How Is the AP World History Exam Structured?

Are you preparing to take the AP World History Exam? It’s important to understand the structure of the exam so that you can prepare accordingly. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect on test day.

The Exam Format

The AP World History Exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice and free-response. The multiple-choice section is made up of 55 questions and accounts for 40% of your overall score. The free-response section consists of three essay questions, each worth equal points, and accounts for the remaining 60% of your score.

Multiple-Choice Section

The multiple-choice section of the exam is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present day. The questions will cover six different themes:

  • Interaction between humans and the environment
  • Development and interaction of cultures
  • State-building, expansion, and conflict
  • Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems
  • Development and transformation of social structures
  • Technology, innovation, and exchange

Each question will have four answer choices. You’ll have 55 minutes to complete this section.

Free-Response Section

The free-response section is broken down into three parts:

  • Document-Based Question (DBQ)
  • Change-over-time essay (COT)
  • Comparative essay (COMP)

In the DBQ, you’ll be given a set of primary source documents (usually between five and seven) that relate to a particular historical event or development. You’ll be asked to analyze these documents in order to answer a specific question about the event or development.

In the COT essay, you’ll be presented with a broad historical trend or development and asked to analyze how it changed over time.

In the COMP essay, you’ll be asked to compare and contrast two different historical developments or processes.

Each essay question is worth equal points. You’ll have a total of two hours and 10 minutes to complete this section.

Test-Taking Strategies

Now that you know the structure of the exam, it’s important to develop some test-taking strategies. Here are a few tips:

  • Read the question carefully before answering
  • Budget your time wisely – don’t spend too much time on any one question
  • Make sure to answer every question – there’s no penalty for guessing
  • When writing your essays, be sure to use specific examples and evidence from history to support your arguments
  • Keep an eye on the clock – you don’t want to run out of time before finishing all of the questions

In Conclusion

The AP World History Exam is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present day. It’s divided into two sections: multiple-choice and free-response.

By understanding the exam’s structure and developing some test-taking strategies, you can feel confident and prepared on test day. Good luck!