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How to Ace the AP European History DBQ
What’s covered:, ap european history: a brief introduction.
- What Is The AP Euro Document Based Question?
- How Is The AP Euro DBQ Evaluated?
- Preparing for The AP Euro DBQ
Your Test Day Plan for the AP Euro DBQ
How will ap scores affect my college chances, learn more about the ap european history dbq.
The AP European History course is considered fairly difficult by most students, especially for the notorious DBQ that you’ll encounter during the exam. But, don’t let this scare you! CollegeVine’s resources and tips below can help you understand what’s expected of you and construct a successful response to the Document Based Question (DBQ) on the exam.
The AP European History exam is one of the harder AP exams, with only 11.7% of students receiving a score of five. Therefore, it’s super important to understand the structure of the exam, what previous knowledge you’ll need before taking it, and how you should write your responses on the exam. Although it might seem daunting at first, the following tips and ideas can help ease the writing process.
The exam is structures as follows:
- Multiple choice: 55 minutes | 55 questions | 40% of score
- Short answer questions: 40 minutes | 3 questions | 20% of score
- Free response: 1 hour 40 minutes | 2 questions | 40% of score (Includes DBQ)
What is the AP Euro Document Based Question?
The Document Based Question (DBQ) is an hour long, free-response question worth 25% of your total score. Presented with seven documents of various perspectives, you’re expected to construct an argument with provided evidence and information as well as accumulated knowledge to create a holistic and persuasive response.
Tackling the AP Euro DBQ is best done by understanding the rubric and what is required of you to achieve a higher score. Actively reading, as opposed to passively skimming, through your documents is important to save time and create an outline or plan for your response. For this test, forming a solid thesis is a great start, as it will create a strong foundation to build the rest of your essay on. Linking back to your thesis throughout your AP Euro DBQ response is vital to streamline your writing process and ensure you best present your argument!
How is the AP Euro DBQ Evaluated?
As mentioned before, having a solid understanding of the rubric is essential to earning a good score. Let’s take a look at the scoring guidelines from the most recent test so that you can better understand what the AP graders are looking for in particular. Note that the DBQ is scored out of seven points.
Row A: Thesis/Claim (0–1 points)
- 0 points: Does not meet the criteria for one point.
- 1 point: Responds to the prompt with a historically defensible thesis/claim that establishes a line of reasoning.
Row B: Contextualization (0–1 points)
- 1 point: Describes a broader historical context relevant to the prompt.
Row C: Evidence (0–3 points)
- 1 point: Uses the content of at least three documents to address the topic of the prompt.
- 2 points: Supports an argument in response to the prompt using at least six documents.
- 0 points: Does not meet the criteria for one point
- 1 point: Uses at least one additional piece of the specific historical evidence (beyond that found in the documents) relevant to an argument about the prompt.
Row D: Analysis and Reasoning (0–2 points)
- 1 point: For at least three documents, explain how or why the document’s point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience is relevant to an argument.
- 1 point: Demonstrates a complex understanding of the historical development that is the focus of the prompt, using evidence to corroborate, qualify, or modify an argument that addresses the question.
The graders reference these scoring guidelines as they read your essays, so it’s really important that you cater your response to very clearly meet each criterion.
Preparing for the AP Euro DBQ
Take practice exams.
Taking practice exams and perfecting your DBQ responses is key to scoring high. Make sure that you grade each exam you take, so you’ll learn the structure and requirements that are expected for a good score; you can refer to the criteria summarized above for further details. As you practice, take note of any trends or common mistakes you find yourself making so that you can make sure to adjust those habits before you take the actual test. Essentially, practice does make perfect and your chances of success increase greatly as you build more experience with responding to DBQs.
Pay attention to timing
Practicing the DBQs beforehand could also help you get used to the timing of the exam and help alleviate some of the stress during test day. Outlining may help you plan out your writing process, but keep in mind that this is best done during your 15 minute reading period, as it could possibly eat away from your precious writing time. Staying mindful of your time limits is important to keep you calm and collected during the writing process, so try to time yourself as you take practice exams!
