AP World History Score Calculator – 2024

January 17, 2024

AP World History score calculator

Although not considered one of the hardest AP classes nor one of the easiest, AP World History (AP World) is one of the most popular AP classes. Correspondingly, the AP World exam is one of the most popular AP exams, with 350,353 students taking it in 2023. Curious about how you might perform on the AP World exam? With our AP World Score Calculator, you’ll be able to predict your score ahead of time. Moreover, you’ll be able to use the interactive AP World History Score Calculator to explore different scenarios and determine where and how to strive for improvements to your score based on individual goals.

Like all AP exams, the AP World exam is administered by the College Board—the same organization that administers the SAT. All AP exams are scored on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), and can be interpreted as follows:

5 = Extremely well qualified (College Course Grade Equivalent: A or A+)
4 = Well qualified (College Course Grade Equivalent: A-, B+, or B)
3 = Qualified (College Course Grade Equivalent: B-, C+, or C)
2 = Possibly qualified (No grade equivalent provided by the College Board)
1 = No recommendation (No grade equivalent provided by the College Board)

The 2024 AP World exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, during the second (and final) week of AP testing.

Below, we’ll cover the following:

  • What is Covered on the AP World Exam?
  • How Long is the AP World Exam?
  • How is the AP World Exam Scored?
  • AP World DBQ Rubric
  • AP World LEQ Rubric
  • AP World Score Distribution
  • Do AP Scores even Matter?
  • How to Prepare for the AP World Exam
  • When Will I Know My AP World Score?

AP World History Score Calculator

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MCQ Score:
FRQ Score:
Total Composite Score:
/130
Predicted AP® Score:

What is Covered on the AP World Exam?

AP World History is an introductory college-level course on the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that have shaped the world from c. 1200 CE to the present. In the class, students analyze texts, visual sources, and other historical evidence and write essays expressing historical arguments.

The College Board provides detailed guidelines for the AP World History course, which is designed to cover the following skills:

  • 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

AP World History Score Calculator (Continued)

By the time of the exam, you’ll most likely have completed nine AP World History units, which cover four major time periods from 1200 to the present.

  • Unit 1: The Global Tapestry, c. 1200-1450 (8-10% of exam score)
  • Unit 2: Networks of Exchange, c. 1200-1450 (8-10% of exam score)
  • Unit 3: Land-Based Empires, c. 1450-1750 (12-15% of exam score)
  • Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections, c. 1450-1750 (12-15% of exam score)
  • Unit 5: Revolutions, c. 1750-1900 (12-15% of exam score)
  • Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization, c. 1750-1900 (12-15% of exam score)
  • Unit 7: Global Conflict, c. 1900-present (8-10% of exam score)
  • Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonialization, c. 1900-present (8-10% of exam score)
  • Unit 9: Globalization, c. 1900-present (8-10% of exam score)

The AP World Exam tests your understanding of the historical concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze primary and secondary sources and identify patterns and connections that can support a historical interpretation.

Prior to the exam, we recommend experimenting with the AP World Score Calculator to help identify areas in need of further study or review in order to improve your predicted score.

How Long is the AP World Exam?

The AP World Exam is one of the longer AP exams, with a duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes. There is a multiple choice section, a short answer section, and a free response section.

  • Section IA: Multiple Choice
    • 55 Questions
    • 55 Minutes
    • 40% of Score
    • Questions come in sets of 3-4 questions based on the same stimulus.
    • Questions will include one or more sources to respond to, including primary and secondary texts, images (artwork, photos, posters, cartoons), charts, and maps
  • Section IB: Short Answer
    • 3 Questions
    • 40 Minutes
    • 20% of Score
    • Questions 1 and 2 are required
      • Question 1 includes 1-2 secondary sources, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200-2001
      • Question 2 includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1200-2001
    • For your third short answer, you can choose between Question 3 (which focuses on 1200-1750) or Question 4 (which focuses on 1750-2001). No sources are included for either Question 3 or Question 4

AP World History Score Calculator (Continued)

  • Section II: Free Response
    • 2 Questions: 1 Document-Based Question (DBQ) and 1 Long Essay Question (LEQ)
    • 1 Hour 40 Minutes, or 100 minutes
      • 60 Minutes (including 15-minute reading period) recommended for the DBQ
      • 40 Minutes recommended for the LEQ
    • 40% of Score (25% for the DBQ; 15% for the LEQ)

How is the AP World Exam Scored?

