The Course

AP World History: Modern

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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.

Rubrics Updated for 2023-24

We’ve updated the AP World History: Modern document-based question (DBQ) and long essay question (LEQ) rubrics for the 2023-24 school year.

This change only affects the DBQ and LEQ scoring, with no change to the course or the exam: the exam format, course framework, and skills assessed on the exam all remain unchanged.

The course and exam description (CED) has been updated to include: 

  • Revised rubrics (general scoring criteria) for the DBQ and LEQ.
  • Revised scoring guidelines for the sample DBQ and LEQ within the CED.

Course and Exam Description

Course Resources

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.


Exam Weighting

Unit 1: The Global Tapestry


Unit 2: Networks of Exchange


Unit 3: Land-Based Empires


Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections


Unit 5: Revolutions


Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization


Unit 7: Global Conflict


Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization


Unit 9: Globalization


Historical Thinking Skills

The 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.



 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.


 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.


 Develop an argument.

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section 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

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.