Published September 18, 2023

Everything You Need to get a 5 on AP World History: Modern 

RR

Ramya Ravuri

Rutgers Alumni, CS major, Chief Marketing Officer at Knowt :)

In this article, I'll share some awesome AP World History: Modern exam tips and tricks to help you score a solid 5 on the AP World History Modern exam. I'll break them down for you, so you can totally nail it! With the right strategies and resources, acing the exam is totally doable.

Free AP World History: Modern Resources

Hey, heads up! Starting from the 2019-2020 school year, the AP World History exam got a makeover. They dropped ancient history from the mix, and now it's called AP World History: Modern. The focus is on history from 1200 onwards. So, when you are learning how to study for the AP World History: Modern exam, feel free to skip any practice questions or materials that go way back before 1200 because that stuff won't be on the exam. Just a handy tip to save you some time and energy!

If you’re cramming last minute for AP 5 on AP World History Modern, don’t stress we’ve all been there! If you’re wondering how to pass AP World History Modern on a time crunch, here are some of our student made resources and AP World History: Modern exam tips for a last minute cram.

What Do I Need to Memorize for the AP World History: Modern Exam?

In AP World History, we dive into all the cool stuff that went down from 1200 to now. You'll explore important events, famous peeps, major changes, and how things played out over time. Plus, you'll get to flex your brain muscles analyzing historical sources and making solid arguments. It's all about sharpening those historical thinking skills, like:

Here's an overview of the units in AP World History:

Unit 1: The Global Tapestry (1200-1450)

  • East Asia, Dar al-Islam, Southeast and South Asia

  • State building in the Americas and Africa

  • Developments in Europe

  • Comparisons in this period

Unit 2: Networks of Exchange (1200-1450)

  • The Silk Roads and the Mongol Empire

  • Exchange in the Indian Ocean and Trans-Saharan Trade Routes

  • Cultural and environmental consequences of connectivity

  • Comparisons of economic exchange

Unit 3: Land Based Empires (1450-1750)

  • Expansion, administration, and belief systems of empires

  • Comparisons of land-based empires

Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections (1450-1750)

  • Technological innovations and exploration

  • Columbian Exchange and maritime empires

  • Challenges to state power and social hierarchies

  • Continuity and change in this period

Unit 5: Revolutions (1750-1900)

  • The Enlightenment, nationalism, and industrial revolution

  • Technology and government's role in industrialization

  • Economic developments and innovations

Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization (1750-1900)

  • Rationales for imperialism and state expansion

  • Indigenous responses and global economic development

  • Migration causes and effects

  • Causation in the imperial age

Unit 7: Global Conflict (1900-present)

  • Shifting power, causes and conduct of WWI and WWII

  • Economy in the interwar period and unresolved tensions

  • Mass atrocities and causation in global conflict

Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization (1900-present)

  • Setting the stage for the Cold War and decolonization

  • Effects of the Cold War and spread of communism

  • Decolonization and resistance to established power structures

  • End of the Cold War and causation in this era

Unit 9: Globalization (1900-present)

  • Advances in technology and exchange

  • Technological debates and economics in the global age

  • Calls for reform, globalized culture, and resistance

  • Institutions in a globalized world and continuity and change

Remember, this is just a quick summary of the units you'll cover in AP World History!

What is on the AP World History: Modern Exam?

There are 9 units covered on the AP World History: Modern exam. Each of these units represents a period and weighted as follows

Units

Exam Weighting

Unit 1: The Global Tapestry 

c.1200 to c. 1450

8-10%

Unit 2: Networks of Exchange 

c.1200 to c. 1450

8-10%

Unit 3: Land-Based Empires 

c. 1450 to c. 1750 

12-15%

Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections

c. 1450 to c. 1750 

12-15%

Unit 5: Revolutions

c.1750 to c. 1900

12-15%

Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization

c.1750 to c. 1900

12-15%

Unit 7: Global Conflict

c.1900 to the present 

8-10%

Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization

c. 1900 to the present 

8-10%

Unit 9: Globalization

c. 1900 to the present 

8-10%


AP World History: Modern Exam Format

Here's a simple breakdown of the AP World History exam structure:

Section I:

Part A: Multiple Choice

  •    55 questions

  •    55 minutes

Part B: Short-Answer Questions

  •    4 questions

  •    50 minutes

Section II:

Part A: Document-Based Question (DBQ)

  •    1 question

  •    55 minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period)

Part B: Long Essay Question (LEQ)

  •    1 question (chosen from a pair)

  •    35 minutes

That's how the exam is organized. Good luck with your preparation!

