How Do You Write a Short Answer Question AP World History?

If you are taking the AP World History exam, you will encounter short answer questions that will test your knowledge and understanding of the subject. These questions require you to provide a brief answer that is concise, accurate and well-supported. To help you write effective short answer questions in AP World History, we have compiled a list of tips and strategies that will help you succeed.

1. Understand the Question Prompt

Before answering a short answer question, it is essential to read and understand the prompt carefully. Take note of the key phrases or words in the prompt and ensure that your response addresses each of them. For instance, if the question prompt asks you to “describe,” make sure your response provides a detailed explanation of the topic.

2. Use Specific Evidence

When writing a short answer question in AP World History, it is crucial to use specific evidence from your knowledge of history to support your answer. You can use examples from class lectures or readings to illustrate your point clearly. Remember to include dates, names or specific events where applicable.

3. Be Concise and Clear

Short answer questions require you to be concise and clear in your responses. Avoid using filler words or unnecessary details that may distract from your main point. Instead, focus on providing a clear and direct response that addresses the question prompt.

4. Organize Your Response

Organizing your response is essential in ensuring that it is easy for readers to follow and understand. Use subheadings or bullet points where applicable to organize your thoughts clearly. This will help you avoid rambling or going off-topic in your response.

5. Practice Writing Short Answer Questions

Practice makes perfect when it comes to writing short answer questions in AP World History exams. Try practicing on past papers or sample questions so that you become familiar with how to structure your responses effectively. With practice, you will gain confidence in your ability to write short answer questions.


Writing effective short answer questions in AP World History requires you to understand the question prompt, use specific evidence, be concise and clear, organize your response and practice writing. By following these tips and strategies, you can improve your chances of answering short answer questions successfully and achieve a high score on the AP World History exam.