How Do You Prepare for Multiple Choice AP World History?

Preparing for a Multiple Choice AP World History Exam: Tips and Strategies

Preparing for an Advanced Placement (AP) exam can be a daunting task, especially for a subject like World History. The multiple-choice format of the exam adds another level of complexity, as it requires not only knowledge but also critical thinking and analytical skills. However, with the right preparation and strategies, you can increase your chances of success and achieve a high score on the AP World History exam.

Understand the Format

The first step in preparing for a multiple-choice AP World History exam is to understand its format. The exam consists of 55 multiple-choice questions, which you will have 55 minutes to complete.

The questions are divided into two sections: Part A and Part B. Part A includes 35 questions that cover historical developments from approximately 8000 BCE to the present day. Part B includes 20 questions that cover global processes and interactions across different historical periods.

Develop Your Content Knowledge

To do well on the AP World History exam, you need to have a solid foundation of content knowledge. This means understanding historical events, people, places, and concepts across different periods and regions of the world. You can start by reviewing your class notes, textbooks, and other resources provided by your teacher or school.

You should also consider using additional study materials such as review books, online resources such as Khan Academy or Crash Course World History on YouTube; or an AP World History tutor if possible. These resources can help you fill in any gaps in your understanding and provide you with additional practice questions to reinforce what you’ve learned.

Practice Time Management

The time limit for the AP World History exam is strict: 55 minutes for 55 questions. Therefore, practicing time management is essential to ensure that you can answer all the questions within the allotted time. You should aim to spend no more than one minute per question, which will give you some extra time to review any questions you may have skipped or marked for review.

To practice time management, you can use practice tests or questions from your textbook or other materials. Set a timer for 55 minutes and try to complete as many questions as possible within that time frame. During this practice, be sure to carefully read each question and all answer choices before selecting your answer.

Use Process of Elimination

The process of elimination is a powerful strategy that can help you narrow down the answer choices and increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. To use this strategy, start by eliminating any obviously incorrect answers. Then, consider the remaining choices and look for clues in the question stem or other parts of the exam that can help you eliminate further options.

Recognize Patterns and Themes

The AP World History exam covers historical developments across different regions and periods of the world. However, there are often patterns and themes that connect these developments. By recognizing these patterns and themes, you can better understand how different historical events are related to each other.

To recognize patterns and themes, pay attention to key concepts such as trade routes, migration patterns, political systems, cultural exchange, and economic development. Look for connections between different regions and periods in terms of these concepts.

Utilize Resources on Test Day

On test day itself, make sure to utilize all available resources to help you succeed on the exam. This includes bringing a watch or timer to manage your time effectively; using scratch paper provided by the test center; using process of elimination; marking questions for review if necessary; and taking advantage of any breaks provided during the exam.


Preparing for a multiple-choice AP World History exam requires both content knowledge and critical thinking skills. By understanding the format of the exam, developing your content knowledge, practicing time management, utilizing test-taking strategies such as process of elimination and recognizing patterns and themes, and utilizing resources on test day, you can improve your chances of success on the AP World History exam. Remember to stay focused, calm, and confident throughout the exam, and trust in your preparation to guide you to a successful outcome.