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The 2022 APUSH Free-Response Questions

If you’d like to know what the prompts and documents were for the 2022 APUSH free-response questions, you can download them here , on The College Board’s website.

Watch Tom Richey’s overview of these free-response questions here .

Click here to view Tom Richey’s sample responses to the 2022 APUSH SAQ items.

Click here to view Tom Richey view my sample response(s) to the 2022 APUSH DBQ. This file will be updated to include several sample responses that would earn different point values.

Based off of excerpts from Ray Allen Billingham’s Westward Expansion,  A History of the American Frontier , 1949 and Carlos A. Schwantes’ The Concept of the Wagoners’ Frontier, 1987, this was Question 1 on the short answer question section of the 2022 APUSH Exam.

1. Using the excerpts, respond to parts a, b, and c. a. Briefly describe one major difference between Billington’s and Schwantes’ historical interpretations of the American West. b. Briefly explain how one historical event or development from 1848 to 1898 that is not explicitly mentioned in the excerpts could be used to support Billington’s interpretation. c. Briefly explain how one historical event or development from 1848 to 1898 that is not explicitly mentioned in the excerpts could be used to support Schwantes’ interpretation.

Question 2 of the short-answer section was based off of an excerpt from John Mercer Langston’s petition to the Ohio state legislature, 1854. It asked:

2. Using the excerpt, respond to parts a, b, and c.

a. Briefly describe the point of view of the excerpt.

b. Briefly explain how one specific historical event or development between 1783 and 1854 led to developments such as that depicted in the excerpt.

c. Briefly explain how one specific historical event or development between 1854 and 1877 resulted from developments such as that depicted in the excerpt.

Questions 3 and 4 of the short answer section were as follows:

3. Respond to parts a, b, and c.

a. Briefly describe one way that one Native American society adapted to its environment prior to European contact.

b. Briefly explain one similarity in how Native American societies in two regions adapted to European contact from 1492 to 1763.

c. Briefly explain one difference in how Native American societies in two regions adapted to European contact from 1492 to 1763.

4.Respond to parts a, b, and c.

a. Briefly describe one way reform movements responded to economic conditions from 1880 to 1920.

b. Briefly explain one similarity in how two reform movements attempted to change United States society from 1880 to 1920.

c. Briefly explain one difference in how two reform movements attempted to change United States society from 1880 to 1920.

Section II of the AP U.S. History free-response section comprises of a document-based question (DBQ) and one long essay question (LEQ), which you can choose to answer from three different prompts.

Question 1, the document-based question on the 2022 APUSH Exam asked test takers to:

1. Evaluate the extent to which the United States developed an identity between 1800 and 1855.

For the long essay questions, students were asked to respond to one of the following prompts:

2. Evaluate the relative importance of causes of population movement to colonial British America in the period from 1607 to 1754.

3. Evaluate the relative importance of causes of the rise of industrial capitalism in the United States in the period from 1865 to 1900.

4. Evaluate the relative importance of causes of internal migration within the United States in the period from 1900 to 1970.

2022 apush long essay question

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Last Modified: 1/24/2023

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AP® US History

How to answer ap® us history free response questions.

  • The Albert Team
  • Last Updated On: March 1, 2022

how to answer AP® US History free response questions

Knowing how to answer AP® US History Free Response Questions is an art. If you’re looking for the best tips and tricks for writing APUSH FRQs, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll review a five-step strategy to writing top-mark AP® US History free response answers, mistakes students often make on the APUSH FRQs, as well as go over a compiled set of tips and test taking tricks for you to incorporate into your responses. 

Keep reading to get the scoop on what you need to know when it comes to maximizing your limited AP® US History exam review time.

What We Review

5 Steps on How to Write Effective AP® US History Free Responses

Here, we’ll review a five-step strategy for you to start writing AP® US History free response answers that will score you maximum possible points. 

1. Master the three different rubrics for the AP® US History SAQ, DBQ, and LEQ. 

The biggest mistake a student can make when it comes to preparing for AP® US History is never truly understanding how they’re going to be graded. This leads to scattered responses that do not provide the specificity that translates to points on the exam. 

To solve this, you’ll want to go to the College Board’s AP® Central website and navigate to the previously released exams for APUSH:

Here is the link for AP® US History past released exams

Open up the scoring guidelines PDF. These guidelines outline how points were distributed on that particular year’s exams. 

Here’s a screenshot from the first question of the 2019 released exam:

Always double check that your answer addresses the how and the why -- this is a good gut check for whether or not you’ve been specific enough. 

Source: College Board

From the above, you’d see that the first SAQ was worth three points, and each point was awarded for successfully completing the task asked within the question. After reviewing a few of these questions, you’d start to notice the level of specificity the graders require in order to earn points.  For example here you can see that in order to adequately describe the differences between the two sources’ historical interpretations, students had to explicitly state the positions of both authors.

2019 AP® US History SAQ Guidelines

As you familiarize yourself with each type of question, you’ll start to notice the College Board always uses a predictable set of directive words in their questions. We’ll cover that later in this post.

For now, be sure to review the last two years worth of released exam scoring guidelines so you can begin to understand how SAQs, DBQs, and LEQs are scored.

2. Underline or circle every bolded and capitalized word in the question prompt.

Now that we know how points are broadly distributed, we need to have a test taking system when reading and preparing for our responses.

2019 AP® US History Highlight Question

As you can see in the above, the first SAQ of the 2019 AP® US History exam was assessing students’ abilities to describe and explain. In the majority of SAQs, you’ll be asked to describe or explain a response to stimuli. 

For DBQs and LEQs, you’ll be asked one of three essay types: compare, change and continuity over time, or causation. This is commonly phrased using the directive words, “evaluate the extent of…”.

It’s easy to circle or underline the key phrases that you’re being asked to respond to. 

There are two “key phrases” to commit to memory when it comes to AP® US History short answer questions:

That’s it. If you review the last several years worth of released exams, these are the most commonly used directive words for the short answer question section of APUSH. 

If you aren’t sure what these words are asking you for, keep reading.

When the exam asks you to describe something, you need to tell them about what they’re asking. This doesn’t mean you need to explain the “why” — it just means you need to talk about what the topic is and the characteristics of the topic being asked.

When you’re asked to explain something, this is where you need to show the “why”. You need to be able to give 3-5 sentences with an example in most cases to earn credit for these questions.

After you’ve identified the key directive words, make sure you take note on how many examples you need to provide in your response. Sometimes students go above and beyond in their response, but what they don’t realize is that if they give more than what was asked, the reader will move on after the student reaches what the question has asked (i.e. the question asks you to describe one thing and you state three; in this case, only the first is considered for your score). 

One of our favorite test taking tips is to make a tick mark or star next to the words you’ve circled or underlined after you’ve answered it in your free response. This gives you a visual way to ensure you’ve answered all parts of the question.

It can be so easy to not answer the question that’s being asked of you. 

Aside from describe and explain, here are other potential directive words the College Board may give you for AP® US History:

  • Compare : Talk about similarities and/or differences.
  • Evaluate : Determine how important information or the quality/accuracy of a claim is.
  • Identify : Give information about a specific topic, without elaboration or explanation.
  • Support an argument : Give specific examples and explain how they support a thesis. 

3. Plan your response BEFORE beginning to write your response.

2022 apush long essay question

When the College Board shared their favorite AP® US History exam tips , they put this at the very top of their considerations. They describe that it’s common for students begin writing responses immediately and as a result, students create poorly planned responses that are disconnected. 

Remember, the FRQ is intended to test your ability to connect the dots of what you’ve learned in class to historical thinking skills. The crucial skill is being able to identify evidence, and connect it to a historically defensible thesis as part of your historical analysis. 

To do so elegantly, you must plan out your response before you begin writing. 

Here’s what we suggest: read the question once to circle the directive words. Then read it a second time to ensure your understanding of what’s being asked. If needed, read the question a third time and think about how you’d word the question in your own words. 

Craft a clear thesis statement. An easy way to do so is with the “although A, XYZ, therefore” model. We go over this in our tips section below. Ask yourself, is my thesis defensible? Can I agree or disagree with it? 

Then, think about what evidence you can bring in to respond to the question — how does this evidence connect back to your thesis? Do not leave it to your reader to infer what you mean when you include certain supporting evidence. 

This process will help you start to think through what you’re actually answering and how you’ll answer the “why” based questions. It’ll also help you avoid simply restating the question without adding any direct response to the question (what is known as a historically defensible thesis or a thesis with a clear line of reasoning). 

4. Remember that AP® US History DBQs and LEQs require you to demonstrate four key skills: formation of a thesis, contextualization, sourcing, and complexity. SAQs should directly respond to what’s being asked. 

For short answer questions in AP® US History, you do not need to write an essay to score all the possible points. There is no need for an introduction, thesis, or conclusion on these questions.

For the DBQ and LEQs, scoring is clearly outlined on a respective seven and six point scale. 

For the DBQ, you need to be able to: 

  • State a defensible claim or thesis that responds to the prompt and establishes a clear line of reasoning. 
  • Contextualize your response in the broader historical context (for APUSH, it’s typically demonstrating knowledge of the last 50-100 years prior to the time period asked in the prompt). 
  • You earn one point for using content from at least three documents to address the prompt and two points for using six documents as well as supporting an argument in response to the prompt. 
  • You earn an additional point for bringing in at least one piece of outside specific historical evidence beyond what has been provided. 
  • For analysis, students must source at least three documents discussing the author’s point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience in relation to the thesis as well as illustrate a complex understanding of historical development to incorporate nuance into their response.

What this means is that as long as you cover all the points outlined above clearly, you can score a perfect score on the AP® US History DBQ. 

