The Ultimate AP World History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ

by SAT GrandMaster on April 03, 2021

Content Difficulty

After the change in syllabus in 2019, the timeline of the World History was greatly reduced, with modern history starting from 1200AD and ancient history remain unchanged. The reduce in scope of examination of course also meant that the depth of the examination will increase. Candidates need to have a deeper understanding of the historical changes in Europe, America, Asia and other regions. The degree of details required is gradually moving towards that of the AP US History.


Content Coverage

The examination is divided into 6 themes, including human and environment, cultural development and exchanges, government policies, economic models, social structures, technological development and innovation It is also divided into 9 units based on time frame. Compared to US History, World History pays more attention to the connection and comparison between different regions and cultures. Therefore, there are more parts that need to link and compare content memorised as compared to US History.

For example, for the First World War, US History only focuses on examining the changes in American diplomatic stance during the war, but World History tends to examine the relations between Western countries and the colonisation changes in the relationship between the land.

Both World History and US History examined the same skills, such as ability to connect historical events, compare and contrast etc. The question types of the two exams are almost the same, and both have relatively high requirements for reading and writing.


Should You Take AP World History?

History subjects require a lot of reading, and the question type will also involve reading historical documents and writing long essays. It has very high requirements for reading and writing, but at the same time, it will greatly help student's literacy. 

However, the recent change in syllabus for World History (modern history) means there are not as many practice questions as compared to the US History.


Exam Format

Section 1A: Multiple Choice
55 Questions I 55 Minutes I 40% of Exam Score
• Questions usually appear in sets of 3-4 questions.
• Students analyse historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
• Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.

Section 1 B: Short Answer
3 Questions I 40 Minutes I 20% of Exam Score
• Students analyse historians' interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history. • Questions provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.
• Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
• Students choose between 2 options for the final required short-answer question, each one focusing on a different time period:
-Question 1 is required, includes 1 secondary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
-Question 2 is required, includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
-Students choose between Question 3 (which focuses on historical developments or between the years 1200 and 1750) and Question 4 (which focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1750 and 2001) for the last question. No sources are included for either Question 3 or Question 4.

Section 2A: Document-Based Question
1 Question I 1 Hour (includes 15-minute reading period) I 25% of Exam Score
• Students are presented with 7 documents offering various perspectives on a historical development or process.
• Students assess these written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
• Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
• The document-based question focuses on topics from 1450-2001.

Section 2B: Long Essay
1 Question I 40 Minutes 15% of Exam Score 

• Students explain and analyse significant issues in world history.
• Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
• The question choices focus on the same skills and the same reasoning process (e.g., comparison, causation, or continuity and change), but students choose from 3 options, each focusing primarily on historical developments and processes in different time periods-either 1200-1750 (option 1), 1450-1900 (option 2), or 1750-2001 (option 3).


Score Distribution

Test Prep Strategy

In order to prepare for this exam, you need to at least thoroughly read through the Glencoe World History (or other textbooks). The reading speed should not be too fast. Read through slowly and carefully while memorising the key points. After reading through and memorising the content, practise with 5 Steps to 500 World History or Crash Course to consolidate the knowledge.

Before the exam, you must download the latest Scoring Rubrics and exam examples from the official website, and study it carefully. It will be even better if you can remember the marking system, clearly know how many points you can get for each point you right. During exams, write those that you know will definitely score first. For example, you can get 1 point for Thesis, then write the Thesis first.

Recommended Study Guides

-AMSCO 2019
-Barron 2020
-Princeton 2020
-5 Steps


Collection of Official Papers with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

  1. AP World History 2011 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  2. AP World History  2012 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  3. AP World History 2013 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  4. AP World History 2014 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  5. AP World History 2015 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  6. AP World History 2016 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  7. AP World History 2017 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  8. AP World History 2019 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  9. AP World History  Practice Exam with Multiple-Choice Questions
  10. AP World History Practice Exam 2 with Multiple-Choice Questions


Click here to obtain the latest AP World History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ from ExclusiveSAT. 

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