AP World History Practice Exams
See our listing below of all the the online AP World History practice exams. Each of these sites has dozens of free multiple choice practice questions. Start your test prep now!
Official 2017 Practice Test
Global studies review quizzes, khan academy, full practice test, ace practice tests, world history textbook, more textbook resources, albert’s ap world history.
AP World History | Practice Exams | DBQ & FRQ | Notes | Videos | Flashcards | Study Guides
Recently viewed courses
Find Your Dream School
COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.
Enter your email to unlock an extra $25 off an SAT or ACT program!
The AP ® World History: Modern exam covers historical developments from c 1200 to the present. It will test topics and skills discussed in your Advanced Placement World History: Modern course. If you score high enough, your AP score could earn you college credit !
Check out our AP World History Guide for what you need to know about the exam:
- AP World History: Modern Exam Overview
- AP World History: Modern Question Types
- AP World History: Modern Scoring
- How to Prepare
AP World History Exam Overview
The AP World History: Modern exam takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete and is composed of: a multiple-choice, short answer, and free response section.
AP World History Question Types
AP World History: Modern multiple-choice questions are grouped into sets of usually 3-4 questions. They are based on primary or secondary sources, including excerpts from historical documents or writings, images, graphs, and maps. This section will test your ability to analyze and engage with the source materials while recalling what you already know about world history.
The AP World History: Modern short answer questions require you to respond to a secondary source for Question 1 and a primary source for Question 2, both focusing on historical developments between 1200 and 2001. Students will choose between two options (Questions 3 or 4) for the final required short-answer question, each one focusing on a different time periods of 1200 to 1750 and 1750 to 2001.
For all short answer questions, you’ll be asked to:
- Analyze the provided sources
- Analyze historical developments and processes described in the sources
- Put those historical developments and processes in context
- Make connections between those historical developments and processes
Document-Based Question (DBQ)
The AP World History: Modern DBQ presents a prompt and seven historical documents that are intended to show the complexity of a particular historical issue between the years 1450 and 2001. You will need to develop an argument that responds to the prompt and support that argument with evidence from both the documents and your own knowledge of world history. To earn the best score, you should incorporate outside knowledge and be able to relate the issues discussed in the documents to a larger theme, issue, or time period.
Long Essay Question
The AP World History: Modern Long Essay Question presents three questions and you have to choose one to answer. All questions will test the same skills but will focus on different historical periods (i.e., from c. 1200–1750, from c. 1450–1900, or from c. 1750–2001). Similar to the DBQ, you will need to develop and support an answer to the question you picked based on historical evidence to earn the best score possible.
For a comprehensive content review, check out our book, AP World History Prep
AP World History Review
The College Board is very detailed in what they require your AP teacher to cover in his or her AP World History course. They explain that you should be familiar with world history events from the following nine units that fall within four major time periods from 1200 to the present.
Read More: Review for the exam with our AP World History Cram Courses
AP scores are reported from 1 to 5. Here’s how students scored on AP World History exam in May 2020:
Source: College Board
How can I prepare?
AP classes are great, but for many students they’re not enough! For a thorough review of AP World History: Modern content and strategy, pick the AP prep option that works best for your goals and learning style. You can also check out our AP World History: Modern test prep book here .
- AP Exams
Explore Colleges For You
Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you.
Take our short quiz to learn which is the right career for you.
Get Started on Athletic Scholarships & Recruiting!
Join athletes who were discovered, recruited & often received scholarships after connecting with NCSA's 42,000 strong network of coaches.
Best 388 Colleges
154,000 students rate everything from their professors to their campus social scene.
SAT Prep Courses
1400+ course, act prep courses, free sat practice test & events, 1-800-2review, sat® 1400+ course, our top sat experts teach the strategies proven to have helped our students join the top 5% of test takers..
Free MCAT Review Guide
Thank you! Look for the MCAT Review Guide in your inbox.
1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 1
1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 2
- Teach or Tutor for Us
- Enrollment Terms & Conditions
- Cigna Medical Transparency in Coverage
Mon-Fri 9AM-10PM ET
Sat-Sun 9AM-8PM ET
Local Offices: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM
Mon-Fri 9AM-9PM ET
Sat-Sun 8:30AM-5PM ET
- SAT Subject Tests
- Social Studies
Find the Right College
- College Rankings
- College Advice
- Applying to College
- Financial Aid
School & District Partnerships
- Professional Development
- Advice Articles
- Private Tutoring
- Mobile Apps
- Local Offices
- International Offices
- Work for Us
- Affiliate Program
- Partner with Us
- Advertise with Us
- International Partnerships
- Our Guarantees
©2023 TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University
TPR Education, LLC (doing business as “The Princeton Review”) is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, a firm owned by Chinese nationals with a principal place of business in Hong Kong, China.