For the LEQ, much is the same in the core rubric in terms of needing a thesis, providing contextualization, and analysis. For evidence, there is not a requirement for additional evidence beyond what is provided since that’s the entire point of the evidence section in crafting a long answer question response. 

When you’re going through your mental checklist of whether you’ve demonstrated these skills, ask yourself if you’ve “closed the loop”. This is a test taking strategy the College Board promotes across multiple disciplines and with good reason — it challenges a student to demonstrate they can form a coherent argument. Closing the loop in AP® US History can mean using words like “because” or “therefore” to help bridge two concepts together and solve for the “why” this matters.

5. Practice, practice, and then practice some more. 

2022 apush long essay question

The nice thing about AP® free response sections is that they’re generally pretty predictable to prepare for. Ultimately they come down to knowing how you’re going to be assessed, and learning how to craft responses that match those criteria. 

When you start preparing, try a set of released questions and then have your friend grade your responses with the scoring guidelines. See how you might have done without any intentional practice. 

Then, review your mistakes, log them in your study journal and begin to tackle the areas where you’re weakest. Typically students struggle most with the evidence and analysis sections of the APUSH exam. 

After a few times of doing this, you’ll have a stronger intuition towards the test and feel more confident heading into test day.

Return to the Table of Contents

37 AP® US History FRQ Tips to Scoring a 4 or 5

Now that we’ve gone over the 5-step process to writing good APUSH free responses, we can shift gears to tackle some test taking tips and tricks to maximizing your FRQ scores. 

We recommend you review these several weeks, and then days before your exam to keep them top of mind. 

15 AP® US History Short Answer Question Tips

  • Answer the question.
  • Cite your supporting evidence.
  • Explain how your evidence proves your point. 
  • Focus much of your prep time on the E in ACE . Students often are not effective at earning the point for explaining because they simply restate a fact and fail to show how that fact supports comparison, causation, or continuity and change over time. 
  • Practice demonstrating comprehension of historical excerpts by working on sharing ideas from different sources in your own words. Review both primary and secondary sources.
  • Practice supporting your main points of your thesis, and then practice supporting your minor points and details. 
  • Be specific in your responses to questions. It is not enough to say for example that “something changed”. What changed, how did it change and what might have prompted that change?
  • One of the easiest ways to bridge two concepts is to use words like “because” or “therefore” and then proceed to answer the “why this matters”. Always double check that your answer addresses the how and the why — this is a good gut check for whether or not you’ve been specific enough. 
  • To help you score points in demonstrating your historical reasoning skills, use words like whereas, in contrast to, or likewise when drawing comparisons.
  • Think of short answer questions as pop quiz drills, rather than full essays. There is no need for having a thesis in each SAQ response. 
  • Stick to the right time period and review your chronology. Sometimes students bring in irrelevant information from outside the time period being asked in the SAQ. More recently this happened in 2019 where students brought in information about women’s history that was not relevant to the time period asked. 
  • When presented with a stimulus such as an image to interpret, be sure that your reference to key concepts from class ties back to that stimulus. For example, “this image demonstrates the historical concept of CONCEPT, which was DEFINITION. This can be seen by the DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE IMAGE RELATES to the CONCEPT.”.
  • Pennsylvania and Maryland are not part of the New England colonies!
  • Know your key definitions with specificity. For example, it’s not enough to only state that the New Deal and Great Society programs helped the economy. To earn points, you must distinguish how the New Deal focused on America’s economy after the Great Depression to combat unemployment while the Great Society focused on social supports via Medicare and Medicaid to support Americans. 
  • Review your wars and presidents before, during and after key wars. Students have often confused things between WWI and WWII or between the Korean and Vietnam wars. 
  • Do not use the outcomes of a government program to describe a difference. Just because one program for example was successful while another was not does not demonstrate that you’ve mastered the content knowledge. 
  • For example, just because a primary source demonstrates something about a particular group of people doesn’t mean it necessarily applies to that entire geographic region. There is often nuance, which is why we study history!

17 AP® US History Document Based Questions (DBQ) Tips

  • X is your counterargument or counterpoint
  • ABC are your strongest supporting points for your argument.
  • And Y is your argument.
  • If you don’t like the above formula, another common way to form a thesis is to use the word “because” — the claims you make after you state “because” will be your argument. 
  • Cover your contextualization point in the introduction of your essay. The easiest way to do this is to discuss what was happening 50-100 years before your prompt and its relation to your thesis. 
  • In document 1, XYZ
  • In document 2, XYZ
  • Be sure to have clear topic sentences that relate back to your thesis. This helps you avoid document listing without direction in your essay. 
  • It’s not enough to just describe the content of the documents.You need to relate what’s going on in the documents to your thesis. Students lose points here for failing to include clear arguments or claims in relation back to their thesis. 
  • XYZ, therefore ABC
  • XYZ is the description of the document
  • ABC is the implication and support of how what you described relates to your thesis. 
  • Many students struggle with author purpose and point of view. Practice articulating what you believe to be the intention of the authors of documents and connecting it back to your argument. Don’t just say “the author has this point of view”.
  • Continuity and Change Over Time : You should include at least one “however” statement at the end of every body paragraph. Example: XYZ changed…; however, one continuity was ABC…”
  • Compare/Contrast : You should include a similarity and difference at the end of every body paragraph: “XYZ similarities…however, one difference was ABC…”
  • Cause/Effect: Have at least one therefore statement at the end of each body paragraph. “XYZ happened….therefore, ABC consequence of XYZ happening”
  • Sourcing is earned when specificity and significance is included in discussing historical context, audience, purpose, or point of view. You don’t earn it by making general statements. 
  • When sourcing, you only need to use one of the skills for each document you source. Don’t feel the need to go over historical context, audience, purpose, and point of view for every single document you are trying to earn sourcing for. 
  • Source at least four or five documents to be safe, in case you’re wrong in one of your interpretations. 
  • Be sure to incorporate a few examples of historical evidence from each decade from beyond the documents you’re given — this is worth a full point on your DBQ. 
  • When you incorporate outside evidence, make sure it’s from the same period  you’re writing about. Chronology and time periods are important! 
  • It’s more than just including the word “however” to qualify an argument. It’s considering the broader picture and implications.
  • It can also be demonstrated in the form of illustrating contradictions between documents or historical events in relation to the thesis.
  • The College Board rubric describes this as “explaining relevant and insightful connections within and across periods”
  • The College Board describes this as “explaining both similarity and difference”
  • If you’re writing about causation, discuss the effects.
  • If you want another way to earn this point, you can earn it by applying your argument to another time period and drawing a connection. If you do this, keep in mind you must apply your entire argument to another time period.
  • A few possible stems to signal to your grader you are attempting complexity is to say use one of the following phrases: another time, another view, or another way.

5 AP® US History Long Essay Questions (LEQ) Tips

  • Your thesis does not need to just be limited to the model of addressing economic, social and political issues. Students have often overused this format when they could be better off understanding core AP® US History themes and how they relate to the question being asked. 
  • Make sure you know your time periods. Students often lose points when it comes to evidence because they bring in concepts that are outside the scope of the time period or region. Chronology is important across the entire AP® US History exam. 
  • Review the causes of key events and how the occurrence of key events impacted society over time. For example, what was fought for in women’s rights before Roe v. Wade, what led to it happening, and what were the outcomes from the case happening going forward in relation to women’s rights?
  • Show the “why” of the evidence you’re providing. It’s not enough just to mention a concept. Explain to the reader why you are including that concept or evidence and relate it back to your thesis. Evidence should further your argument. 
  • If you’re answering a continuity and change over time question, make sure you also discuss continuity. Students often only talk about change over time.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Write AP® US History FRQs

Whoa! We’ve reviewed a ton of information in this AP® US History FRQ review guide. At this time, you should have an actionable 5-step plan for your FRQ prep as well a 37 test taking tips to prepare with.

Putting everything together, here are a few key things to remember: 

  • Students who excel on the AP® US History free response section do so because they understand how they’re being graded. Master the rubrics. Understand how and when points are awarded and not rewarded. There are tons of previously released exams to help you here.
  • Follow a regular system for responding to each question. Whether it’s our approach of identifying the directive word, planning and then writing while checking off after you’ve answered each part of the prompt, have a methodology in the way you craft responses. 
  • Remember the ACE acronym for SAQs: answer the question, cite your evidence, and explain how your evidence proves your point. 
  • Focus your time on chronology, time periods and course themes. This will help you write within the scope of the time period given in each question and not lose points by mistakenly incorporating something outside of the time period being asked. 
  • Review commonly tested AP® US History topics. Review the curriculum and exam description to see the percentage breakdown of different units. Units 3 through 8 are always more important for the exam than Units 1-2, and 9. 
  • Make sure your thesis includes a clear line of reasoning. Remember the model: Although X, ABC, therefore Y.
  • Always “close the loop”. Use words such as “because” or “therefore” to bridge two concepts together and solve for the “why” this matters. 

We hope you’ve found this FRQ guide helpful for your AP® US History exam review. 

If you’re looking for more free response questions or multiple choice questions, check out our website for more valuable exam prep! Albert has hundreds of original standards-aligned practice questions for you with detailed explanations to help you learn by doing.

If you found this post helpful, you may also like our AP® US History tips here or our AP® US History score calculator here .

We also have an AP® US History review guide here .

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APUSH Long Essay Question Example 2

Evaluate the extent to which the civil war was a turning point in the history of the united states in the period from 1800 to 1877..

