AP World History Practice Test

If you are someone who is looking to get general education courses out of the way in college or want to get some prerequisites done for a history major, you may consider taking AP world history. To gain a college credit, you will need to pass the AP world history exam with a three or higher.

The best way to prepare yourself for the exam is to take an AP world history practice test. In this article, we will give you reliable resources to study as well as give you insight into what you can expect to see on this AP exam.

Summary: Use a free AP world history practice exam listed below to prepare for your exam.

AP World History Practice Test

It can be difficult to find AP world history exams that you can use to practice for the real one that you will need to take to gain college credit after completing the AP world history course. Here are some free practice tests that our team collected to help you feel prepared for the exam:

Name of TestNumber of Questions
2017 College Board AP World History Exam55 multiple-choice, 8 free-response
2013 College Board AP World History Exam70 multiple-choice, 3 free-response
AP World Practice Test70 multiple-choice, 3 free-response
AP World History Practice Exam & Answer Key55 multiple-choice, 7 free-response
AP World History Practice Exam 1 & Answer Key31 multiple-choice
Marco Learning 2020 AP World Practice Test1 document-based
AP World History 2019 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions
AP World History 2018 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions
AP World History 2017 Free-Response QuestionsFree-response questions

What is the AP World History Exam?

For students taking AP classes to get college credits, they have to pass the AP exam for the class first. The same goes for AP world history. The test is simply a baseline to judge whether you meet the minimum standard to receive a college credit for your knowledge. Learn more about it below.

AP World History Exam Description

The AP world history exam covers nine units that your teacher taught you about in class. Your teacher may choose to group them together differently or teach them in a different order, but these same nine units will both appear on the exam and be covered in class:

  • Unit one: Global Tapestry – discover how states form, expand, and decline throughout the countries of the world in relation to political, social, and cultural developments (c. 1200-c. 1450) (8-10%)
  • Unit two: Networks of Exchange – see how areas of the world linked through trade and how it changed people, cultures, and environments (c. 1200-c. 1450) (8-10%)
  • Unit three: Land-Based Empires – examine the empires that ruled over large contiguous areas of land (c. 1450-c. 1750) (12-15%)
  • Unit four: Transoceanic Interconnections – learn about oceanic exploration advancements, maritime empires, and effects of cross-cultural encounters from across the ocean (c. 1450-c. 1750) (12-15%)
  • Unit five: Revolutions – study the technological advancements and new political ideas that led to extensive changes in governments, societies, and economies (c. 1750-c. 1900) (12-15%)
  • Unit six: Consequences of Industrialization – explore how certain states acquired and expanded their control over colonies and territories (c. 1750-c. 1900) (12-15%)
  • Unit seven: Global Conflict – uncover the global conflicts that plague this era of the world’s progress (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)
  • Unit eight: Cold War and Decolonization – investigate how the colonies fought for and gained independence and the global struggle and divide between capitalism and communism (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)
  • Unit nine: Globalization – analyze the causes and effects created by unprecedented interconnectivity of the modern world (c. 1900-present) (8-10%)

To succeed you will need to be able to formulate an answer that has concrete evidence behind it supported by the graph or document you are provided. Also, be able to distinguish between a primary and secondary source and the differences between the two.

There will be questions on the exam that also ask you to make connections between two different historical occurrences, so you will need to know how certain parts of history reflect or even repeat themselves as time goes on.

About AP World History Test Questions

There are a total of sixty questions that you will be required to answer on the AP world history exam. However, unlike other AP exams, the world history test allows you to choose some of your free-response questions from a list of two or three.

You will answer fifty-five multiple-choice questions in fifty-five minutes. This means that you are allotted one minute for every question in the multiple-choice section. Do not fret. There will likely be questions that you immediately know the answer so you can have more time for questions you require thinking.

In the second section, you are required to answer three short-answer questions. The first two questions will be pulled from a source and you have to answer them. Then, you get the option to choose between questions three or four, so be sure to choose the one that you have a stronger argument for.

The final section of the test is the most unique portion of an AP test. There are only two required questions in this section. The first is a document-based question (DBQ) that asks you to assess numerous documents before answering. The second is a choice between three different long-answer questions.

You will be given forty minutes to complete the second section and an hour and forty minutes to complete the third. Make sure your arguments are well-thought but also be sure to utilize time wisely to be the most efficient AP world history exam-taker.

The three sections have different score percentages, so here is how the three sections are broken up:

  Answer Type Score % Time Given Questions
Section 1 Multiple-choice 40% 55 min 55
Section 2 Short-answer 20% 40 min 3
Section 3 Long-answer 40% 1 hr 40 min 2

How to Use an AP World History Practice Test

You want to take an AP world history practice test that best reflects the exam with the diverse question types and topic coverage. The ones above offer diverse options with answers to each question.

The more detail in the question answers allow you to become a better studier. By learning from your mistakes and discovering which areas you need to brush up on, you can more effectively use your study time to cover the topics you know the least and move on from ones that you already know. 

A world history AP practice exam also helps you conceptualize how frequently you see questions from the different units. The percentages in the unit descriptions give you an idea, but it is more beneficial to see it for yourself.

How Do I Prepare for AP World History Exam?

One way you can prepare for the AP world history exam is to make or find flashcards covering the important topics on the test. Make sure you have access to them wherever you go so you can study in all your free time.

The second way you can study for the exam is to take practice tests. On top of using them to learn what you need to study more, you can also become a more efficient test taker by studying the answer explanations for the AP world multiple choice questions.

The questions that appear on an AP world practice test are ones that appeared on previous versions of AP world history exams. By familiarizing yourself with question wordings on old exams, you can be better equipped to know what the questions are asking when you take the real test.

Your teacher may also give you a study or review guide filled with useful information to study before the exam. You can even do this with a peer or use it to create your flashcards mentioned above.

AP World History Exam FAQs

The AP world history exam has the lowest pass percentage at 60.2%. Though it ranks 10th most difficult among the AP tests, it is safe to say this can be a hard test to pass. If you are properly prepared, you should be able to at least score a 3 and get yourself a college credit for world history.

Like all AP tests, you will need to score a 70% to a 75% on the AP world history exam to have a chance at scoring a 5. Only 9.7% of all test takers received a 5 on their exam in 2021, so be sure to spend plenty of time studying and reviewing if a 5 is your desired score.

The best ways to practice and review for the AP world test are to make flashcards, use study and review guides, and take plenty of practice tests. The official resources below can help you get started.

Dave Evangelisti
Dave is our founder and CEO. He has 20+ years of experience in the testing and test prep industry.