1. Glance at the documents
Your first step (after reading the prompt) should be to skim through the documents during your reading period. As you do so, look for keywords or find context that will clue you into the document’s overall message. This will give you an idea as to how best to incorporate the document into your response.
Jotting down a brief summary next to the passage will also save you time from not having to reread the same document again and again, leaving you free time to potentially plan or outline your essay response. Take notes, highlight or circle keywords as you read so you don’t forget/miss them later when writing, and you’ll find the process of writing your response easier!
2. Construct a strong, provable thesis
Forming a thesis that’s strong and probable as a claim is vital to creating a convincing argument in your response. Making sure the information you use to backup your thesis is from the documents is important as well, and this is usually found via skimming, as mentioned earlier. Finding the information you salvage via skimming and linking it to your thesis is going to set your DBQ up for success.
3. Find evidence within the documents
Now, you should go back to the documents and find specific pieces of information that will support your thesis.
It’s important to cite all 6 documents into your response, and relate everything you cite to your thesis whenever possible. This not only constantly relates your response to the topic at hand, but it ensures you’re making use of all readily available evidence to score as high as possible.
Also, for at least three of the documents, you need to show how the point of view, purpose, historical situation, and/or audience is relevant. This is said specifically in the scoring criteria, so it’s something that needs to be included in the essay. This may seem daunting, but can actually be easily done if most of your evidence ties into one of these areas!
For example, if you’re citing evidence from a particular document, check if it falls into one of the following categories:
- Point of view
- Historical situation
If it does, then you can easily describe its relevance by using that piece of evidence in your essay to support your thesis!
4. Find your additional piece of specific historical evidence
Another important aspect of the grading criteria is including an additional piece of historical evidence. The AP exam emphasizes that this evidence should be highly specific—while still directly supporting your thesis. This information won’t be in the documents, so you’ll have to rely on your existing AP European History knowledge!
If you’re struggling to come up with something, try rereading the documents to see if it sparks your memory. Also, remember that you’ll be writing the free response portion after the multiple choice sections. This means that some of the questions or figures on the multiple choice section may help you remember relevant information which you can later use on the DBQ.
5. Write your DBQ!
Once you’re clear on your thesis and evidence, you’re ready to write your essay!
The structure of the essay is very important, and starting with the intro is your first step. Creating a very clear thesis, as we mentioned earlier, will help you structure the rest of your essay. In fact, if you’re struggling with writing an introduction, create a thesis first to at least get started on the rest of your essay.
Also, linking each paragraph to a document source in some way is important to make sure that your claims are supported by evidence. Keep in mind that you should include the point of view, purpose, or context relative to the documents whenever applicable. Finally, writing a conclusion that links to the holistic view of the essay is important, and you might even find it easier to write your intro after the conclusion, as it closes the essay in a loop.
Though doing well on your AP exams is important, your actual score doesn’t really impact your chances of admission . What’s more important are the AP classes that you take are even more important than the exam scores achieved, meaning the impact of your AP scores isn’t as big as you think .
Focusing on the AP classes taken and the relevance of those classes to your future college major could be more impactful to you and your admissions. For a further detailed understanding of the role AP classes play in regards to your college admissions, use CollegeVine’s free Admissions Calculator , which takes into account your GPA, standardized test scores and more.
As you prepare for the AP European History DBQ, check out some of CollegeVine’s other articles:
- Ultimate Guide to the AP European History Exam
- Ultimate Guide to the AP U.S. History Exam
- Acing the Document Based Question on the AP US History Exam
- Ultimate Guide to the AP World History Exam
- Acing the AP World History Document Based Question
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
AP European History - Modified DBQs
Ap european history, 2020 exam resources.