- AP World History Practice Test
- Multiple Choice
AP World History Multiple Choice Practice Test
Unit 2 | 20 questions
Unit 1 – Chemistry of Life
Unit 2 – Cell Structure & Function
Unit 3 – Cellular Energetics
Unit 4 – Cell Communication & Cell Cycle
Unit 5 – Heredity
Unit 6 – Gene Expression & Regulation
Unit 7 – Natural Selection
Unit 8 – Ecology
© 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.
- ACT Tutoring
- SAT Tutoring
- PSAT Tutoring
- ASPIRE Tutoring
- SHSAT Tutoring
- STAAR Tutoring
- MCAT Tutoring
- GRE Tutoring
- LSAT Tutoring
- GMAT Tutoring
- AIMS Tutoring
- HSPT Tutoring
- ISEE Tutoring
- ISAT Tutoring
- SSAT Tutoring
Search 50+ Tests
- Elementary Math
- Mandarin Chinese
- Computer Science
Search 350+ Subjects
- Video Overview
- Tutor Selection Process
- Online Tutoring
- Mobile Tutoring
- Instant Tutoring
- How We Operate
- Our Guarantee
- Impact of Tutoring
- Reviews & Testimonials
- Media Coverage
- About Varsity Tutors
FREE AP World History Practice Tests
All ap world history resources, free ap world history diagnostic tests, ap world history diagnostic test 1, ap world history diagnostic test 2, ap world history diagnostic test 3, ap world history diagnostic test 4, ap world history diagnostic test 5, ap world history diagnostic test 6, ap world history diagnostic test 7, ap world history diagnostic test 8, ap world history diagnostic test 9, ap world history diagnostic test 10, ap world history diagnostic test 11.
Many AP subjects can seem insurmountable due to their breadth and depth, but AP World History may appear to be particularly impossible due to its focus. Initial impressions can be deceiving, however, and while AP World History is certainly a challenge, it is not an impossible endeavor. While students taking AP World History may want to claim that they’re studying everything that ever happened in the history of the world, that is simply not the case. AP World History focuses on certain events and periods more so than others, and helps students learn to analyze them as test cases in order to develop the skills and methods that they can then apply to new facts as they learn them and integrate them into their knowledge of certain historical contexts. After previewing the particular events and periods that World History stresses, this guide will provide an overview of the AP World History exam’s structure, timing, and question formats. Finally, a great source of AP World History resources will be discussed. So, if you’re at all concerned about learning “everything in the history of the world” for your AP World History class, realize that with the right attitude and studying regimen, you don’t have to memorize all of world history—just a fair bit of it. Whether you need top History tutors in Miami , History tutors in Louisville , or top History tutors in Oklahoma City , working with a pro may take your studies to the next level. AP World History courses are meant to cover the same amount of content as is covered in two semesters of typical college introductory World History courses. From this statement alone, it should be clear that AP World History covers quite a large time period—8000 BCE to the present day, in fact. The course organizes itself by considering history through five lenses in particular: the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures. More specifically, it focuses on several themes when dealing with specific historical periods: Technological and Environmental Transformations up to around 600 BCE; Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies between about 600 BCE and 600 CE; Regional and Transregional Interactions between 600 CE and 1450; Global Interactions between 1450 and 1750; Industrialization and Global Integration between 1750 and 1900; and Accelerating Global Change and Realignments between 1900 and the present. When studying for AP World History, you can use these general categories as a basis for organizing your perspective on world history as a whole. It is important that you have a good sense of how historical events and periods influence each other, as well as compare and contrast with other, as AP World History tests these skills. Along with these abilities, AP World History expects students to learn to compose cogent arguments about history based in historical fact, as well as to be able to analyze and synthesize new information that is presented them by recognizing the ways in which it corresponds with their preexisting body of knowledge. Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free AP World History Flashcards help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an AP World History tutor . Every AP World History course culminates in the three-hour-and-five-minute AP World History exam. Half of students’ exam scores are based upon their responses to seventy multiple-choice questions, answered in fifty-five minutes; the other half of their AP scores is based on three response questions: a Documents-Based question, a Change-over-time question, and a Comparative essay. Each response counts for one third of the free response half of the exam—that is, one-sixth of a student’s score. There are no official prerequisites for AP World History course, but a track record of success in previous History courses can demonstrate that you have begun to develop the skills you need to succeed in AP World History. If you have decided to take the course and want to try answering some practice questions to get a feel for the breadth of content with which you’ll be expected to be familiar, or if you are currently taking an AP World History course and need to brush up on a specific topic, look no further than Varsity Tutors’ free AP World History Practice Tests! These Practice Tests are like miniature quizzes which you can use to measure and analyze your AP World History knowledge, and in particular, to identify gaps in it. After completing each Practice Tests’ ten to twelve multiple-choice questions, you will receive a report detailing your performance in relation to others who answered the exact same questions. Should you have missed any of those questions, robust explanations are provided detailing the logic and steps one can use to arrive at the correct answer. One great way to evaluate your understanding as you begin your review is by taking a Full-Length AP World History Practice Test. comprehensive format helps you assess your pacing and understanding of the course’s full range of concepts. The results page following each complete practice test includes the same insights as the results pages for concept-specific practice tests, like detailed explanations and additional information regarding relevant concepts. The complete practice tests give you the additional benefit of helping you tailor your AP World History review by showing you which concepts you need to review. After you’ve created a study plan that meets your needs, you can use the other Learning Tools to do an in-depth review. Once you’re ready, you can track your improvement by taking another Full-Length AP World History Practice Test. In addition to the AP World History Practice Tests and AP World History tutoring , you may also want to consider taking some of our AP World History Diagnostic Tests . By taking advantage of the variety of free AP World History resources offered on Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools site, you can supplement your studies with the exact practice that you need and feel completely confident when sitting down to take your AP World History exam!
