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Advanced Placement

The Complete Guide to AP World History Modern Exam [Updated for AP 2024 Exam]

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

Updated on: 27 May 2024

Content

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  • The AP World History course is organized into 9 units that cover the major events and developments in world history from c. 1200 to the present.
  • The AP World History exam is divided into two sections: Section I Part A multiple-choice (55 questions, 55 minutes), section I Part B (3 questions, 40 minutes), and Section II free-response (3 essays, 1 hour 40 minutes).
  • The mean score for the AP World History exam in 2022 was 2.96 out of 5. This is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022, which was 2.92.
  • The pass rate of the AP World History Exam for 2022 was 62.1%. This is slightly higher than the pass rate for AP overall, which was 60.2%.
  • With AP World History, some majors that you could choose include history, political science, law, business, and education. Some of the career pathways that you could pursue include historian, lawyer, politician, business leader, and education.

AP World History is one of the most popular AP courses offered by the College Board. In 2022, over 314,716 students took the AP World History exam.

The AP World History Modern exam covers historical developments from c. 1200 to the present. It will test topics and skills discussed in your Advanced Placement World History course. If you score high enough, your AP score could earn you college credit.

What is on the AP World History Modern exam?

The AP World History Modern exam covers a wide range of topics related to the history of the world, from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. 

These topics include the rise and fall of civilizations, the development of major religions, the spread of trade and technology, the impact of colonialism, the rise of nationalism, the Cold War, and globalization. 

In addition to these specific topics, the AP World History Modern exam also covers several broader topics, such as humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.

The AP World History Exam format includes two sections as below:

SectionNo. of questionsTime allocated to  each sectionWeightage
Section I (Part A)Multiple-choice  questions55 questions55 minutes40%
Section II (Part B)Short Answer3 questions40 minutes20%
Free response   questions2 questions 1 hour 40 minutes40% 
AP World History Modern exam format

Now let’s understand everything about the AP World History Modern exam like duration, structure, score distribution, etc.

How long is the AP World History Modern exam?

The AP World History Modern Exam is 3 hours 15 minutes long and is divided into two sections. Section one is further divided into two parts: Part A is multiple choice questions and Part B is short answers.

  • Section I Part A  consists of 55 multiple-choice questions and is 55 minutes long.
  • Section I Part B consists of 3 short answer questions and is 40 minutes long.
  • The second section is a free-response section with 2 questions and is 1 hour 40 minutes long.

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, historical arguments, and more.

How many questions does the AP World History Modern exam have?

The AP World History Modern exam has 60 questions in total divided into 2 major sections. Section I Part A has 55 multiple-choice questions, section II Part B has 3 short answer questions, and section II has 2 free-response questions.

Topics for AP World History Modern Review

UnitWhat’s includedWeight in exam
Unit 1: The Global Tapestry
You’ll explore how states formed, expanded, and declined in areas of the world during the period c. 1200–c. 1450 and the related political, social, and cultural developments of that time.
States in:
-Africa
-Afro-EurasiaEast Asia
-Europe
-South and Southeast Asia
-The Americas
-Global and regional religions and belief systems
8%-10%
Unit 2: Networks of Exchange
As you continue your study of the period c. 1200–c. 1450, you’ll learn how areas of the world were linked through trade and how these connections affected people, cultures, and environments.
-The Silk Roads
-The Mongol Empire
-The Indian Ocean trading network
-The trans-Saharan trade routes
-The effects of cross-cultural interactions
8%–10%
Unit 3: Land-Based Empires
You’ll begin your study of the period c. 1450–c. 1750 with an exploration of the empires that held power over large contiguous areas of land.
-The development of the Manchu, Mughal, Ottoman, and Safavid empires
-How rulers of empires maintained their power
-Religious developments in empires
12%-15% 
Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections
Continuing your study of the period c. 1450–c. 1750, you’ll learn about advances in ocean exploration, the development of new maritime empires, and the effects of new cross-cultural encounters.
-The influence of scientific learning and technological innovation
-The Columbian Exchange
-Development and expansion of maritime empires
-Internal and external challenges to state power
-Changes to social hierarchies linked to the spread of empires
12%–15%
Unit 5: Revolutions
You’ll start your study of the period c. 1750–c. 1900 by exploring the new political ideas and developments in technology that led to large-scale changes in governments, society, and economies.
-The Enlightenment
-Revolutions against existing governments and the birth of new nation-states
-The Industrial Revolution
-Trade policies
-The development of industrial economies
12%–15%
Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization
You’ll continue to investigate the period c. 1750–c. 1900 and learn how the different states acquired and expanded control over colonies and territories.
-State expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries
-Resistance to imperialism
-The growth of the global economy
-Economic imperialism
-Causes and effects of new migration patterns
12%–15%
1Unit 7: Global Conflict
You’ll begin your study of the period c. 1900–present by learning about the global conflicts that dominated this era.
-Changes in the global political order after 1900
World War I: its causes and how it was fought
-The interwar period
-World War II: its causes and how it was fought
-Mass atrocities after 1900
8%–10% 
Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization
As you continue exploring the period c. 1900–present, you’ll learn about colonies’ pursuits of independence and the global power struggle between capitalism and communism.
-The causes and effects of the Cold War
-The spread of communism
-How colonies in Asia and Africa achieved independence
-The creation of new states after decolonization
-The end of the Cold War
8%–10%
Unit 9: Globalization
You’ll continue your study of the period c. 1900–present by investigating the causes and effects of the unprecedented connectivity of the modern world.
-Advances in technology and their effects
-Disease
-Environment
-Economic change
-Movements for reform
-How globalization changed the culture
-New international institutions
8%–10% 
AP World History Modern Course Content

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

How is the AP World History Modern exam scored?

