Ap world History Important Changes and Additions to This Course Description

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AP World History
Important Changes and Additions to This Course Description
. Map of regions commonly misidentified by students in AP

World History essays, page 8

. Clarification of expectations, scoring, and directions for the

document-based essay question, pages 33-36

. Clarification of expectations, scoring, and directions for the

change-over-time essay, pages 43-46

. Clarification of expectations, scoring, and directions for the

comparative essay, pages 47-50

Minor revisions and additional examples occur throughout to clarify the course and exam.
The Advanced Placement Program (AP) offers a course and exam in World History to qualified students who wish to complete studies in secondary school equivalent to an introductory college course in world history. The AP World History Exam presumes at least one year of college­ level preparation, as is described here.

The inclusion of material in the course description and in the exam is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board or ETS of the con­tent, ideas, or values expressed in the material. The material has been

selected and is periodically revised by historians who serve as members of the AP World History Development Committee. In their judgment, the material contained herein reflects the content of an introductory college

course in world history. The exam is representative of such a course and therefore is considered appropriate for the measurement of skills and knowledge in introductory world history.

The Course
The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater under­standing of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced

through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate ana­lytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons

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among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge used in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evi­dence. The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle for dealing with change and continuity throughout the course. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study.

College world history courses vary considerably in the approach used, the chronological framework chosen, the content covered, the themes selected, and the analytical skills emphasized. The material that follows describes the choices the AP World History Development Committee has made to create the course and exam. These choices themselves are com­patible with a variety of college-level curricular approaches.

Chronological Boundaries of the Course
The course will have as its chronological frame the period from approxi­mately 8000 B.C.E* to the present, with the period 8000 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. serving as the foundation for the balance of the course.

An outline of the periodization with associated percentages for suggest­ed course content is listed below.

Foundations: circa 8000 B.C.E.

-600 C.E.


(7 weeks)

600 c.E.-1450


(8 weeks)



(7 weeks)



(7 weeks)

19l4-the present


(7 weeks)

*This program uses the designation B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era); these labels correspond to B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini).
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AP World History highlights six overarching themes that should receive approximately equal attention throughout the course:

1. The dynamics of change and continuity across the world history

periods covered in this course, and the causes and processes involved in major changes of these dynamics

2. Patterns and effects of interaction among societies and regions: trade,

war, diplomacy, and international organizations
3. The effects of technology, economics, and demography on people and the environment (population growth and decline, disease, labor systems, manufacturing, migrations, agriculture, weaponry)

4. Systems of social structure and gender structure (comparing major fea­

tures within and among societies, and assessing change and continuity)

5. Cultural, intellectual, and religious developments, including interactions

among and within societies
6. Changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities (political culture), including the emer­

gence of the nation-state (types of political organization)

The themes serve throughout the course as unifying threads, helping stu­dents to put what is particular about each period or society into a larger framework. The themes also provide ways to make comparisons over time. The interaction of themes and periodization encourage cross-period questions such as "To what extent have civilizations maintained their cultural and political distinctiveness over the time periods the course covers?"; "Compare the justification of social inequality in 1450 with that at the end of the twentieth century"; or "Discuss the changes in interna­tional trading systems between 1300 and 1600."

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West Africa

East Africa

Equatorial Africa

North Africa

The map of selected world regions is reproduced here to help students and their teachers familiarize themselves with some of the commonly used regional terms in the study of world history. It is not a complete map of world regions but includes areas that students most often misidentify in their AP World History essays.

Middle East

East Asia

Southeast Asia

Latin America

South Asia

Cultural areas that have changed often over time, such as eastern and western Europe and Central Asia, cannot be indicated accurately here and should be discussed in the classroom. The map does not indicate geographical locations such as continents, which students are expected to learn in class.
Habits of Mind or Skills
The AP World History course addresses habits of mind or skills in two cat­egories: (1) those addressed by any rigorous history course, and (2) those addressed by a world history course.
Four habits of mind are in the first category:

. Constructing and evaluating arguments: using evidence to make

plausible arguments

. Using documents and other primary data: developing the skills

necessary to analyze point of view, context, and bias, and to under­

stand and interpret information

. Assessing issues of change and continuity over time, including the capacity to deal with change as a process and with questions of cau­sation
. Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of con­

text, point of view, and frame of reference

Three habits of mind are in the second category:

. Seeing global patterns and processes over time and space while also

connecting local developments to global ones and moving through levels of generalizations from the global to the particular
. Comparing within and among societies, including comparing societies' reactions to global processes

. Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assess­ing claims of universal standards, and understanding culturally

diverse ideas and values in historical context
Every part of the AP World History Exam assesses habits of mind as well as content. For example, in the multiple-choice section, maps, graphs, art­work, and quotations are used to judge students' ability to assess primary data, while other questions focus on evaluating arguments, handling diversity of interpretation, making comparisons among societies, drawing generalizations, and understanding historical context. In Part A of the essay section of the exam, the document-based question (DBQ) focuses on assessing students' ability to construct arguments, use primary documents,


analyze point of view and context, and understand the global context. The remaining essay questions in Parts Band C focus on global patterns over time and space with emphasis on processes of change and continuity (Part B) and on comparisons within and among societies (Part C).
Summary Course Outline for World History
For each part of the course, the summary course outline that appears on the following pages and the AP World History Teacher's Guide provide information about what students are expected to know.

The course begins with "Foundations," setting the historical and geo­graphical context and the world historical patterns that form the basis for future developments. For each part of the course there is an outline of major developments that students are expected to know and be able to use in making comparisons across cultures. These developments and com­parisons relate to the six over arching themes previously discussed. The ordering of the developments suggests chronology and depth of coverage. For each period after Foundations, periodization is the first major task: to explain differences from the period just covered and with the period to come. For all periods, major interpretative issues, alternative historical frameworks, and historical debates are included.

Examples of the people, events, and terms that students are expected to know and use accurately in their work for the course and the exam appear under "Major Developments" in the pages that follow. The comparisons or "snapshots" listed are suggested by way of example; many other compari­sons are possible and relevant. There are also selected examples of the types of information that students should know, in contrast to what they are not expected to know, for the multiple-choice section of the AP World History Exam. The list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Nor is the list meant to prohibit teachers and students from studying these topics.

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Foundations: c. 8000 B.C.E.-600 C.E.

7 Weeks (19-20%)

What students are expected to know: Major Developments


Locating world history in the environment and time


Geography and climate: interaction of geography and climate

with the development of human society

Demography: major population changes resulting from human

and environmental factors


Periodization in early human history

Nature and causes of changes associated with the time span Continuities and breaks within the time span; e.g.,

the transition from river valley civilizations to Classical civilizations

Diverse interpretations

What are the issues involved in using" civilization" as an

organizing principle in world history?

What is the most common source of change: connection or

diffusion versus independent invention?

Developing agriculture and technology

Agricultural, pastoral, and foraging societies and their demographic

characteristics (Include Africa and the Americas, as well as

Europe and Asia.)

Emergence of agriculture and technological change

Nature of village settlements

Impact of agriculture on the environment

Introduction of key stages of metal use

Basic features of early civilizations in different environments: culture, state, and social structure. In addition, students should know enough about two early civilizations to compare them.



Indus Valley civilization or Harrapan civilization

Shang dynasty or Yellow River (Huang He) Valley civilization Mesoamerica and Andean South America

Classical civilizations

Major political developments in China, India, and the



Social and gender structures

Major trading patterns within and among Classical civilizations;

contacts with adjacent regions

Arts, sciences, and technology

Major belief systems

Basic features and locations of major world belief systems prior to

600 C.E.








Late Classical period (200 C.E. to 600 C.E.)

Collapse of empires (Han China, loss of western portion of the

Roman Empire, Gupta)

Movements of peoples (Bantus, Huns, Germans, Polynesians)

Interregional networks by 600 C.E.: trade and the spread of religions

Major Comparisons and Snapshots

Compare major religious and philosophical systems including some

underlying similarities in cementing a social hierarchy, e.g., Hinduism contrasted with Confucianism

Compare the role of women in different belief systems-Buddhism,

Christianity, Confucianism, and Hinduism

Understand how and why the collapse of empire was more severe

in western Europe than it was in the eastern Mediterranean or in


Compare the caste system to other systems of social inequality

devised by early and Classical civilizations, including slavery

Compare societies and cultures that include cities with pastoral

and nomadic societies

Compare the development of traditions and institutions in major

civilizations, e.g., Indian, Chinese, and Greek Describe interregional trading systems, e.g., the Indian Ocean trade Compare the political and social structures of two early

civilizations, using any two of the following: Mesopotamia, Egypt,

Indus Valley, Shang dynasty, and Mesoamerica and Andean South


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Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

