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The AP World History Exam

Important Updates

2016-17 AP World History Revisions

This page has been updated to align with the AP World History revisions launching in the fall of 2016.

AP World History Practice Exam

A full practice exam reflecting the 2016-17 revisions, along with student responses and scoring commentaries, is now available from your AP Course Audit account.

New Exam for Classroom Use

A secure 2016 AP World History Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Exam Day 2017

Thurs, May 11, 8 a.m.

Exam Duration

3 hours, 15 minutes

Exam Overview

The AP World History Exam features short-answer, document-based, and essay questions that ask students to demonstrate historical content knowledge and thinking skills through written responses. Multiple-choice questions will ask students to use content knowledge to analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources.

Encourage your students to visit the AP World History student page for exam information and exam practice.

Access online score reports for your students.


Learn about late testing policies, and see all late testing dates.

Exam Format

Section I: Part A

Multiple Choice — 55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • Questions appear in sets of 2 to 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 explain the historical examples that 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 world history.
  • Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

Looking for sample multiple-choice and free-response questions? You can find them in:

The Course and Exam Description (.pdf/2.75MB), which has everything you need to know about the course and exam.

A full practice exam on AP Course Audit. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page.

The Student Performance Q&A. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

Sample exam questions (.pdf/2.42MB) originally published in the fall 2014 curriculum framework.

And for free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the Past Exam Questions page. Note that these questions reflect the exams given in May 2016 and before and do not reflect the redesigned exam.

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