Is AP Human Geography Hard? Is AP Human Geography Worth Taking?



โฑ๏ธย ย 4 min read

written by

Harrison Burnside

harrison burnside

November 18, 2020

Overview of the Class ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

AP Human will probably be more difficult than the other math classes you've taken. At the same time, it's doable! Concepts build on each other pretty quickly, so keep up with the work and ask questions if you're confused. It's a new way of thinking, but as long as you have a solid foundation in study skills, you'll make it through.

On the test, you'll have an hour to answer 60 multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Then, you'll have an hour and 15 minutes to answer 3 free-response questions (FRQs). Check out past FRQs to get an idea of what the questions look like.

Data ๐Ÿ“Š

Here are the score distributions from 2020:

  • 5: 11.60%

  • 4: 22.1%

  • 3: 24.5%

  • 2: 10.90%

  • 1: 30.9%

Do NOT be discouraged by that 1 rate! AP HuG is an introductory AP class and many people's first. Most do not know what to expect or how to study until they take an AP exam. However, if you use Fiveable, you are all set ๐Ÿ˜Ž

We had more than 32 Fiveable AP HuG students ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“ rate how hard the class was, and the average rating was 2.32/5, where a 5 means Super Hard and a 1 means Very Easy! All AP classes are going to have rigor and work, but AP HuG does not have too much of either ๐ŸŽŠ

The pie chart shows the results of the survey about the difficulty of the class.

In the same survey, these students were also asked to rate the difficulty of the AP exam on the same scale โš–๏ธ Most students here rated the exam at a 3/5 difficulty level, and the average was also about equal to the mode โž—

The pie chart shows the results of this survey question about the difficulty of the AP exam.

Resources to Dig Deeper ๐Ÿ“š

Other Factors to Consider ๐Ÿค”

  1. Motivation. In AP Human Geography, concepts are interconnected ๐Ÿ”—, so creating connections between the units will benefit you in the long run.

  2. The workload. Expect plenty of reading sources and practicing with FRQs and MCQs โœ๏ธ

  3. Your teacher shapes your experience. The good news is that AP Human Geography is a popular subject, so if you feel like you're not getting enough support in the classroom ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ, there are a lot of online resources to choose from, including Fiveable.

What Students Have to Say ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

We found some AP HuG survivors who are going to give you some tips on the class ๐ŸŽ‰

Here's what students from the Fiveable community had to say:

How Hard was AP HuG?

"AP HuG is difficult if you arenโ€™t fascinated with history. The key to understanding the course is being able to apply it to historical situations and current events, even though [AP Human Geography] is not a history course. If you enjoy learning about how to interpret major events, then the class is fascinating and easy." โ€”Savannah Brown

Is AP HuG Worth It?

"Yes. I learned a lot about why things are the way they are instead of just remembering facts and details. I believe it will help me a lot going into other history classes." โ€”Gemma Cohen

What is the Biggest Tip That You Would Give to an Incoming AP Human Geography Student?

"To get the most out of the class, apply APHuG concepts to real life and make connections! The units relate to each other, and making connections between them will help you understand a lot more in the class and the world around you." โ€”Sara Fernandez
"When taking AP Human Geography, remember to take it one day at a time. Even if you may struggle, just make sure to learn from each mistake and turn it into a comeback." โ€”Cailee Jackson

Closing Thoughts ๐Ÿ’ญ

AP Human Geography is definitely worth taking. It's extremely useful as an AP social science, like Psych ๐Ÿง  or US Gov ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš–๏ธ Even if you are considering going into STEM ๐Ÿงช, this is still a useful class!

If you start to find it difficult, don't get discouraged! You'll come out of the class knowing more than you did before, and Fiveable has plenty of free resources to help you along the way.


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Fiveable Community students are already meeting new friends, starting study groups, and sharing tons of opportunities for other high schoolers. Soon the Fiveable Community will be on a totally new platform where you can share, save, and organize your learning links and lead study groups among other students!๐ŸŽ‰

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