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The AP European History Exam

Important Updates

Take a Guided Tour of AP European History

Check out this series of video overview modules for the AP European history course and exam.

Updated CED and Practice Exam

The AP European History Course and Exam Description (.pdf/2.7MB) has been corrected to fix a formatting error on pages 103-105. The Roman numerals for the three supporting concepts to Key Concept 3.6 were incorrect, but this did not affect any of the content. The CED was also updated in December to reflect recent changes to the AP history rubrics and skills and to feature an easier-to-use format and updated scoring information.

The practice exam available through your AP Course Audit account has also been updated, and features detailed scoring notes reflecting the recent rubric changes.

To learn more about the rubric and skill changes, download the updated rubrics and skills (.pdf/555KB), and watch this presentation.

Teaching and Assessing AP European History

This online resource features sample free-response questions to use with your students, examples of how to score those samples, video modeling of key instructional strategies, and resources to help implement these strategies in your classroom. Learn more or log in.

Exam Overview (for the 2016 Exam and beyond)


The AP Exam questions measure students' knowledge of European history and their ability to think historically. Questions are based on key and supporting concepts, course themes, and historical thinking skills.

For a video overview of the exam, watch part 3 of the Course Overview Modules for AP European History Teachers.

Format of Assessment

Section I: Part A Multiple Choice | 55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • Questions appear in sets of 2–5.
  • Students analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
  • Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.

Section I: Part B Short Answer | 4 Questions | 50 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score

  • Questions provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.
  • Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.

Section II: Part A Document Based | 1 Question | 55 Minutes (includes 15 minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score

  • Analyze and synthesize historical data.
  • Assess written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.

Section II: Part B Long Essay | 1 Question | 35 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score

  • Students select one question among two.
  • Explain and analyze significant issues in European history.
  • Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.

Sample Exam Questions

For sample exam questions, refer to the AP European History Course and Exam Description. You can also access a full practice exam with student samples and scoring commentary by logging in to your AP Course Audit account.

An additional set of sample exam questions, originally published in the fall 2013 curriculum framework, is available in Sample Questions: AP European History Exam (.pdf/1.95MB).

These documents have all been updated to reflect the changes to the rubrics and skills. To learn more about the changes, download the updated rubrics and skills (.pdf/555KB), and watch this presentation.

Free-Response Questions

Below are free-response questions from past AP European History Exams.

If you require an accessible version of any documents on this page, please e-mail Accessibility@collegeboard.org. We will respond to your e-mail within 3 business days.

Free-Response Questions 2016

2016: Free-Response Questions

Questions Student Performance Samples, Scoring Guidelines, and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Past Free-Response Questions

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP European History Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2015 administrations and before.

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