join the ap-world course

Format of the New Exam

This year, the AP World History: Modern exam will look different than you were expecting. As we’re all on quarantine 😷 due to COVID-19, the College Board has decided to update the format and content of the test to fit an online testing format.

You’ll have 45-minutes to take the exam online and it will only cover units 1-6. If you have already studied content from units 7, 8, or 9, don’t stress! It’s all worth knowing. 

These units are on the exam. Click the unit to see the study guide! (new unit guides coming soon!)

1 - 🐎 Global Tapestry, c. 1200 - c. 1450

2 - 🐫 Networks of Exchange, c. 1200 - c. 1450

3 - 🕌 Land-Based Empires, c. 1450 - c. 1750

4 - 🍕 Transoceanic Interconnections, c. 1450 - c. 1750

5 - ✊🏽 Revolutions, c. 1750 - c. 1900

6 - 🚂  Consequences of Industrialization

Not on the exam:

7 - 💣 Global Conflict, c. 1900 - present 8 - 🥶 Cold War and Decolonization, c. 1900 - present 9 - ✈️ Globalization, c. 1900 - present

What will be on the test?

  • 1 DBQ = 100% of your score

    • 5 historical documents, 1 of which will be visual
    • Modified rubric with 10 points available
      • Thesis = 1 pt
      • Contextualization = 1 pt
      • Evidence = 5pts
        • Using documents (3 possible points)
          • To earn all 3, support your argument with at least four documents
          • To earn 2 points, support your argument with at least two documents
          • To earn 1 point, use content from two documents
        • Evidence Beyond the Docs (2 possible points)
          • To earn 2 points, describe two specific pieces of evidence beyond the docs.
          • To earn 1 point, use one additional piece of outside evidence.
      • Analysis & Reasoning = 3 pts
        • Sourcing (2 possible points)
          • To earn 2 points, correctly analyze POV, purpose, audience, or context for two docs.
          • To earn 1 point, do it for one doc
        • Complexity (1pt)
          • Demonstrated a complex understanding (same rubric point as usual)

When is the exam and how do I take it?

May 21 @ 2p Eastern! Wherever you are in the world, this is the time you’ll take the test. Unless you have been approved for the make-up date in June, but only your school can request that. You’ll take the test online. There will be a practice simulation posted by College Board within the next few weeks.

How do I prepare for the exam?

With so many school closures and the stress of a global pandemic, this review season will be different than usual. If this is your first AP exam, welcome! Don’t worry, it’s not usually this chaotic. 

We’ve put together this plan for you to follow between now and May. This will cover all of the units and leave you time to practice questions before test day. Some classes may have done units out of chronological order throughout the year, which is ok. The units don’t have to be taught in order. If you are learning new material on your own and need some help, use the chat bubble on http://fiveable.me. We’ll answer any questions you may have. 

What resources does this study plan use?

All of the required resources are free, including cheat sheet PDFs. You’ll need to create a free Fiveable account to jump in. We’ve also linked a few other websites, articles, and YouTube videos that you can access for free. Some of the suggested resources include paid products. There are some documentaries that you can find on streaming sites with a paid membership and we’ll also list streams and practice questions that require a paid cram pass on Fiveable.

Pre-Work: Set-Up your Study Environment

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Remote learning can be great, but it also means you’ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual. 

🖥 Create a study space. Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. Mark your territory by putting up your AP World cheat sheets. We don't love that term at Fiveable, but we have created these cram chart PDFs to help you visualize every unit on the exam. 

📚 Organize your study materials. Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Print out and post up any 1-pager summaries and cheat sheets to help you navigate between the content. Also create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get your self set up!

📅 Plan designated times for studying. The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.

🏆 Decide on an accountability plan. How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!


🐎Unit 1: The Global Tapestry, c. 1200 - c. 145

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways:

“Global Tapestry” simply means all of the major civilizations around the World. Each of these civilizations had their own features, but were also connected to the others. The connections are the subject of Unit 2; and, the first two units can be reviewed in any order. The AP World course focuses on state formation in Unit 1. Thus, students should compare how governments in different civilizations ruled territories and how they maintained their power. Finally, increasing production of food and of trade goods made more powerful states possible, so students should know some examples of each.