Free AP World History Practice Tests
Practice tests by concept, cultural history practice test, literature, art, and architecture practice test, literature, art, and architecture 1450 to 1750 practice test, literature, art, and architecture 1750 to 1900 practice test, literature, art, and architecture 1900 to present practice test, literature, art, and architecture 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, literature, art, and architecture 600 ce to 1450 practice test, literature, art, and architecture from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, philosophies and ideologies practice test, philosophies and ideologies 1450 to 1750 practice test, philosophies and ideologies 1750 to 1900 practice test, philosophies and ideologies 1900 to present practice test, philosophies and ideologies 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, philosophies and ideologies 600 ce to 1450 practice test, religions practice test, religions 1450 to 1750 practice test, religions 1750 to 1900 practice test, religions 1900 to present practice test, religions 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, religions 600 ce to 1450 practice test, religions from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, science and technology practice test, science and technology 1450 to 1750 practice test, science and technology 1750 to 1900 practice test, science and technology 1900 to present practice test, science and technology 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, science and technology 600 ce to 1450 practice test, science and technology from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, demographic and environmental history practice test, agriculture practice test, agriculture 1750 to 1900 practice test, agriculture 1900 to present practice test, agriculture 600 ce to 1450 practice test, agriculture from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, environmental interactions practice test, environmental interactions 1900 to present practice test, environmental interactions 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, environmental interactions 600 ce to 1450 practice test, environmental interactions from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, migration, settlement, and demography practice test, migration, settlement, and demography 1450 to 1750 practice test, migration, settlement, and demography 1750 to 1900 practice test, migration, settlement, and demography 1900 to present practice test, migration, settlement, and demography 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, migration, settlement, and demography 600 ce to 1450 practice test, migration, settlement, and demography from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, economic history practice test, labor systems and economic systems practice test, labor systems and economic systems 1450 to 1750 practice test, labor systems and economic systems 1750 to 1900 practice test, labor systems and economic systems 1900 to present practice test, labor systems and economic systems 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, labor systems and economic systems 600 ce to 1450 practice test, labor systems and economic systems from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition 1450 to 1750 practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition 1750 to 1900 practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition 1900 to present practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition 600 ce to 1450 practice test, trade, commerce, and market competition from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, political history practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, and decolonization practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and globalization 1450 to 1750 practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and globalization 1750 to 1900 practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and globalization 1900 to present practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and globalization 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, empires, colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and globalization 600 ce to 1450 practice test, political and governmental structures practice test, political and governmental structures 1450 to 1750 practice test, political and governmental structures 1750 to 1900 practice test, political and governmental structures 1900 to present practice test, political and governmental structures 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, political and governmental structures 600 ce to 1450 practice test, political protest, reforms, and revolution practice test, political protest, reforms, and revolution 1450 to 1750 practice test, political protest, reforms, and revolution 1750 to 1900 practice test, political protest, reforms, and revolution 1900 to present practice test, political protest, reforms, and revolution 600 ce to 1450 practice test, regional and global groups and organizations practice test, regional and global groups and organizations 1450 to 1750 practice test, regional and global groups and organizations 1750 to 1900 practice test, regional and global groups and organizations 1900 to present practice test, regional and global groups and organizations 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, regional and global groups and organizations 600 ce to 1450 practice test, war and civil conflict practice test, war and civil conflict 1450 to 1750 practice test, war and civil conflict 1750 to 1900 practice test, war and civil conflict 1900 to present practice test, war and civil conflict 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, war and civil conflict 600 ce to 1450 practice test, social history practice test, ethnic identities practice test, ethnic identities 1450 to 1750 practice test, ethnic identities 1750 to 1900 practice test, ethnic identities 1900 to present practice test, ethnic identities 600 ce to 1450 practice test, family and kinship practice test, family and kinship 1450 to 1750 practice test, family and kinship 1750 to 1900 practice test, family and kinship 1900 to present practice test, family and kinship 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, family and kinship prehistory to 600 bce practice test, gender practice test, gender 1450 to 1750 practice test, gender 1750 to 1900 practice test, gender 1900 to present practice test, gender 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, gender 600 ce to 1450 practice test, gender from prehistory to 600 bce practice test, socioeconomic classes practice test, socioeconomic classes 1450 to 1750 practice test, socioeconomic classes 1750 to 1900 practice test, socioeconomic classes 1900 to present practice test, socioeconomic classes 600 bce to 600 ce practice test, socioeconomic classes 600 ce to 1450 practice test.
