We've made some changes to the three AP history courses for the 2017-18 school year. These changes will not require AP teachers to resubmit their syllabi to the AP Course Audit or attend professional development.
What's Changing, and Why
In summer 2016, we asked AP history teachers for their thoughts on the redesigns of the three AP history courses. Overall, teachers who responded to our survey said they liked the organization, structure, and content of the new frameworks.
They also suggested further refinements. The changes we made in response to this feedback are reflected in the fall 2017 course and exam description for each course. Here are the most important changes and the teacher concerns they address.
"There are too many elements in each AP history course for students to master."
- We streamlined the AP history disciplinary practices and reasoning skills (previously known as historical thinking skills).
- Periodization and synthesis are no longer listed as course skills.
- The practices and skills are now defined in clearer, simpler language and reflect a range of student proficiency levels.
See the AP history disciplinary practices and reasoning skills.
- We changed the exam design to give teachers and students more clarity about what to expect and more flexibility to support local curricular focus. See the updated specifications for the AP European History, AP U.S. History, and AP World History exams.
"There are too many different tasks for students in the essay questions. Students don't have enough time to write good essays."
We updated Section II of the AP history exams (document-based question and long essay question) and the generic rubrics.
- The synthesis point has been removed from both rubrics.
- Students will have 10 more minutes to answer the DBQ and long essay question.
- A single rubric will now be used for the long essay question.
- The rubrics describe more clearly what students will need to do to earn each point.
- We reduced the number of AP European History and AP World History learning objectives, making them more useful for teachers in structuring their courses.
- We made minor changes to the AP European History and AP World History concept outlines to more appropriately order the key concepts and align with current scholarship.
- We articulated a new theme for AP European History: National and European Identity. However, no new course content has been added.
The changes are reflected in subject-specific detail in the fall 2017 course and exam descriptions, the 2018 AP History Rubrics PDF, and secure practice exams on the AP Course Audit website:
AP European History Course and Exam Description—Fall 2017
This is the core document for teachers of this course. It lays out the course content, describes the exam, and includes a full practice exam. For details on what's new in the 2017 edition, please see the preface.
AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description — Fall 2017
This is the core document for teachers of this course. It lays out the course content, describes the exam, and includes a full practice exam. For details on what’s new in the 2017 edition, please see the preface.
AP World History Course and Exam Description—Fall 2017
This is the core document for teachers of this course. It lays out the course content, describes the exam, and includes a full practice exam. This document was updated in November 2017 to reflect refinements to the AP World History long essay question prompt. For details, please see the preface.
2018 AP History Rubrics
AP history long essay and document-based question rubrics, effective fall 2017.