Nature of the Neolithic revolution, but not characteristics of

previous stone ages, e.g., Paleolithic and Mesolithic

Economic and social results of the Agricultural Revolution, but not

specific date of the introduction of agriculture to specific


Nature of patriarchal systems, but not changes in family structure

within a single region

Nature of early civilizations, but not necessarily specific knowledge

of more than two

Importance of the introduction of bronze and iron, but not specific

inventions or implements

Political heritage of classical China (emperor, bureaucracy), but not

specific knowledge of dynastic transitions, e.g., from Qin to Han

Greek approaches to science and philosophy, including Aristotle,

but not details about other specific philosophers

Diffusion of major religious systems, but not the specific regional

forms of Buddhism or Aryan or Nestorian Christianity

600 c.E.-1450
8 Weeks (22%)

What students are expected to know:

Major Developments

1. Questions of periodization

Nature and causes of changes in the world history framework

leading up to 600 c.E.-1450 as a period

Emergence of new empires and political systems

Continuities and breaks within the period (e.g., the effects of the

Mongols on international contacts and on specific societies)

The Islamic world

The rise and role of Dar aI-Islam as a unifying cultural and

economic force in Eurasia and Africa

Islamic political structures, notably the caliphate

Arts, sciences, and technologies

Interregional networks and contacts

Development and shifts in interregional trade, technology, and

cultural exchange


Trans-Sahara trade Indian Ocean trade Silk routes

Missionary outreach of major religions

Contacts between major religions, e.g., Islam and Buddhism,

Christianity and Islam

Impact of the Mongol empires

China's internal and external expansion

The importance of the Tang and Song economic revolutions and the

initiatives of the early Ming dynasty

Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits

Arts, sciences, and technologies

Developments in Europe

Restructuring of European economic, social, and political


The division of Christendom into eastern and western

Christian cultures

Social, cultural, economic, and political patterns in the Amerindian world




Demographic and environmental changes

Impact of nomadic migrations on Afro-Eurasia and the Americas

(e.g., Aztecs, Mongols, Turks, Vikings, and Arabs)

Consequences of plague pandemics in the fourteenth century

Growth and role of cities (e.g., the expansion of urban commercial

centers in Song China and in the Aztec Empire)

Diverse interpretations

What are the issues involved in using cultural areas rather than

states as units of analysis?

What are the sources of change: nomadic migrations versus urban


Was there a world economic network in this period?

Were there common patterns in the new opportunities available to

and constraints placed on elite women in this period?

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Major Comparisons and Snapshots

Compare Japanese and European feudalism

Compare developments in political and social institutions in both

eastern and western Europe

Analyze the role and function of cities in major societies Compare Islam and Christianity

Analyze gender systems and changes, such as the impact of Islam Compare Aztec Empire and Inca Empire

Compare European and sub-Saharan African contacts with the

Islamic world

Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

Arab caliphate, but not the transition from Umayyad to 'Abbasid Mamluks, but not Almohads

Feudalism, but not specific feudal monarchs such as Richard I Manorialism, but not the three-field system

Crusading movement and its impact, but not specific crusades Viking exploration, expansion, and impact, but not individual


Mongol expansion and its impact, but not details of specific

khanates Papacy, but not particular popes Indian Ocean trading patterns, but not Gujarati merchants
1450-1750 7 weeks (19-20%)

What students are expected to know:

Major Developments

1. Questions of periodization

Continuities and breaks; causes of changes from the previous

period and within this period

2. Changes in trade, technology, and global interactions; e.g., the

Columbian Exchange, the impact of guns, changes in shipbuilding,

and navigational devices

3. Knowledge of major empires and other political units and social


Ottoman, China, Portugal, Spain, Russia, France, England,

Tokugawa, Mughal, characteristics of African empires in general

but knowing one (Kongo, Benin, Oyo, or Songhay) as illustrative

Gender and empire (including the role of women in households and

in politics)



Slave systems and slave trade

Demographic and environmental changes: diseases, animals, new crops, and comparative population trends

Cultural and intellectual developments

Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment

Comparative global causes and impacts of cultural change (e.g.,

African contributions to cultures in the Americas)

Changes and continuities in Confucianism

Major developments and exchanges in the arts (e.g., Mughal)

Diverse interpretations

What are the debates about the timing and extent of European

predominance in the world economy?