  • What were the major events leading up to the Civil War?
  • How did the Civil War change political, economic, and social structures in the U.S.?
  • What were the immediate and long-term consequences of the Civil War?
  • Were there any other significant turning points during this period? How do they compare to the Civil War?
  • How did the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War further shape the nation?
  • Thesis/Claim (1 point): The APUSH exam requires students to present a clear, precise, and defensible thesis in their essay. In the sample essay, the thesis is evident in the statement, “The Civil War, fought between 1861 and 1865, stands as a monumental turning point in the history of the United States.” This thesis directly addresses the prompt and sets the stage for the arguments that follow.
  • Contextualization (1 point): To earn this point, students must describe a broader historical context relevant to the prompt. The essay does this by outlining the tensions between the North and the South, mentioning key events like the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850. This provides readers with a clear backdrop against which the main arguments of the essay are set.
  • Evidence (2 points): The APUSH standards require students to support their thesis with specific evidence. In the sample essay, there’s a plethora of evidence cited, such as the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Homestead Act, and the Reconstruction Amendments. Each piece of evidence is directly related to the thesis and supports the argument that the Civil War was a significant turning point.
  • Analysis and Reasoning (2 points): This is where students must demonstrate a deeper understanding of the topic. The essay does this in two ways. First, it analyzes the significance of each piece of evidence, explaining, for example, how the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment changed the lives of African Americans. Second, it shows a complex understanding by comparing the impact of the Civil War to other events of the period, such as the Market Revolution and the Second Great Awakening. This comparison not only reinforces the thesis but also provides a nuanced view of the period.

When you are done reviewing this APUSH LEQ example, you can use the buttons below to proceed to our Long Essay example 3 or return to the Practice Exam main menu.


Find what you need to study

AP World Long Essay Question (LEQ) Overview

15 min read • june 18, 2024

Zaina Siddiqi

Zaina Siddiqi

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Overview of the Long Essay Question (LEQ)

Section II of the AP Exam includes three Long Essay Question (LEQ) prompts. You will choose to write about just one of these. 

The formatting of prompts varies somewhat between the AP Histories, though the rubric does not. In AP World History, the prompt includes a sentence that orients the writer to the time, place, and theme of the prompt topic, while prompts in AP US History and AP European History typically do not. However, the rubrics and scoring guidelines are the same for all Histories.

Your answer should include the following:

  • A valid thesis
  • A discussion of relevant historical context
  • Use of evidence supports your thesis
  • Use of a reasoning skill to organize and structure the argument
  • Complex understanding of the topic of the prompt

We will break down each of these aspects in the next section. For now, the gist is that you need to write an essay that answers the prompt, using evidence. You will need to structure and develop your essay using one of the course reasoning skills.

Many of the skills you need to write a successful LEQ essay are the same skills you will use on the DBQ. In fact, some of the rubric points are identical, so you can use a lot of the same strategies on both writing tasks!

You will have three choices of prompts for your LEQ. All three prompts will focus on the same reasoning skills, but the time periods will differ in each prompt. Prompt topics may span across time periods specified in the course outline, and the time period breakdowns for each prompt are as follows:


Writing time on the AP Exam includes both the Document Based Question (DBQ) and the (LEQ), but it is suggested that you spend 40 minutes completing the LEQ. You will need to plan and write your essay in that time. 

A good breakdown would be  5 min. (planning) +  35 min. (writing) =  40 min.

** Try using a study timer to maximize your efficiency while practicing your LEQ skills!**

The LEQ is scored on a rubric out of six points, and is weighted at 15% of your overall exam score. We’ll break down the rubric next.

How to Rock the LEQ: The Rubric

The LEQ is scored on a six point rubric, and each point can be earned independently. That means you can miss a point on something and still earn other points with the great parts of your essay. 

Note: all of the examples in this section will be for this prompt from AP World History: Modern. You could use similar language, structure, or skills to write samples for prompts in AP US History or AP European History.

Let’s break down each rubric component...

What is it?  

  • The thesis is a brief statement that introduces your argument or claim, and can be supported with evidence and analysis. This is where you  answer the prompt.

Where do I write it?

  • This is the only element in the essay that has a required location. The thesis needs to be in your  introduction or  conclusion of your essay. It can be more than one sentence, but all of the sentences that make up your thesis must be consecutive in order to count.

How do I know if mine is good?

  • The most important part of your thesis is the  claim , which is your answer to the prompt. The description the College-Board gives is that it should be “historically defensible,” which really means that your evidence must be plausible. On the LEQ, your thesis needs to be related topic of the prompt.

Your thesis should also establish your  line of reasoning. Translation: address why or how something happened - think of this as the “because” to the implied “how/why” of the prompt. This sets up the framework for the body of your essay, since you can use the reasoning from your thesis to structure your body paragraph topics later.

The claim and reasoning are the required elements of the thesis. And if that’s all you can do, you’re in good shape to earn the point. 

Going above-and-beyond to create a more complex thesis can help you in the long run, so it’s worth your time to try. One way to build in complexity to your thesis is to think about a  counter-claim or alternate viewpoint  that is relevant to your response. If you are using one of the course reasoning process to structure your essay (and you should!) think about using that framework for your thesis too.

  • In a  causation essay, a complex argument addresses  causes and effects.
  • In a  comparison essay, a complex argument addresses similarities and differences.
  • In a  continuity and change over time essay, a complex argument addresses  change and continuity .

This counter-claim or alternate viewpoint can look like an “although” or “however” phrase in your thesis.

Complex Thesis = Claim + Because + However
  • Powers in both land-based and maritime empires had to adapt their rule to accommodate diverse populations. However, in this era land-based empires were more focused on direct political control, while the maritime empires were more based on trade and economic development.
  • This thesis works because it clearly addresses the prompt (comparing land and maritime empires). It starts by addressing a similarity, and then specifies a clear difference with a line of reasoning to clarify the actions of the land vs. maritime empires.


  • Contextualization is a brief statement that lays out the broader historical background relevant to the prompt.
  • There are a lot of good metaphors out there for contextualization, including the “previously on…” at the beginning of some TV shows, or the  famous text crawl at the beginning of the  Star Wars movies.
  • Both of these examples serve the same function: they give important information about what has happened off-screen that the audience needs to know to understand what is about to happen on-screen.
  • In your essay, contextualization is the same. You give your reader information about what else has happened, or is happening, in history that will help them understand the specific topic and argument you are about to make.

Where do I write it?  

  • There is no specific requirement for where contextualization must appear in your essay. The easiest place to include it, however, is in your  introduction . Use context to get your reader acquainted with the time, place, and theme of your essay, then transition into your thesis.

How do I know if mine is good?  

  • Good contextualization doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to go into a ton of detail, but it does need to do a few very specific things.
  • Your contextualization needs to refer to events, developments and/or processes outside the time and place of the prompt. It could address something that occurred in an earlier era in the same region as the topic of the prompt, or it could address something happening at the same time as the prompt, but in a different place. Briefly describe this outside information.
  • Then, connect it to your thesis/argument. The language from the College Board is that contextualization must be “relevant to the prompt,” and in practical terms this means you have to show the connection. A transition sentence or phrase is useful here (plus, this is why contextualization makes the most sense in the introduction!)
  • Also, contextualization needs to be multiple consecutive sentences, so it’s all one argument (not sprinkled around in a paragraph). The introduction is the best place for contextualization, but not the only place.
  • Basically, choose a connected topic that “sets the stage” for your thesis, and briefly describe it in a couple sentences. Then, make a clear connection to the argument of your thesis from that outside information.
  • In the period 1450-1750, both European and Asian powers expanded their reach and created large empires across the world. In Asia, the trend was toward large, land-based empires which were controlled from a central capital city. Europeans built empires that stretched across oceans included territories in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
  • This contextualization works by addressing the time period of the prompt and establishing basic definitions for empire-building and the types of empires (land and maritimes.) These definitions will be valuable context for seeing the comparisons developed in the thesis and body paragraphs of this essay.

Evidence: Provide Specific Examples

  • For this point, the focus is simply about having evidence. Evidence is the historical detail you include in your writing. The specific facts and examples that prove your argument. In the LEQ, your evidence comes your knowledge of history.
  • Evidence goes in your body paragraphs. In fact, the bulk of your body paragraphs will be made up of evidence and supporting analysis or commentary that connects that evidence to other evidence and/or to the argument you are making.
  • Good evidence is specific, accurate, and relevant to the prompt. For this point, simply including multiple pieces of quality evidence is enough. If you’re a numbers person, a good starting point is to aim for two pieces of quality evidence in each body paragraph and go up from there.
  • In order for your evidence to count for this point, it needs to be really specific. Using  course-specific vocabulary is a great strategy here to know that you are writing specific evidence. If you can’t remember a specific vocabulary term, describe what you mean in plain language with as much detail as possible.
  • Though the Ottoman Sultans were Muslims, they ruled over a population that included fellow Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
  • This evidence works because it includes specific and relevant details, namely the religions of both the Ottoman rulers and the diverse population they ruled over.

2022 apush long essay question

Evidence: Supports an Argument with Evidence

  • In addition to having evidence, this point is about using that evidence to support an argument in response to the prompt. Basically, connect your evidence back to your topic sentence and/or thesis.
  • Supporting statements go with your evidence in your body paragraph. Ideally, a connecting statement comes right before or after a piece of evidence.
  • This point is harder to earn than the previous evidence point, because it’s a little more difficult to explain fully.
  • One way to know if you are doing this at all is to look at the  topic sentences of your body paragraphs. First of all, do you have one? You should. The first sentence of your body paragraph should make it clear what you are talking about in that paragraph. It should relate to some aspect of your thesis, and it should be connected to the reasoning skill you have chosen to organize your argument.
  • One characteristic shared by both kinds of empires was the need to adapt to diverse populations. As the Ottoman empire expanded its influence, it took over territory previously controlled by the Byzantines. Though the Ottoman Sultans were Muslims, they now ruled over a population that included fellow Muslims, Christians, and Jews. In order to keep peace within their empire, the Ottomans allowed people to continue practicing their traditional faiths. Ottoman cities such as Istanbul had areas of the cities set aside where different groups could live and worship without interference from others .
  • This section works because it defines the adaptation made by Ottoman rulers to effectively rule a diverse population, and elaborates on both how and why that adaptation was made.
  • Following your topic sentence, your body paragraph should elaborate on the idea in that topic sentence, using the evidence to prove your point. At first, you may rely on phrases like “this shows…” or “this means…,” which can get repetitive, but may also help you know when you are making the connections between evidence and argument explicit.

