AP World History: Modern

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About the Exam

Important Update

AP World History: Modern 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 World History: Modern 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 World History: Modern only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP World History: Modern 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

  • Mon, May 10, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP World History: Modern Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP World History: Modern Exam.

  • Thu, May 20, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP World History: Modern Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP World History: Modern Exam.

  • Thu, Jun 3, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP World History: Modern Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP World History: Modern 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 World History: Modern only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP World History: Modern Exam will be full length and cover the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description.

Early May Exam (Paper)

Late May and Early June Exams (Digital)

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

 

The questions in the multiple-choice section come in sets of usually 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 1A: Multiple Choice
55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

 

The questions in the multiple-choice section come in sets of usually 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 Minutes | 20% of Exam 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 1200 and 2001.
  • Question 2 is required, includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
  • You can choose between Question 3 (which focuses on the period from 1200 to 1750) and Question 4  (which focuses on the period from 1750 to 2001) 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 context
  • Make connections between those historical developments and processes

Section 1B: Short Answer
3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam 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 1 primary source text, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
  • Question 2 is required, includes 1 map source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
  • Question 3 is required, includes one primary source image, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 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 context
  • Make connections between those historical developments and processes

Section 2: Free Response
2 questions | 1 Hr 40 Mins | 40% of Exam 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 (includes 15-minute reading period) | 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 1450 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 tests the same skills but the questions focus on different historical time periods (either the period from c. 12001750, from c. 1450–1900, or from c. 1750–2001).
  • You'll be asked to develop and support an argument based on evidence.

Section 2: Free Response 
3 questions | 1 Hr 40 Mins | 40% of Exam 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 (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam 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 1450 and 2001.

 

Section 2B: Short Answer Questions
2 Questions | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam 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 1200 and 2001; the second includes a secondary source text and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200 and 2001.
  • You’ll be asked to analyze historians’ interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history.

 

Exam Preparation

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