How does the world economic system of this period compare with

the world economic network of the previous period?

Major Comparisons and Snapshots

Analyze imperial systems: European monarchy compared with a

land-based Asian empire

Compare coercive labor systems: slavery and other coercive labor

systems in the Americas

Understand the development of empire (i.e., general empire

building in Asia, Africa, and Europe)

Compare Russia's interaction with the West with the interaction of

one of the following (Ottoman Empire, China, Tokugawa Japan,

Mughal India) with the West

Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

Neoconfucianism, but not specific Neoconfucianists

Importance of European exploration, but not individual explorers Characteristics of European absolutism, but not specific rulers Reformation, but not Anabaptism or Huguenots

Extent of Ottoman expansion, but not the Safavid Empire

Slave plantation systems, but not Jamaica's specific slave system Institution of the harem, but not Hurrem Sultan

Relations between the Kongo and Portugal, but not individual


Japanese foreign policy, but not Hideyoshi

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7 Weeks (19-20%)

What students are expected to know: Major Developments


Questions of periodization

Continuities and breaks; causes of changes from the previous

period and within this period

Changes in global commerce, communications, and technology

Changes in patterns of world trade

Industrial Revolution (trans formative effects on and differential

timing in different societies; mutual relation of industrial and

scientific developments; commonalities)


Demographic and environmental changes (migrations; end of the Atlantic slave trade; new birthrate patterns; food supply)

Changes in social and gender structure (Industrial Revolution; commercial and demographic developments; emancipation of serfs/slaves; tension between work patterns and ideas about gender)

Political revolutions and independence movements; new political ideas

Latin American independence movements

Revolutions (United States, France, Haiti, Mexico, China)

Rise of nationalism, nation-states, and movements of political reform Overlaps between nations and empires

Rise of democracy and its limitations: reform, women, racism

Rise of Western dominance (economic, political, social, cultural and artistic; patterns of expansion; imperialism and colonialism) and different cultural and political reactions (reform, resistance, rebellion, racism, nationalism)

Impact of changing European ideologies on colonial



Patterns of cultural and artistic interactions among societies in different parts of the world (African and Asian influences on European art; cultural policies of Meiji Japan)

Diverse interpretations

What are the debates over the utility of modernization theory as a

framework for interpreting events in this period and the next?

What are the debates about the causes and effects of serf and slave emancipation in this period, and how do these debates fit into

broader comparisons of labor systems?


What are the debates over the nature of women's roles in this period; how do these debates apply to industrialized areas, and how do they apply in colonial societies?
Major Comparisons and Snapshots

Compare the causes and early phases of the Industrial Revolution

in western Europe and Japan

Compare the Haitian and French Revolutions

Compare reaction to foreign domination in the Ottoman Empire,

China, India, and Japan

Compare nationalism, e.g., China and Japan, Cuba and the

Philippines, Egypt and Nigeria

Compare forms of Western intervention in Latin America and in


Compare the roles and conditions of women in the upper/middle

classes with peasantry/working class in western Europe

Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

Women's emancipation movements, but not specific suffragists The French Revolution of 1789, but not the Revolution of 1830 Meiji Restoration, but not Iranian Constitutional Revolution Causes of Latin American independence movements, but not

specific protagonists

Boxer Rebellion, but not the Crime an War

Suez Canal, but not the Erie Canal

Muhammad Ali, but not Isma'il

Marxism, but not Utopian socialism

Social Darwinism, but not Herbert Spencer

7 Weeks

What students are expected to know:

Major Developments

1. Questions of periodization

Continuities and breaks; causes of changes from the previous

period and within this period

The World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, nuclear weaponry, international organizations, and their impact on the global framework (globalization of diplomacy and conflict; global balance of power; reduction of European influence; the League of Nations, United Nations, Non-Aligned Nations, etc.)

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New patterns of nationalism (fascism; decolonization; racism, geno­cide; the breakup of the Soviet Union)

Impact of major global economic developments (the Great Depression; technology; Pacific Rim; multinational corporations)

New forces of revolution and other sources of political innovations

Social reform and social revolution (changing gender roles; family structures; rise of feminism; peasant protest; international Marxism; religious fundamentalism)


Globalization of science, technology, and culture

Developments in global cultures and regional reactions,

including science and consumer culture

Interactions between elite and popular culture and art

Patterns of resistance including religious responses

Demographic and environmental changes (migrations; changes in birthrates and death rates; new forms of urbanization; deforestation; green/environmental movements)

Diverse interpretations

Is cultural convergence or diversity the best model for

understanding increased intercultural contact in the twentieth


What are the advantages and disadvantages of using units of

analysis in the twentieth century, such as the nation, the world,

the West, and the developing world?

