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Home > AP Courses and Exams > AP Exam Information > The AP United States History Exam

The AP United States History Exam

Exam Content

AP U.S. History Redesign
We're excited to announce the redesign of U.S. History, which will take effect in the 2014-15 year. To learn more about the changes and access resources for teachers, visit Advances in AP.

The first AP U.S. History Exam -- originally known as "American History" -- was given in 1956. The exam tests knowledge and skills included in a full-year introductory course in United States history from the first European explorations of the Americas to the present. The exam covers political institutions and behavior, public policy, social and economic change, diplomacy and international relations, and cultural and intellectual development.

The multiple-choice section tests students' factual knowledge, breadth of preparation, and knowledge-based analytical skills. The majority of multiple-choice questions are on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Approximately 20 percent of the questions deal with the period from the first European explorations through 1789, 45 percent with the period 1790 through 1914, and 35 percent with the period 1915 to the present. There may be a few multiple-choice questions on the period since 1980. Political institutions and behavior and public policy account for approximately 35 percent of the questions, and social and cultural developments account for approximately another 40 percent. The remaining questions are divided between the areas of diplomacy and international relations (15 percent) and economic developments (10 percent).

Standard essay questions may require students to relate developments in different areas, analyze common themes in different time periods, or compare individual or group experiences that reflect socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, or gender differences.

Multiple-Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, refer to the Course Description.

If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, please contact us at ssd@info.collegeboard.org. Note: versions of these PDFs with enhanced accessibility will be available in the upcoming academic year. Free-Response Questions

Below are free-response questions from past AP United States History Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Chief Reader's Student Performance Q&A for past administrations.

Note about "Form B" Exams
Prior to the May 2012 exam administration, for selected AP subjects, another version of the exam called "Form B" was administered outside of North, Central, and South America.

Free-Response Questions 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 1999-2002


2013: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Score Distributions


2012: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Score Distributions


2011: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Score Distributions


2011: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Score Distributions


2010: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Score Distributions


2010: Form B

Questions

Scoring

Samples and Commentary

Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2009: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions
Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2009: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2008: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2008: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2007: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2007: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2006: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2006: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2005: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Grade Distributions


2005: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary
Sample Responses


2004: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2004: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


2003: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Grade Distributions


2003: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples
Free-Response Questions Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5


Important Note: PDF Files
The links to exam questions for this course are in Adobe® PDF format, and you will need to use the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® to view them. If you don't have Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher installed on your computer, choose the link for the Adobe Web site below for installation instructions. For help downloading and printing PDF files, choose the link "PDF Troubleshooting" below in "See also."


  
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