AP United States History
About the Exam
Exam Day 2017
The AP U.S. History Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and has a multiple choice/short answer section and a free response section. Each section is divided into two parts.
Section I — Part A: Multiple Choice | 55 Questions | 55 minutes | 40% of Exam Score
- Questions appear in sets of 2 to 5.
- You’ll be asked to 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 you to demonstrate what you know best.
- Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
Section II — Part A: Document Based | 1 Question | 55 minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score
You’ll be asked to:
- 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
Select one question among two that will ask you to:
- Explain and analyze significant issues in U.S. history, or
- Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence
How your learning will be assessed on the AP Exam:
The following are general parameters about the relationship between the components of the curriculum framework and the questions that will be asked on the AP Exam:
- Achievement of the thematic learning objectives will be assessed throughout the exam
- Use of the historical thinking skills will be assessed through the exam
- Understanding of all nine periods of U.S. history will be assessed throughout the exam
- No document-based question or long essay question will focus exclusively on events prior to 1607 (Period 1) or after 1980 (Period 9)
- You will always write at least one essay – in either the document-based question or long essay – that examines long-term developments that span historical time periods.
- The coverage of the periods in the exam as a whole will reflect the approximate period weightings (which you can find in the Course and Exam Description).