Is AP World History Harder?

Are you considering studying AP World History and wondering if it’s harder than other AP courses? Well, the answer is not that simple.

There are many factors to consider when determining the difficulty level of any course. Here are some key points to help you make an informed decision.

Content and Exam Format

AP World History covers a vast amount of material from prehistory to present-day. The course requires students to have a deep understanding of world history and analyze historical events from multiple perspectives. The exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice and free-response questions.

The Multiple-Choice Section

The multiple-choice section of the AP World History exam contains 55 questions that assess your knowledge of world history concepts, events, and trends. This section also evaluates your ability to analyze primary and secondary sources, such as maps, charts, graphs, and texts.

The Free-Response Questions

The free-response section consists of three questions: one document-based question (DBQ), one long essay question (LEQ), and one short answer question (SAQ). These questions require you to apply your knowledge of world history to analyze primary sources, develop arguments and write essays.

Study Time Commitment

To succeed in AP World History, you need to dedicate a significant amount of time for studying. You’ll need to read the textbook thoroughly, take notes on lectures, review class materials regularly, practice writing essays and answering practice questions. The workload can be overwhelming if you don’t manage your time wisely.

Teacher Quality

Your teacher’s teaching style can significantly impact your learning experience in AP World History. A good teacher will provide engaging lectures, lead discussions that encourage critical thinking skills, offer helpful feedback on writing assignments, and provide resources for exam preparation.

Your Personal Learning Style

Finally, your personal learning style can affect how challenging you find AP World History. If you’re someone who learns best through reading and writing, you may find the course more manageable. However, if you’re a visual or kinesthetic learner, the course’s heavy emphasis on reading and writing may make it more challenging.


In conclusion, AP World History is undoubtedly a challenging course. The vast amount of material to cover, the unique exam format, and the high expectations for critical thinking and analytical skills all contribute to its level of difficulty.

However, with proper time management, good teaching support, and your learning style in mind, it is possible to succeed in this course. So if you’re passionate about world history and up for a challenge, AP World History might just be the perfect choice for you!