AP European History
About the Exam
Exam Day 2015
The exam is approximately three hours and 5 minutes long and has two parts — multiple choice and free response. Each section is worth 50% of the final exam grade.
Section I: Multiple Choice — 80 questions; 55 minutes
Questions will cover European history from the High Renaissance to the present. The portion of questions covering each time period is:
- 1450 to the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era (50%)
- French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era to the present (50%)
Though many questions require you to be familiar with more than one chronological period or theme, for the most part, the portion of multiple choice questions covering each course theme is:
- Cultural and intellectual themes (33%)
- Political and diplomatic themes (33%)
- Social and economic themes (33%)
Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions.
Section II: Free Response — 3 questions; 1 hour and 55 minutes plus a mandatory 15 minute reading period
- Part A: 1 Document Based Question (DBQ); 45 minutes
- This section tests your ability to analyze 10 to 12 documents and write an essay based on those documents. Learn more about answering document-based questions.
- Parts B & C: 2 Thematic Essay Questions; 70 minutes
- For each essay, you'll have a choice of three questions. The thematic questions are grouped to ensure that you consider a range of historical periods and approaches.
As you complete the free response section, pay close attention to the directive words used in the question (e.g., analyze, assess/evaluate, compare) as ignoring directives will result in a lower exam score. See examples of directives you can expect on the exam and how to respond.
Some free response questions require that you organize your responses chronologically (e.g., by year, half-centuries, centuries, events, or movements), while others will ask you to make comparisons across centuries. Pay attention to the time period specified in the question. Your final grade will, in part, depend on the accuracy of the essays' chronological coverage.
In the free response section, Part A is worth 45% and Part B is worth 55% of your free response score.