About AP US History Exam

The exam is of approximately three hours and 5 minutes containing two sections-multiple choice and free response. Each section comprised of 50% of the final exam grade.

Section I: Multiple Choice-80 questions; 55 minutes

The questions will covered the following time period:

  • Period through 1789 (20%)
  • 1790 − 1914 (45%)
  • 1915-Present (35%)

Within those time periods, the MCQ section will covered the following course theme:

  • Political Institutions, behavior, and public policy (35%)
  • Social and cultural developments (40%)
  • Diplomacy and international relations (15%)
  • Economic developments (10%)

A desired number of the social and economic history related questions dealing with the traditional topics, as the impact of legislation on social groups as well as economy or the pressures on the political process by social and economic developments.

Total scores of the multiple-choice section will be based on the number of correct answers. Points are neither deducted for incorrect answers nor points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Section II: Free Response-3 questions; 1 hour and 55 minutes with a compulsory 15 minute reading period

The section of free response will cover the period from the first European explorations of the Americas to 1980.

Part A: 1 Document Based Question (DBQ); 45 minutes

  • The following section will aims to test your ability to analyse and synthesize historical data and verbal, quantitative or pictorial materials as historical evidence.
  • You can access the value of various documents and relate them to a historical period to show your knowledge of major periods and various issues.
  • Documents may be differ in length and format and may contain charts, graphs, cartoons, and pictures and written materials.

Parts B: 2 Standard Essay Questions; 70 minutes

  • The standard essay questions may require you to relate developments in different areas (e. g. the political implications of an economic issue); analyze common themes in different time periods (e. g. the concept of national interest in United States foreign policy); or compare individual or group experiences that reflect socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, or gender differences (e. g. social mobility and cultural pluralism).

Essays will be evaluated and judged on the strength of the thesis developed, historical argument quality and the evidence used for supporting the argument, rather than on the description of information.

Part A of free response section is of 45% and Part B of free response is of 55% of your free response score.