AP European History

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About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP European History Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

The paper and digital versions of the AP European History Exam will be full length and cover the full scope of course content, giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP European History only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP European History Exam will test your understanding of the historical concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze primary and secondary sources and identify patterns and connections that can support a historical interpretation.

Exam Duration
3hrs 15mins

Exam Dates

  • Fri, May 7, 2021,
    12 PM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP European History Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP European History Exam.

  • Wed, May 19, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP European History Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP European History Exam.

  • Wed, Jun 2, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP European History Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP European History Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP European History only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP European History Exam will be full length and cover the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description. Due to security requirements, the paper exam and digital exam will use different combinations of question types, outlined in the table below.

Early May Exam (Paper)

Late May and Early June Exams (Digital)

Section 1A: Multiple Choice 
55 Questions | 55 Mins | 40% of Score 

 

The questions in the multiple-choice section come in sets of typically 3–4 questions based on the same stimulus. The questions will include one or more sources to respond to such as primary and secondary texts, images (for example, artwork, photos, posters, cartoons), charts, and maps. 

 

You’ll be asked to:

  • Analyze the provided sources 
  • Analyze the historical developments and processes described in the sources 

 

Section 1B: Short Answer 
3 Questions | 40 Mins | 20% of Score 

 

In the short-answer section, you’ll write answers to questions in your test booklet. Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps. 

 

  • Question 1 is required, includes 1 or 2 secondary sources, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001. 
  • Question 2 is required, includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001. 
  • You can choose between Question 3 (which focuses on historical developments or processes from the period from 1450 to 1648 and/or the period from 1648 to 1815) and Question 4 (which focuses on historical developments or processes from the period from 1815 to 1914 and/or the period from 1914 to the  present) for the last question. No sources are included for either Question 3 or Question 4.  

 

You’ll be asked to: 

  • Analyze the provided sources 
  • Analyze historical developments and processes described in the sources 
  • Put those historical developments and processes in the context 
  • Make connections between those historical developments and processes 

 

Section 1A: Multiple Choice 
55 Questions | 55 Mins | 40% of Score 

 

The questions in the multiple-choice section come in sets of typically 3–4 questions based on the same stimulus. The questions will include one or more sources to respond to such as primary and secondary texts, images (for example, artwork, photos, posters, cartoons), charts, and maps. 

 

You’ll be asked to: 

  • Analyze the provided sources 
  • Analyze the historical developments and processes described in the sources 

 

Section 1B: Short Answer 
3 Questions | 40 Mins | 20% of Score 

 

In the short-answer section, you’ll type answers to questions in the digital exam app. Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.

 

  • Question 1 is required, includes one primary source text, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001.
  • Question 2 is required, includes a map source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1450 and 2001.
  • Question 3 is required, includes one primary source image, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1450 and 2001.

You’ll be asked to: 

  • Analyze the provided sources 
  • Analyze historical developments and processes described in the sources 
  • Put those historical developments and processes in the context 
  • Make connections between those historical developments and processes 

 

 

Section 2: Free Response 
2 Questions | 1hr 40 Mins | 40% of Score 

 

In the free-response section, you’ll write answers to questions in your test booklet. There are two questions: one document-based question and one long essay. 

 

Section 2A: Document-Based Question 
1 Question | 60 Minutes | 25% of Score 

 

The 60-minute time limit for this section includes a 15-minute reading period.

 

  • You’ll be presented with seven documents that give various perspectives on a historical development or process.
  • You’ll be asked to develop and support an argument based on these documents and other evidence from your own knowledge.
  • The topic of the document-based question will include historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001. 

 

Section 2B: Long Essay Question 
1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of score 

 

  • You’ll have a choice of three questions; you’ll pick one to answer.
  • Each test the same skills but the questions focus primarily on different historical time periods (1450–1700, 1648–1914, or 1815–2001).
  • You’ll be asked to develop and support an argument based on evidence. 

 

Section 2: Free Response 
3 Questions | 1hr 40 Mins | 40% of Score 

 

In this section, you’ll type answers to questions in the digital exam app. There are three questions: one document-based question and two short answer questions. 

 

Section 2A: Document-Based Question 
1 Question | 60 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

The 60-minute time limit for this section includes a 15-minute reading period.

 

  • You’ll be presented with seven documents that give various perspectives on a historical development or process.
  • You’ll be asked to develop and support an argument based on these documents and other evidence from your own knowledge.
  • The topic of the document-based question will include historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001. 

 

Section 2B: Short Answer Questions
2 Questions | 40 Minutes | 15% of Score

 

  • You’ll answer two required questions, each one focusing on a different time period.
  • The first includes a source with a data set (such as a chart, table or graph) and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1450 and 2001; the second includes secondary source text and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1600 and 2001.
  • You’ll be asked to analyze historians’ interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history.

Exam Preparation

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