Find the Best Tutors
Choose Your Test
Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the best ap world history study guide: 6 key tips.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Are you taking AP World History this year? Or considering taking it at some point in high school? Then you need to read this AP World History study guide. Instead of cramming every single name, date, and place into your head, learn how to study for the AP World History exam so that you can learn the major ideas and feel ready for test day. We'll also go over some key strategies you can use to help you prepare effectively.
The AP World History test is challenging — just 13.2% of test takers got a 5 in 2021 . But if you study correctly throughout the year, you could be one of the few students who aces this test. Below are six tips to follow in order to be well prepared for the AP World History exam. Read through each one, apply them to your test prep, and you'll be well on your way to maximizing your score!
Looking for help studying for your AP exam?
Our one-on-one online AP tutoring services can help you prepare for your AP exams. Get matched with a top tutor who got a high score on the exam you're studying for!
Why You Should Study for the AP World History Test
Is it really that important to study for the AP World History test? Absolutely! But why?
Let's start by taking a look at the kinds of scores students usually get on the exam. The following chart shows what percentage of test takers received each possible AP score (1-5) on the AP World History test in 2022:
Source: The College Board
As you can see, roughly 49% of test takers scored a 2 or 3, about 35% scored a 4 or 5, and only 14% scored a 1. Since most test takers scored a 3 or lower on this test , it's safe to say that a lot of AP World History students are not scoring as well as they could be. (That said, the test underwent some big changes beginning in the 2019-2020 school year , so we can't make too many direct comparisons between this new version of the test and the old one. We will talk more about these changes in the next section.)
While a 3 is not a bad AP score by any means, some colleges such as Western Michigan University require at least a 4 in order to get credit for some exams. If the schools you're applying to want a 4 or higher, putting in ample study time for the test is a definite must.
In addition, if you're applying to highly selective schools , a 5 on the AP World History test (or any AP test, really) could act as a tipping point in your favor during the admissions process.
Finally, getting a low score on this test—i.e., a 1 or 2—might make colleges doubt your test-taking abilities or question your potential to succeed at their school. You don't want this to happen!
What's on the AP World History Exam?
Before we give you our six expert study tips for AP World History, let's briefly go over the structure and content of the test.
The AP World History exam consists of two sections: Section 1 and Section 2 . Each section also consists of two parts: Part A and Part B . Here's what you'll encounter on each part of each World History section:
And here is an overview of the types of tasks you'll be asked to perform:
- Analyze historical texts as well as historians' opinions and interpretations of history
- Assess historical documents and make an argument to support your assessment
- Write an essay concerning an issue in world history
Note that as of the 2019-2020 school year, AP World History is now much smaller in scope and is called AP World History: Modern (another course and exam called AP World History: Ancient is in the process of being made by the College Board).
These changes have been put in place mainly as a response to ongoing complaints that the original World History course was way too broad in scope, having previously covered thousands of years of human development. Hopefully, this will make the test somewhat easier!
Now that you understand exactly how the AP World History test is set up, let's take a look at our six expert study tips for it.
How to Study for AP World History: 6 Key Tips
Below are our top tips to help you get a great score on the AP World History test.
Tip 1: Don't Try to Memorize Everything
If you start your AP World History class with the expectation of memorizing the entirety of human history, think again .
Although AP World History tests a wide span of time, you aren't expected to learn every tiny detail along the way; rather, this course focuses on teaching major patterns, key cultural and political developments, and significant technological developments throughout history .
Starting in 2019-2020, the AP World History course and exam will be arranged in nine units , which cover a range of periods starting around 1200 CE and ending with the present:
For each period, you should know the major world powers and forces driving politics, economic development, and social/technological change; however, you don't have to have every detail memorized in order to do well on the test . Instead, focus on understanding big patterns and developments, and be able to explain them with a few key examples.
For instance, you don't necessarily need to know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue; you also don't need to know the details of his voyages or the particulars of his brutality . Nevertheless, you should be able to explain why the European colonization of the Americas happened , as well as the economic effects it had on Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and how colonization impacted the lives of people on these three continents.
Knowing a few concrete examples is essential to succeeding on the short-answer section. Short-answer questions 1 and 2 will present you with a secondary source and a primary source, respectively, and then ask you to provide several examples or reasons for a broader theme or historical movement that relates to the information provided.
You'll have flexibility in what specific examples you choose , just so long as they are relevant. The short-answer section is three questions long and worth 20% of your total test score. You will have 40 minutes to complete it.
Concrete examples can also bolster your essays and improve your ability to break down multiple-choice questions on the topic; however, focus first on understanding the big picture before you try to memorize the nitty-gritty.
