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What's on the AP U.S. History Exam

Learn more about what's covered on the AP U.S. History exam, scoring, and registration.

AP U.S. History Practice Questions

Test your AP US History Readiness with this practice quiz.

Frequently asked questions

  • Are this year’s AP exams different because of the current COVID-19 pandemic?

    To allow schools maximum flexibility during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CollegeBoard is offering three distinct exam dates in 2021. The first date is a traditional in-school, paper exam. The second two dates allow schools to choose between an in-school paper exam or an in-school digital exam. If a school will not be operating in person at all, it can authorize its students to take the digital AP exam at home. 

    All decisions on AP exam formats and dates will be made by your school. If you're not sure what your school has decided, ask your AP teacher. No matter what format you'll take the AP exam in, the content is exactly the same: it's the traditional, full-length AP exam you've been planning for all year. Focus on your studying and you'll be in great shape no matter what your school decides. 

  • What’s covered in each AP U.S. History Review Course session?

    Each class session focuses primarily on reviewing about a month’s equivalent of AP material. Throughout the class, you’ll also answer AP exam questions and learn test strategies. After each class, you’ll receive a page of summary notes reviewing the most important topics from that session.

    The time periods covered in each class are:

    Session 1 - 1491-1754

    Session 2 - 1754-1800

    Session 3 - 1800-1848

    Session 4 - 1844-1877

    Session 5 - 1865-1898

    Session 6 - 1890-1945

    Session 7 - 1945-1980

    Session 8 - 1980-Present and overall review

  • What if I miss a session?

    No problem! If you miss a class, you can watch a recording later - any time that works for you.

  • How long is the AP U.S. History exam?

    The AP United States History exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. Section I lasts for 1 hour and 35 minutes, and Section II is 100 minutes long.

  • Is AP U.S. History hard?

    AP U.S. History is considered to be one of the more difficult AP exams because of the amount of content that is covered within both the course and the exam.

  • What is on the AP U.S. History test?

    The AP U.S. History exam includes 9 specific time periods (some of which overlap), and each make up a specific percentage of your score: 

    • Period 1: 1491-1607, 5% of score 
    • Periods 2-5: 1607-1877, 45% of score 
    • Periods 6-8: 1865-1980, 45% of score
    • Period 9: 1980-the present, 5% of score
  • What happened last year to the APs?

    In May 2020, since most schools were closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic AP exams were administered online. The exams were 45 minutes long and had only free-response questions. CollegeBoard is not currently planning to repeat this in May 2021. They anticipate a traditional, in-person exam administration this spring.


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