Should I Take AP World History or AP European History?

Deciding which AP history course to take can be a daunting task. For many students, the decision often comes down to AP World History or AP European History.

Both courses cover a wide range of historical events and require critical thinking skills. However, there are some key differences that may help you decide which course is right for you.

Course Overview

AP World History covers world history from the prehistoric era to the present day. The course explores major themes such as globalization, technological advancements, and cultural interactions.

Students will study various regions including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The class includes both primary and secondary source readings with an emphasis on analytical writing.

AP European History focuses on European history from the Renaissance to present day. The course explores major themes such as art and culture, politics and power, and religion and belief systems.

Students will study various regions within Europe including Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe, and the Mediterranean.

Difficulty Level

AP World History is often considered a more difficult course due to its broad range of topics. Students are required to understand a vast amount of information across multiple time periods and regions. However, some students find this variety refreshing as they are able to explore different cultures in depth.

AP European History is often considered an easier course due to its specificity in topic areas. Students are able to focus their attention on one region of the world which can make it easier for them to understand certain concepts in depth.

College Credit

Both courses offer college credit based on a student’s score on the AP exam. However, some colleges may give more credit for one course over another depending on their curriculum.


Ultimately, your decision should be based on your personal interests and strengths. If you have a passion for world history and enjoy exploring different cultures, AP World History may be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you are interested in European history and prefer a more focused approach to learning, AP European History may be a better fit. Regardless of which course you choose, both provide valuable skills that will prepare you for college-level coursework.