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We’ve compiled a sortable list of all the AP World past prompts! The AP World History essays (or all written portions) are 60% of the exam including short-answer questions (SAQs), long-essay questions (LEQs), and document-based questions (DBQs). It’s important that you understand the rubrics and question styles going into the exam. Use this list to practice!

Since the AP World exam has changed dramatically (🙄) in the last few years, there are only three years of released exams with questions using the updated format. All exams from 2002-2016 use question formats and rubrics that are very outdated. There was also a huge cut in content, so even then, some of the questions are outdated. Thanks, College Board!

Need more help with AP World? Check out free live streams happening daily! Streamers will often take past prompts and write them live.

All of the questions aligned to the current format and content requirements of the exam and listed below.
Click the + to see the prompt in both College Board and plain English!

Exam YearTypeTime PeriodTopicPromptWhat is that actually asking?Link
2017DBQ1200-1450Religious & State Responses to WealthEvaluate the extent to which religious responses to wealth accumulation in Eurasia in the period circa 600 bce to 1500 ce differed from state responses to wealth accumulation.Use the documents to defend whether or not there was a difference between how religious and state officials felt about wealth between 600 bce and 1500 ce.See Released Question
2017LEQ1450-1750CCOT in Labor MigrationsDescribe and explain a significant continuity and a significant change in labor migration in the period 1450–1750 C.E.What’s one way that labor migration changed between 1450 and 1750? What’s one way that migration patterns for labor stayed the same during that entire time frame?See Released Question
2017LEQ1900-2001CCOT of Global Balance of PowerDescribe and explain a significant continuity and a significant change in the global balance of political power in the period 1900 C.E. to the present.During the 20th century, what’s one way that the global balance of power changed and one way that it stayed the same?See Released Question
2017SAQ1450-1750Intensification of Human Land-Use
  1. Identify and explain ONE historically specific example of intensified human land use in the period 1450–1750 C.E. that would support the author’s argument.
  2. Identify and explain ONE historically specific example from the period before 1450 C.E. in which humans interacted with the environment in ways similar to those described in the passage.
  3. Identify and explain ONE late-twentieth-century development that likely explains historians’ interest in the subject of the passage.
  1. What’s one way that humans used land more intensely for farming between 1450-1750?
  2. What’s one way that humans used land more intensely for farming before 1450?
  3. What’s one development in the 20th century that likely influenced this historian to be interested in human land use?
See Released Question
2017SAQ1750-1900Industrialization as a Turning Point
  1. Identify and explain ONE way in which industrialization in the period circa 1750–1900 can be considered an economic turning point in global history.
  2. Identify and explain ONE way in which industrialization in the period circa 1750–1900 can be considered a political turning point in global history.
  3. Identify and explain ONE way in which industrialization in the period circa 1750–1900 can be considered a social turning point in global history.
  1. What’s one way that industrialization between 1750 and 1900 was an economic turning point in global history?
  2. What’s one way that industrialization between 1750 and 1900 was a political turning point in global history?
  3. What’s one way that industrialization between 1750 and 1900 was a social turning point in global history?
See Released Question
2017SAQ1900-2001Technology & Globalization
  1. Identify ONE technology that has contributed to globalization since the end of the Second World War and explain how it contributed to globalization.
  2. Identify a SECOND technology that has contributed to globalization since the end of the Second World War and explain how it contributed to globalization.
  3. Identify a THIRD technology that has contributed to globalization since the end of the Second World War and explain how it contributed to globalization.
  1. What’s one way that technology led to globalization after WWII?
  2. What’s a second way that technology led to globalization after WWII?
  3. What’s a third way that technology led to globalization after WWII?
See Released Question
2017SAQ1200-1450Chinese Interaction with Nomads
  1. Identify and explain ONE way in which the interaction depicted in the image represents a continuity in Chinese imperial history.
  2. Identify and explain ANOTHER way in which the interaction depicted in the image represents a continuity in Chinese imperial history.
  3. Identify and explain ONE way in which the interaction between imperial China and Central Asian nomads changed after 1100 C.E.
  1. How is nomads meeting with Chinese generals a continuity in Chinese history?
  2. What’s another continuity this image shows?
  3. What’s one way the interactions between China and Central Asian nomads changed after 1100 ce?
See Released Question
2018DBQ1750-1900Railroads & Empire BuildingEvaluate the extent to which railroads affected the process of empire-building in Afro-Eurasia between 1860 and 1918.How much did railroads affect the process of empire-building in Afro-Eurasia between 1860 and 1918? Use the documents to come up with 2-3 ways that railroads helped or stalled empire-building and use that evidence in your essay.See Released Question
2018LEQ1450-1750Columbian ExchangeIn the period 1450–1750, oceanic voyages resulted in the Columbian Exchange, which transformed the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Develop an argument that evaluates how the Columbian Exchange affected peoples in the Americas in this time period. Between 1450 and 1750, explorers voyaged across oceans to find new economic opportunities, which led to the Columbian Exchange. How did the Columbian Exchange affect the people of the Americas during that time period? Come up with 2-3 major effects and prove them using evidence.See Released Question
2018LEQ1900-200120th Century Political IdeologiesIn the period 1900 to 2001, people and states around the world adopted political ideologies such as communism, fascism, or nationalism to challenge the existing political and/or social order. Develop an argument that evaluates how one or more of these political ideologies challenged the existing political and/or social order. In the 20th century, many states turned to communism, fascism, or nationalism in response to crises created by capitalism. How did one or more of these ideologies challenge the status quo in politics or society?See Released Question