The AP World History Modern exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score and 1 being the lowest. The exam is divided into two sections: Section I and Section II.

Section I is 1 hour and 35 minutes long and consists of 55 multiple-choice questions and 3 short-answer questions. Each multiple-choice question is worth 1 raw point, for a total of 55 raw points possible in this section.
There is no penalty for incorrect answers, so you should always answer every question, even if you have to guess.

The three short-answer questions are worth 3 points each, for a total of 9 raw points possible in this section.
The short-answer questions are scored holistically, meaning that your score will be based on the overall quality of your answers, not just the number of correct facts you provide.

Section II is 1 hour and 40 minutes long and consists of 2 free response questions. The free-response section is worth 13 raw points- Question 1 is worth 7 raw points and Question 2 is worth 6 raw points.
On the free response questions, points are taken off for errors only if they detract from the quality of the argument being made. Grammatical and other technical errors aren’t a big deal as long as they don’t inhibit the grader’s ability to understand what your answer is saying.

Your final score on the AP World History Modern exam is a combination of your raw scores in Section I and Section II. The raw scores are first scaled to a 1 to 5 scale, and then your final score is determined. The scaling process is designed to ensure that students who take the exam in different years are evaluated fairly.

A score of 3 or higher on the AP World History Modern exam is generally considered to be a good score. This means that you have demonstrated a solid understanding of the material and are likely to be successful in college-level U.S. history courses.

When is the AP World History Modern exam in 2024?

The AP World History Modern exam for 2024 will be held on Wednesday, May 15 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 World History Modern exam?

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the AP World History Modern exam 

  • Pay attention to the timelines in your textbook. These can be a great way to visualize the major events in world history.
  • Learn the different periods of world history. This is an important part of AP World History, and it will come up on the exam.
  • Be familiar with the major themes of world history. This is another important topic in AP World History, and it will also come up on the exam.
  • Be able to analyze primary sources. The AP World History exam will include questions that require you to analyze primary sources, such as historical documents, maps, and photographs.
  • Use outside sources. The AP World History exam allows you to use outside sources to support your essays. This can be a great way to add depth and complexity to your arguments.
  • Pay attention to the big picture. The AP World History exam is not just about memorizing facts. It’s also about understanding the big picture of world history and how different events and trends have influenced each other.
  • Be aware of the different perspectives on world history. There is no single “correct” way to view world history. The AP World History exam will test your ability to understand and evaluate different perspectives on historical events.

How can Wiingy help with AP World History exam prep?

In 2022, only 13.2% of the 314,716 students who took the AP World History 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 World History 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 World History Tutoring today and achieve your goal of scoring a 5 on your AP Test!

Why take AP World History Modern?

Here are some of the benefits of taking the AP World History Modern exam:

  • College credit: Depending on your score and the policies of the college you plan to attend, a high score on the AP World History exam can earn you college credit. This can save you time and money on tuition costs, as you may be able to skip introductory world history courses in college. You can major in History, Political Science, Law, Government, International Relations, or Public Policy.
  • Advanced Placement: In addition to college credit, a high score on the AP World History exam can also earn you advanced placement in higher-level world history courses in college. This can give you a head start and allow you to take more advanced courses earlier in your college career.
  • Career prospects: Taking the AP World History Modern exam and earning a high score demonstrates to colleges and future employers that you have mastered college-level world history concepts and skills. This can be an impressive addition to your college application or resume if you are looking to make your career as a Historian, Political Scientist, Lawyer, Government Official, Journalist, or Educator.
  • Interest in world history: Finally, taking the AP World History exam can be a way to pursue your interest in world history and deepen your understanding of the global past. By exploring advanced world history concepts and practicing critical thinking skills, you can gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and diversity of human societies.
  • Broader perspective: AP World History offers a broader perspective on world history than most high school world history courses. This can help you develop a more global understanding of the past and its impact on the present.

Conclusion

Students who are interested in majoring in history, political science, law, government, international relations, or public policy will find the skills learned in AP World History Modern 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 World History Modern exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice (55 questions, 1 hour and 35 minutes) and free-response (2 questions, 1 hour and 40 minutes).

The mean score for the AP World History Modern exam in 2022 was 2.96 out of 5, which is slightly higher than the mean score for all AP subjects in 2022 (2.92). The passing rate for AP World History Modern in 2022 was 62.1%, which is slightly higher than the pass rate for AP overall (60.2%).

The AP World History Modern exam is challenging, but it is also rewarding. By learning about the history of the world and applying your critical thinking skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of the global past and how it has shaped the present.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does AP World History Modern cover ancient history?

AP World History used to cover ancient history, but it no longer does. 

College Board made this change in 2019 in response to feedback from teachers and students. The previous curriculum, which covered the entire span of human history, was too broad and challenging for many learners.

Today, the College Board offers AP World History Modern, which focuses on the period from 1200 to the present. The organization may offer an AP World History: Ancient course in the future.

What is AP World History Modern?

AP World History Modern is a college-level history course that covers the major events and developments in world history from c. 1200 to the present. 

The course is designed to help students understand the global interconnections that have shaped the world we live in today.

What is the format of the AP World History Modern exam?

The AP World History Modern exam is divided into two sections: Section I Part A multiple-choice (55 questions, 55 minutes), section I Part B (3 questions, 40 minutes), and Section II free-response (3 essays, 1 hour 40 minutes).

Written by by

Apoorvaa Agarwal

Reviewed by by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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