The exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and has two sections — multiple choice/short answer and free-response. 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 will analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
  • Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.


Section I Part B: Short Answer | 3 Questions | 40 minutes | 20% of Exam Score

  • Analyze historians’ interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history.
  • Questions give you an opportunity to explain the historical examples you know best.
  • Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
  • You’ll have a choice between two options for the final required short answer question, each one focusing on a different time period.
    • Question 1 (required): periods 3-8
    • Question 2 (required): periods 3-8
    • Choose between Question 3, periods 1-3, and Question 4, periods 4-6


Section II Part A: Document Based | 1 Question | 60 minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score

  • Assess written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
  • Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
  • The document-based question will focus on topics from periods 3-6.


Section II Part B: Long Essay | 1 Question | 40 minutes | 15% of Exam Score

  • Explain and analyze significant issues in world history
  • Develop an argument supported by your analysis of historical evidence.
  • You’ll select from one of three essay choices, each focusing on the same theme and skill but different time periods:
    • Option 1: periods 1-2
    • Option 2: periods 3-4
    • Option 3: periods 5-6

Practice for the exam.

Links to More AP Pages