Definitely do this:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:


🐫 Unit 2: Networks of Exchange

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways:

Networks of exchange are a major part of AP World History: Modern, and they are frequently a topic on the AP World exam. Technically exchange networks are part of Unit 2, but Units 1 and 2 are from the same time period: the late Middle Ages, c. 1200 - c. 1450 CE. “Network of exchange” means connections between societies across distance. Usually, these were based on trade routes, but people besides merchants traveled on them.  “Exchange” included both trade in physical items, like silk cloth or gold coins, and the spread of ideas, like Buddhism or the way to grow bananas. Students should know how three large exchange networks operated in this period: Silk Roads, Indian Ocean, and Trans-Saharan.

Definitely do this:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

  • 💎 Check out this interactive website on the history of humans in the Indian Ocean
  • 🗺 Can you identify the countries of the world? Play this game!
    • You won’t be asked to label maps on the exam, but it’s useful to know where countries are located so you can draw conclusions from their region.


🕌 Unit 3: Land-Based Empires, c. 1450 - c. 1750 CE

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways:

Units 3 and 4 in AP World History both cover the early modern period, c. 1450 - c. 1750, and students can review them in any order. In fact, many textbooks and teachers start this period with the oceanic exploration at the heart of Unit 4. Either way, Unit 3 focuses on Empires that primarily expanded over land after 1450. Students need to understand how these empires expanded and how they maintained control over large territories. With several important examples--especially Ming and Qing China, and the Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid Empires--students should practice comparing. Knowing a lot about all of these empires is not essential. Students do need to understand how empires in general legitimized and consolidated their power and be able to support their analysis with examples. To legitimize power means to provide good reasons for people to follow the ruler; and to consolidate means to make something more secure, possibly by eliminating sources of instability.

Definitely do this:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:


🍕 Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections, c. 1450 - c. 1750 CE

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways

Units 3 and 4 in AP World History both cover the early modern period, c. 1450 - c. 1750, and students can review them in any order. In fact, many textbooks and teachers start this period with the oceanic exploration at the heart of Unit 4. Connections between civilizations became truly global during this time period. Connections across oceans led to massive diffusion of plants, animals, and microbes known as the Columbian Exchange. Sailors crossed oceans for trade, and, In the process, started new overseas empires. Many people resisted the expansion and the new social hierarchies in these empires.

Definitely do this

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:


✊🏽Unit 5: Revolutions, c. 1750 - c. 1900 CE

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways

Units 5 and 6 in AP World History both cover the modern period, c. 1750 - c. 1900, but, unlike with Units 1 & 2 and Units 3 & 4, students will be better off reviewing them in order. The Revolutions that give this unit its title began earlier in the time period. Some historians and textbooks consider this as one transformation: a dual revolution in industry and in politics. The political revolutions of this time period included many common people taking action against elites, along with competition among elites. Students should be familiar with three political revolutions--American, French, and Haitian--and the Latin American Wars of Independence. These revolutions produced new states. At the same time as these political revolutions in the Atlantic World, the Industrial Revolution began in Britain and spread to Western Europe, the United States, Japan. This change in production led to enormous social and cultural changes.

Definitely do this:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:


🚂 Unit 6: Consequence of Industrialization, c. 1750 - c. 1900 CE

🌶️ Join the live cram stream with Eric Beckman. 🎥 Get your cram pass now

Big takeaways

Units 5 and 6 in AP World History both cover the modern period, c. 1750 - c. 1900, but, unlike with Units 1 & 2 and Units 3 & 4, students will be better off reviewing them in order. The two main topics in this Unit--new forms of imperialism and global migrations--occurred later in the time period. Imperialism is the most important topic in this unit. Industrialized European, American, and Japanese states expanded overseas, enlarging their empires. Imperialism means creating or enlarging an empire. These imperialist states often used industrial tools to expand and justified this expansion using racist theories. Imperialism is also known as colonialism, because empires in this time included colonies. Native peoples in these colonies resisted imperialist expansion into their countries in a variety of ways. Unit 6 also includes global migrations. Industrial transportation technologies and global empires both supported the large numbers of people migrating across the globe.

Definitely do this:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

 

     

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