In Section IA (multiple-choice) you’ll earn one point for each question answered correctly. No points are deducted for incorrect answers, so don’t leave any questions blank! As there are 55 questions, the max number of points you can earn on this section is, you guessed it, 55.

In Section IB (short answer) each question is worth 3 points. As there are 3 short answer questions, you can earn a total of 9 points.

For Section II, the scoring becomes slightly more complicated. The DBQ is graded on a 7-point rubric, and the LEQ on a 6-point rubric. Both are discussed below.

AP World History Score Calculator (Continued)

This means that you can earn a raw score of up to 73. However, as noted, points are weighed differently depending on the section. In Section IA, your 55 possible points equal 40% of your score; whereas in Section II, your possible 13 points also equal 40% of your score. That is, each point in Section II is “worth” more than a point in Section IA.

After your raw scores are calculated, your composite score is converted to a scaled score from 1-5.

Our interactive AP World Score Calculator can help you experiment with different scenarios and prepare you for possible score outcomes. It is useful to go into the exam knowing how many points you need in each section for your target score.

AP World DBQ Rubric

Ah, the famous DBQ! This question will focus on historical developments or processes between 1450-2001. You’ll be:

  • Presented with 7 documents that give various perspectives on a historical development or process (recommended reading time: 15 minutes)
  • Asked to develop and support an argument based on these documents and other evidence from your own knowledge

Here are some example prompts:

  • Evaluate the extent to which European imperialism affected economies in Africa and/or Asia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • Evaluate the extent to which economic factors led to the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920)
  • Evaluate the extent to which the Portuguese transformed maritime trade in the Indian Ocean in the sixteenth century

Again, the highest score you can receive on the DBQ is 7 points. Your score is determined by the AP World History DBQ Rubric, and points are allocated as follows:

  • Thesis/Claim: 1 Point
    • The thesis/claim is usually one or two sentences, either in the introduction or conclusion. To earn this point, be sure to make a claim that responds to the prompt rather than restating or rephrasing the prompt. The
  • Contextualization: 1 Point
    • You earn this point by describing the broader historical context relevant to the prompt. You’ll need to demonstrate broader understanding—the point is not awarded for merely a phrase or reference

AP World History Score Calculator (Continued)

  • Evidence: 3 Points
    • You can score 1 or 2 points based on the way you use the evidence provided in 3-4 of the documents. To earn 1 point, you’ll need to describe (not simply quote or restate) the evidence from 3 documents. To earn 3 points, you’ll need to do the same, but by explaining evidence from 4 documents.
    • You can earn an additional point by providing evidence that goes beyond the documents provided. You’ll need to be detailed, as you will be referring to evidence the reviewers won’t have in front of them.
  • Analysis and Reasoning: 2 Points
    • You can earn the first point by writing about two of the documents and explaining how or why they are relevant to your answer to the prompt.
    • You can earn an additional point by demonstrated a comprehensive, nuanced understanding of the historical development relevant to the prompt. There are a variety of ways of accomplishing this task, including explaining multiple themes or perspectives or explaining multiple causes or effects.

Due to the complexity and length of the DBQ, it can be intimidating! The AP World Score Calculator might suggest that this is one area where you can improve your score, so be sure to experiment with the calculator and practice for this section.

AP World LEQ Rubric

While the DBQ is a beast, the LEQ is nothing to sneeze at. However, unlike with the DBQ, with the LEQ you’ll at least have your choice of three questions. Each tests the same skills, but focuses on a different historical time period:

  • Option 1: c. 1200-1750
    • Example: In the period before circa 1500, states in the Americas used a variety of institutions, policies, and practices to consolidate and expand their scope and reach. Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which ONE pre-Columbian state in the Americas was successful in consolidating and centralizing its authority during this period.
  • Option 2: c. 1450-1900
    • Example: In the period circa 1450–1750, the global increase in transregional contacts led to both expansion and contraction of existing religions as well as the development of new religious practices. Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which military conflict or conquest was the main cause of religious change in this period.