Major Comparisons and Snapshots

Compare patterns and results of decolonization in Africa and India

Pick two revolutions (Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Iranian) and

compare their effects on the roles of women

Compare the effects of the World Wars on areas outside of Europe Compare legacies of colonialism and patterns of economic

development in two of three areas (Africa, Asia, and Latin America)

Analyze the notion of "the West" and "the East" in the context of

Cold War ideology

Compare nationalist ideologies and movements in contrasting

European and colonial environments

Compare the different types of independence struggles


Compare the impacts of Western consumer society on two

civilizations outside of Europe Compare high-tech warfare with guerrilla warfare Assess different proposals (or models) for economic growth in the

developing world and the social and political consequences
Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

Causes of the World Wars, but not battles in the wars

Cultural and political transformations resulting from the wars,

but not French political and cultural history

Authoritarian regimes, but not Mussolini's or Vargas's internal


Feminism and gender relations, but not Simone de Beauvoir or

Huda Shaarawi

The growth of international organizations, but not the

history of the ILO

Colonial independence movements, but not the details of a

particular struggle The issue of genocide, but not Cambodia, Rwanda, or Kosovo The internationalization of popular culture, but not the Beatles

The Exam
The AP World History Exam is approximately 3 hours and 5 minutes long and includes both a 55-minute multiple-choice section and a 130-minute free-response section. Each section accounts for half of the student's grade.

Number of

Question Type





55 minutes

Document-based question (DBQ)


50 minutes

(includes a lO-minute

reading period)

Change-over-time essay


40 minutes

Comparative essay


40 minutes

The multiple-choice section consists of 70 questions designed to measure the students' knowledge of world history from the Foundations period to the present. This section follows the percentages below:

Chronological Period

Approximate Percentage



600 c.E.-1450






1914-the present


Of course, a number of questions are cross-chronological.

In Section II, the free-response section of the exam, Part A begins with a

mandatory lO-minute reading period for the document-based question. Students should answer the DBQ in the remaining 40 minutes. In Part B, students are asked to answer a question that deals with change over time (covering at least one of the periods in the course outline). Students will have 40 minutes to answer this question, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer. In Part C, students are asked to answer a comparative question that will focus on broad issues in world history and deal with at least two societies. Students will have 40 minutes to answer this question, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer.


Students need to learn to budget their time to allow them to complete all parts of the exam. Time management is especially critical with regard

to Section II in which three essays are required and weighted equally. Time left is announced, but students are not forced to move to the next question and many do not leave enough time to complete the third essay. Students

often benefit from taking a practice exam under timed conditions prior to the actual administration.

Sample Multiple-Choice Ouestions

The following are examples of the kinds of multiple-choice questions found on the AP World History Exam. The topics and the levels

of difficulty are illustrative of the composition of the exam. Students often ask whether they should guess on the multiple-choice section. Haphazard or random guessing is unlikely to improve scores, because one-fourth of the number of questions answered incorrectly will be subtracted from the number of questions answered correctly. However, students who have some knowledge of a question and can eliminate one or more answer choices will usually find it advantageous to guess from among the remain­ing choices. An answer key to the multiple-choice questions can be found on page 31.

Directions: Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by five suggested answers or completions. Select the one that best answers the question or completes the statement.

Which of the following occurred as a result of the development of agriculture in societies that previously relied on hunting and gathering? (A) Conditions for women improved.

(B) The incidence of disease declined.

(c) Population density increased.

(D) Polytheism disappeared.

(E) Degradation of the environment lessened.

Which of the following was a major reason for the rapid expan­sion of Islam during the seventh and the eighth centuries?

(A) The economic growth of the Mughal Empire

(B) The advanced military technology of the Islamic forces (c) The political divisions within the Byzantine and other

neighboring empires

(D) The political unity of the North African peoples

(E) The discovery of moveable type, which made the Qu'ran

widely available

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The Crusades launched by European Christians at the end of the eleventh century were motivated primarily by

(A) the desire of Italian city-states to seize control of the spice trade

from Arab merchants

(B) the desire to demonstrate Europe's new technological

supremacy over Islam

(c) resentment toward Islamic missionaries seeking to spread their

faith along the Mediterranean

(D) western European fears that Byzantium and the Muslim kings

would launch a military attack against western Europe

(E) papal efforts to unite western European rulers and nobles

against a common enemy

Which of the following is accurate regarding both West Africa and South America before 10007

(A) Both areas depended on the trade in gold and salt.

