AP United States History
The AP U.S. History Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and includes both a 100-minute multiple-choice/short-answer section and a 95-minute free response section. Each section is divided into two parts, as described below. Student performance on these four parts will be compiled and weighted to determine an AP Exam score.
The U.S. History Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2014 (.pdf/2MB) provides complete details about the exam.
Section I: Multiple-Choice/Short-Answer Section
Part A – The multiple-choice section will contain a number of sets of questions, with between two and five questions per set, that ask students to respond to stimulus material a primary or secondary source, including texts, images, charts, graphs, maps, etc. This stimulus material will reflect the types of evidence that historians use in their research on the past.
Part B – Short-answer questions will directly address one or more of the thematic learning objectives for the course. At least two of the four questions will have elements of internal choice, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.
Section II: Free-Response Section
Part A – The document-based question measures students ability to analyze and synthesize historical data and to assess verbal, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence. As with the long essay, responses to the document based question will be judged on students ability to formulate a thesis and support it with relevant evidence.
Part B – To provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best, they will be given a choice between two comparable long essay options. The long essay questions will measure the use of historical thinking skills to explain and analyze significant issues in U.S. history as defined by the thematic learning objectives.