If you're coming from AP US History, this advice might seem odd. But unlike US History, which is more fine-grained, the AP World History exam writers do not expect you to know everything, as they test a much larger topic . AP US History is essentially a test of 400 years of history in one location, so it's fair to expect students to know many proper names and dates.
But for World History, that same level of detail isn't expected; this test takes place across 800 years all around the world. Instead, you should focus on understanding the general patterns of important topics through history . This won't only save you time but will also keep you sane as your textbook hurls literally hundreds of names, places, and dates at you throughout the year.
Speaking of your textbook ...
Tip 2: Keep Up With Your Reading!
When it comes to AP World History, you can't sleep through the class all year, skim a prep book in April, and then expect to get a perfect 5 on the test. You're learning a huge chunk of human history, after all! Trying to cram for this test late in the game is both stressful and inefficient because of the sheer volume of material you have to cover.
And all that reading would hurt your eyes.
Instead, keep up with your reading and do well in your World History class to ensure you're building a strong foundation of knowledge throughout the year. This way, when spring comes, you can focus on preparing for the exam itself and the topics it's likely to test, as opposed to frantically trying to learn almost a thousand years of human history in just two months.
If your teacher isn't already requiring you to do something like this, be sure to keep notes of your readings throughout the school year. This could be in the form of outlines, summaries, or anything else that's useful to you. Taking notes will help you process the readings and remember them better. Your notes will also be an invaluable study tool in the spring.
Finally, check the website of whatever textbook your class uses. Many textbook websites have extra features, such as chapter outlines and summaries , which can be excellent study resources for you throughout the year.
Tip 3: Read a Prep Book (or Two) in the Spring
Even if you keep up with AP World History throughout the year, you're probably going to be a bit hazy on topics you learned in September when you start studying for the test in March or April. This is why we recommend getting a prep book , which will provide a much broader overview of world history, focusing especially on topics tested on the exam. (Make sure it's an updated book for the new Modern focus of the AP World History course and exam!)
If you've been learning well throughout the school year, reading a prep book will trigger your background knowledge and help you review . Think of your prep book as your second, much quicker pass through world history.
And in case you're wondering—no, the prep book alone will not fill you in on the necessary depth of knowledge for the entire test. You can't replace reading your textbook throughout the year with reading a prep book in the spring. The AP World History multiple-choice section especially can ask some pretty specific questions, and you'd definitely have blind spots if all you did is read a prep book and not an actual textbook.
Furthermore, you wouldn't be able to explain examples in your essay in as much detail if you've only read a few paragraphs about major historical events.
Tip 4: Get Ready to Move at 1 MPQ (Minute per Question)
To prepare for the AP World History exam, knowing the material is just half the battle. You also need to know how to use your time effectively , especially on the multiple-choice section.
The multiple-choice section (Section 1, Part A) asks 55 questions in 55 minutes and is worth 40% of your total score. This gives you just one minute per question , so you'll have to move fast. And to be ready for this quick pace, practice is key.
Taking the AP World History exam without practicing first would be like jumping into a NASCAR race without a driver's license.
To practice pacing yourself, it's crucial that you get a prep book containing practice tests . Even if you've read your textbook diligently, taken notes, and reviewed the material, it's really important to practice actual multiple-choice sections so you can get used to the timing of the test.
Although there are a handful of stand-alone questions, most come in sets of three to four and ask you to look at a specific source, such as a graph, image, secondary source, or map. It's a good idea to skip and return to tough questions (as long as you keep an eye on the time!).
Your teacher should be giving you multiple-choice quizzes or tests throughout the year to help you prepare for the test. If your teacher isn't doing this, it will, unfortunately, be up to you to find multiple-choice practice questions from prep books and online resources. See our complete list of AP World History practice tests here (and remember to find updated materials for the new 2020 Modern exam).
You need to create your own multiple-choice strategy as you study , such as using the process of elimination, being ready to read and analyze pictures and charts, and being constantly aware of your time. I recommend wearing a watch when you practice so you can keep an eye on how long you spend on each question. Just make sure it's not a smart watch—unfortunately, those aren’t allowed!
Finally, make sure to answer every question on the exam . There are no penalties for incorrect answers, so you might as well guess on any questions you're not sure about or have no time for.
In short, make sure you practice AP World History multiple-choice questions so that when you sit down to take the exam, you'll feel confident and ready to move fast.
Want to build the best possible college application?
We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies . We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools , from state colleges to the Ivy League.
We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools .
Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.
Tip 5: Practice Speed-Writing for the Free-Response Section
The AP World History exam has two essay questions that together account for 40% of your AP World History score . You'll get 60 minutes for the Document-Based Question, or DBQ, including a 15-minute reading period; the DBQ is worth 25% of your final grade. After, you will get 40 minutes for the Long Essay, which is worth 15% of your score.
