Part A of Section I consists of multiple-choice question sets that typically contain three or four questions and can focus on any historical period. A primary or secondary source is provided for each question set, which could be a passage, image, graph, or map. The questions assess your ability to understand and analyze historical texts and interpretations, as well as your ability to make larger historical connections. Keep in mind that even if a question set is based on a specific historical period, the individual questions may require you to make connections to other periods and events.
The questions range from easy and medium to difficult with no distinct pattern to their appearance within the exam. In other words, the easiest question may be the last one, so make sure to go through all of the exam questions! A solid strategy for the multiple-choice section is to do multiple passes:
- On your first pass, answer all of the questions that you know and are sure about.
- Next, go back through the remaining questions. If you can eliminate at least two answer choices and the topic is familiar, take your best educated guess as to the answer. If you look at the question and do not remember the topic, mark the question with an X in your exam booklet and move on. (If you skip a question, make sure that you skip that line on the answer grid!)
- Go back through the exam for a third time to answer the questions you marked with an X. Again, try to eliminate at least two choices, and take an educated guess. If you’re still not sure, at this point, just bubble in an answer for the question; remember that there is no penalty for guessing on the AP exam multiple-choice questions.
- With the time remaining, remove any extraneous marks in your answer grid (such as any X’s you may have left), and make sure that the answers you have bubbled in correspond to the correct numbers in the test booklet.
1. Based on this analysis, which of the following best describes the political and economic developments of the North and the South in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
(A) The North and the South cooperated politically and economically to develop a successful textile industry.
(B) Both the North and the South depended upon legislation supporting slavery.
(C) The North and the South further separated because of rapid industrialization in the North and heavy dependence on agriculture in the South.
(D) As the South began to develop industrially, it became politically and economically independent of the North.
2. The cotton gin’s impact on society is analogous to the impact of all of the following innovations EXCEPT
(A) the assembly line
(B) the telegraph
(C) the sewing machine
(D) the application of steam power to factories
3. Which of the following was a direct effect of the invention of the cotton gin?
(A) The invention of the steel plow
(B) The spread of the plantation system into Northern states
(C) The development of the Lowell factory system in New England
(D) The introduction of the factory system in the South
Answers and Explanations