Analysis and Reasoning: Historical Reasoning

What is it?

  • A good argument needs structure, and yours needs to use one of the course reasoning skills to create that structure. You can choose whichever skill works best for a particular prompt:  causation ,  comparison , or  continuity and change over time .
  • Strong reasoning goes throughout an essay, so this will be the overarching structure of your writing from the thesis through your body paragraphs.
  • The reasoning doesn’t necessarily have to be completely balanced or even in order to count, which gives you room to write about what you know best. For example, in an essay structured around continuity and change, you might spend most of your time addressing changes and relatively little time addressing continuity. And that’s ok.
  • The best essays do address both “sides” of the historical reasoning, and yours should too. If you created a complex thesis in your introduction, you can extend those ideas into your body paragraphs. Even if you don’t have equal sentences or paragraphs for each topic, as long as you address the reasoning process in your essay, you’re on the right track.

2022 apush long essay question

Analysis and Reasoning: Complexity

The second part of the Analysis and Reasoning scoring category is complexity. This is by far the most challenging part of the LEQ, and the point earned by the fewest students. It isn’t impossible, just difficult. Part of the difficulty is that it is the least concrete skill to teach and practice. 

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the time limits of the LEQ, don’t stress about complexity. Focus on writing the best essay you can that answers the prompt. Plenty of students earn 5’s without the complexity point.

If you are ready to tackle this challenge, keep reading!

  • The College Board awards this point for essays that “demonstrate a complex understanding” of the topic of the prompt.
  • Complexity cannot be earned with a single sentence or phrase. It must show up throughout the essay.
  • A complex argument starts with a complex thesis. A complex thesis must address the topic of the prompt in more than one way. Including a counter-claim or alternate viewpoint in the thesis is a good way to set up a complex argument, because it builds in room within the structure of your essay to address more than one idea (provided your body paragraphs follow the structure of your thesis!)
  • A complex argument may include  corroboration - evidence that supports or confirms the premise of the argument. Clear explanation that connects each piece of evidence to the thesis will help do this. In the LEQ, your evidence is all from your knowledge of history, so it’s up to you to fully explain how that evidence backs up your thesis. Consistent, thoughtful explanation can go a long way toward the complexity point.
  • A complex argument may also include  qualification - evidence that limits or counters an initial claim. This isn’t the same as undoing or undermining your claim. Qualifying a claim shows that it isn’t universal. An example of this might be including continuity in an essay that is primarily about change.
  • A final way to introduce complexity to your argument is through  modification - using evidence to change your claim or argument as it develops. Modification isn’t quite as extreme as qualification, but it shows that the initial claim may be too simple to encompass the reality of history.

2022 apush long essay question

Since no single sentence can demonstrate complexity on its own, it’s difficult to show examples of complex arguments. Fully discussing your claim and its line of reasoning, and fairly addressing your counter-claim or alternate view is the strongest structure to aim for a complexity point. Explain everything as you go and aim for success!

How to Rock the LEQ: The Process

Before you start writing....

It is tempting to just start writing at the beginning of your LEQ time, especially if you took extra time to write your DBQ and you’re feeling some pressure. It’s actually better to take a few minutes to analyze the prompt and plan your essay before you start writing to give yourself the best shot at success. You might surprise yourself with how quickly an essay comes together after you create a solid plan.

The very first thing you should do with any prompt is to  be sure you understand the question . Misunderstanding the time period, topic, or geographic region of a prompt can kill a thoughtful and well-argued essay. When you’re practicing early in the year, go ahead and re-write the prompt as a question. Later on you can re-phrase it mentally without all the work.

As you think about the question, start thinking about which reasoning skill might apply best for this prompt: causation, comparison, or continuity and change over time. 

Original prompt - Develop an argument that compares the process of empire building in land-based and maritime empires in the period 1450-1750 CE. 

Revised - What were the key similarities and differences in the ways that land-based (Asian) and maritime (European) empires built their governments and power between 1450-1750?

Now that you know what you’re writing about, take a few minutes to brainstorm what you know about that topic. You can make a simple graphic organizer to help you see relationships between information (i.e. a Venn diagram, T-chart, timeline, etc.), or just jot down ideas as they come to mind.

Go back over you list and mark which ideas work best as context (generally broader and less related to the prompt) and which ideas work best as evidence (more specific.)

If you have time, brainstorm a sample thesis and/or outline for how you want to structure your ideas. This may seem like an extravagance with limited time, but it can be a great cheat sheet for you if you lose your way in the middle of a body paragraph.

When you have a plan you like, start writing!

Writing the essay

TL;DR - Introduce your essay with contextualization, then link that to your complex thesis. Follow that with a body paragraph that is organized using one of the course reasoning skills, and use evidence to develop your topic sentence. Continue with analysis that elaborates your argument overall. Repeat, as needed, until you fully answer the prompt.

Your  introduction should include your  contextualization and thesis. Start with a statement that establishes your time and place in history, and follow that with a brief description of the historical situation. Connect that broader context to the theme and topic of the prompt. Then, make a claim that answers the prompt, with an overview of your reasoning and any counter-claim you plan to address.

Body paragraphs will vary in length, depending on how many documents or other pieces of evidence you include, but should follow a consistent structure. Start with a  topic sentence that introduces the specific aspect of the prompt that paragraph will address. There aren’t specific points for topic sentences, but they will help you stay focused.

Follow your topic sentence with a piece of  evidence and connect it back to your topic sentence and/or thesis. Continue with 1-2 pieces of evidence and more explanation until you have completed the argument of your topic sentence. Then start a new paragraph with a new topic sentence.

Each body paragraph will follow this general format, and there is no set number of paragraphs for the LEQ (minimum or maximum.) Write as many paragraphs as you need to  fully answer the prompt by developing the argument (and counter-argument if applicable) from your thesis.

If you have time, you may choose to write a  conclusion . It isn’t necessary, so you can drop it if you’re rushed. BUT, the conclusion is the only place where you can earn the thesis point outside the introduction, so it’s not a bad idea. You could re-state your thesis in new wording, or give any final thoughts in terms of analysis about your topic. You might solidify your complexity point in the conclusion if written well.

Since most people write the DBQ first, when you finish the LEQ you’re done with your AP Exam. Congratulations!

Sample Prompts

AP World History: Modern

In the period 1450-1750 CE, empires achieved increased scope and influence around the world, shaping and being shaped by the diverse populations they incorporated.

Develop an argument that compares the process of empire building in land-based and maritime empires in the period 1450-1750 CE.

AP US History

Evaluate the extent to which Massachusetts and Virginia differed in the ways that economic development affected their politics between 1607 and 1750.

AP European History

Evaluate the effectiveness of challenges to royal authority in Eastern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The LEQ Rubric (Quick Reference)

2022 apush long essay question

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the ultimate guide to the ap us history exam.

Advanced Placement (AP)


The AP US History exam involves critical reading, writing, and in-depth analysis. It's not just about memorizing names and dates, but rather interpreting historical evidence quickly and accurately, recalling outside information on a topic, and synthesizing your ideas into a coherent argument.

In this guide, we'll give you a rundown of the format and structure of the AP US History test along with a brief content outline, sample questions, and some tips for a great score .

How Is the AP US History Exam Structured?

The next AP US History test will be administered on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 8 AM . This AP exam is three hours and 15 minutes long and consists of two main sections, each of which is divided into a Part A and a Part B.

Before we get into the details of each part, here's an overview of the US History test as a whole:

1A Multiple Choice 55 55 mins 40%
1B Short Answer 3 (for third, choose 1 of 2 prompts) 40 mins 20%
2A Document-Based Question (DBQ) 1 60 mins (including a 15-min reading period) 25%
2B Long Essay 1 (choose 1 of 3 prompts) 40 mins 15%

Section 1, Part A: Multiple Choice

The first section on the test is the multiple-choice section, which is worth 40% of your score and lasts for 55 minutes. You'll get 55 questions, each with four possible answer choices (labeled A-D); this means that you'll have about a minute per question on this part of the exam.

Most US History multiple-choice questions come in sets of three to four questions that require you to respond to certain stimuli, or sources, such as historical texts, graphs, and maps.

Section 1, Part B: Short Answer

Part B of Section 1 on the US History test requires you to answer three short-answer questions in 40 minutes , giving you about 13 minutes per question. It's worth 20% of your overall score.

The first two questions are required, but you get to choose between question 3 and question 4 for your third short answer . Here's what you can expect with each question:

Prompt 1 1754-1980 1-2 secondary sources
Prompt 2 1754-1980 1 primary source
Prompt 3 1491-1877 No stimulus
Prompt 4 1865-2001 No stimulus

Section 2, Part A: Document-Based Question

The Document-Based Question, or DBQ , is worth 25% of your final score and requires you to write an essay based on a prompt that's accompanied by seven historical documents . You'll get a 15-minute reading period followed by 45 minutes to write your response.

The DBQ will focus on a historical development in the years 1754-1980.

Section 2, Part B: Long Essay

The final part of the AP US History test is the Long Essay, for which you must choose one of three possible prompts and write an essay on the topic. You'll have 40 minutes to write your response, which will count for 15% of your overall AP score.

To earn full credit here, you must develop a clear and logical argument and support it with relevant historical evidence (which won't be directly provided to you as it will be on the DBQ).

