Is AP US History or AP World History Harder?

As students prepare to enter advanced placement (AP) courses, they often wonder which course is harder: AP US History or AP World History. Both courses offer unique challenges, but there are some key differences that make one course more difficult than the other.

Difficulty Level of AP US History

  • Content: The content of AP US History covers a shorter period of time, from pre-Columbian societies to modern history. However, this condensed timeline means that students need to have a deep understanding of a large number of events and people from American history.
  • Writing: The writing portion of the exam for AP US History requires students to write in-depth essays analyzing historical events and their significance.

    This requires a strong grasp of historical cause-and-effect relationships.

  • Vocabulary: The vocabulary used in AP US History can be complex and unfamiliar to students who have not studied history before. Students need to learn and memorize a significant number of terms and concepts.

Difficulty Level of AP World History

  • Content: The content covered in AP World History is vast, covering human history from prehistoric times to the present day. Students must have a broad understanding of world cultures, religions, and historical events.
  • Analyzing Primary Sources: In addition to writing essays, students taking AP World History must also analyze primary sources such as maps, artwork, and written documents.

    This requires an ability to understand context and draw conclusions based on limited information.

  • Causation vs Correlation: In some cases, students may struggle with differentiating between causation and correlation when analyzing historical events. This can make it challenging to write essays that accurately reflect a deep understanding of the historical events in question.

So, Which One is Harder?

It’s difficult to definitively say which course is harder because it ultimately depends on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. However, some general guidelines can be drawn based on the differences outlined above.

If a student excels at remembering facts and has a deep interest in American history, they may find AP US History to be easier. On the other hand, if a student has an interest in cultures and religions from around the world, they may find AP World History to be more engaging.

In conclusion, both AP US History and AP World History offer unique challenges that require different skill sets. Ultimately, students should choose the course that aligns with their interests and strengths. With hard work and dedication, any student can succeed in either course.