The AP World exam consists of multiple-choice questions (55 in total), followed by a short answer section, a Document Based Question (DBQ) section, and a long essay portion. The multiple-choice questions make up 40% of the exam, with a time limit of 55 minutes. The short answer section is worth 20% and allows you to choose between answering three out of four questions, with a time limit of 40 minutes. The DBQ section accounts for 25% of the total score and provides one hour to answer extended response questions using primary and secondary sources. Lastly, the long essay portion, worth 15%, requires you to respond to a given question within a time limit of 40 minutes. 

What does the AP World History: Modern MCQ look like?

So, on the exam, you'll come across some multiple-choice questions that have a stimulus attached to 'em. This stimulus can be anything from a political cartoon to a picture, map, or some other primary or secondary source. You'll use that stimulus to answer around 2 to 4 questions related to it. It's all about analyzing and connecting the dots, my friend.

As you learn how to prepare for the AP World History: Modern exam, you'll be sharpening your historical thinking skills in a few key areas:

  1. Developments and processes: You'll be able to spot and explain historical developments and processes.

  2. Sourcing and situation: You'll dive into analyzing primary and secondary sources to understand their significance.

  3. Claims and evidence in sources: You'll get a grasp on the arguments presented in those sources and understand how they support or challenge certain ideas.

  4. Contextualization: You'll zoom out and see the bigger picture of historical events, developments, or processes.

  5. Making connections: You'll use comparison, causation, continuity, and change to analyze patterns and connections between historical developments and processes.

  6. Argumentation: You'll develop solid arguments and craft clear theses based on sources and your own knowledge.

But that's not all! You'll also explore six primary themes:

  1. Humans and the environment: How the environment shapes societies and vice versa.

  2. Cultural developments and interactions: The influence of ideas, beliefs, and religions on politics, society, and culture.

  3. Governance: The rise and fall of states and how governments work.

  4. Economic systems: How societies produce, exchange, and consume goods and services.

  5. Social interactions and organization: The impact of societal groups and interactions on politics, economics, and cultural institutions.

  6. Technology and innovation: The intended and unintended consequences of human adaptation and innovation.

It's a fascinating journey where you'll gain insights into the interplay between history, society, and human development.

What does the AP World History: Modern FRQ look like?

Alright, so let's break down the scoring rubric provided by the College Board and look at some strategies to show you how to ace the AP World History: Modern exam and get  those precious points on the free response questions.

First and foremost, make sure you tackle all three parts of the question. Don't leave any stone unturned. Use the stimulus given to you to build your response and make connections.

When constructing your response, remember the ACE acronym:

  • A: Answer the question. Get straight to the point.

  • C: Cite your evidence to support your answer.

  • E: Explain how your evidence backs up your response. Show your reasoning.


Now, here's the thing: Each part of the Short Answer Question is worth one point and is scored independently. So, they don't have to be connected to each other. You can discuss the Nazi Holocaust in part A and then switch gears to talk about the actions of British soldiers in Australia for part B. These topics don't have to be related. But for part C, you'll make your claim about why the author may have made their claim about the difference between totalitarian and democratic governments.

Focus on nailing each individual part of the question,and remembering the tips for the AP World History: Modern exam rather than treating it as one big, overarching unit. This approach can work in your favor because it ensures you're answering exactly what each part of the question is asking.

When do AP World History: Modern scores come out?

Scores will typically come out in July every year, but you can also refer to the official CollegeBoard Annual calendar to monitor any chances.

Should I Self Study AP World History: Modern?

Here are five key steps to help you prepare for the exam:

1. Organize your notes, highlighting challenging topics.

2. Discuss and teach the material to others.

3. Practice organizing responses for DBQ, short answers, and essays.

4. Utilize resources on the AP® Central website and study in manageable chunks.

5. Watch videos on relevant historical topics and write brief summaries.


Stay focused and take it step by step and remember your AP World History: Modern test tips to rock that exam!

Is the AP World History: Modern exam Hard?

Alright, let's talk about the AP World History exam. Now, I won't sugarcoat it - the difficulty level of this exam is known to be on the higher side. The grade distributions aren't the friendliest, with fewer 5 scores and more 3 scores lately. But hey, don't let that scare you off!

You don't have to know every single detail like Columbus's birth year or the number of treaties Churchill signed to do well in AP World History. It's not all about pure memorization. The key to acing this exam is understanding how the course and exam work and remembering the best way to study for the AP World History: Modern exam.

That's where a good AP World History study guide comes in handy. With the right resources and AP World History: Modern exam tips and a solid understanding of the exam format, you can conquer the AP World History review process like a champ. So, let's dive in and explore why this course is known for its challenging nature among all the CollegeBoard offerings.


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