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Advanced Placement

The Complete Guide to AP Human Geography Exam [Updated for AP 2024 Exam]

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

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  • The AP Human Geography course is organized into 9 topics: location, places, regions, human-environment interaction, population, economic systems, political systems, cultural systems, urban systems, and globalization.
  • The AP Human Geography exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (60 questions, 1 hour) and free-response (3 essays, 1 hour 15 minutes). 
  • The mean score for the AP Human Geography exam in 2022 was 2.70 out of 5. This is slightly lower than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022, which was 2.92.
  • The pass rate of the AP Human Geography Exam for 2022 was 53.2%. This is slightly lower than the pass rate for AP overall, which was 60.2%. 
  • With AP Human Geography some majors that you could choose include geography, urban planning, environmental studies, international relations, and economics. Some of the career pathways that you could pursue include urban planner, market researcher, policy analyst, sustainability consultant, and travel writer. 

AP Human Geography is one of the most popular AP courses offered by the College Board. In 2022, over 221,800 students took the AP Human Geography exam.

In this AP Human Geography Guide , we will discuss the format of the AP Human Geography exam, the topics covered, and effective ways to study for the exam. We will also provide some resources that can help you prepare for the exam. So, let’s get started!

What is on the AP Human Geography exam?

The AP Human Geography exam covers a wide range of topics related to the spatial organization of human society and the interactions between people and their environment. 

These topics include the nature of geography, population and migration, cultural patterns and processes, economic development, political organization of space, regions of the world and globalization and the world economy.

The AP Human Geography Exam format includes two sections as below:

SectionNo. of questionsTime allocated to  each sectionWeightage
Multiple-choice  questions60 questions1hour50%
Free response   questions3 questions 1 hour 15 mins50% 
AP Human Geography exam format

Now let’s understand everything about the AP Human Geography exam like duration, structure, score distribution, etc.

How long is the AP Human Geography exam?

The AP Human Geography exam is 2 hours 15 minutes long and is divided into two sections

  • The first section consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and is 1 hour long.
  • The second section is a free-response section with 3 questions and is 1 hour 15 minutes long.

The AP Human Geography Exam will test your understanding of the geographic concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze maps, geospatial data, infographics, and more.

How many questions does the AP Human Geography exam have?

The AP Human Geography exam has 63 questions in total divided into two major sections; 60 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.

Topics for AP Human Geography Review

AP Human Geography is a rigorous course that covers the core concepts, theories, and processes that shape the human use of the Earth’s surface. Students will do hands-on activities and projects to investigate geographic phenomena.

UnitWhat’s includedWeight in exam
Unit 1: Thinking Geographically
You will learn about the tools and methods geographers use in their study of places.
-Different types of maps and what they tell you
-How geographers collect and use data
-Spatial relationships and patterns
-Data analysis at different scales (for example, global, national, local)
-How geographers define regions
88%–10%
Unit 2: Population and Migration Patterns and Processes
You will explore the patterns associated with human populations.
-Population density and how it affects society and the environment
-Theories of population growth and decline
-Population and immigration policies and their effects
-The causes and effects of migration
12%–17% 
Unit 3: Cultural Patterns and Processes
You will focus on how and why language, religion, and other cultural practices spread over space and time.
-The different ways that cultural practices spread
-Historical forces, such as colonialism and trade, that affect cultural patterns
-Modern forces, such as globalization, affect cultural patterns
-Why different religions spread in a different way
12%–17%
Unit 4: Political Patterns and Processes
You will build on your knowledge of populations and cultural patterns as you learn about the political organization of the world.
-Types of political entities such as nations and nation-states
-The ideas and forces that shaped the political boundaries of the modern world
-Forms of government such as unitary states and federal states
-The factors that lead to states breaking apart
112%–17%
Unit 5: Agriculture and Rural Land-Use Patterns and Processes
You will learn where humans first developed agriculture and how farming practices spread throughout the world.
-How physical geography influences farming practices
-The origins and spread of agriculture
-The Green Revolution
-How farming practices affect the environment and society
12%–17%
Unit 6: Cities and Urban Land-Use Patterns and Processes
You will explore the origins and influences of urbanization, examining cities across the world and the role of those cities in globalization.1
-The factors that drive the growth of cities and suburbs
-Globalization and cities
-City infrastructure
-Urban design initiatives and practices
112%-17%
Unit 7: Industrial and Economic Development Patterns and Processes
You will study the origins and influences of industrialization, along with the role industrialization plays in economic development.1
-The Industrial Revolution
-Economic sectors and patterns
-How economic development affects the roles of women
-Trade and the world economy
212%–17% 
AP Human Geography Course Content

For additional course resources such as classroom resources, formulae and equation sheets and lab manuals refer to the College Board AP Human Geography course page.

How is the AP Human Geography exam scored?

The AP Human Geography exam is divided into two sections:

  • Section I: Consists of 60 multiple-choice questions.
  • Section II: Consists of 3 free-response questions.

Following the exam, the raw results for each part are transformed into scaled scores ranging from 1 to 5, according to a method that considers the exam’s complexity. The final step is to sum the results to determine the student’s final AP Human Geography Test score.

You will get 1 point for each multiple-choice question you answer correctly on the Human Geography exam. There are no point deductions for incorrect answers.

On the free-response questions, points are allotted for clearly and thoroughly answering each part of the question. Every free-response question is worth 7 points and has an equal bearing on your overall score.

The multiple-choice and free-response sections are each worth 50% of your score. Your free-response score is scaled in accordance with this and added to your multiple-choice score to arrive at a scaled AP score that is then converted to a final score on the 1-5 AP scale.

