How Long Is the AP World History Exam?

June 28, 2023
By AdmissionSight

How Long Is the AP World History Exam?

Are you curious about how long the AP World History Exam truly is? Good news! In this article, we will provide an in-depth look at the length and format of the AP World History Exam, plus helpful tips and strategies.

Understanding the Format of the AP World History Exam

Before we discuss the length of the AP World History Exam, let’s first understand its format. The exam consists of two sections, multiple-choice and free-response. The multiple-choice section is 55 questions and lasts for 55 minutes, while the free-response section is comprised of three essay questions, which you’ll have 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete.

It’s important to note that the free-response section is weighted more heavily than the multiple-choice section. In fact, the free-response section accounts for 60% of your total exam score, while the multiple-choice section accounts for the remaining 40%. This means that it’s crucial to not only have a strong understanding of the content but also to be able to effectively communicate your knowledge through writing.

What to Expect on Test Day: A Comprehensive Guide

On test day, you’ll have a total of 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete the exam. The exam starts promptly at the time indicated on your admission ticket, so be sure to arrive early to account for any unforeseeable events.

Group of students walking in the campus.

We recommend arriving at least 30 minutes early to familiarize yourself with the testing environment and minimize stress. Additionally, ensure you bring all the necessary materials:

  • Several No. 2 pencils with erasers
  • Blue or black ink pens
  • A government-issued photo ID
  • Your admission ticket

It’s important to note that electronic devices, including cell phones, smartwatches, and calculators, are not allowed in the testing room. If you bring any of these items, you’ll be asked to leave them outside the testing room or in a designated area.

We also recommend wearing comfortable clothing and bringing a snack and water bottle to stay hydrated and energized during the exam. Remember to stay calm and focused, and trust in the preparation you’ve done leading up to this day. Good luck!

How Many Questions Are on the AP World History Exam?

The AP World History Exam consists of a total of 55 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response essays. You’ll have 55 minutes to complete the 55 multiple-choice questions and 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete the 3 essays.

alarm clock with time running out. Students hands to take exams, write examination room with pencil holding on optical form of standardized test with answers

It is important to note that the multiple-choice questions on the AP World History Exam are divided into two sections. The first section contains 35 questions and you’ll have 55 minutes to complete it.

The second section contains 20 questions and you’ll have 40 minutes to complete it. The multiple-choice questions cover a wide range of topics, including world history from the foundations of civilization to the present day.

The free-response essays on the AP World History Exam require you to analyze historical sources and develop an argument based on the information provided. The first essay is a document-based question (DBQ) that requires you to analyze and synthesize information from a set of primary and secondary sources.

The second essay is a comparative essay that requires you to compare and contrast different historical developments or processes. The third essay is a continuity and change-over-time essay that requires you to analyze a specific historical development over a period of time.

Tips for Time Management During the Exam

Managing your time during the exam is essential to your success. To maximize your time, we recommend dividing your time appropriately between the multiple-choice and free-response sections.

Allocate about 45 seconds to a minute per multiple-choice question and about 40 minutes per essay. By carefully managing your time, you’ll be able to avoid rushing through any part of the exam and reduce the likelihood of errors.

Another important tip for time management during the exam is to prioritize the questions. Start with the questions that you are most confident about and leave the more challenging ones for later. This will help you gain momentum and confidence as you move through the exam. Additionally, if you find yourself stuck on a particular question, don’t waste too much time on it. Move on to the next question and come back to it later if you have time. Remember, time is limited, so use it wisely.

How to Prepare for the AP World History Exam Length

Preparation is key to success on the AP World History Exam. Be sure to review all the relevant material, understand the test format, and get familiar with past exam trends.

High school or college students studying and reading together in library education concepts

You can find sample questions and free-response prompts on the College Board website, as well as practice tests. Additionally, join study groups if possible, attend review sessions, and seek help from your teacher or tutor as needed.

It is also important to manage your time effectively during the exam. The AP World History Exam is a lengthy test, with a total time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. You will have 55 multiple-choice questions to answer in 55 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break, and then a 130-minute section consisting of 3 free-response questions.

Make sure to pace yourself and allocate enough time for each section. It may be helpful to practice timed exams beforehand to get a sense of how long each question should take.

The Importance of Practice Tests and Timed Practice

Practice tests and timed practice are essential to preparing for the AP World History Exam. Practice tests allow you to simulate the exam environment and identify any areas of weakness, while timed practice improves your speed and efficiency.

By taking full-length practice tests, you can get a feel for what the real exam will be like and have a better understanding of the time it may take you to complete the exam.

In addition to taking practice tests and timed practice, it is also important to review and analyze your results. After taking a practice test, go through each question and identify the ones you got wrong or struggled with.

Take the time to understand why you got those questions wrong and what you can do to improve. This will help you focus your studying and ensure that you are making progress towards your goal of doing well on the AP World History Exam.