2018SAQ1450-1750Pre-1900 Agriculture vs. Green Revolution
  1. Identify ONE similarity between agricultural developments in the period circa 1450–1900 and the Green Revolution of the twentieth century.
  2. Explain ONE difference between agricultural developments in the period circa 1450–1900 and the Green Revolution of the twentieth century.
  3. Explain ONE political or social response to the Green Revolution in the twentieth century.
  1. What’s one similarity between farming practices between 1450-1900 and during the Green Revolution of the 20th century?
  2. What’s one difference between farming practices from 1450-1900 and during the Green Revolution of the 20th century?
  3. What’s one political response to the Green Revolution? Or, what’s one social response? Not effect, response!
See Released Question
2018SAQ1750-1900Mughals & the British East India Company
  1. Identify ONE way in which the event depicted in the image reflects political changes in the global balance of power in the eighteenth century.
  2. Explain ONE way in which the event depicted in the image reflects economic changes in Asia in the eighteenth century.
  3. Explain ONE significant way in which Great Britain’s relationship with South Asia changed in the nineteenth century, compared with the relationship depicted in the image.
  1. How does the Mughals paying tax to the British show a political change in 18th century global balance of power?
  2. How does the Mughals paying tax to the British show an economic change in 18th century Asia?
  3. What’s one way the relationship between Great Britain and South Asia changed in the 19th century compared with what’s happening in this 18th century image?
See Released Question
2018SAQ1900-2001Mass Violence by Totalitarian States
  1. Identify ONE historical example of mass violence that was committed by a totalitarian state in the twentieth century that would support Rummel’s argument in the passage.
  2. Explain ONE historical example of a democratic state committing mass violence that would challenge Rummel’s argument regarding democracies and mass violence.
  3. Explain ONE development in the late twentieth century that likely shaped Rummel’s view of the relationship between democracy and mass violence.
  1. Describe one example of mass violence committed by a totalitarian state in the 20th century.
  2. Describe one example of mass violence committed by a democratic state in the 20th century.
  3. What’s one thing that happened in the 1990s that would have affected Rummel’s view of democracy and mass violence?
See Released Question
2018SAQ1200-1450Nomads & Sedentary Societies
  1. Explain ONE difference in the way in which nomadic and sedentary societies in Afro-Eurasia before 1450 ce adapted to their environment?
  2. Explain ONE similarity between the economic practices of nomadic and sedentary societies in Afro-Eurasia in the period 600-1450 ce.
  3. Explain ONE major pattern of cultural interaction between nomadic and sedentary societies in Afro-Eurasia before 1450 ce.
  1. What’s one difference in the way that nomadic and sedentary people adapted to their environment before 1450?
  2. What’s one similarity in the economy of nomadic and sedentary people between 600-1450?
  3. What’s one way that nomadic and sedentary people shared culture before 1450?
See Released Question
2019DBQ1450-1750Portuguese Trade in the Indian OceanEvaluate the extent to which the Portuguese transformed maritime trade in the Indian Ocean in the sixteenth century.What impact, if any, did the Portuguese have on the evolution of trade in the Indian Ocean? Use the documents to explore Portuguese impact on trade and develop an argument with evidence.See Released Question
2019LEQ1900-2001State Controlled EconomiesIn 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. In the 20th century, many countries had state-controlled economic policies. Choose one of those countries and explain the policies they used for the state to control or manage the economy.See Released Question
2019LEQ1200-1450Rise of Empires & TradeIn the period 600 to 1450 C.E., trade networks expanded and economic productive capacity increased. Technological innovations and transfers often contributed to this process. Develop an argument that evaluates the extent to which technological innovations or transfers led to increased economic growth in this period. The increase of trade between 600-1450 was mostly because new technology increased the amount of goods produced. Defend this statement with at least two major reasons or argue that other factors played a more important role in the expansion of trade.See Released Question
2019SAQ1750-1900Traditional vs. New Elites
  1. Identify ONE economic change in the period 1750–1900 that led to the formation of new elites.
  2. Explain ONE way that, despite economic change, traditional elites remained powerful in the period 1750–1900.
  3. Explain ONE way in which the formation of new elites in the period 1750–1900 led to the emergence of new ideologies.
  1. What’s one economic change that led to new elite groups from 1750 to 1900?
  2. What’s one way the traditional elites stayed in power between 1750 and 1900?
  3. What’s an example of new ideologies forming from 1750-1900 because of the new elites?
See Released Question
2019SAQ1900-200120th Century Life Expectancy vs. Economic Power
  1. Identify ONE way that the data in the chart illustrate global economic differences between countries in the late twentieth century.
  2. Identify ONE similarity (other than GDP per capita) that might account for the low life expectancies of some of the world’s countries, as displayed in the chart.
  3. Explain ONE way in which longer life expectancies in some of the world’s countries, as displayed in the chart, have led to new political, economic, or social problems.
  1. Describe the pattern the chart shows between life expectancy and economic power.
  2. Other than economic power, what’s one similarity that countries with low life expectancies share?
  3. What’s a political, economic, or social effect of longer life expectancy?
See Released Question
2019SAQ1200-1450Trade Between Nomads & Non-Nomads
  1. Identify ONE specific historical example of a cultural exchange between nomads and non-nomads that occurred in the period before 1450.
  2. For the period 1450–1750 C.E., identify ONE development that changed the role that Central Asian nomads played in cross-regional exchanges as described in the passage.
  3. Explain ONE cross-cultural exchange that would challenge the assertion in the last sentence of the passage concerning the nomads’ role in cross-regional exchanges before 1450.
  1. What’s one way nomads and non-nomads exchanged culture before 1450?
  2. Explain one thing that changed how nomads participated in trade across regions.
  3. Give an example of sedentary peoples initiating trade before 1450.
See Released Question