(B) Most people were polytheists in both areas.

(c) The domestication oflarge animals provided the means of exten­

sive agricultural production and transportation.

(D) Both areas depended on grains such as wheat and rye as major

dietary components.

(E) Both areas developed an extensive and widely used

written language.

Which of the following is an accurate comparison of the political systems in western Europe and China during the time period 1000 -13007

(A) Western Europe developed multiple monarchies, while China

maintained a single empire.

(B) Developments in the legal systems of China emphasized indi­

vidual political rights, while western Europe concentrated on

maritime law.

(c) Both societies began an aggressive policy of imperialism and

territorial expansion.

(D) Both societies gradually evolved toward a representative

democratic system.

(E) Both societies became increasingly fragmented politically.


The photograph above of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is an example of (A) the spread of Islam to Southeast Asia

(B) the wealth created by the spice trade

(c) Japanese architecture

(D) Hindu influence in Southeast Asia

(E) the Chinese reconquest of Indochina

Which of the following provides the most accurate description

of the Columbian Exchange?

(A) European food to the Western Hemisphere; Western

Hemisphere diseases to Europe; African population to Europe

(B) African livestock to the Western Hemisphere; European technol­

ogy to Africa; Western Hemisphere food to Europe

(c) Western Hemisphere technology to Africa; African food to

Europe; European population to the New World

(D) European technology to Africa; Western Hemisphere population

to Africa; African food to the Western Hemisphere

(E) African population to the Western Hemisphere; Western

Hemisphere food to Europe and Africa; African and European

diseases to the Western Hemisphere

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Most agricultural laborers in the Ottoman Empire were (A) slaves

(B) free peasants

(c) serfs

(D) sharecroppers

(E) indentured servants

Which of the following countries or regions led the world in the production of cotton cloth in l700?

(A) China

(B) Egypt

(c) West Africa

(D) England

(E) India

The North and South American independence movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries shared which of

the following?

(A) Limitation of civil rights to a minority of the population

(B) Reliance on Christian teachings to define revolutionary demands (c) Industrial economies that permitted both areas to break free of

European control

(D) The desire of a majority of revolutionary leaders to create a

politically united hemisphere

(E) Political instability caused by constant warfare among the

new states

A key issue that historians have debated in explaining the rea­sons for nineteenth-century slave emancipations involves

(A) the decline of export industries

(B) the powers of African governments

(c) the role of humanitarianism

(D) racist interpretations of the theory of evolution

(E) the spread of Marxism

Which of the following societies successfully resisted foreign penetration and domination from 1500 to l850?

(A) The Japanese

(B) The Indians

(c) The South Africans

(D) The Latin Americans

(E) The Chinese



In the early twentieth century, nationalist movements in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East were led primarily by

(A) the urban working class

(B) the nobility

(c) labor unions

(D) landless peasants

(E) educated urban elites

During the 1980s and continuing into the 1990s, the govern­ments of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile moved politically toward (A) communism

(B) totalitarianism

(c) corporatism

(D) representative democracy

(E) Christian socialism

Which of the following best describes an important difference between the theories of revolution of Mao Zedong and those

of Lenin?

(A) Lenin stressed the need for a powerful state structure.

(B) Lenin thought that Marx's writings were important.

(c) Mao claimed that Marx's early writings were less valid than

Marx's later ones.

(D) Mao thought that communism was appropriate only for some

nations and cultures.

(E) Mao placed emphasis on the revolutionary potential of peasants.

Which of the following best describes both the Roman and Han Empires?

(A) The empires used the family as the model for state organization. (B) Merchants were viewed as key to the survival of both empires. (c) The cost of defending imperial frontiers led to economic and

political crises.

(D) Emperors were "Sons of Heaven."

(E) New religions were successfully integrated into imperial

religious ideologies.

Which of the following staple crops is most associated with the rise of Mesoamerican civilizations?

(A) Manioc

(B) Potatoes

(c) Beans

(D) Maize

(E) Rice

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The map above demonstrates which of the following about the Indian Ocean trade?

