AP United States History

Exam timing

On exam day, you'll click on the link in your e-ticket 30 minutes before the start time for your exam and fill in some information.

A timer will show how much time remains until the start of the exam.

Once the exam starts, the exam question will automatically appear, and another timer will start counting down.

Your timer will show 50 minutes. You should take 45 minutes to read the question and work on your response, and 5 minutes to submit it. When the timer gets to 5 minutes, an alert will show. Stop working at that time and begin to submit your response.

What to have ready on exam day

Required

  • e-ticket email (you’ll receive this two days before your exam)
  • Completed Exam Day Checklist, including AP ID
  • Device: laptop, tablet, smartphone, desktop computer
  • Browser: Chrome (recommended), Firefox, Safari, or Edge
  • Internet or cellular connection
  • Assistive technology and devices (if applicable, for students approved to test with accommodations)

Recommended for students typing responses

Permitted

  • Your class notes or study guides
  • Textbooks and other classroom resources
  • Previous assignments or assessments

Questions

Question 1 (45 mins.)

% of exam weight (rounded)

100%

Question name

Modified Document-Based Question (DBQ)

Question description

This question presents students with 5 historical sources, 1 of which will be a non-text-based source. This question assesses students’ ability to:

  • Respond to the prompt with a historically defensible thesis or claim that establishes a line of reasoning.
  • Describe a broader historical context relevant to the prompt.
  • Support an argument in response to the prompt using at least 4 documents.
  • Use at least 2 additional pieces of specific historical evidence (beyond that found in the documents) relevant to an argument about the prompt.
  • For at least 2 documents, explain how or why the document’s point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience is relevant to an argument.
  • Use evidence to corroborate, qualify, or modify an argument that addresses the prompt.

Corresponding free-response question (FRQ) type in the course and exam description binder

Modified Document-Based Question (DBQ). The prompt for the 2020 modified DBQ may be derived from any of Units 3–7, and will include 5 documents (instead of 7). The rubric (.pdf/667 KB) will be lightly modified to match the reduced number of documents, awarding 1 point for using 2 documents and an additional point for using 4 documents. An additional point will be awarded for effectively incorporating a second piece of outside knowledge into the argument. Students can earn up to 2 points for sourcing (1 point for each document).

What’s covered

Units eligible for 2020 exam: Units 3−7 (Students may choose to, but do not need to, provide content knowledge from Units 1 and/or 2 for context)

Units not included in 2020 exam: Units 1−2 (although students may choose to provide content knowledge from Units 1 and/or 2 for context), 8–9

Sample Questions for the 2020 exam

Download example questions (.pdf/628 KB) similar to what you'll see on the 2020 AP U.S. History Exam

2020 primary exam date and times

The May AP Exams are complete. For reference, here is the past primary exam date and time for this course.

Date: May 15

Hawaii Time: 8 a.m.
Alaska Time: 10 a.m.
Pacific Time: 11 a.m.
Mountain Time: 12 p.m.
Central Time: 1 p.m.
Eastern Time: 2 p.m.

See more time zones

Makeup test date and times

The early-June AP makeup exams are complete. For reference, here is the past makeup exam date and time for this course.

Date: June 3

Hawaii Time: 6 a.m.
Alaska Time: 8 a.m.
Pacific Time: 9 a.m.
Mountain Time: 10 a.m.
Central Time: 11 a.m.
Eastern Time: 12 p.m.
See more time zones

Exception testing date and times

The late-June AP exception testing exams are complete. For reference, here is the past exception testing exam date and time for this course.

Date: June 25

Hawaii Time: 8 a.m.
Alaska Time: 10 a.m.
Pacific Time: 11 a.m.
Mountain Time: 12 p.m.
Central Time: 1 p.m.
Eastern Time: 2 p.m.
See more time zones

Resources