Tony Maccarella, author of Mastering the Essay for AP European History , walks you through the ins-and-outs of the 2020 AP European History 10-point DBQ rubric. Tony selected several DBQs from Mastering the Essay and modified them to align to the 2020 exam style. These free practice DBQs are available below in two formats: a simple PDF layout for individual use and a PowerPoint for virtual “in-class” display (for teachers). Tony is also answering some of the questions we’ve received and/or found online in various AP communities. You can view those videos below . Please feel free to send any additional questions to us at [email protected] .
Modified DBQ #1
French wars of religion.
UNIT 2: Age of Reformation, c. 1450 – c. 1648
Modified DBQ #2
The middle class in the 19th century.
UNIT 7: 19th-Century Perspectives and Political Developments, c. 1815 – c. 1914
Modified DBQ #3
UNIT 1: Renaissance and Exploration, c. 1450 – c. 1648
Modified DBQ #4
Skepticism and witchcraft.
The 2022 AP Euro Free-Response Questions
If you’d like to know what the prompts and documents were for the 2022 AP European History free-response questions, you can download them here , on The College Board’s website.
Click here to access Tom Richey’s sample responses for the Short-Answer Question (SAQ) section of the 2022 AP European History exam.
Click here to access Tom Richey’s sample response to the 2022 AP European History DBQ on the English Civil War.
Watch Tom Richey’s overview of these free-response questions here .
Based off of an excerpt from Margaret Jacob’s The Secular Enlightenment , 2019, this was Question 1 on the short answer question section of the 2022 APUSH Exam.
1. Using the excerpt, respond to parts a, b, and c.
a) Describe the main argument the author makes about the Enlightenment in the passage.
b) Explain how one piece of evidence not in the passage supports the author’s claims regarding the Enlightenment.
c) Explain how secularization as described in the passage influenced one political change in the period 1750 to 1850.
Question 2 of the short-answer section was based off of a painting by Thomas Benjamin Kennington called The Pinch of Poverty , 1891. Question 2 asked:
2. a) Describe the attitude toward poverty expressed in the painting.
b) Describe a broader context in which the painting was produced
c) Explain one way in which reformers during the late 1800s and early 1900s attempted to address the problems of poverty in Europe
Questions 3 and 4 of the short answer section were as follows:
3. Respond to parts a, b, and c.
a) Describe one significant cultural or intellectual change during the Renaissance.
b) Explain one cause of cultural or intellectual change during the Renaissance.
c) Describe a significant difference between the art of the Italian Renaissance and the art of the Protestant Reformation.
4.Respond to parts a, b, and c.
a) Describe one significant change in the relationship between Western Europe and other parts of the world after 1945.
b) Explain one cause for a change in the relationship between Western Europe and other parts of the world after 1945.
c) Describe one continuity in the economic relationship between Western Europe and other parts of the world in the period from the late 1800s through the late 1900s.
Section II of the AP European 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 whether the English Civil War (1642-1649) was motivated primarily by religious reasons or primarily by political reasons.
For the long essay questions, students were asked to respond to one of the following prompts:
2. Evaluate the most significant similarity between the French Revolution of 1789-1799 and the Revolutions of 1848.
3. Evaluate the most significant difference between economic development in eastern Europe and economic development in western and central Europe in the 1800s.
4. Evaluate the most significant similarity between the regimes of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in the interwar period.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the expert's guide to the ap european history exam.
Advanced Placement (AP)
The AP European History course and exam cover the history of Europe from 1450 to the present. That means you'll be asked about everything from the Renaissance to the European Union—it's a lot! In addition, the course has had recent updates, making everything a bit more complicated.
If you need guidance for the AP European History exam, read on. In this article, we'll give you an overview of the exam, take a close look at each of its sections, offer some key preparation tips, and explain some important things to keep in mind on test day.
AP European History Exam Format and Overview
The next AP Euro Exam will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 8 am.
The test is three hours and 15 minutes long and consists of two sections , each of which is further split into a Part A and a Part B.
Here's an overview of each section of the AP European History exam:
As you can see here, Section 1 consists of a 55-question multiple-choice section, worth 40% of your overall grade, and a three-question short-answer section, worth 20% of your score. In total, Part 1 is 95 minutes long.