(A) Monsoons prevented trade from taking place along the East

African coast.

(B) Europeans were active in bringing goods from West Africa to the

Indian Ocean.

( c) Trade involved most of the regions bordering the Indian Ocean

as well as China.

(D) The most important item traded across the Indian Ocean

was silk.

(E) Arab and Indian traders were better traders than the Chinese.

In the three centuries after Columbus' voyages, most of the people who came to the Western Hemisphere originated in?

(A) southern Europe

(B) northern Europe

(c) western Africa

(D) eastern Africa

(E) East Asia



Which of the following most clearly differentiates the sixteenth century from the previous period in world history?

(A) Establishment of nation-states in the Americas

(B) Extension of sugar production to the Americas

(c) Use of steamships

(D) Interest in Asian spice trade

(E) Existence of slave trade

Which of the following developments in the Western Hemisphere most directly resulted from the French Revolution?

(A) The expansion of the slave trade in the Americas

(B) The extension of the plantation economy in the Caribbean

(c) The colonization of Brazil

(D) The British conquest of Quebec

(E) The creation of the first independent Black state in the Americas

All of the following factors contributed to significant growth in worldwide population between 1700 and 1800 EXCEPT

(A) decline of epidemic disease

(B) introduction of American food crops

(c) expansion ofland under cultivation

(D) decline in infant mortality rates

(E) improvement in medical care

Darwin's theories were interpreted by Social Darwinists to indicate that

(A) select human groups would dominate those less fit

(B) European countries were more nationalistic

(c) non-White groups were better adapted to tropical climates (D) imperialism went against the theory of natural selection (E) education would lead to equality

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"We shall not repeat the past. We shall eradicate it by restoring our rights in the Suez Canal. This money is ours. The canal is the property of Egypt."

The quotation above by Gamel Abdel Nasser (in power 1952-1970) was most influenced by

(A) Soviet communism

(B) Islamic thought

(c) nationalism

(D) constitutionalism

(E) international law

A significant example of the interaction among Indian, Arab, and European societies by 1200 C.E. was the transfer of knowledge of (A) iron and copper mining techniques

(B) the flying shuttle and spinning jenny

(c) the science of optics and lens design

(D) numerals and the decimal system

(E) gunpowder and cannons


YEAR 1997

Percent Under

Women per

Age 15


100 Men

(both sexes)
























Saudi Arabia












The chart above proves which of the following?

(A) The population of Latin America is greater than that of the

Middle East.

(B) Latin America has a much older population than the Middle

East does.

(c) The female population of the four Latin American countries

listed is greater than the male population.

(D) In the countries of the Middle East the percentage of the popula­

tion that is under 15 is in the majority.

(E) The percentage of population under 15 is greater in Latin

America than it is in the Middle East.

Answers to Multiple-Choice Questions

1- C

2-C 3-E 4-B 5 - A

6-D 7-E
8-B 9-E


11 - C

12 - A 13 - E 14 - D

15 - E 16 - C 17 - D 18 - C 19 - C 20 - B 21 - E
22 - E 23 - A 24 - C 25 - D 26 - C

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Sample Free-Response Ouestions
In the free-response section of the AP World History Exam, all students are asked to answer three constructed-response questions: Part A-a document-based question (DBQ); Part B-an essay question that deals specifically with change/continuity over time (covering at least one of the periods in the course outline) and focuses on large global issues such as technology, trade, culture, migrations, and environmental developments; and Part C-an essay that analyzes similarities and/or differences in at least two societies.

Effective answers to essay questions depend in part upon a clear under­standing (and execution) of the meanings of important directive words. These are the words that indicate the way in which the material is to be presented. For example, if students only describe when they are asked

to analyze or compare, or if they merely list causes when they have been asked to evaluate them, their responses will be less than satisfactory. An essay can only begin to be correct if it answers directly the question that is asked. Individual teachers can provide what AP Exams cannot-help with the meanings and applications of some key terms like these:

1. Analyze: determine their component parts; examine their nature

and relationship

2. Assess/Evaluate: judge the value or character of something; appraise; weigh the positive and negative points; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of

3. Compare: examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences
4. Contrast: examine in order to show dissimilarities or points of difference 5. Describe: give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of

6. Discuss: write about; consider or examine by argument or from various

points of view; debate; present the different sides of

7. Explain: make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for;

make known in detail; tell the meaning of


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