Research shows that students who prepare for an exam pass it at higher rates. Analyzing and understanding test format, content, timing, and verbiage will help you study smarter — and therefore more effectively. Keep reading to find out what to expect on the APUSH test.
What to expect on the APUSH test
APUSH tests measure two things: your overall knowledge of US history and your ability to think critically when presented with historical content. Since APUSH tests cover nine time periods and seven historical themes, make sure you give yourself ample time to review prior to taking your test.
Unlike many standardized exams, the APUSH exam is not a computerized test. When you sit down to take your APUSH test, you will be using good ol’ pencil and paper. Bring a few #2 pencils (with quality erasers) to your test site. A scantron form will be provided for you as an answer sheet.
APUSH test format
The APUSH test is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. The test itself is formatted into 4 sections. In addition to an individual time limit, each section also has a separate weighted score (more on this later). All sections test your APUSH knowledge in a variety of ways.
|Section 1: Multiple-choice||55 questions||55 minutes|
|4 questions||50 minutes||
learning objectives for the course
|Section 3: Document-Based||1 question||55 minutes|
|Section 4: Long Essay||1 question||35 minutes|
For a full review of the APUSH test, visit AP College Board.
What to expect from APUSH scoring
APUSH test scores range from 1-5, with 5 being the best. Most colleges award college credit for a score of 3 or above, but some require a 4 or 5. You should check your school’s individual APUSH scoring policy for information on credit acceptance. A more detailed explanation of scoring can be found here.
As noted above, your final score reflects a composite of scores from all four test sections. Each APUSH test section is weighted differently: multiple-choice is 40% of your test score, short answer is 20%, document-based is 25%, and long essay is 15%.
Why is this important? Knowing which sections are worth more can help you create a personalized study plan.
Familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric to help better understand what the APUSH test is looking for. College Board provides Rubrics for AP Histories + Historical Thinking Skills information in the AP section of their site.
Want to know what to really expect on the APUSH test?
If you really want to know what to expect on APUSH, take a practice test! We recommend taking an official practice test at College Board. Not only are you given an accurate time limit, format, and content review, this practice test also provides you with a total composite score, just like the real APUSH test. Also, check out additional APUSH practice tests here!