Meanwhile, Section 2 consists of one document-based question, for which you have to synthesize historical documents into a coherent analysis of a historical moment, and a longer essay, for which you must write one essay analyzing a historical moment, with no outside sources at your disposal.
The DBQ is worth 25% of your final grade, whereas the long essay is worth 15%. You'll get 100 minutes for Section 2, including a 15-minute reading period.
Section 1 is worth 60% of your exam score, and Section 2 is worth 40%. In terms of what individual parts are worth the most, the multiple-choice section and the DBQ are the subsections worth the most on the exam , at 40% and 25%, respectively.
It's worth noting that the exam was recently revised in 2018 and changed slightly again in 2020 . The most recent revision was minimal and mainly involved the College Board aligning short answer questions with the course skills.
These revisions mean that there are not that many up-to-date practice resources available through the College Board, since old released exams have slightly different formats. That doesn't mean you can't use them—just that you'll need to be aware of these differences.
In the next sections of this guide, I'll break down each of the AP Euro exam sections even further.
This is the old-old form of the AP Euro exam.
Section 1: Multiple Choice and Short Answer
Here, we'll go over what you can expect to see on Section 1 of the AP European History exam. All question examples come from the AP Euro Course and Exam Description .
Part A: Multiple Choice
- Time: 55 minutes
- Number of Questions: 55
- Percent of Score: 40%
On this section, you'll be presented with primary and secondary historical sources and asked to answer three to four questions relevant to each source . In that sense, the 55 questions are almost divided up into a series of mini-quizzes. Each question has four possible answer choices.
Note that the presentation of sources in the text ties into the AP test's focus on historical evidence and the actual work historians do when it comes to evaluating and analyzing evidence.
There are two basic kinds of questions on the multiple-choice section: source-analysis questions, and outside-knowledge questions .
Most of the questions in the multiple-choice section are source-analysis questions. These are questions that ask you to analyze the historical source presented in some way. You might be asked to link the events described in the given source to a broader historical movement, contrast it with other sources, determine whether it supports or contradicts a certain historical trend, and so on.
In general, you will need to have some degree of outside historical knowledge to be able to answer these questions, but they are at their core questions about what the source says or means , often within the overarching historical moment.
Below is an example of a source-analysis question:
These are questions that have little, if anything, to do with the source itself , and instead ask a historical question based on your own knowledge. It will most likely be about events connected to or immediately following the time period described in the source, but the source is not the focus of the question and will therefore not provide much help in answering it.
Here's an example of a multiple-choice question that tests your outside knowledge:
What could this mean?
Part B: Short Answer
- Time: 40 minutes
- Number of Questions: 3 (for third short answer, choose 1 of 2 prompts to respond to)
- Percent of Score: 20%
The short-answer section is three questions long and lasts 40 minutes, giving you approximately 13 minutes per question . You will be asked to give a total of three pieces of information (labeled A-C). For example, you might be asked to provide two pieces of information in favor of a historical thesis and one piece of information against.
You'll get different types of stimuli, or sources, for each question, as well as different topics. Here's what you can expect on test day:
There is generally an element of choice to these questions. For example, you might need to name one reason of many that something happened or two consequences of a particular event, but you will not be required to name particular events.
Here's an example of question 2 (with a primary source):
Keep your answers short like this guy.
Section 2: Free-Response Section
Now that we've explained what you can expect in Section 1, let's review what you'll be asked to do on Section 2 of the AP Euro exam. Again, all sample questions come from the 2020 Course and Exam Description .
Part A: Document-Based Question
- Time: 60 minutes (including 15-minute reading period)
- Number of Questions: 1
- Percent of Score: 25%
On the DBQ , you'll be given seven documents , made up of primary and secondary sources, and asked to write an essay that analyzes a historical issue. This is meant to put you in the role of historian, interpreting historical material and then relaying your interpretation in an essay. You'll need to combine material from the sources with your own outside knowledge .