For each essay, you need to be able to brainstorm quickly and write an essay that answers the prompt, is well organized, and has a cogent thesis . A thesis is a one-sentence summary of your main argument. For the sake of AP essays, it's best to put your thesis at the end of the introductory paragraph so the grader can find it quickly.
When organizing your essay, have each paragraph explain one part of the argument , with a topic sentence (basically, a mini-thesis) at the beginning of each paragraph that explains exactly what you're going to say.
For the DBQ, you'll need to bring most of the provided documents into your argument in addition to your background knowledge of the period being tested. For example, in a DBQ about the effects of Spanish Influenza during World War I, you'd need to demonstrate your knowledge of WWI as well as your ability to use the documents effectively in your argument. See our complete guide to writing a DBQ here .
For the Long Essay, it's up to you to provide specific historical examples and show your broad understanding of historical trends . (Again, this is why doing your reading is so important, since you'll have to provide and explain your own historical examples!)
Throughout the year, your teacher should be having you do writing assignments, including in-class essays, to teach you how to write good essays quickly. Since you'll be writing your essays by hand for the test, you should ideally be writing your practice essays by hand as well. If you struggle with writing by hand quickly, you can build up your writing fluency (that is, your ability to quickly translate thoughts to words) by writing additional practice essays on your own .
If you need to work on writing fluency, it's best to practice with easier writing topics . First, find a journal prompt to write about ( this website has hundreds ). Next, set a timer; between 10 and 15 minutes is best. Finally, write as much (and as fast!) as you can about the prompt, without making any big mistakes in spelling or grammar.
When time's up, count how many words you wrote . If you do this a few times a week, you'll build up your writing speed, and your word counts will continue to grow. Once you've built up this skill, it will be much easier to tackle the AP World History free-response section.
You can also practice on your own using old AP World History free-response questions . However, note that the test was revised for 2019-20 (now its focus is only on 1200-present) and 2016-17, so old questions will have old content and instructions .
In fact, there actually used to be three essays on the AP World History test—in addition to the DBQ, there was a "Change Over Time" essay and a "Comparison" essay. Now, there's just one long essay. Be sure to compare older questions with the most up-to-date examples from the most current AP Course and Exam Description .
Tip 6: Take Practice Exams and Set a Target Score
In the spring, aim to take at least one full practice exam —ideally in late March or early April—once you've learned most of the World History material. By a full practice exam, we mean the entire AP World History test. Time yourself and take it in one sitting, following official time restrictions.
Why should you do this? It will give you a chance to experience what it's like to take a full AP World History exam before you sit for the real thing. This helps you build stamina and perfect your timing. All the practice in the world won't help you if you run out of steam on your last essay question and can barely think.
Also, set a target score for each section. Good news: you don't need to be aiming for 100% on Section 1 and perfect scores on every essay in Section 2 in order to secure a 5 — the highest possible score . Far from it, actually!
The truth is that a high multiple-choice score (50/55) with average short-answer and free-response scores (say, 6/9 on short answer, 5/7 on the DBQ, and 4/6 on the long essay) can net you a score of 5 . Likewise, an average multiple-choice score (35/55) with high short-answer and free-response scores (say, 8/9 on short answer, 6/7 on the DBQ, and 5/6 on the long essay) can also net you a 5 .
Set realistic score targets based on your personal strengths. For example, a really good writing student might go the average multiple choice/strong essay route, while a stronger test taker might go the other way around. You could also be somewhere in-between.
In addition, don't be intimidated if your target score is a lot higher than your current scores . The whole point of practicing is to eventually meet your target!
Once you have a target score, practice, practice, practice ! Use old exams, the practice exams in (high-quality) prep books, and the free-response questions linked above. You can even ask your teacher for old AP World History tests and essay questions. (Just be aware of the key changes to the AP World History exam in recent years so that you can tweak practice questions as needed.)
The more you practice before the test, the more likely you are to meet—or even exceed!—your AP score goal.
Bottom Line: How to Prep for the AP World History Test
Although AP World History is a challenging test, if you follow all our advice in this AP World History study guide and prepare correctly throughout the school year, you can definitely pass the exam and might even be one of the few students who gets a 5 !
Just make sure to keep up with your reading, use an updated prep book in the spring, and practice a lot for the multiple-choice and free-response sections. With clear target scores for each section and plenty of practice under your belt, you will have the strongest chance of getting a 5 on test day !
How many AP classes should you take in total? Find out here in our expert guide .
How hard is AP World History compared with other AP tests? We've come up with a list of the hardest and easiest AP tests , as well as the average scores for every exam .
For more tips on doing well in all your classes, from AP to IB to honors, read this expert guide to getting a perfect 4.0 , written by PrepScholar founder Allen Cheng . Even if you're not going for perfection, you'll learn all the skills you need to work hard, act smart, and get better grades.
Also studying for the SAT/ACT? In a hurry? Learn how to cram for the ACT or SAT .
Thinking ahead to college applications?
If you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior worried about college admissions, our world-class admissions counselors can help. We know exactly what kinds of students colleges want to admit and can make sure your profile shines.
PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We've helped thousands of students get into their top choice schools , from state colleges to the Ivy League.
Join our mentoring program today:
Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.
Student and Parent Forum
Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.
Ask a Question Below
Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!
Improve With Our Famous Guides
- For All Students
The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points
How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer
Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:
Score 800 on SAT Math
Score 800 on SAT Reading
Score 800 on SAT Writing
Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:
Score 600 on SAT Math
Score 600 on SAT Reading
Score 600 on SAT Writing
Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests
What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?
15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay
The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points
How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer
Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:
36 on ACT English
36 on ACT Math
36 on ACT Reading
36 on ACT Science
Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:
24 on ACT English
24 on ACT Math
24 on ACT Reading
24 on ACT Science
What ACT target score should you be aiming for?
ACT Vocabulary You Must Know
ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score
How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League
How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA
How to Write an Amazing College Essay
What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?
Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide
Should you retake your SAT or ACT?
When should you take the SAT or ACT?
Get the latest articles and test prep tips!
Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?
Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:
GRE Online Prep Blog
GMAT Online Prep Blog
TOEFL Online Prep Blog
Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”
AP® World History Multiple Choice Strategies
If you are taking the upcoming AP® World History exam, you might just be feeling a little bit of stress. To say that the material covered in the AP® World History course is extensive might be the biggest understatement of the century. How does one even cover all of the events, places, time periods, epochs, etc. when considering the AP® World History exam? It may seem daunting, but don’t lose hope yet. We’ve created this AP® World History Review of the most important multiple choice strategies to consider when going through your AP® practice tests.
Our AP® World History review will provide you with some of the best insights on how to approach the multiple choice section of the AP® World History exam. This includes tips on how to manage your times while taking the test, the best ways to approach your AP® practice tests leading up to your exam date, and letting you in on some of the best ways to think about the entirety of world history without overworking your brain. On top of this, our AP® World History review on the best multiple choice strategies for the AP® World History exam will provide you with real examples from previous tests to show you these tips in action.
Get to Know the AP® World History Course
What better way to study for a test than to get into the minds of your examiners. Before you get too involved in any AP® World History practice tests, or even get too far into the course material, get onto the College Board website and do some perusing.
What you really are going to want to look for, though, is the AP® World History Course and Exam Description . This lets you know what the AP® World History exam is all about. But it also tells you how to approach the multiple choice questions. It’s important to remember that the AP® World History exam is less concerned with the specifics of dates and names and more interested in themes and historical analysis.
Look at this question on page 142:
Which of the following best describes the significance of legal codes to early civilizations?
A. They granted citizens the right to choose their rulers and representative.
B. They reflected and reinforced existing social and political hierarchies.
C. They facilitated the introduction of monotheistic religions.
D. They effectively settle disputes between pastoralist and agrarian communities.
The question itself relates to the Hammurabi Code (circa 1750 BCE), but notice how it does not ask the specifics of the laws written. Instead, it asks about critically analyzing the role of law in the performance of social and political power. By using critical thinking skills, we can see that the answer is B.
In other words, always try to think big picture.
Watch the Clock
You have 55 minutes to complete 70 multiple choice questions on the AP® World History exam. That’s not much time at all. So, make sure you are keeping your eye on the clock. If you find yourself spending way too much time on a single question, just mark it in the AP® World History booklet and come back to it when you’ve finished the multiple choice section of the exam.
Sometimes it’s best if you allot yourself a specific amount of time for a chunk of questions. You may, for example, want complete 23 questions every 15 minutes. Doing it this way will ensure you get to every multiple choice question and leave you with ten minutes to go back and double-check your work.
Read the Question Thoroughly
We’re sure it seems like AP® World History review on the best multiple choice strategies tell you to read through the questions thoroughly. And they’re right. But there’s something particular about the AP® World History exam that really requires thorough reading.
Increasingly, the College Board is using primary sources in their multiple choice questions. Sometimes four to five questions will revolve around a single document or image. So, make sure that you thoroughly read or analyze each source provided the first time around. It will definitely save you time doing this instead of going back to the source for every single question you encounter.
Eliminate Obvious Answers
After you’ve read any AP® World History question thoroughly, it’s time to check to see if there are any answers that don’t obviously belong. Or for that matter, go for the answer that is obviously right to you as well. If that happens pat yourself on the back and move on to the next questions.
Not every question will have an answer that is obviously right or wrong, so don’t rely on that. Just as a quick example, turn back to the AP® World History Course and Exam Description and take a look at question 7 on page 144. It reads:
Which of the following best explains the change illustrated in the chart after 1650?
A. The influx of European merchants and trading companies into Asia
B. The widespread adoption of American food crops in Asia
C. The increase in Chinese agricultural exports to Europe and Japan
D. The environmental effects of the Little Ice Age.
The “chart” in question highlights the explosive growth of the Chinese population after the year 1500 CE. But just by looking at the possible responses, you should be able to eliminate option D right off the bat. First, the Little Ice Age resulted in population shrinkage and starvation. And second, it happened primarily in Europe. So, you know the answer related to that.