Each of the three essay prompts revolves around a different time period in US history:

  • Essay Prompt 1: 1491-1800
  • Essay Prompt 2: 1800-1898
  • Essay Prompt 3: 1890-2001

Content Background for the AP US History Exam

There are eight themes addressed in the AP US History course , and all of them show up in one form or another on the exam across the nine units, or time periods . Each represents a subset of learning objectives that students are expected to master. You can read more about these learning objectives in the AP US History Course and Exam Description .

Before I give you a broad overview of the eight themes, let's take a look at how the major units are weighted on the AP US History exam :

Unit 1: 1491-1607 4-6%
Unit 2: 1607-1754 6-8%
Unit 3: 1754-1800 10-17%
Unit 4: 1800-1848 10-17%
Unit 5: 1844-1877 10-17%
Unit 6: 1865-1898 10-17%
Unit 7: 1890-1945 10-17%
Unit 8: 1945-1980 10-17%
Unit 9: 1980-Present 4-6%

Below, we give you the definition of each course theme as described in the AP US History Course Description.

Theme 1: American and National Identity

Focuses on how and why definitions of American and national identity and values have developed among the diverse and changing population of North America as well as on related topics, such as citizenship, constitutionalism, foreign policy, assimilation, and American exceptionalism.

Theme 2: Work, Exchange, and Technology

Focuses on the factors behind the development of systems of economic exchange, particularly the role of technology, economic markets, and government.

Theme 3: Geography and the Environment

Focuses on the role of geography and both the natural and human-made environments in the social and political developments in what would become the United States.

Theme 4: Migration and Settlement

Focuses on why and how the various people who moved to and within the United States both adapted to and transformed their new social and physical environments.

Theme 5: Politics and Power

Focuses on how different social and political groups have influenced society and government in the United States as well as how political beliefs and institutions have changed over time.

Theme 6: America in the World

Focuses on the interactions between nations that affected North American history in the colonial period and on the influence of the United States on world affairs.

Theme 7: American and Regional Culture

Focuses on how and why national, regional, and group cultures developed and changed as well as how culture has shaped government policy and the economy.

Theme 8: Social Structures

Focuses on how and why systems of social organization develop and change as well as the impact that these systems have on the broader society.


Sample AP US History Questions

Now that you have a sense of the test content, I'll present you with sample questions to give you a better idea of what the AP US History exam actually looks like. All sample questions come from the official US History Course and Exam Description .

Sample Multiple-Choice Question

For multiple choice, you're given one or two pieces of historical evidence followed by a set of questions that ask you to do some analysis . The US History exam is less about knowing specific dates and names and more about being able to draw conclusions and connect themes based on materials provided by the test.


To answer this question, you don't even really need to know much about US history, as long as you pay attention to exactly what's written in the passage, or the secondary source you've been given. The passage here is mainly focused on the increase in commerce in New York as a result of the opening of the Erie Canal.

Answer choice A mentions commerce—that's a good sign—but specifically commerce with Native Americans, who are not mentioned at all in the passage, so this is unlikely to be the right answer.

Answer choice B discusses increased access to markets in the United States, which seems to echo what the passage says about commerce in New York. We'll hold onto this as a potential answer.

Answer choice C is all about the internal slave trade, which isn't mentioned at all in the secondary source, so we can assume this is wrong.

Answer choice D talks about agricultural production, which, again, isn't the focus of the passage—that's commerce. As a result, we can cross this off our list.

This means that the only logical answer to choose is answer choice B .

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Sample Short-Answer Question

The short-answer questions are technically considered part of the multiple-choice section because they're less involved than the essay questions. Alt hough they do have multiple parts, you don't have to come up with a thesis—one-sentence answers are OK. These questions are about succinctly connecting themes and reference materials to specific events or trends.

Here's an example:


This short-answer question is an example of question 1, which comes with two secondary sources. As you can see, you'll have to answer three separate parts (A, B, and C), each of which is worth 1 point ; this means you can earn up to 3 points for each short-answer question.

Here's how you could earn full credit for this sample question, per the official scoring guidelines .

(A) Sample Answers

  • Peiss argues that pursuits of entertainment in dance halls by working class women created new, legitimate social spaces for women, however Enstand argues that working women's participation in labor politics gave them a new voice and place in the public sphere.
  • Peiss links the growth of women in public social life to a commercial culture that provided opportunities for women to enter the public sphere while Enstand argues that women became political actors who demanded a public voice.

(B) Sample Answers

  • Like the dance halls, department stores and amusement parks became aspects of the commercial culture that represented new opportunities for women to enjoy public places as legitimate participants.
  • The concept of the New Woman became a cultural phenomenon, as the older idea of separate spheres diminished. The idea of the New Woman supported a more public role for women in the early 1900s.
  • The growth of cities and urban America gave young women more opportunities to leave rural America and participate in the developments described by Peiss.
  • New technologies such as electric lighting made possible new public spaces for personal freedom for women.

(C) Sample Answers

  • Women's participation in the suffrage movement, settlement house work, temperance organizing, and the Progressive movement all contributed to modern attitudes about women and increased their roles in the public sphere.
  • The ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution gave women the vote and a voice in politics.
  • Women were the main participants in the New York shirtwaist strike of 1909. During this strike women made public demands like those described by Enstad.
  • Women organized or participated in labor unions such as the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) which is an example of their growing voice in the public sphere.
  • Working-class women had key public roles in the successful Lawrence (Massachusetts) textile strike of 1912, this demonstrates that women became active political voices through labor movements.


Sample Document-Based Question

With the DBQ , you'll have seven different historical documents to examine . To earn full credit, you must use at least six documents as evidence in your answer. These documents range from transcripts of folk songs, to excerpts from letters and newspapers, to demographic maps.

Here's an example of a DBQ (with one document shown):


There are several components of a solid response to this question. The DBQ is worth a total of 7 raw points . Here's how you could earn full credit, according to the scoring guidelines .

Thesis/Claim (0-1 points) The response must provide a historically defensible thesis or claim about the causes of the expanding role of the United States in the world in the period from 1865 to 1910; the thesis or claim must either provide some indication of the reasoning for making that claim OR by establishing analytic categories of the argument
Contextualization (0-1 points) Must accurately describe a context relevant to the expanding role of the United States in the world in the period from 1865 to 1910
Evidence (0-3 points)

Support an argument in response to the prompt by accurately using the content of at least six documents; the six documents do not have to be used in support of a single argument, but they can be used across sub-arguments or to address counterarguments

Must use at least one specific piece of historical evidence relevant to an argument about the expanding role of the United States in the world in the period from 1865 to 1910

Analysis and Reasoning(0-2 points)

Must explain how or why—rather than simply identifying—the document's point of view, purpose, historical situation, or audience is relevant to an argument that addresses the prompt for each of the three documents sourced

Must demonstrate a complex understanding, such as by explaining nuance of an issue by analyzing multiple variables, or by explaining relevant and insightful connections within and across periods, among others

Sample Long Essay Question

For the Long Essay, you must choose between three prompts . Here's an example of a potential prompt:


Your essay should include many of the same elements as your answer to the DBQ, but there are no documents to analyze and reference , so you'll have less time to write. The essay is worth 6 raw points .

Here's how you could earn full credit for the sample question above, per the scoring guidelines .

Thesis/Claim (0-1 points) The response must provide a historically defensible thesis or claim about how the ratification of the United States Constitution fostered change in the function of the federal government in the period from 1776 to 1800; the thesis or claim must either provide some indication of the reasoning for making that claim OR by establishing analytic categories of the argument
Contextualization (0-1 points) Must accurately describe a context relevant to the ways in which the ratification of the United States Constitution fostered change in the function of the federal government in the period from 1776 to 1800
Evidence (0-2 points) Must use at least two specific historical evidence examples to support an argument regarding how the ratification of the United States Constitution fostered change in the function of the federal government in the period from 1776 to 1800
Analysis and Reasoning (0-2 points) Must demonstrate a complex understanding, such as by explaining nuance of an issue by analyzing multiple variables, or by explaining relevant and insightful connections within and across periods, among others Assessing both Federalist arguments in favor of the Constitution and Anti Federalist arguments against it


How Is the AP US History Exam Scored?

Here, we'll go over how each section on the AP US History exam is scored, scaled, and combined to give you your final AP score on the 1-5 scale .

On the multiple-choice section, you earn 1 raw point for each question you answer correctly; this means that the max score you can earn here is 55 points. No points are taken off for incorrect answers.

Each of the three short-answer questions is worth 3 points, so there are 9 points possible in this section.

The DBQ is scored out of 7 points and is based on the following criteria, per the scoring guide :

  • Thesis/claim: 1 point
  • Contextualization: 1 point
  • Evidence from the documents: 2 points
  • Evidence beyond the documents: 1 point
  • Sourcing: 1 point
  • Complexity: 1 point

Lastly, the Long Essay is out of 6 raw points and is scored using the following criteria:

  • Evidence: 2 points
  • Analysis and reasoning: 2 points

On essay questions, points are taken off for errors only if they detract from the quality of the argument being made (in other words, don't go making up historical facts to support your argument). Grammatical and other technical errors aren't a big deal as long as they don't inhibit the grader's ability to understand what your essay is saying.

The total number of raw points you can earn on the AP US History test is 77:

  • 55 points for the Multiple Choice questions
  • 9 points for the Short Answer questions
  • 7 points for the DBQ
  • 6 points for the Long Essay

Raw scores can be converted to scaled scores out of 150 . Here's how to do that for each section:

  • Multiple Choice: Multiply your raw multiple-choice section score out of 55 by 1.09
  • Short Answer: Multiply your raw short-answer score out of 9 by 3.33
  • DBQ: Multiply your raw DBQ score out of 7 by 5.36
  • Long Essay: Multiply your raw Long Essay score out of 6 by 3.75

Finally, add all the scores together to get your final scaled AP score for US History! Here is a chart to show you approximately how these scaled scores translate to final AP scores:

115-150 5 10.8%
90-114 4 15.6%
65-89 3 21.9%
44-64 2 23.0%
0-43 1 28.8%

Source: The College Board

I made my best estimates based on other AP score conversion charts because there was no official scaled-to-AP-score conversion chart online for US History. Your AP teacher or review book might have a more accurate score conversion system you can use for official practice tests.

