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 (includes 15 minute reading period); 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 for the AP U.S. History Exam, please refer to the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description (.pdf/1.58MB) and the AP history rubrics (.pdf/555KB).

If you require an accessible version of any documents on this page, please e-mail We will respond to your e-mail within 3 business days.

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines

Free Response Questions and Scoring Guidelines: login

The 2016 exam resources below reflect the content, scope, and design specifications of the redesigned AP U.S. History Exam, which was first administered in May 2015. The exams from 2014 and before do not reflect the redesigned exam. These resources 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.