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AP Human Geography Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the course

What is the focus of this course?

AP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards (2012). For more details go to the two-page Course Overview (.pdf/789KB).

What is the equivalent college-level course?

AP Human Geography course is equivalent to an introductory college-level course in human geography.

Are there any student prerequisites?

No. Students only need to be able to read college-level texts and apply the conventions of Standard Written English in their writing. However, a background in world history, world regional geography, physical geography, comparative world religions, and economics will give students a solid foundation for building conceptual understanding.

What’s the best way to identify students who should take this course?

Any motivated student should be given the chance to benefit from an AP course. And if your school offers the PSAT/NMSQT®, you should use AP Potential. This free online tool allows you to identify students who are likely to succeed in AP based on their PSAT/NMSQT or SAT® scores. Such scores have been proven to be stronger predictors of AP success than high school grades or GPA.

Which textbooks does the College Board recommend?

AP does not recommend specific textbooks or other teaching materials, but a list of appropriate textbooks is available on AP Course Audit.

How can I prepare myself to teach this course?

These resources will help:

Our school has block scheduling. Can AP Human Geography be accommodated?

We recommend teaching the course over one year, giving students time to learn the material. If your school offers the course in one semester at the beginning of the school year, students should have an opportunity to review the material again before the exam in May to ensure their success.

Have more questions?

The AP Human Geography Teacher Community might be the best source for answers. You’ll also find articles, tools, and resources to help you teach every aspect of the course on the course home page.

Questions about the AP Course Audit

What is the AP Course Audit?

The AP Course Audit is an authorization process that provides teachers and administrators with guidelines and requirements for offering AP courses. It also ensures that AP courses across high schools meet the same college-level criteria.

Is the course audit required?

Yes. Every school wishing to offer an AP course must participate in the AP Course Audit.

What’s involved? Who needs to participate, and what do they need to do?

The AP Course Audit requires the online submission of two documents: the AP Course Audit form and the teacher’s syllabus. The AP teacher and the school principal (or designated administrator) submit the Course Audit form, acknowledging the curricular and resource requirements. The syllabus, detailing how the AP course requirements will be met, is submitted by the AP teacher for review by college faculty.

Where can I get help preparing my course syllabus?

The AP Course Audit page for this course will give you the tools you’ll need to create and submit your syllabus for authorization, including information and guidelines, sample syllabi, and a tutorial.

Have more questions?

Go to AP Course Audit for more FAQs, resources, and info about the whole course audit process.

Questions about the Exam

How can I prepare my students for the exam?

These resources will help:

  • Secure exams for classroom use are available on the AP Course Audit website. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page.
  • Free-response questions (FRQs) with student samples and scoring guidelines can be accessed from the course’s exam information page.
  • Scroll down the “Scoring” column in the free-response questions table to find yearly Student Performance Q&A’s from the Chief Reader that describe how students performed on the FRQs, typical student errors, and specific concepts that challenged students the most that year.
  • Released exams can be purchased at the College Board store.

When is the AP Human Geography Exam administered?

The exam is given each year in early May. Go to the Exam Calendar for the most current exam dates.

What score do students need to get on the AP Exam to receive credit or advanced placement?

That depends on the college. Tell your students to use the AP Credit Policy Info tool to verify the credit/placement policies at the schools they are considering.

Have more questions?

Go to the AP Human Geography Exam Information page. You’ll find specifics about the exam format and more.

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