4 Essential Tips for Acing the AP US History Exam

AP US History is a grueling test that requires intense critical thinking and analytical skills. Here are some helpful tips to remember if you hope to do well on test day.

#1: Don't Confuse Accurate Facts for Correct Answers

Many multiple-choice questions will list answers that are accurate representations of historical events or trends but that don't directly respond to the question being asked . Be wary of these answers on the test so you don't accidentally choose them over more relevant responses.

In the multiple-choice question I gave above as an example, one incorrect choice was "The growth in the internal slave trade." At the time referenced in the question, this was a real trend that occurred, but because it doesn't relate directly to the passage given, it's still the wrong answer .

Don't let these types of answer choices confuse you; adhere to the particulars of the question and the evidence presented to you!

#2: Pay Attention to Details—Read Excerpts Carefully

Most of this AP exam is based on historical reference materials, meaning that you won't be able to answer questions correctly without reading carefully. Even if you know everything there is to know about US History, that knowledge will mostly just serve to contextualize the evidence presented on the test. The specific details found in the writings and images will ultimately reveal the best answer choice.

#3: Plan Before You Write

It's critical to write well-organized, focused essays on the AP US History test. A clear thesis is the first thing on the agenda. You then need to make sure that the rest of your essay ties back into your thesis and provides relevant evidence throughout. If you jump into writing an essay without taking the time to organize your thoughts, you're more likely to ramble or get off-topic from the main focus of the question.

For the DBQ, you should spend 15 of the 60 minutes planning how to organize your thoughts and how to use the different documents as evidence. While you will have less time for the Long Essay, you should still spend five minutes or so writing a brief outline before starting your final draft.

#4: Use Outside Evidence Wisely

It's a smart idea to incorporate additional background knowledge into your DBQ and Long Essay responses on the AP US History test. It shows that you've mastered the material and can connect themes to what you learned in class and not just what was presented to you in the question.

That said, don't include outside knowledge unless it really bolsters your argument . If you're just sticking it in there to prove how much you know, your essay will lack focus and you might lose points.

This is why it's so important to plan ahead. In the planning stage, you can think of examples that tie into your thesis and strategically place them throughout your essay in ways that contribute to your point.


Conclusion: Getting a Great Score on the AP US History Exam

The AP US History exam is one of the longer AP tests, and it has four different types of questions: Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Document-Based Question (DBQ), and Long Essay.

The main thread running through this test is an emphasis on analyzing historical evidence and applying outside knowledge in context. In your studying, you will need to learn to connect the themes of the course to events spanning 500 years of US history.

Here are some study tips to heed as you prep for the AP US History test:

  • Don't mistake accurate facts for correct answers
  • Always read excerpts carefully
  • Plan before writing your essays
  • Use outside evidence strategically

Make sure that you practice all the different types of exam questions with official materials before you sit down to take the real test . If you get used to thinking about history in an analytical, evidence-based context, you should have no problem earning a high US History score!

What's Next?

Looking for more practice materials? Check out our article on the best online quizzes you can take to prepare for the AP US History test !

Review books can be extremely helpful tools in preparing for AP exams. If you can't decide which one to get, take a look at this list of the best review books for the AP US History test .

Did you lose some of your notes? Feel free to use these links to AP US History notes for every section of the course .

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Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.

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AP World History: Modern Sample Long Essay Question

AP World History: Modern Sample Long Essay Question

In the period 1850 to 2001, new technologies emerged that had significant social, political, and economic effects. Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which changes in the spread of ideas/information before and after World War I impacted societies.

Step 1: Analyze the Prompt

As you choose which question you will answer, begin thinking about what your thesis will entail and how your essay will demonstrate a complex understanding. The notes of a sample high- scoring writer are below. Note that the writer plans to develop a complex argument by addressing not only changes, as required by the prompt, but also continuities in societies before and after World War I.

Thesis : changes: faster spread of ideas made news, politics, and war more immersive and fast-paced; continuity: cross-cultural interactions transform all cultures (complex understanding, historical skill)

Step 2: Plan Your Response

  • Context : Gutenberg → 2nd industrial revolution (steamship, train, telegraph) → digital revolution (radio, TV, Internet)
  • Thesis : changes: faster spread of ideas made news, politics, and war more immersive and fast-paced; continuity: cross-cultural interactions transform all cultures ( complex understanding, historical skill )
  • Evidence : War of 1812 versus WWII, Vietnam, Gulf War
  • Evidence : American Revolution versus Cold War
  • Evidence : language: Arab traders & Swahili, and modern business & English
  • ¶ conclusion: impacts of tech on society have become more pervasive, though tendency towards cross-cultural influence has persisted

Step 3: Action! Write Your Response & Step 4: Proofread

Sample high-scoring response.

A key change between these eras of communication is how the speed of ideas’ dissemination impacts their force of impact and makes news more pervasive in civilians’ lives. In the distant past, the slow rate of communication caused reactions that were often months, or even years, after the initial communication. For instance, the final battle of the War of 1812 was fought after the signing of the war’s peace treaty because news had not yet traveled by ship across the Atlantic Ocean. In contrast, the peace treaties of WWII were celebrated in cities around the world mere minutes after news of their signing was shared by telegram and radio signals. The quick spread of images and video from the Vietnam conflict helped intensify Americans’ resistance to the war. In recent decades, 24-hour live coverage of conflicts, as in CNN’s being the first to provide constant coverage of a war during the Gulf War, allowed policy- makers and civilians to respond instantly to developments. As news became quicker, so its impact became more significant and more immediate.

Another change is that the quick and pervasive spread of ideas has made political conflicts more ideological and propaganda-based, further drawing societies into global disputes. Political rebellions of the eighteenth century, such as the American and French Revolutions, were based on Enlightenment ideals such as equality and representative government; they made use of propaganda in the form of printed political cartoons, tracts, and engravings to spread their ideals among the populace. However, the news communication made possible by radio and television after World War II helped propel the ideological conflict between the communist Soviet Union and the democratic United States into a worldwide phenomenon that intensely impacted both nations’ citizens. Technology was able to so effectively spread this war of ideas that the two major superpowers never engaged in direct battle themselves; still, citizens were drawn into a culture of propaganda that demonized the other side, made bomb shelters and bomb drills a part of daily life due to fear of nuclear warfare, and saw governments pour millions of dollars into the space race. Technology thus made it possible for conflicts to become all-immersive, even if they were based on ideas rather than physical confrontations.

Despite changes in communication, constants about its impacts remain. Cross- cultural communications still transform societies as they borrow and adapt ideas from others. For instance, from the eighth century onward, Arab traders who traveled throughout West Africa and along the eastern and northern coasts not only enriched communities economically but also spread Islam. Further, the necessity for communication among traders led to the rise of Swahili, a language that combined Arabic and African words and is still the lingua franca in much of East Africa today. Similarly, in modern times, as Britain and then the United States dominated world trade, English became a kind of worldwide lingua franca of modern business. Just as Arab traders spread their religion, American culture also diffused to other societies: almost every nation in modern times, for instance, built American-style fast food restaurants. Mirroring the trends related to the spread of news and politics, cultural diffusions in recent decades occurred at a faster rate and to a more pervasive extent than in the past. Whereas primarily traders would have adopted Swahili as it developed over generations, today English is taught in grade schools throughout the world.

Cultures that interact always influence each other. In the past century, how- ideas travel at a faster pace. As they have in ever, technology has made the impact of this spread of ideas more pervasive and significant as news and political the past, societies will continue to transform as they encounter ideas from other cultures, but with this increased intensity of communication, the impacts of ideas will continue to escalate.

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By submitting my email address. i certify that i am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from the princeton review, and agree to terms of use., guide to the ap u.s. history exam.

AP US History Exam

The AP ® U.S. History exam, also known as APUSH, is a college-level exam administered every year in May upon the completion of an Advanced Placement U.S. History course taken at your high school. If you score high enough, you could earn college credit!

Check out our AP U.S. History Guide for the essential info you need about the exam:

  • AP U.S. History Exam Overview
  • AP U.S. History Sections & Question Types
  • AP U.S. History Scoring
  • How to Prepare

What's on the AP U.S. History Exam?

