short Answer — 3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score

  • Analyze historians' interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history.
  • Questions provide opportunities for students to explain the historical examples that they know best.
  • Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
  • Students choose between two options for the final required short-answer question, each one focusing on a different time period:
    • Question 1 (required): periods 3-6
    • Question 2 (required): periods 3-6
    • Students choose between Question 3, periods 1-3, and Question 4, periods 4-6

Section II: Part A

Document Based — 1 Question | 60 Minutes (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score

  • Assess written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
  • Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
  • The question focuses on topics from periods 3-6.

Section II: Part B

Long Essay — 1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score

  • Explain and analyze significant issues in world history.
  • Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
  • The question choices focus on the same theme and skill, but students choose from three options, each focusing on a different range of time periods:
    • Option 1: periods 1-2
    • Option 2: periods 3-4
    • Option 3: periods 5-6

 

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from the 2017 and 2018 exams, 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 reading leadership to describe 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.

2018: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

The 2018 AP history rubrics are available under Exam Resources.    
2017: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Chief Reader Report

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1 DBQ

Sample Responses Q1 SA

Sample Responses Q2 LEQ

Sample Responses Q2 SA

Sample Responses Q3 LEQ

Sample Responses Q3 SA

Sample Responses Q4 SA

Scoring Distributions

Past exam questions from the May 2016 administrations and before are also available.

Exam Resources