Greece Athena High School Code: 334801

The AP World History Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and includes both a 95-minute multiple-choice and short-answer section (Section I) and a 100-minute free-response section (Section II). Each section is divided into two parts, as shown in the table below. Student performance on these four parts will be compiled and weighted to determine an AP Exam score.

Multiple-Choice Questions — 55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score
Section I, Part A of the AP World History Exam consists of 55 multiple-choice questions that are organized into sets of between two and five questions
  1. The questions in each set ask students to analyze a primary or secondary sources, such as written texts, images, charts, graphs, or maps, reflecting the types of materials that historians use in studying the past. 
  2. Multiple-Choice questions assess students’ ability to reason about this source material in tandem with their knowledge of content required by the course. 
  3. The possible answers for a multiple-choice question reflect the level of detail present in the required historical development found in the concept outline for the course. 
  4. While a set may focus on one particular period of world history, the individual questions within the set may ask students to make connections to thematically linked developments in other periods. 
  5. Multiple-choice questions address content from all six periods.

Short-Answer Questions — 3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score
Section I, Part B of the AP World History Exam consists of four short-answer questions. Students are required to answer the first and second questions, and choose to answer either the third or the fourth question.
  1. The first question primarily assesses the skill of analyzing secondary sources, asking students to respond in writing to a historian’s argument. This question addresses content from periods 3-6 of the course.
  2. The second question primarily assesses either the skill of comparison or continuity and change over time, and asks students to respond in writing to a primary source written text or to visual sources such as images, charts, or maps. This question also addresses content from periods 3-6 of the course.
  3. Students choose to answer either the third or fourth short-answer question, which deal with periods 1-3 or 4-6 respectively. These questions ask students to respond in writing to general propositions about world history, and they primary assess the same skill, either comparison or continuity and change over time; neither of them will primarily assess the same skill as the second-answer question. The third or fourth short-answer question has NO stimulus. 
    • Period 1: Technological and Environmental Transformations (to c. 600 BCE)
    • Period 2: Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies (c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE)
    • Period 3: Regional and Transregional Interactions (c. 600 CE to c. 1450)
    • Period 4: Global Interactions (c. 1450 to c. 1750)
    • Period 5: Industrialization and Global Integration (c. 1750 to c. 1900)
    • Period 6: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments (c. 1900 to the Present)
  4. Each short-answer question asks students to describe examples of historical evidence relevant to the question. These examples can be drawn from the concept outline or form other examples explored in depth during classroom instruction.


Document-Based Question — 1 Question | 60 Minutes (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score
Section II, Part A of the AP Exam consists of the document-based question, an essay question that measures students’ ability to develop and support an argument using historical source materials as evidence. 
  1. The question focuses on periods 3-6 of the course. 
  2. The seven documents included in the document-based question may include charts, graphs, cartoons, and pictures, as well as written materials of varying length. 
  3. These are chosen to illustrate interactions and complexities about the historical topic that is the subject of the question. 
  4. In their responses, students should develop an argument about the question and utilize the documents to support this argument. 
  5. Students should also explain elements of the authorship of the documents that affect their historical significance, such as point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience. 
  6. The document-based question also requires students to relate the documents to a historical period or them and, thus, to focus on major periods and issues. 
  7. For this reason, other knowledge about the topic being assessed, beyond the specific focus of the documents, is important and must be incorporated into students’ essays to earn the highest scores.

Long Essay — 1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score
Section II: Part B requires that students demonstrate their ability to use historical evidence in crafting a thoughtful historical argument. 
  1. Students will select one of 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
  2. Students will analyze an issue using the historical thinking skills of COMPARISON, CAUSATION, CONTINUITY and CHANGE, or CONTEXTUALIZATION.