 

Just in case you’re curious, here’s all of the outdated past prompts. They are not super useful anymore, but you can still use them to practice other skills like document analysis or just to see what you can remember:

Before 1200:
2007 – DBQ: Han & Roman attitudes toward technology
2004 – DBQ: Responses to the spread of Buddhism

2010 – LEQ: Compare classical era politics
2006 – LEQ: CCOT culture and politics in classical empires

1200-1450:
2002 – DBQ: Christian & Muslim attitudes of trade

2016 – LEQ: CCOT trade networks in Afro-Eurasia
2015 – LEQ: Compare trade networks
2014 – LEQ: Compare use of religion to govern
2013 – LEQ: CCOT Mediterranean politics and culture
2012 – LEQ: CCOT trade networks in Africa and Eurasia
2011 – LEQ: Compare rise of empires
2009 – LEQ: CCOT interactions along the Silk Roads
2008 – LEQ: CCOT commerce in the Indian Ocean
2005 – LEQ: Compare effects of Mongol rule

1450-1750:
2006 – DBQ: Global flow of silver

2015 – LEQ: CCOT in labor systems 1450-1900
2014 – LEQ: CCOT participation in interregional trade
2012 – LEQ: Compare the effects of the Columbian Exchange
2007 – LEQ: Compare processes of empire-building
2005 – LEQ: CCOT Columbian Exchange
2003 – LEQ: CCOT Impact of Islam

1750-1900:

2013 – DBQ: Seven Years’ War
2010 – DBQ: Mechanization of cotton industry
2009 – DBQ: African responses to the Scramble for Africa
2003 – DBQ: Indentured Servitude

2016 – LEQ: Compare causes of Atlantic Revolutions
2015 – LEQ: CCOT in labor systems 1450-1900
2011 – LEQ: CCOT long-distance migrations
2010 – LEQ: CCOT syncretic religions
2009 – LEQ: Compare racial ideologies & effects
2008 – LEQ: Compare emergence of nation-states
2004 – LEQ: CCOT labor systems
2003 – LEQ: Compare roles of women
2002 – LEQ: CCOT global trade patterns
2002 – LEQ: Compare responses to westernization

1900 to Present:
2016 – DBQ: Gender and politics in Latin America
2015 – DBQ: Responses to spread of influenza after WWI
2014 – DBQ: Relationship between peasants & CCP
2012 – DBQ: Relationship between cricket & politics
2011 – DBQ: Green Revolution
2008 – DBQ: Modern Olympic movement
2005 – DBQ: Muslim Nationalism 

2013 – LEQ: Compare economic development
2007 – LEQ: CCOT formation of national identities
2006 – LEQ: Compare Revolutions (Mexico, China, Russia)
2004 – LEQ: Compare effects of WWI

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