Study Guides for Every AP World Unit

Published on Apr 30, 2020

AP World may seem like a daunting class to take with the amount of historical figures, events, and concepts spanning 800 years of human history, but worry not! These study guides will help you not only ace the AP exam and get that fancy 5 but also understand the foundations of what we see today in global politics, society as a whole, the environment, culture, economics, and technology.

Please note! Due to the COVID outbreak, the 2020 exam only covers units 1-6. Find the 2020 exam schedule, learn tips & tricks, and get your frequently asked questions answered on Fiveable’s Guide to the 2020 AP Exam Updates.

๐ŸŽ Unit 1: Global Tapestry

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Don’t spend too long on this unit. Focus on the big trends. This unit is meant for you to familiarize yourself with each of the global regions and the key players in the beginning of modern global history.

1.0 – Overview of Unit 1
1.1 – East Asia from 1200-1450
1.2 – Dar-al-Islam from 1200-1450
1.3 – South and Southeast Asia from 1200-1450
1.4 – The Americas from 1200-1450
1.5 – Africa from 1200-1450
1.6 – Europe from 1200-1450
1.7 – Comparisons in the Period from 1200-1450

๐Ÿช Unit 2: Networks of Exchange

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Know the trade networks and their impact on local and regional trade, empire-building, and cultural diffusion! Networks like the Silk Roads and the Indian Ocean allowed landlocked empires to interact, grow economically, and expand their state religion!

2.0 – Overview of Unit 2
2.1 – Silk Roads
2.2 – The Mongols
2.3 – Indian Ocean Trade Routes
2.4 – Trans-Saharan Trade Routes
2.5 – Cultural Effects of Trade
2.6 – Environmental Effects of Trade
2.7 – Comparison of Trade from 1200-1450

๐Ÿ•Œ Unit 3: Land-Based Empires

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Identify the major similarities and differences in the different empires mentioned in this unit. That way, you’ll be able to make comparisons and at the same time connect how empires were built and administered during this time period (1200-1450).

3.0 – Overview of Unit 3
3.1 – Expansion of Land-Based Empires
3.2 – Governments of Land-Based Empires
3.3 – Belief Systems of Land-Based Empires
3.4 – Comparison of Land-Based Empires

๐Ÿ•ย Unit 4: Transoceanic Connections

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Understand the reasons behind the Age of Exploration, the long-term consequences of the Columbian Exchange, and the skyrocketing of Europe, especially Spain and Portugal, into global power after the discovery of the New World.

4.0 – Overview of Unit 4
4.1 – New Technologies from 1450-1750
4.2 – Exploration from 1450-1750
4.3 – Columbian Exchange
4.4 – Maritime Empires Established
4.5 – Expansion of Maritime Empires
4.6 – Resistance to European Expansion
4.7 – Class and Race from 1450-1750
4.8 – Continuity and Change from 1450-1750

โœŠย Unit 5: Revolutions

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Don’t stop at knowingย what happened in each of the four main revolutions. How are they connected to each other? (Trust me, they are.) When looking at industrialization, focus on its economic, political, and social impact on societies.

5.0 – Overview of Unit 5
5.1 – The Enlightenment
5.2 – Revolutions from 1750 to 1900
5.3 – Industrial Revolution
5.4 – Spread of Industrialization
5.5 – Technology in the Industrial Age
5.6 – State-Led Industrialization
5.7 – Economic Effects of Industrialization
5.8 – Responses to Industrializationย 
5.9 – Social Effects of Industrialization
5.10 – Continuity and Change in the Industrial Age

๐Ÿš‚ Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization

๐Ÿ”ฅ Quick Tip: Industrialization directly led to two key developments between 1750 and 1900: more imperialism and mass migrations!

6.0 – Overview of Unit 6
6.1 – Rationales for Imperialism
6.2 – Expansion of Imperialism
6.3 – Indigenous Responses to Imperialism
6.4 – Global Economic Development from 1750 to 1900
6.5 – Economic Imperialism
6.6 – Causes of Migration from 1750 to 1900
6.7 – Effects of Migration from 1750 to 1900
6.8 – Causation in the Imperial Age

If you need more explanations, drop your questions in the community chat or join us for this week’s cram session.

All of these study guides were created by AP World teachers and students who have passed the exam. They include everything you need to know to get a 5 on the exam.

We’re publishing more every day, so check back or send us a message with any immediate requests!

๐ŸŒ 2020 ap world study guide

Prepare for the new 2020 AP World History: Modern exam format with weekly lesson plans, study materials, and FRQ practice!

Hey, hey! I am a rising junior from Vista, CA. As a current AP (and future IB) student, I couldn't help myself from falling in love with academics especially with mathematics, science, and literature. Other than working as a Director of Content and blogger for Fiveable, I manage my own lifestyle-slash-travel blog, take pictures, and collaborate with service-based clubs and organizations as a volunteer to make this world a better place for everyone!
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