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 — 70 questions; 55 minutes

The portion of questions covering each topic and time period is:

  • Technological and Environmental Transformations to c. 600 BCE (5%)
  • Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE (15%)
  • Regional and Transregional Interactions c. 600 CE to c. 1450 (20%)
  • Global Interactions c. 1450 to c. 1750 (20%)
  • Industrialization and Global Integration c. 1750 to c. 1900 (20%)
  • Accelerating Global Change and Realignments c. 1900 to Present (20%)

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; 2 hours plus a mandatory 10 minute reading period

The three essays are weighted equally.

  • Part A: 1 Document Based Question (DBQ); 40 minutes
    • This section tests your ability to analyze source materials and develop an essay that integrates your analysis of four to ten given documents with your treatment of a topic. Comparative topics on the major themes will provide one of the focuses of the DBQs, including comparative questions about different societies in situations of mutual contact. Learn more about answering document-based questions
  • Part B: Continuity and Change-Over-Time Essay; 40 minutes
    • This question focuses on large global issues such as technology, trade, culture, migrations, or biological developments. It covers at least one of the periods in the course outline and one or more cultural areas.
  • Part C: Comparative Essay; 40 minutes
    • This question focuses on developments in two or more societies, and their interactions with each other or with major themes or events (e.g., culture, trade, religion, technology, migrations).

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