AP History – Part A: Test Taking and General Tips

Is it possible for anyone to earn college credits by taking the U.S History Exam? The short answer is Yes. It is true that you may be able to take the exam for credit, but it is not a mandatory prerequisite for being accepted to a university or college. Even so, there are benefits to taking the exam and many reasons to pass it as well. Consider some of these:

A U.S History Review – Takes the U.S History Exam and then see how prepared you are for the major exam. The AP US History class can be the basis for a College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) in history. The CLEP tests your historical evidence and gives you the opportunity to practice your knowledge with practice tests. The exam includes both textbook and practice exams on important topics from the history of America to the current events of our nation’s political system. A sample test and study guide are available free from the CLEP site. This prepares you for what is included in the exam.

Prerequisites – Do not let the AP US History Exam scare you! Although the class is required, it is not a prerequisite for college entry. There are some sample questions on the AP exam that you will have to ace. It is a class requirement to complete at least five credit hours at a community college or one of the four universities that participate in the CLEP program. You can learn more about the history exam, including sample questions and answers, by registering for a course on history at an accredited university.

Examination Format – The examination consists of two parts. The first part is an overview of American history and will cover major events such as The Civil War, The Great Depression and World War II. You will get three multiple-choice questions and a short-answer question. There are no handouts or notes in either the history exam portion or the multiple-choice section, and the format of the exam makes knowing the course material necessary to pass.

Multiple-choice Questions – There are two types of history questions in the exam. The first type is a dry-run, where there is only one answer option. The second type is a multiple-choice where you answer one question, then another question, then answer the first one, and then another question. Your score is calculated by the total number of points for each question answered correctly and incorrect.

The Dry Run – In a dry run, there are no handouts or notes, and there are only two possible answers: the long answer and the short answer. The long answer is usually what most students plan to write in the end of their essay, so it is given first. The short answer is what you will see on your final exam.

Multiple-choice Questions – In part one, you will be given two to four different multiple-choice questions. Your answers must match the information provided in the lesson plan. You can choose from history courses you are already enrolled in, courses that are not on your class schedule (such as world events), or courses that are particularly challenging. The multiple-choice section is administered with the same process as the multiple-choice section of the SAT. Your scores are computed the same way.

The essay portion of the exam is administered using the AP Exam Style and a Word Document. You will need to provide historical evidence and appropriate research to support your essay. As part b of the course requirements, you will have to complete a test based on the type of essay you have written. If you take the AP Exam with a class that does not require the essay, you will not have to complete this test.

AP History – Part A: Test Taking and General Tips
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