Analyzing Past Exam Trends and Difficulty Levels

Another crucial aspect of preparation is knowing and understanding past exam trends and difficulty levels. By analyzing previous exams and understanding what types of questions are more likely to appear on the exam, you can adjust your study plan and better prepare yourself. Additionally, pay attention to the historical periods emphasized on the exam, as these will likely serve as a focal point for essay questions.

It is also important to note that past exam trends and difficulty levels can vary from year to year. Therefore, it is recommended to analyze multiple years of past exams to get a more comprehensive understanding of what to expect. This can also help you identify any patterns or recurring themes in the exam questions, which can further aid in your preparation.

How to Stay Focused During a 3-Hour Exam

The lengthy nature of the AP World History Exam means it’s important to stay focused and attentive throughout the entirety of the exam. Take breaks as needed, but be mindful of the time. Additionally, ensure you have eaten before the exam and bring a snack or something to drink, as you may need it to sustain energy and focus.

Another helpful tip to stay focused during a 3-hour exam is to pace yourself. Don’t spend too much time on one question, as it can eat up valuable time that could be used to answer other questions. Instead, if you get stuck on a question, move on to the next one and come back to it later. This will help you manage your time effectively and ensure that you have enough time to answer all the questions on the exam.

Common Mistakes to Avoid on the AP World History Exam

There are several common mistakes that students make when taking the AP World History Exam. Avoid these mistakes by carefully reading the instructions, taking your time, and understanding what’s being asked of you. Additionally, be sure to answer all the questions. Even if you’re unsure of the answer, it’s better to try and gain some points than to leave the question unanswered.

A female student looking problematic while taking a test

Another common mistake that students make on the AP World History Exam is not studying enough. This exam covers a vast amount of material, and it’s important to start studying early and consistently.

Don’t wait until the last minute to cram all the information. Instead, create a study schedule and stick to it. Also, make use of study resources such as review books, online resources, and practice exams to help you prepare.

Strategies for Scoring High on the Exam’s Free-Response Section

The free-response section of the AP World History Exam is where you can demonstrate your historical knowledge and writing skills. To score high on this section, be sure to read and understand the prompts, present clear and well-structured answers, incorporate historical evidence, and utilize strong analytical and writing skills.

Another important strategy for scoring high on the free-response section is to manage your time effectively. The section is timed, and you will need to allocate your time wisely to ensure that you have enough time to answer all the questions. It is also important to pace yourself and not spend too much time on any one question.

Additionally, it is helpful to practice writing free-response answers before the exam. This will help you become more comfortable with the format and develop your writing skills. You can find practice questions and sample answers online or in study guides. By practicing, you can also identify areas where you may need to improve and focus your studying accordingly.

The Role of Essay Writing in the AP World History Exam

Essay writing is a critical component of the AP World History Exam. To write excellent essays, you must develop a sound understanding of the course material, understand the essay prompt, and utilize strong analytical and writing skills. Additionally, be sure to include relevant historical evidence and analyze it in your essay.

Another important aspect of essay writing in the AP World History Exam is time management. You have a limited amount of time to complete the exam, so it is crucial to manage your time effectively. Make sure to allocate enough time to read and analyze the essay prompt, plan your essay, write your essay, and review your work.

Furthermore, it is essential to understand the different types of essay prompts that may appear on the exam. These prompts may require you to compare and contrast different historical events, analyze the causes and effects of a particular event, or evaluate the significance of a historical figure or movement. Understanding the different types of prompts will help you prepare and write effective essays on the exam.

Reviewing and Reflecting on Your Performance After the Test

After taking the AP World History Exam, it’s essential to review and reflect on your performance. Evaluate your performance, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and determine areas in which you need to improve. Use your reflection to guide your future studies and preparation for the exam.

a female student studying in a library

One way to review your performance is to go through the exam questions and answers. Look for patterns in the questions you struggled with and the ones you excelled in. This will help you identify the topics you need to focus on more in your future studies.

Another important aspect of reflecting on your performance is to seek feedback from your teacher or tutor. They can provide valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. Take their feedback seriously and use it to guide your future exam preparation.

Conclusion: Is it Worth Taking the AP World History Exam?

The AP World History Exam is a rigorous and challenging exam that requires a strong understanding of historical material and excellent essay writing skills. However, taking this exam can provide a wide range of benefits, such as earning college credit, enhanced college applications, and improved critical thinking skills.

If you’re interested in taking the AP World History Exam, we hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to know about its length, format, and preparation. Remember to prepare thoroughly, manage your time well on exam day, and stay focused throughout the entirety of the exam. Good luck!

It’s important to note that while the AP World History Exam can be challenging, it can also be a rewarding experience. Many students find that the exam helps them to develop a deeper understanding of history and the world around them. Additionally, the skills that are required to succeed on the exam, such as critical thinking and effective communication, are valuable skills that can be applied in many different areas of life.

Finally, it’s worth considering the potential financial benefits of taking the AP World History Exam. By earning college credit through the exam, students can potentially save thousands of dollars in tuition costs. This can be especially beneficial for students who plan to attend a four-year college or university, where tuition costs can be quite high.

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