Who develops the Advanced Placement World History course and exam?
AP courses and exams are designed by committees of college faculty and expert AP teachers, who ensure that each AP course reflects college-level expectations. These AP Development Committees define the scope and goals of the AP course, articulating what students should know and be able to do upon completing it. The committees' work is informed by data collected from a range of colleges and universities to ensure that AP curricula reflect current scholarship and advances in the discipline. The committees then work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to develop multiple-choice and free-response exam questions. Committee members also write and review the course description for each subject.
Do colleges and universities give credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on an AP Exam?
Students should check the credit-and-placement policy at the schools they are considering. Policies vary from one institution to another; they may also vary from department to department within an institution. The AP Credit Policy Info tool provides information on specific college and university credit policies.
How do I determine who should be in an AP class?
The College Board recommends allowing any motivated and academically prepared student to take an AP course. We encourage the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underserved. Schools should make every effort to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population.
What has changed in the AP World History course?
In 2011-12, the AP World History course was revised, utilizing an approach that enables students to successfully manage the breadth of world history while engaging deeply with the subject matter. As the course and exam description explains, the current AP World History course focuses on "six chronological periods, viewed through the lens of related key concepts and course themes, and accompanied by a set of skills that clearly describe what it means to think historically."
The three to four key concepts per period define the essential content based on the most current historical research in world history. This approach can help students learn essential concepts in depth and develop the historical thinking skills necessary to explore broad trends and global processes.
Can I organize the course from a thematic rather than a chronological perspective?
Yes. It is certainly possible to approach the course from the point of view of the five course themes, provided that key concepts and other course requirements are fully addressed.
How does European history fit into the AP World History course?
European history should not make up more than 20 percent of the total course. This allows for sufficient coverage of other regions and of topics that are important to Europe in the context of the world, not just to Europe itself.
Is United States history covered in AP World History?
Coverage of the United States is included in relation to its interaction with other societies (through colonization in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Revolutionary War, and the nation's expansion, for example) and is limited to appropriate comparative questions about U.S. involvement in global processes. Topics associated with the latter part of the 20th century and beyond (such as the end of World War II, the Cold War, and the globalization of trade and culture) are addressed with appropriate references to the United States.
How is the exam scored?
Total scores on the multiple-choice section are now based on the number of questions answered correctly. No points are given for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.
What topics does the exam test?
The course and exam description explains the key concepts and themes of the course in detail, and all key concepts and themes are required knowledge for the exam. Because the purpose of the exam's document-based essay question is to test skills, the topic of that question may be outside the scope of the curriculum framework. However, both the continuity and change-over-time essay and the comparative essay require students to demonstrate prior knowledge of a subject, and the topics of these essays draw directly from the curriculum framework.
Does the exam test the illustrative examples used in the curriculum framework?
No. To answer multiple-choice questions correctly, students do not have to recall specific illustrative examples. However, an illustrative example may appear on the exam if it includes sufficient information to enable students to answer the question. In both the continuity and change-over-time essay and the comparative essay, students are expected to provide appropriate historical evidence to support arguments. Students can draw upon the illustrative examples or any other appropriate, relevant examples to answer the questions.
Does the exam assess the historical thinking skills?
Yes. The historical thinking skills provide an essential structure for learning to think about history. The course and exam description clearly defines each skill, along with the desired skill proficiency. The exam assesses all historical thinking skills.
Has the format of the exam changed? ?
No. The exam features multiple-choice and free-response questions, with each section weighted equally. However, as of the May 2012 administration, the multiple-choice questions feature four answer options instead of five.
How does core scoring work in evaluating student essays?
Student responses to the free-response questions are evaluated using the core-scoring method. The core score is the number of points awarded, from 1 to 7, for basic competence in the skills identified in the current scoring guidelines. If a core score is achieved, a student may earn additional score points (0-2) from the expanded core area for excelling in any of the skills. A student must earn all the points in the basic core area before earning points in the expanded core area. The current edition of the AP World History Course and Exam Description has examples of generic core scoring guides for each of the three types of free-response questions.
Where can I find practice AP World History exams?
Practice exam materials are available on the AP Course Audit website. These include answer keys, free-response scoring guides, scored student free-responses with commentary, and statistical information about the exam.
How can I learn about teaching AP World History?
The AP World History Course and Exam Description outlines the course's scope and the skills students should acquire from the course. The AP World History Teacher's Guide provides pedagogical suggestions and support. (Note that this guide was developed prior to the course changes implemented in 2011-12.) Additionally, the College Board's regional offices offer one-day AP workshops and specialty conferences throughout the school year. During summer, numerous schools offer week-long AP Summer Institutes. There are also curricular and instructional resources posted on AP Central.
If you haven't already, join the AP World History Teacher Community
. This website, moderated by fellow educators, allows you to participate in discussions with colleagues and share teaching ideas and resources.
How are consultants who conduct workshops and AP Summer Institutes trained?
Consultants undergo intensive face-to-face training to ensure that they have in-depth understanding of the course and exam, and that they can explain the course clearly and thoroughly.
Where can I find recommendations for textbooks?
The AP Program doesn't recommend textbooks or other teaching materials, but examples of textbooks that meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements of AP World History are available on the AP World History: Example Textbook List on the AP Course Audit website. You can find reviews of these textbooks in the Teachers' Resources section of AP Central.
What are course planning and pacing guides and how can they benefit me?
AP World History Course Planning and Pacing Guides (CPPGs) are resources developed to demonstrate several approaches to teaching the course. The guides were written by teachers from different areas of the country, working in a variety of teaching environments. Each publication begins with an introduction to the school setting and then presents a unit-by-unit approach, which includes instructional activities, formative and summative assessments, and references to the materials used to teach each unit (see the Resources section). Teachers can refer to these guides as they plan their course. CPPGs are available here.
AP Course Audit
What is the AP Course Audit? Where can I find more information about it?
The AP Course Audit provides teachers and administrators with clear guidelines on curricular and resource requirements for AP courses. It also gives colleges and universities confidence that AP courses meet the same college criteria. For more information, visit AP Course Audit.
Do I need to submit new materials for the AP Course Audit?
Every AP World History teacher needs to submit a course syllabus that demonstrates how the revised curricular requirements are met. Participation in the AP Course Audit ensures that all AP teachers have incorporated the revisions into their courses.
Are resources available to support course authorization?
The AP Course Audit website is designed to support teachers in creating a syllabus for authorization. The website features information and guidelines, which include the following resources for AP World History:
What will I need to show in my new syllabus?
- Course and Exam Description: Provides the content outline, exam format, and sample exam questions.
- Curricular/Resource Requirements: Identify the expectations that college faculty nationwide have established for the aligned college course.
- Syllabus Development Guide: Provides a detailed explanation of each curricular requirement, including scoring components, evaluation guidelines, definitions of key terms, and samples of evidence that highlight the level of detail reviewers expect to see in a college syllabus.
- Four Annotated Sample Syllabi: Demonstrate a variety of ways teachers can fulfill the curricular requirements in a syllabus.
Teachers need to show the following in their syllabi:
- Use of college-level resources, including a college-level textbook and diverse primary and secondary sources in class
- Lessons or units that focus on the six key concepts and five course themes
- Balanced global coverage with no more than 20 percent of course time devoted to European history
- Activities that target each of the four historical thinking skills and their nine components.