AP World History Score Calculator (Continued)

  • Option 3: c. 1750-2001
    • Example: In the period after 1900, the role of the state in the economy varied, with many states adopting policies to control or manage their economies. Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which one or more states controlled their economies in this time period.

As with the DBQ, you’ll be asked to develop and support an argument based on evidence. However, unlike the DBQ, you must come up with the historical evidence yourself—you are not given evidence (i.e., “data”) with which to develop an argument.

The AP World LEQ Rubric is similar to the DBQ Rubric, and is broken down as follows:

  • Thesis/Claim: 1 Point
  • Contextualization: 1 Point
  • Evidence: 2 Points (as opposed to the DBQ’s 3 points)
    • You earn 1 point by providing specific examples of at least two pieces of evidence relevant to the prompt. You can earn an additional point by using that specific historical evidence to support an argument in response to the prompt.
  • Analysis and Reasoning: 2 Points
    • To earn 1 point, you must use historical reasoning (comparison, causation, etc.) to frame or structure an argument that addresses the prompt. To earn the second point, you must demonstrate a complex understanding of the historical development that is the focus of the prompt through “sophisticated argumentation and/or effective use of evidence.”

AP World Score Distribution

In 2023, the mean score was 3.04. It is also important to consider the overall score distributions, which show that an encouraging 64.7% of students scored a 3 or higher. While this statistic speaks more to students’ preparedness than the exam itself, it does mean that aiming for a 3 or higher is a realistic goal.

Here’s the full distribution of 2023 AP World scores:

  • 15.3% of students scored a 5
  • 21.9% of students scored a 4
  • 27.4% of students scored a 3
  • 22.3% of students scored a 2
  • 13% of students scored a 1

We recommend establishing a target score before sitting for the exam, and reviewing previous score distributions (from 2023 and beyond) can help you with this process.

Do AP Exam Scores Even Matter?

The short, if unsatisfying, answer: it depends. Your AP scores can earn you college credit or advanced placement (the ability to skip certain introductory courses). More selective schools require a 4 or 5, while others will award course credit for a 3 or above. A few schools will not award college credit regardless of your score. Meanwhile, some schools consider AP scores during the admissions process. It’s a good idea to research the schools in which you are interested and familiarize yourself with their AP policies so you can determine your target score before you sit for the exam (or even before you decide how many AP courses to take).

Our AP World Score Calculator will show you where you might improve on your score, and can help you focus your efforts in advance of the exam—whether your goal is a 3, 4, or 5.

Finally, note that even earning a 1 or 2 on the exam can still be good news, as the College Board reports that students who scored below a 3 still perform significantly better in introductory college classes.

How to Prepare for the AP World Exam

While a 5 is the best AP score, it is important to establish your individualized target score before the exam. Depending on various factors, including your college and major aspirations, your AP course load, and your anticipated AP exam schedule, you may determine that your target score is actually a 3 or a 4.

To prepare for the AP World Exam, we recommend:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the exam format
  • Practice! This includes everything from taking a full-length, timed practice exam to tackling assorted previous Free-Response Questions and comparing your responses to the sample responses given
  • Reviewing the Colleges Board’s AP World History exam tips, which include “Keep an Eye on Your Time” and “Decide Your Thesis Statement”
  • Using the interactive AP World Score Calculator to explore different scenarios and determine where and how to strive for improvements to your score based on individual goals

When Will I Know My AP World History Score?

According to the College Board timeline, AP exam scores will be made available in July. You’ll be able to access them online using your account username and password.

However, you can reduce uncertainty (and lessen the stress of the waiting period) by preparing adequately for the AP World Exam and using the AP World Score Calculator to predict your score.

Additional Resources

In conclusion, we also wanted to suggest checking out some of our other useful calculators such as:

 


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