AP World History Practice Test | Questions and More| Test-Guide (2023)

If you are someone who is looking to get general education courses out of the way in college or want to get some prerequisites done for a history major, you may consider taking AP world history. To gain a college credit, you will need to pass the AP world history exam with a three or higher.

The best way to prepare yourself for the exam is to take an AP world history practice test. In this article, we will give you reliable resources to study as well as give you insight into what you can expect to see on this AP exam.

Summary: Use a free AP world history practice exam listed below to prepare for your exam.

AP World History Practice Test

It can be difficult to find AP world history exams that you can use to practice for the real one that you will need to take to gain college credit after completing the AP world history course. Here are some free practice tests that our team collected to help you feel prepared for the exam:

Name of TestNumber of Questions
2017 College Board AP World History Exam55 multiple-choice, 8 free-response
2013 College Board AP World History Exam70 multiple-choice, 3 free-response
AP World Practice Test70 multiple-choice, 3 free-response
AP World History Practice Exam & Answer Key55 multiple-choice, 7 free-response
AP World History Practice Exam 1 & Answer Key31 multiple-choice
Marco Learning 2020 AP World Practice Test1 document-based
AP World History 2019 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions
AP World History 2018 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions
AP World History 2017 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions

What is the AP World History Exam?

For students taking AP classes to get college credits, they have to pass the AP exam for the class first. The same goes for AP world history. The test is simply a baseline to judge whether you meet the minimum standard to receive a college credit for your knowledge. Learn more about it below.

AP World History Exam Description

The AP world history exam covers nine units that your teacher taught you about in class. Your teacher may choose to group them together differently or teach them in a different order, but these same nine units will both appear on the exam and be covered in class:

  • Unit one: Global Tapestry – discover how states form, expand, and decline throughout the countries of the world in relation to political, social, and cultural developments (c. 1200-c. 1450) (8-10%)
  • Unit two: Networks of Exchange – see how areas of the world linked through trade and how it changed people, cultures, and environments (c. 1200-c. 1450) (8-10%)
  • Unit three: Land-Based Empires – examine the empires that ruled over large contiguous areas of land (c. 1450-c. 1750) (12-15%)
  • Unit four: Transoceanic Interconnections – learn about oceanic exploration advancements, maritime empires, and effects of cross-cultural encounters from across the ocean (c. 1450-c. 1750) (12-15%)
  • Unit five: Revolutions – study the technological advancements and new political ideas that led to extensive changes in governments, societies, and economies (c. 1750-c. 1900) (12-15%)
  • Unit six: Consequences of Industrialization – explore how certain states acquired and expanded their control over colonies and territories (c. 1750-c. 1900) (12-15%)
  • Unit seven: Global Conflict – uncover the global conflicts that plague this era of the world’s progress (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)
  • Unit eight: Cold War and Decolonization – investigate how the colonies fought for and gained independence and the global struggle and divide between capitalism and communism (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)
  • Unit nine: Globalization – analyze the causes and effects created by unprecedented interconnectivity of the modern world (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)

To succeed you will need to be able to formulate an answer that has concrete evidence behind it supported by the graph or document you are provided. Also, be able to distinguish between a primary and secondary source and the differences between the two.

There will be questions on the exam that also ask you to make connections between two different historical occurrences, so you will need to know how certain parts of history reflect or even repeat themselves as time goes on.

About AP World History Test Questions

There are a total of sixty questions that you will be required to answer on the AP world history exam. However, unlike other AP exams, the world history test allows you to choose some of your free-response questions from a list of two or three.

You will answer fifty-five multiple-choice questions in fifty-five minutes. This means that you are allotted one minute for every question in the multiple-choice section. Do not fret. There will likely be questions that you immediately know the answer so you can have more time for questions you require thinking.

In the second section, you are required to answer three short-answer questions. The first two questions will be pulled from a source and you have to answer them. Then, you get the option to choose between questions three or four, so be sure to choose the one that you have a stronger argument for.

The final section of the test is the most unique portion of an AP test. There are only two required questions in this section. The first is a document-based question (DBQ) that asks you to assess numerous documents before answering. The second is a choice between three different long-answer questions.

You will be given forty minutes to complete the second section and an hour and forty minutes to complete the third. Make sure your arguments are well-thought but also be sure to utilize time wisely to be the most efficient AP world history exam-taker.

The three sections have different score percentages, so here is how the three sections are broken up:

Answer TypeScore %Time GivenQuestions
Section 1Multiple-choice40%55 min55
Section 2Short-answer20%40 min3
Section 3Long-answer40%1 hr 40 min2

How to Use an AP World History Practice Test

You want to take an AP world history practice test that best reflects the exam with the diverse question types and topic coverage. The ones above offer diverse options with answers to each question.

The more detail in the question answers allow you to become a better studier. By learning from your mistakes and discovering which areas you need to brush up on, you can more effectively use your study time to cover the topics you know the least and move on from ones that you already know.

