The AP U.S. History Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and includes both a 105-minute multiple-choice/short-answer section and a 90-minute free-response section. Each section is divided into two parts, as described below. Your performance on these four parts will be compiled and weighed to determine your AP Exam score.

Section I:

  • Part A: Multiple Choice (55 questions; 55 Minutes; 40% of total exam score)
  • Part B: Short-answer questions (4 questions; 50 minutes; 20% of total exam score)

Section II:

  • Part A: Document-based question (1 question; 55 minutes; 25% of total exam score)
  • Part B: Long essay question (1 question (chosen from a pair); 35 minutes; 15% of total exam score)

Multiple-Choice, Free-Response, and Short-Answer Questions

For sample multiple-choice, free response, and short-answer questions with scoring guidelines for the upcoming May 2015 AP United States History exam, please refer to the AP United States History Course and Exam Description on pages 85 - 119, which can be found in the blue Exam Resources inlay to the right.

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines


All documents are PDFs unless otherwise indicated.

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines: login

The following resources do not reflect the content, scope, or design specifications of the redesigned AP U.S. History Exam, which will be administered for the first time in May 2015 These are provided to help you become familiar with the kinds of topics and questions that have been asked on previous years’ AP exams. To access the files below, you need to log into your College Board account. If you do not have a College Board account, you can create one by selecting ‘Sign In’ in the header and following the prompts to Sign-Up.


All documents are PDFs unless otherwise indicated.