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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Exams will cover the full content in each course, giving students the opportunity to receive college credit and placement.

Given the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, some students may feel unsure about taking AP Exams in May. So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams. Every AP student should keep their options open by registering for the exam on time because there will still be a $40 fee for late orders.

View the latest information on testing.

AP Questions and Feedback Throughout the Year
AP practice exams and past exam questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank. Personal progress checks are also available to ensure your students build mastery of content and skills. The progress dashboard highlights progress for every student and class across units.

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Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting and scoring, download the AP World History: Modern Course and Exam Description (CED).

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

  • Event
    • MON, MAY 10 , 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP World History: Modern Exam Day

    •  

Exam Format

The AP World History: Modern Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Section 1A: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • Questions usually appear in sets of 3–4 questions.
  • Students analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
  • Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.

 Section 1B: Short Answer

3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score

  • Students analyze historians’ interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history.
  • Questions provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.
  • Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
  • Students choose between 2 options for the final required short-answer question, each one focusing on a different time period:
    • Question 1 is required, includes 1 secondary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
    • Question 2 is required, includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
    • Students choose between Question 3 (which focuses on historical developments or between the years 1200 and 1750) and Question 4 (which focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1750 and 2001) for the last question. No sources are included for either Question 3 or Question 4.

 Section 2A: Document-Based Question

1 Question | 1 Hour (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score

  • Students are presented with 7 documents offering various perspectives on a historical development or process.
  • Students assess these written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
  • Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
  • The document-based question focuses on topics from 1450–2001.

 Section 2B: Long Essay

1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score

  • Students explain and analyze significant issues in world history.
  • Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
  • The question choices focus on the same skills and the same reasoning process (e.g., comparison, causation, or continuity and change), but students choose from 3 options, each focusing primarily on historical developments and processes in different time periods—either 1200–1750 (option 1), 1450–1900 (option 2), or 1750–2001 (option 3).

 

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

Scoring rubrics—general scoring criteria for the document-based and long essay questions, regardless of specific question prompt—are available in the course and exam description (CED).

2020 Free-Response Questions

Sign in to AP Scores for Educators to access resources including the 2020 free-response questions, personal progress checks, the question bank, and practice exams aligned to the current course.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, 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 AP Reading leadership to explain 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.

Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2018 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.