You'll have 15 minutes to plan the essay and 45 minutes to write it. The 15-minute planning period is specifically designated and timed at the start of Section 2, and you will be prompted to begin your essay at the close.
Here's an example of an AP Euro DBQ (documents not shown):
Part B: Long Essay
- Number of Questions: 1 (choose 1 of 3 prompts to respond to)
- Percent of Score: 15%
The Long Essay will ask you a broad thematic question about a particular historical period. You must craft an analytical essay with a thesis that you can defend using specific historical evidence you learned in class.
You'll get a choice between three prompts for this essay, each of which is based on a different historical period:
- Option 1: 1450-1700
- Option 2: 1648-1914
- Option 3: 1815-2001
Below is an example of a Long Essay question on the AP Euro exam:
A main theme of Europe: cheese.
How Is the AP European History Exam Scored?
As a reminder, here's how each section is weighted on the AP European History exam:
- Multiple Choice: 40%
- Short Answer: 20%
- Long Essay: 15%
As with other AP exams, your raw score will be converted to a final scaled score from 1 to 5 . In 2022, about 14% of AP Euro test takers received a 5 , and about 21% received a 4. The test is difficult, but it's definitely possible to do well if you prepare.
So how is your raw score calculated? Let's go over how points are awarded on every part of each AP European History test section.
On the multiple-choice section, you receive a point for each question you answer correctly. This means you could receive a total of 55 points on the multiple-choice section, weighted as 40% of your total score . Note that there are no penalties for incorrect answers.
Short-answer questions always ask you to provide three pieces of information , labeled A-C. This means that you will receive a point for every correct and relevant piece of information you give.
For example, if a question asks for one cause of a particular conflict, one result of a particular conflict, and one similar situation in a different country, and you provided one cause and one result, you would receive 2 out of 3 possible points.
Because you must answer three short-answer questions, you could potentially earn up to 9 points on this section, weighted at 20% of your total exam score .
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The DBQ is worth 25% of your overall grade and is scored on a 7-point rubric . I'll give a quick rubric breakdown here:
In 2021, results for the DBQ looked like this:
- 80% of students earned the thesis point
- 55% of students earned the contextualization point
- Evidence: 25% of students earned all 3 evidence points; 41% earned 2 points; 27% earned 1 point; 7% earned 0 points
- Analysis & Reasoning: 5% earned 2 points; 25% earned 1 point; 70% earned 0 points
She diligently studies for the DBQ.
The Long Essay is worth the least of all the exam components at only 15% of your total score . It's scored out of a 6-point rubric , which looks like this:
As you can see, this rubric is similar to that for the DBQ in that it's fairly concerned with choosing appropriate, specific evidence to support your argument and adequately explaining those examples. To succeed, you will need to have a strong knowledge base in specific historical content, more so than on any other section of the exam.
That covers it for what's on the AP Euro test. Next, we'll address how you should prepare for it.
You can't tell by looking, but this kitten is an AP Euro expert.
How to Prepare for the AP Euro Exam: 5 Key Tips
Here are five essential tips you should know when preparing for the AP European History exam.
#1: Start Reviewing Content Early
One major thing you can do to help yourself on the AP Euro exam is to start reviewing content early on in the year . As soon as you know enough to start reviewing, you should be periodically looking back at old material to refresh your knowledge.
If you make sure your knowledge is constantly renewed, you'll have less work to do as you get closer to exam day , as you'll maintain a fairly high level of familiarity with a whole school year's worth of historical material. This means that you'll be able to focus primarily on building skills for the exam.
#2: Fill In Gaps
As soon as you realize you don't know or understand much about a particular historical period or movement—maybe after doing less than awesome on a test, paper, or project, for example—you should work to shore up that knowledge with extra studying and review .
If you can, consult with your teacher on what you are missing. This will help keep you from serious weakness on the exam if the DBQ or Long Essay ends up being on an area you don't actually know anything about.