A world history AP practice exam also helps you conceptualize how frequently you see questions from the different units. The percentages in the unit descriptions give you an idea, but it is more beneficial to see it for yourself.

How Do I Prepare for AP World History Exam?

One way you can prepare for the AP world history exam is to make or find flashcards covering the important topics on the test. Make sure you have access to them wherever you go so you can study in all your free time.

The second way you can study for the exam is to take practice tests. On top of using them to learn what you need to study more, you can also become a more efficient test taker by studying the answer explanations for the AP world multiple choice questions.

The questions that appear on an AP world practice test are ones that appeared on previous versions of AP world history exams. By familiarizing yourself with question wordings on old exams, you can be better equipped to know what the questions are asking when you take the real test.

Your teacher may also give you a study or review guide filled with useful information to study before the exam. You can even do this with a peer or use it to create your flashcards mentioned above.

AP World History Exam FAQs


How rare is it to get 5 on the AP World History exam? ›

Fewer than 10% of test-takers receive a perfect score on the AP World History Exam. Compared to other AP classes, only half as many test-takers score a 5. However, that does not necessarily make AP World History one of the hardest AP exams.

How to practice AP World History multiple-choice questions? ›

AP® World History Multiple Choice Strategies
  1. Get to Know the AP® World History Course. ...
  2. Watch the Clock. ...
  3. Read the Question Thoroughly. ...
  4. Eliminate Obvious Answers. ...
  5. When All Else Fails, Use Your Powers of Deduction. ...
  6. Think about Time Periods in AP® World History. ...
  7. Don't Over-Study a Single Topic. ...
  8. Answer Every Question.

How many questions do you have to get right on the AP World History exam? ›

Albert's AP® World History: Modern score calculator shows that you need to answer 28 of the 55 multiple choice questions currently and receive at least 29 points on the free response questions.

Which AP exam has the lowest pass rate? ›

9) AP Physics 1

At many high schools, AP Physics is notorious for its difficulty level. In addition, it has the lowest overall pass rate of any AP exam.

What is the easiest AP exam to get a 5? ›

Five Easiest AP Classes
  • Computer Science Principles.
  • Psychology.
  • Human Geography.
  • Environmental Science.
  • U.S. Government and Politics.

Is 2 weeks enough to study for AP World? ›

Two weeks is just enough time to take two practice AP World History: Modern tests and do a quick review of each of the units/periods you'll see on the exam. Follow our suggested 2-week AP World History: Modern study guide to make sure you use your time during last two weeks before the test as effectively as possible.

What is the hardest part of the AP World History exam? ›

We have already mentioned that the DBQ section of the AP® World History exam is one of the most difficult tasks set out by the College Board. The DBQ consists of a question, a set of primary source documents (never more than 7), and only 55 minutes to come up with a well written, clear and coherent essay response.

How do I make AP World History easier? ›

Here are 6 tips for acing AP World History exam:
  1. Don't try to memorize everything. ...
  2. Keep up with class content. ...
  3. Read a prep book in the Spring. ...
  4. Practice answering questions quickly. ...
  5. Practice speed-writing. ...
  6. Answer every question.
Mar 8, 2022

How do you ace AP World History multiple-choice? ›

A solid strategy for the multiple-choice section is to do multiple passes: On your first pass, answer all of the questions that you know and are sure about. Next, go back through the remaining questions. If you can eliminate at least two answer choices and the topic is familiar, take your best educated guess.

How hard is it to pass AP World History? ›

Is AP World History Easy Or Hard? AP World History is considered quite hard, with class alumnae rating it 6.1/10 for overall difficulty (the 10th-most-difficult out of the 28 large AP classes surveyed). The pass rate is about average vs other AP classes, with 62% graduating with a 3 or higher.

What is the passing rate for AP World History? ›

World History:

AP World History is the 10th hardest AP class with the least passing rate of 60.2%. This class is about 800 years of world history, from 1200 CE to the present.

What happens if you fail the AP World History exam? ›

If you fail an AP exam, you will not receive college credit for that course. The good news is that a failed exam does not affect your GPA. In addition, you can retake the AP exam the next year.

What percentage is a 5 on AP World History? ›

What percent is a 5 on AP World History? Based on the 2022 AP score distributions, only 13.2% of students received a 5. Alternatively, you would need to have earned 74.6% of the total available composite points on the APWH exam to score a 5.

Is a 5 on the AP US history exam good? ›

Different schools award college credit for different scores on the AP U.S. History exam. Many universities grant credit for scores of 4 or 5. Sometimes colleges offer credit for a score of 3 as well. In addition, some schools may offer more credit for a higher score.

What score is a 5 on the AP World History exam? ›

Also, if you do get a 60 or 70 percent, you are in the range to get a 5 still. Look up and memorize Essay Rubrics until you fully understand Continuity and Change over time, DBQ, and Comparative Essays.


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