The College Board requires your AP teacher to cover certain topics in the AP U.S. History course. As you complete your APUSH review, make sure you are familiar with the following topics:

  • Period 1 (1491–1607) : Native American Societies Before European Contact; European Exploration in the Americas; Columbian Exchange, Spanish Exploration, and Conquest; Labor, Slavery, and Caste in the Spanish Colonial System; Cultural Interactions Between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans
  • Period 2 (1607–1754) : European Colonization; The Regions of British Colonies; Transatlantic Trade; Interactions Between American Indians and Europeans; Slavery in the British Colonies; Colonial Society and Culture
  • Period 3 (1754–1800) : The Seven Years’ War (The French and Indian War); Taxation Without Representation; Philosophical Foundations of the American Revolution; The American Revolution; The Influence of Revolutionary Ideals; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitutional Convention and Debates over Ratification; The Constitution; Shaping a New Republic; Developing an American Identity; Movement in the Early Republic
  • Period 4 (1800–1848) : The Rise of Political Parties and the Era of Jefferson; Politics and Regional Interests; America on the World Stage; Market Revolution: Industrialization; Market Revolution: Society and Culture; Expanding Democracy; Jackson and Federal Power; The Development of an American Culture; The Second Great Awakening; An Age of Reform; African Americans in the Early Republic; The Society of the South in the Early Republic
  • Period 5 (1844–1877) : Manifest Destiny; The Mexican–American War; The Compromise of 1850; Sectional Conflict: Regional Differences; Failure of Compromise; Election of 1860 and Secession; Military Conflict in the Civil War; Government Policies During the Civil War; Reconstruction; Failure of Reconstruction
  • Period 6 (1865–1898) : Westward Expansion: Economic Development; Westward Expansion: Social and Cultural Development; The “New South”; Technological Innovation; The Rise of Industrial Capitalism; Labor in the Gilded Age; Immigration and Migration in the Gilded Age; Responses to Immigration in the Gilded Age; Development of the Middle Class; Reform in the Gilded Age; Controversies over the Role of Government in the Gilded Age; Politics in the Gilded Age
  • Period 7 (1890–1945) : Imperialism: Debates; The Spanish–American War; The Progressives; World War I: Military and Diplomacy; World War I: Home Front; 1920s: Innovations in Communication and Technology; 1920s: Cultural and Political Controversies; The Great Depression; The New Deal; Interwar Foreign Policy; World War II: Mobilization; World War II: Military; Postwar Diplomacy
  • Period 8 (1945–1980) : The Cold War from 1945 to 1980; The Red Scare; Economy after 1945; Culture after 1945; Early Steps in the Civil Rights Movement (1940s and 1950s); America as a World Power; The Vietnam War; The Great Society; The African American Civil Rights Movement (1960s); The Civil Rights Movement Expands; Youth Culture of the 1960s; The Environment and Natural Resources from 1968 to 1980; Society in Transition
  • Period 9 (1980–Present): Reagan and Conservatism; The End of the Cold War; A Changing Economy; Migration and Immigration in the 1990s and 2000s; Challenges of the 21 st Century

Read More: Review for the exam with our AP U.S. History Crash Courses

Sections & Question Types

The APUSH exam takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete and is comprised of two sections: a multiple-choice/short answer section and a a free response section. There are two parts to each section.


Number of Questions

Exam Weighting

Part A: 55 minutes

Part B: 40 minutes

55 multiple-choice questions

3 short answer questions



Part A: 60 minutes (including 15-minute reading period)

Part B: 40 minutes

1 document-based question

1 long essay



APUSH Multiple Choice Questions

Questions are grouped into sets of three or four questions and based on a primary source, secondary source, or historical issue. Each set of questions is based on a different piece of source material. This section will test your ability to analyze and engage with the source materials while recalling what you already know about U.S. history.

APUSH Short Answer Questions

The three questions in this section will be tied to a primary source, historical argument, data or maps, or general propositions of U.S. history. Students are required to answer the first and second questions and then answer either the third or the fourth question. You are not required to develop and support a thesis statement, but you must describe examples of historical evidence relevant to the source or question.

APUSH Document-Based Question (DBQ)

The DBQ question requires you to answer a question based on seven primary source documents and your knowledge of the subject and time period. All the documents will pertain to a single subject. Students should develop an argument about the question and use the documents to support this argument.

APUSH Long Essay Question

For the long essay question, you’ll be given a choice of three essay options on the same theme, and you must choose one. You must develop and defend a relevant thesis, but there won’t be any documents on which you must base your response. Instead, you’ll need to draw upon your own knowledge of topics you learned in your AP U.S. History class.

For a comprehensive content review, check out our book,  AP U.S. History Prep

What’s a good AP U.S. History Score?

AP scores are reported from 1 to 5. Colleges are generally looking for a 4 or 5 on the AP U.S. History exam, but some may grant credit for a 3. Here’s how students scored on the May 2020 test:


Extremely qualified



Well qualified






Possibly qualified



No recommendation


Source: College Board

How can I prepare?

AP classes are great, but for many students they’re not enough! For a thorough review of AP U.S. History content and strategy, pick the  AP prep option  that works best for your goals and learning style. 

  • AP Exams  

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AP United States History

Learn all about the course and exam. Already enrolled? Join your class in My AP.

Not a Student?

Go to AP Central for resources for teachers, administrators, and coordinators.

About the Course

Study the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that have shaped the United States from c. 1491 to the present. You’ll analyze texts, visual sources, and other historical evidence and write essays expressing historical arguments.

Skills You'll Learn

Evaluating primary and secondary sources

Analyzing the claims, evidence, and reasoning you find in sources

Putting historical developments in context and making connections between them

Coming up with a claim or thesis and explaining and supporting it in writing

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College course equivalent.

A two-semester introductory college course in U.S. history

Recommended Prerequisites

Fri, May 10, 2024

AP U.S. History Exam

This is the regularly scheduled date for the AP United States History Exam.

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

Unit 1: period 1: 1491–1607.

You’ll learn about Native American societies as well as how and why Europeans first explored, and then began to colonize, the Americas.

Topics may include:

  • Native American societies before European contact
  • European exploration in the New World
  • The Columbian Exchange
  • Labor, slavery, and caste in the Spanish colonial system
  • Cultural interactions between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans

On The Exam

4%–6% of score

Unit 2: Period 2: 1607–1754

You'll study the colonies established in the New World by the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British.

  • How different European colonies developed and expanded
  • Transatlantic trade
  • Interactions between American Indians and Europeans
  • Slavery in the British colonies
  • Colonial society and culture

6%–8% of score

Unit 3: Period 3: 1754–1800

You'll explore the events that led to the American Revolution and the formation of the United States and examine the early years of the republic.

  • The Seven Years’ War
  • The American Revolution
  • The Articles of Confederation
  • The creation and ratification of the Constitution
  • Developing an American identity
  • Immigration to and migration within America

10%–17% of score

Unit 4: Period 4: 1800–1848

You’ll examine how the young nation developed politically, culturally, and economically in this period.

  • The rise of political parties
  • American foreign policy
  • Innovations in technology, agriculture, and business
  • Debates about federal power
  • The Second Great Awakening
  • Reform movements
  • The experience of African Americans

Unit 5: Period 5: 1844–1877

You’ll learn how the nation expanded and you’ll explore the events that led to the secession of Southern states and the Civil War.

  • Manifest Destiny
  • The Mexican–American War
  • Attempts to resolve conflicts over the spread of slavery
  • The election of 1860 and Southern secession
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction

Unit 6: Period 6: 1865–1898

You’ll examine the nation’s economic and demographic shifts in this period and their links to cultural and political changes.

  • The settlement of the West
  • The "New South"
  • The rise of industrial capitalism
  • Immigration and migration
  • Debates about the role of government

Unit 7: Period 7: 1890–1945

You’ll examine America’s changing society and culture and the causes and effects of the global wars and economic meltdown of this period.

  • Debates over imperialism
  • The Progressive movement
  • World War I
  • Innovations in communications and technology in the 1920s
  • The Great Depression and the New Deal
  • World War II
  • Postwar diplomacy

Unit 8: Period 8: 1945–1980

You’ll learn about the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States, the growth of various civil rights movements, and the economic, cultural, and political transformations of this period.

  • The Cold War and the Red Scare
  • America as a world power
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Great Society
  • The African American civil rights movement
  • Youth culture of the 1960s

Unit 9: Period 9: 1980–Present

You’ll learn about the advance of political conservatism, developments in science and technology, and demographic shifts that had major cultural and political consequences in this period.

  • Reagan and conservatism
  • The end of the Cold War
  • Shifts in the economy
  • Migration and immigration
  • Challenges of the 21st century

Credit and Placement

Search AP Credit Policies

Find colleges that grant credit and/or placement for AP Exam scores in this and other AP courses.

Course Resources

Ap classroom resources.

Once you join your AP class section online, you’ll be able to access AP Daily videos, any assignments from your teacher, and your assignment results in AP Classroom. Sign in to access them.

  • Go to AP Classroom

United States History Reading Study Skills

Review these tips to help you better understand and analyze the material you’ll read in this course.

United States History Writing Study Skills

Read these suggestions for writing a good essay, such as one you’d write as a response to a document-based question or other free-response question on the exam.

AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description

This is the core document for the course. It clearly lays out the course content and describes the exam and the AP Program in general.

See Where AP Can Take You

AP United States History can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Additional Information

2022 apush long essay question

AP US History Exam 2022

For details on the 2024 AP US History Exam, check this article .

Unlike 2020 and 2021, when the College Board modified the AP exams as a response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the 2022 AP exams will return to its original format.

This year, the AP exams will take place over a two-week period in May: May 2–6 and May 9–13.

The College Board may change the format, however, if schools are disrupted in the spring due to COVID-19. 

“We’ll continue to monitor global, national, and local health conditions, putting the health and safety of students first, and if there are widespread school closures in spring 2022, we’ll provide options similar to those offered in 2021,” the College Board noted here . 

We will, of course, update this guide if that should happen.

The AP US History exam for 2022 will be a full-length paper-and-pencil exam that students can take in school only. 

Here is what you need to know to do well in the upcoming APUSH exam. 

Will I get college credit for the 2022 APUSH exam?

Students who take the 2022 APUSH exam will be eligible for college credit.

As in previous years, a student must obtain a score of 3, 4, or 5 to be eligible for college credit. 

For tips on getting a perfect AP score, check out this interview with Dawn Mueller, an educational consultant with Tutor Doctor.

How long is the 2022 APUSH exam?

The 2022 APUSH exam will be 3 hours, 15 minutes long. 

What’s the 2022 APUSH exam date and time?

The 2022 APUSH exam is scheduled for Friday, May 6 at 8 AM local time .  

What will be tested on the 2022 APUSH exam?