#3: Seek Breadth and Depth in Knowledge
As you review historical content, be sure to balance acquiring breadth and depth . You definitely need to understand the major historical movements and moments of European history, but you should also know specific facts and events about each era to maximize your chances of success on the short-answer and free-response sections of the exam.
Of course, you aren't going to be able to memorize every single date and person's name ever mentioned in class for the purposes of the AP exam, but do try to make sure you have at least a few facts you could use as specific evidence in an essay about any of the major historical happenings covered in the course.
#4: Understand Historical Evidence
One of the most important skills you can build for the AP Euro exam is understanding historical evidence. When you confront primary and secondary sources on the AP exam, you'll need to think about who is writing, why they are writing, their audience, and the historical (or current) context they are writing in. What is the source evidence of? Is it relating facts, opinions, or interpretations?
For more guidance on working with primary and secondary sources, see this online lesson from a college history professor .
#5: Practice the DBQ
Because the DBQ is somewhat unusual compared with the typical AP essay , you will need to make sure you understand how to plan and write one. Really work on not just your ability to understand historical evidence but also your ability to synthesize different pieces of historical evidence into a coherent interpretation or argument about a historical topic .
On top of that, you'll need to make a connection to another time period, movement, or discipline! Use the rubric as a guide to improve your DBQ skills. You can also check out my guide to writing a great DBQ essay .
Filling in some very important gaps.
Acing the AP European History Exam: 2 Test-Day Tips
Although all the typical preparation tips apply—you should get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, manage your time wisely, and answer every question—there's even more you can do to ensure you get the score you want. Here, we introduce two AP Euro-specific test-day tips .
Tip 1: Focus on the Multiple-Choice and DBQ Sections
There are four parts to the AP Euro test, but they aren't all equally important due to differences in score weighting. As a reminder, the multiple-choice section is worth 40% of your overall score, the DBQ is worth 25%, the short-answer is worth 20%, and the long essay is worth 15%.
As you can see, the multiple-choice and DBQ sections make up the majority (65%) of your AP Euro score , so make sure you pay them adequate attention in terms of time and effort.
Obviously, you should still do your best on every part of the exam—your scores on the other two sections do matter! But if you find yourself pressed for time on either Section 1 or 2, the multiple-choice and the DBQ sections are worth more than the other parts, so prioritize them.
Tip 2: Mine Sources for Contextual Information
The AP European History test has a big focus on primary and secondary sources .
While most questions do still require some outside knowledge to answer, you can use the primary and secondary sources to orient yourself in history and pick up contextual details that will help you answer questions, even if you are initially a little lost as to the particulars of the historical moment being described.
Here's an example of a multiple-choice AP Euro question with a source:
What can we figure out from this source? Based on the caption alone, we know right away that this is a song by 18th-century French market women. But what is the source itself telling us?
In the first line, we see the word "Versailles." Assuming you know that's where French royalty lived, you should start to think this: does this source have something to do with royalty? (If you don't know that Versailles is where French royalty used to live, you aren't out of luck—the second stanza offers this information implicitly.)
We then see the second line: "We brought with us all our guns." This implies that something violent occurred at Versailles, i.e., something violent at the place where royalty lives .
The second stanza switches into the present tense. So that means whatever happened at Versailles with the guns already took place. In the present, they say, "We won't have to go so far ... to see our King ... Since he's come to live in our Capital." The King, then, lives in Paris now—so the ladies don't have to go to Versailles to see him.
The fact that the king was in Versailles in the first stanza when they brought their guns to him and is in Paris in the second stanza implies that he was forcibly moved to Paris . In this light, the line that reads, "We love him with a love without equal" becomes ironic: they love him now that they have defeated him .
The only one of the answers that is possibly compatible with the idea of defeating a king is choice B , which discusses creating a republican government in France.
As you can see, simply by using sources, you can navigate many questions, even if you are initially at a total loss in terms of historical contextual information.
France: beautiful architecture and bloody revolution.