When is the AP Human Geography exam in 2024?

The AP Human Geography exam for 2024 will be held on Tuesday, May 7 2024 08:00 am local time. The 2024 AP Exams will be held over two weeks in May: May 6–10 and May 13–17. 

For the most recent information on exam dates and registration deadlines, students can check with their institution or the College Board website.

How to prepare for the AP Human Geography exam?

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the AP Human Geography exam 

  • Pay attention to the maps and graphs in your textbook. These can be a great way to visualize the concepts that you’re learning.
  • Learn the different types of regions. This is an important part of AP Human Geography, and it will come up on the exam.
  • Be familiar with the different cultural models. This is another important topic in AP Human Geography, and it will also come up on the exam.
  • Practice writing essays. The AP Human Geography exam includes a free-response essay section. Practicing writing essays will help you to improve your writing skills and prepare for the exam.

How can Wiingy help with AP Human Geography exam prep?

In 2022, only 14.9% of the 221,800 students who took the AP Human Geography exam scored a 5. While 3 is considered the unofficial passing rate, most elite universities, such as Harvard or Princeton, offer AP credit only if you score 5 or higher. 

Getting a 5 is possible if you have the right support in your high school, but that’s rarely the case.

Here at Wiingy, we work with vetted AP Human Geography tutors with demonstrated expertise and experience in helping students score a 5 on AP exams

Unlike tutor marketplaces, every Wiingy tutor is screened individually and undergoes a comprehensive assessment. Less than 3% of applicants are selected to become tutors on Wiingy’s platform, ensuring tutors are highly qualified and experienced in teaching AP courses.

Our tutors will work with you 1-on-1 to master the content and skills you need to succeed. Experienced tutors can provide you with curriculum-specific guides and practice questions and familiarize you with the exam format to help you ace the test.

We know that sometimes you don’t want to pay for private tutoring because it is too expensive. It’s common to see tutoring costs between $100 to $150 per hour. Wiingy’s rates are very affordable, starting from just $28 per hour, much lower than the average AP tutoring offered by other platforms.

One more advantage of studying with us is that we don’t require you to sign up for any packages or yearly subscriptions. You can sign up for as little as a single lesson and add more lessons as per your requirements.

While we try to match you with the perfect tutor as per your needs, we know that sometimes even the best tutors might not be the right fit for you. That’s why we offer you the Perfect Match Guarantee, which means that if you are not satisfied with your tutor for any reason, you can request a free replacement at any time

Sign up with Wiingy AP Human Geography Tutoring today and achieve your goal of scoring a 5 on your AP Test

Why take AP Human Geography?

Studying for AP Human Geography can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. By learning about the world around us, we can better understand the forces that shape our lives.

There are several reasons why taking the AP Human Geography exam can be beneficial for students. Here are some points in detail:

  • College credit: Depending on your score and the policies of the college you plan to attend, a high score on the AP Human Geography exam can earn you college credit. This can save you time and money on tuition costs, as you may be able to skip introductory human geography courses in college. You can major in Geography, Anthropology, Urban Studies, International Relations, and Environmental Studies.
  • Advanced Placement: In addition to college credit, a high score on the AP Human Geography exam can also earn you advanced placement in higher-level human geography courses in college. This can give you a head start and allow you to take more advanced courses earlier in your college career.
  • Career Prospect: Taking the AP Human Geography exam and earning a high score demonstrates to colleges and future employers that you have mastered college-level human geography concepts and skills. This can be an impressive addition to your college application or resume if you are looking to make your career as an Urban Planner, Market Researcher, Policy Analyst, Sustainability Consultant, or Travel Writer.
  • Interest in human geography: Finally, taking the AP Human Geography exam can be a way to pursue your interest in human geography and deepen your understanding of the world around you. By exploring advanced human geography concepts and practicing critical thinking skills, you can gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and diversity of human societies.

Conclusion

Students who are interested in majoring in geography, environmental studies, international relations, or urban planning will find the skills learned in AP Human Geography to be essential. Additionally, the skills learned in this course can be applied to a wide range of careers, such as teaching, consulting, and research.

The AP Human Geography exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (60 questions, 1 hour) and free-response (3 essays, 1 hour 15 minutes). 

The mean score for the AP Human Geography exam in 2022 was 3.02 out of 5, which is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022 (2.92). The passing rate for AP Human Geography in 2022 was 58.2%, which is slightly lower than the pass rate for AP overall (60.2%).

The AP Human Geography exam is challenging, but it is also rewarding. By learning about the world around you and applying your critical thinking skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of the human geography of our planet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AP Human Geography?

AP Human Geography is a college-level introductory course that examines the spatial patterns and processes that define human society. The course covers a wide range of topics, including population, migration, culture, environment, and development.

What are the different types of questions on the AP Human Geography exam?

The AP Human Geography exam consists of multiple-choice, short-answer, and long-answer questions. The multiple-choice questions test students’ knowledge of basic geographic concepts and principles. The short-answer questions test students’ ability to apply geographic concepts to real-world situations. The long-answer questions test students’ ability to analyze and interpret geographic data.

What are some tips for preparing for the AP Human Geography exam?

Here are some tips for preparing for the AP Human Geography exam:
Take a practice test: Taking a practice test will help you get familiar with the format of the exam and the types of questions that are asked.
Read the textbook: The textbook is a great resource for learning about the material that is covered on the exam.
Study with a friend or group: Studying with others can help you stay motivated and make sure that you understand the material.
Use online resources: There are a number of online resources that can help you prepare for the AP Human Geography exam.

Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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