The 2022 APUSH exam will test students on the whole course content, so be prepared to answer questions on these topics:

  • Unit 1: Period 1: 1491-1607
  • Unit 2: Period 2: 1607-1754
  • Unit 3: Period 3: 1754-1800 
  • Unit 4: Period 4: 1800-1848
  • Unit 5: Period 5: 1844-1877
  • Unit 6: Period 6: 1865-1898
  • Unit 7: Period 7: 1890-1945
  • Unit 8: Period 8: 1945-1980
  • Unit 9: Period 9: 1980-Present

What is the APUSH exam format for 2022?

The 2022 APUSH exam will consist of two sections. The first section is worth 60 percent of the exam, and the second section is worth 40 percent of the exam.

In the first section, you will have 55 minutes to answer 55 multiple-choice questions and 40 minutes to answer 3 short answer questions. The first two short answer questions are required, but you can choose between two prompts to answer the third question. 

In the second section, you will have 1 hour to answer 1 document-based question and 40 minutes to answer 1 long essay question. 

The chart below shows the breakdown of the exam components. 

5555 minutes40%
340 minutes20%
160 minutes25%
140 minutes15%

Does the College Board offer any free APUSH exam prep resources? 

The College Board is offering a number of free APUSH exam resources to students to help them prepare for the exam.

APUSH Practice Tests

You can get examples of free-response questions from past APUSH exams for free. You can use these as practice tests to supplement other test prep materials you use.

Check here for free-response questions posed in the 2021 APUSH exam. You can also log in to the AP Classroom Question Bank for questions posed in the 2020 exam. 

And check here for free-response questions from the 2015-2019 APUSH exams.

APUSH Courses

The College Board’s AP YouTube channel gives students access to APLive classes and recordings delivered by AP teachers from across the country. Additionally, to help students review course content and skills before their exam, the College Board gives students access to the AP Daily: Live Review sessions for the 2021 APUSH exam . 

What are my other options for preparing for the 2022 APUSH exam?

If you don’t have an APUSH review book already, check out TUN’s Textbook Save Engine to compare prices and get the best deals. 

There are also online resources that you can use to help you prepare for the 2022 APUSH exam. 

Princeton Review

The Princeton Review offers a 6-Hour AP Cram Course for the APUSH exam. The course covers significant events and people in U.S. history from earliest times up to the present time, and reviews the historical periods and themes you need to understand for a great score.

The course, which comes with a Princeton Review prep book, can be ordered online for $399. For now, there are 3 available Cram Course schedules.

  • April 24 & May 1, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (Eastern time)
  • April 26 & April 28, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Eastern time)
  • April 30 & May 1, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (Eastern time)

The Princeton Review also offers private tutoring , available both in-person or online, for a fee starting at $206 an hour. If you decide to go with this personalized option, expert tutors will work with you to “make a plan, set goals, and exceed them.” The Princeton Review guarantees that if you’re not 100% satisfied, they will match you with another tutor and your next lesson will be free. 

If you’re taking more than one AP exam in 2022, check TUN’s AP Exam Review for details on other AP exams.

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  1. APUSH LongEssayOutline 1 -1.docx

    2022 apush long essay question

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  3. Copy of March 2 2022 APUSH Daily Assignment.pdf

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  1. PDF AP United States History 2022 Free-Response Questions

    AP United States History 2022 Free-Response Questions Author: ETS Subject: Free-Response Questions from the 2022 AP United States History Exam Keywords: United States History; Free-Response Questions; 2022; exam resources; exam information; teaching resources; exam practice Created Date: 8/2/2021 1:01:26 PM

  2. AP United States History Exam Questions

    Score Distributions. Introduction and Preface. Short Answer Question 1. Short Answer Question 2. Short Answer Question 3. Document-Based Question 1. Long Essay Question 2. Long Essay Question 3. Download free-response questions from past AP United States History exams, along with scoring guidelines, sample responses, and scoring distributions.

  3. AP United States History Exam

    Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description (CED).. Scoring rubrics - general scoring criteria for the document-based and long essay questions, regardless of specific question prompt - are available in the course and exam description (CED).

  4. PDF AP United States History

    Question 2: Long Essay Question, Population Movement to British America 6 points General Scoring Notes • Except where otherwise noted, each point of these rubrics is earned independently; for example, a student could earn a point for evidence

  5. The 2022 APUSH Free-Response Questions

    Section II of the AP U.S. History free-response section comprises of a document-based question (DBQ) and one long essay question (LEQ), which you can choose to answer from three different prompts. Question 1, the document-based question on the 2022 APUSH Exam asked test takers to: 1. Evaluate the extent to which the United States developed an ...

  6. AP World History: Modern Exam Questions

    Download free-response questions from this year's exam and past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring distributions. If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333 or by email at ssd@info ...

  7. PDF AP United States History

    2022 AP Student Samples and Commentary - AP U.S. History Long Essay Question 3 Author: College Board Subject: AP; Advanced Placement; ADA Keywords "AP; Advanced Placement; 2022 AP Exam Administration; Student Sample Responses; Scoring Commentary; Scoring Information; Scoring Resources; "; Created Date: 8/26/2022 2:25:38 PM

  8. AP United States History Exam

    Long Essay 1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score. ... Go to AP Central to review free-response questions and scoring information from past AP United States History exams. Download. AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description This is the core document for the course. It clearly lays out the course content and describes the exam and the AP ...

  9. PDF AP U.S. History Sample Questions

    These sample exam questions were originally included in the AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework, published in fall 2012. The AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description, which is out now, includes that curriculum framework, along with a new, unique set of exam questions. Because we want teachers to have access to all available questions that ...

  10. How to Answer AP® US History Free Response Questions

    2. Underline or circle every bolded and capitalized word in the question prompt. 3. Plan your response BEFORE beginning to write your response. 4. Remember that AP® US History DBQs and LEQs require you to demonstrate four key skills: formation of a thesis, contextualization, sourcing, and complexity.

  11. PDF AP United States History

    The historical situation for Document 6 is presented with the discussion of the Second Great Awakening. In the third paragraph the historical situation for. Question 1—Document-Based Question (continued) Document 2 is presented with the political division over the question of war with Great Britain in 1812.

  12. AP U.S. History Long Essay Example

    The second part of Section II of the AP exam contains three long essay questions—you must respond to one. The AP U.S. History long essay question assesses your ability to apply knowledge of history in a complex, analytical manner. In other words, you are expected to treat history and historical questions as a historian would.

  13. APUSH Long Essay Question Example 2

    The APUSH (Advanced Placement U.S. History) exam has specific standards and criteria for grading the Long Essay Question (LEQ). Let's break down why the provided essay meets these standards perfectly: Thesis/Claim (1 point): The APUSH exam requires students to present a clear, precise, and defensible thesis in their essay.

  14. PDF AP History Long Essay Question (LEQ) Rubric (6 points)

    AP History Long Essay Question (LEQ) Rubric (6 points) Reporting Category. Scoring Criteria. Decision Rules. THESIS/CLAIM. (0-1 pt) 1 pt. Responds to the prompt with a historically defensible thesis/claim that establishes a line of reasoning. To earn this point, the thesis must make a claim that responds to the prompt, rather than merely ...

  15. How to Approach the AP U.S. History Long Essay Question

    Step 1: Analyze the Prompt. Each long essay question will ask you to "evaluate the extent" of some factor in American history. Since you are evaluating, you will need to develop an argument that addresses the prompt. Make sure to read all three prompts carefully. Think of the evidence you could use and the argument you could develop in ...

  16. AP World History How To Write a LEQ Overview

    1750-2001. 1890-2001. 1815-2001. Writing time on the AP Exam includes both the Document Based Question (DBQ) and the (LEQ), but it is suggested that you spend 40 minutes completing the LEQ. You will need to plan and write your essay in that time. A good breakdown would be 5 min. (planning) + 35 min. (writing) = 40 min.

  17. The Ultimate Guide to the AP US History Exam

    DBQ: Multiply your raw DBQ score out of 7 by 5.36. Long Essay: Multiply your raw Long Essay score out of 6 by 3.75. Finally, add all the scores together to get your final scaled AP score for US History! Here is a chart to show you approximately how these scaled scores translate to final AP scores: Scaled Score.

  18. AP World History: Modern Sample Long Essay Question

    Step 2: Plan Your Response. Next, take time to plan your response. Check your plan against the long essay question require- ments. See the following sample plan that a high-scoring writer might make; scoring requirements are written in bold for reference. Step 3: Action! Write Your Response & Step 4: Proofread.

  19. Guide to the AP U.S. History Exam

    The DBQ question requires you to answer a question based on seven primary source documents and your knowledge of the subject and time period. All the documents will pertain to a single subject. Students should develop an argument about the question and use the documents to support this argument. APUSH Long Essay Question

  20. AP United States History

    You'll explore the events that led to the American Revolution and the formation of the United States and examine the early years of the republic. Topics may include: The Seven Years' War. The American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation. The creation and ratification of the Constitution. Developing an American identity.

  21. AP US History Exam 2022

    The 2022 APUSH exam will consist of two sections. The first section is worth 60 percent of the exam, and the second section is worth 40 percent of the exam. In the first section, you will have 55 minutes to answer 55 multiple-choice questions and 40 minutes to answer 3 short answer questions. The first two short answer questions are required ...


    Question 3 — Long Essay Overview Long Essay Question 3 allowed students to evaluate the extent to which the Mexican-American War marked a turning point in the debate over slavery in the U.S., analyzing what changed and what stayed the same from the period before the war to the period after. The question assessed the historical thinking skill

  23. PDF 2022 Ap® Us History Free-response Questions

    2022 AP® US HISTORY FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS Question 1 (Document-Based Question) Suggested reading period: 15 minutes ... • Synthesize the elements above into a persuasive essay that extends your argument, ... We have listened too long to the cour tly muses of Europe. The spirit of the American freeman is already suspected to be timid ...