Recap: What to Know About the AP European History Exam
The AP European History exam is three hours and 15 minutes long and consists of two sections. Section 1 has two parts: a 55-minute, 55-question multiple-choice section, and a three-question, 40-minute short-answer section. Section 2 also has two parts: a 60-minute document-based question, or DBQ, and a 40-minute essay.
Here's a quick overview of each section on the AP Euro test:
- Multiple Choice: Worth 40% of your final score. You get a point for every correct answer (there's no penalty for incorrect answers). To answer questions, you must analyze historical sources and evidence; you must also rely on your own knowledge of historical events.
- Short Answer: Worth 20% of your final score. On each of the three questions you'll be asked to provide three pieces of information about a particular historical movement or period. You will get a point for each correct piece of information you provide.
- Document-Based Question: Worth 25% of your final score. You'll receive seven documents and must write an essay synthesizing your interpretation of a specific historical movement or period using these sources. The DBQ is graded out of 7 points.
- Long Essay: Worth 15% of your final score. Here, you get to choose one prompt from among three options. You'll then need to write an essay supported with specific historical evidence. The essay is graded out of 6 points.
Here are our best tips for preparing for the AP European History exam:
- Start reviewing content early on in the year and keep it up throughout
- Fill in any evident gaps in your content knowledge
- Seek both breadth and depth in your knowledge of the content
- Learn to understand and analyze historical evidence and primary and secondary sources
- Build exam-specific skills, particularly for the DBQ
- Focus most of your energy on the multiple-choice and DBQ sections
- Use sources to orient yourself in history when you need to
With all this knowledge at your fingertips, you're guaranteed to crush the AP European History exam—just as the Hapsburgs crushed in the 30 Years' War! (Too soon?)
Need more AP test-taking tips? Our in-depth guide introduces the six critical tips you'll need to ace any AP exam , including AP Euro.
Looking for AP practice tests? Get tips on where to find the best practice exams in our detailed guide .
Want more of our AP guides? We've got complete AP test guides for AP Human Geography , AP Language and Composition , AP Literature and Composition , AP World History , AP US History , AP Chemistry , AP Biology , and AP Psychology .
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Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. She received a BA from Harvard in Folklore and Mythology and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.
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AP European History
Use the menu above to get started on your AP European History review. Our website provides links to the best practice exams, DBQs, essays, short answer questions, notes, videos, and study guides. These free online resources provide all the information you will need to succeed in your AP Euro course.
AP European History Exam
The AP Euro course covers European History from 1450 to the present. The course is designed to help students develop historical thinking skills and reasoning processes. Students must do historical reasoning and make comparisons among historical developments in different times and places. The course is broken down into nine units each with a 10-15% exam weighting:
- Unit 1: Renaissance and Exploration
- Unit 2: Age of Reformation
- Unit 3: Absolutism and Constitutionalism
- Unit 4: Scientific, Philosophical, and Political Developments
- Unit 5: Conflict, Crisis, and Reaction in the Late 18th Century
- Unit 6: Industrialization and Its Effects
- Unit 7: 19th-Century Perspectives and Political Developments
- Unit 8: 20th-Century Global Conflicts
- Unit 9: Cold War and Contemporary Europe
The AP European History Exam format is:
Section I : Part A (55 minutes, 40% of exam score) 55 Multiple-choice questions
Part B (40 minutes, 20% of exam score) 3 Short-answer questions
Section II Part A (60 minutes, 25% of exam score) 1 Document-based question
Part B (40 minutes, 15% of exam score) 1 Long Essay question
The first two short-answer questions are required, but for the third you get to choose from two options. The 60 minutes for the DBQ includes a 15 minute reading period. The long essay question has three options, which all relate to the same theme, and you must choose one to answer.
When is the AP European History Exam?
The AP Euro exam date for the 2022–2023 school year is Friday, May 5, 2023 at 8 a.m .
AP European History | Practice Exams | DBQ & FRQ | Notes | Videos | Study Guides