When All Else Fails, Use Your Powers of Deduction
Let’s assume for a moment that you completely forgot to cover Chinese history from 400 BCE to 1500 CE in your AP® World History reviews and studies. But what if this question 7 comes up on your exam? What do you do?
You are not totally at a loss even if you know nothing about the topic because you can use your historical analytic skills to deduce the answer. First, since you’re no pro on China, you already know that answer cannot be D because the Little Ice Age primarily occurred in Europe. That leaves A, B, and C as possible options.
By looking at the graph on page 143, you know it’s about population growth. But option A (The influx of European merchants and trading companies into Asia) has to do with money and the effects of an economy. Option C (The increase in Chinese agricultural exports to Europe and Japan) assumes that agricultural exports correlated to population increases. That doesn’t really make any sense.
You do know, however, that the introduction of American foodstuffs like the potato diversified diets in Europe leading to population growth. So, why not China? Therefore, the answer is B (the widespread adoption of American food crops in Asia).
Just like that, you can deduce your way to the right answer even if you totally forgot to cover the topic in your AP® World History studies.
Think about Time Periods in AP® World History
You can’t fully know everything from your AP® World History studies. Instead of worrying about that, use time periods to compartmentalize your thoughts into easy to remember moments in time. The AP® World History course does it, so why shouldn’t you?
For example, if you run into a question that references a writer that you don’t recognize, but was active in Western Europe in the mid-18 th century, you can use your knowledge about the Age of Enlightenment to fill in any gaps. You know that writers of that era were interested in philosophical topics ranging from rationalism, the scientific method, political authority, and the arts.
The AP® World History course itself is often organized into very large periods/eras like “Global Interactions” for the years 1450-1750. We recommend you get a little more specific than that. By putting world history into chunks like the “Age of Enlightenment” or the “ Industrial Revolution ” will provide you with both a historical context and an opportunity to fill in any informational gaps you might be missing.
Don’t Over-Study a Single Topic
This chart highlights the percentage of multiple choice questions for each time period that the CollegeBoard uses.
You may find the Paleolithic Era utterly fascinating, but it’s always good to remember that this era in world history will make up only approximately 5% of the entire multiple choice section of the AP® World History exam. So, heed the advice of our AP® World History review, and try not to over-study a certain era or time period too much.
Answer Every Question
Lucky for you, the College Board no longer penalizes those taking the AP® World History exam for getting the wrong answer. They used to encourage students to leave certain multiple choice answers blank if the test-taker had no idea what the answer was.
But since that’s no longer the case, leaving any possible answers blank will only hurt you in the end. Even if you have no idea what’s going on the question, just hazard a guess. What’s the worst that could happen; you could accidentally get it right?
Leave Yourself Five to Ten Minutes at the End
We did briefly mention this in the Watch the Clock section in this AP® World History review, but it does deserve a section of its own. You are really going to want to leave yourself ten minutes at the end of the multiple choice section of the AP® World History Exam.
Your goal should be to finish the entire multiple choice section within 45 to 50 minutes. In order to do this, you may have to skip some of the harder questions that are taking you too long to answer with the intent of coming back to them later.
This way, you will have enough time to double-check your work. But it also allows you the double benefit of going through every other question in the meantime. Doing this may end up jogging your memory and something you were stuck on. Or maybe even another multiple choice question will contain a hint towards the answer of another. It’s always a good idea to leave time for double, or even triple, checking your work.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When it comes to the AP® World History exam, the phrase, practice makes perfect , should be your mantra. Take as many AP® practice tests as you possible can as you study. This is a good exercise to do even if you aren’t all caught up on your material, since the more you work on the AP® practice exams, the more familiar you will be getting with how it works.
One of the primary reasons going through AP® practice exams is so effective, is that you will begin to master the clock. And this is true not only of the multiple choice section, but the essays as well. The more you work on these sections with practice exams, the more comfortable you are going to get with the format, the timing, and the expectations. You can never take too many AP® World History practice tests.
Prepare both Body and Mind
We know that this AP® World History review on the best multiple choice strategies is not the only thing you’ve read in your studies for the AP® World History exam. Between textbooks, AP® World History practice exams, and internet resources you’re probably prepping your mind the best you can. But have you been taking care of your body?
One of the best things you can do in order to ace the multiple choice section of the AP® World History exam is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep and eating well every day. This is especially true of the night before and the morning of the exam. Take care of yourself.
Try not to stress out too much, either. Take pride in your work and have the confidence that you will get every single one of those 70 multiple choice questions correct. And dare we say it? Try and have a little fun too!
Now, go and take everything you’ve learned from this AP® World History Review of the best AP® World History multiple choice strategies and go get that 5 on your exam.
Looking for AP® World History practice?
Kickstart your AP® World History prep with Albert. Start your AP® exam prep today .