Are you considering taking an AP European History course? Are you wondering what the average score is on the exam? If you are thinking about or taking AP European History, then you may want to know how students normally perform on the exam. Or if you have already taken the test, you would like to understand your score and how it compares to others.
In any case, every AP course has different criteria and presents a varying level of difficulty, including the exams. Having a better understanding of both the course and exam can help you prepare you for success.
In this article, we will take you through the average AP European History score and analyze how students performed on the exam. We will go through what each score means for you and prospective colleges, the outline of the test, how the exam is graded, and finally guide you towards the best ways to prepare.
What’s the Average AP European History Score?
By looking at previous exam scores over the years, you might get a better understanding of what you will encounter. The provided data will help you comprehend the past exam scores, and where you might fit into the chart.
The chart below shows the CollegeBoard’s 2010 to 2016 exam results and data for the AP European History Exam.
CollegeBoard National Grade Distribution
|# of Students||102,629||107,392||108,854||109,878||110,297||107,267||109,031|
Between 2010 and 2016, the chart depicts that precisely 8.6% of the total test takers received 5 scores. From 2010 to 2016 the percentage of students who received a score of 5 dropped from 12.7% in 2010 to 7.4% in 2016. In all of the score categories except 2s, the overall percentages have decreased over the past six years. Students scoring a 2 increased from 11.2% in 2010 to 35.1% in 2016. The number of students receiving a score of 1 has decreased from 23.2% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2016.
The number of students taking the test has slowly increased from 102,629 students in 2010 to 109,031 students in 2016, while the overall mean has declined from 2.86 in 2010 to 2.71 in 2016. The average score of the AP European History Exam remained mainly in the upper 2 range between 2.65 and 2.86. This constant low score and the small percentage of students earning a 4 or 5 could show that the test is challenging.
There are no current changes in the AP European History Exam, so these score trends should remain stable and be useful for predicting future scores.
What’s a Good Score on the AP European History Exam?
A “good score” can be interpreted by several various factors. The difference between a good score and one that is good enough for you mainly depends on your prospective school and major. In order to understand your AP test scores and how they match up with your needs, look at the following four standards:
1. The CollegeBoard’s Definitions:
The CollegeBoard defines the AP scores on a scale of 1 through 5 to measure achievement, level of preparation, qualification and college credits.
One –is the lowest score that can be achieved on an AP exam and is the equivalent to a failing grade. It determines that a student should be offered no recommendation from the Board for college-level work due to lack of preparation and understanding of the material. No US or foreign university will accept an AP score of 1.
Two – is a level below passing that shows you may be able to pass a college course, but not receive credit. The Board assesses that a student may possibly be qualified to earn college credit. Very few colleges will accept a score of 2.
Three – earns you a passing score and shows your abilities to both take and pass a college course for credit. This is the most common score test takers receive, and deems you qualified to receive college credit by the Board.
Four – is also a passing and good score earned by those capable of earning high marks in a college course. The Board views recipients of this score as “well qualified to receive college credit”.
Five –is the highest score you can receive, which means you are “extremely well qualified to earn college credit”. All universities will accept a 5 for credit.
2. Compared to Other Test Takers
In order to place yourself among the other test takers, compare your own score against other scores to see where you would range. If you received a 2 or 3 on the AP European History Exam in 2016, then you would be with the majority of the 29.2% and 35.1% of the 109,031 test takers. On the other hand if you scored a 5 in the same year, you would be in a smaller pool of 7.4% of students who also earned the same score.
This information can help you decipher both the amount of students who pass the exam, and those who don’t. Just as numbers aren’t an exact reflection of the test difficulty, your score doesn’t necessarily indicate your ability to thrive in a college setting. If anything, you are more likely to be prepared to face a college course after taking AP courses and exams. By taking an AP course and participating in the exam, you will further prepare yourself for higher education expectations.
3. College and University Credit Acceptance
Depending on which college you are planning on attending or your intended major, the score you receive on the AP test will have a different impact. Certain top choice schools will only accept a 4 or 5 for course credit, while other less-competitive schools will take a 3. Each university and academic program will factor your AP scores differently, so while a 3 may be satisfactory for the Sociology department, this may not be the case when applying to a Physics program.
For example, Penn State doesn’t offer college credit for a score of a 3, but a 4 and 5 can earn you three college credits. Whereas Florida State University will award three college credits for a score of 3, and six credits for a 4 or 5. This difference shows how important it is to review the requirements of the schools and programs you could possibly choose before taking the exam. By understanding university policies, you could set realistic goals based on your academics.
In addition to helping you earn college credits, the score you receive on the AP European History Exam can also help your college application stand out. According to CollegeBoard, a score of 3 shows that you are able to meet the standards of a college-level course, but a score of 4 or 5 exceeds the minimum expectations. By taking and succeeding in multiple AP courses, you are also qualified to receive an AP Scholar award, which is notable to an admissions officer looking at your college application.
How is the AP European History Exam Graded?
The AP European History Exam runs for a total of 3 hours and 15 minutes. The overall test is divided into a multiple-choice and short-answer section as well as a free-response section. The following is an exam outline created by CollegeBoard.
Section I: Part A Multiple Choice | 55 Questions | 55 minutes | 40% of Exam Score
- Questions appear in sets of 2 to 5.
- You will analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
- Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.
Section I: Part B Short Answer | 4 Questions | 50 minutes | 20% of Exam Score
- Questions provide opportunities for you to demonstrate what you know best.
- Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
Section II: Part A Document Based | 1 Question | 55 minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score
- Analyze and synthesize historical data.
- Assess written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
Section II: Part B Long Essay | 1 Question | 35 minutes | 15% of Exam Score
- You will select one question among two.
- Explain and analyze significant issues in European history.
- Develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
What’s the Best way to Prepare for the AP European History Exam?
Understanding the average AP European History exam score, the test’s material, scoring, and analyzing past performances can all help guide you to best prepare for the exam.
One of the most effective ways you can prepare yourself for the AP European History is by reflecting on your own abilities and past test experiences. Think about your strengths and weaknesses when studying, reading, and writing. By focusing on the areas you struggle with, you can improve your overall performance on the exam. Most people don’t really like taking tests, and not everyone performs well on tests, but improving your weaknesses can help you achieve more.
To start preparing for the exam, you should create a plan for studying and stick to it. Like most AP students, you are probably also taking a few other courses at the AP level. Proper planning is a strong method that will guarantee that you have enough time to study thoroughly for each subject. If you plan ahead and set weekly goals, then you won’t feel so overwhelmed as the test date gets closer.
Start by taking a full practice exam a few months before your actual test date, so you can gauge how well you know the material. It will hone you on your weak areas that you struggle with, allowing you to better prepare for the exam. Create a study guide or use a pre-designed one that covers all of the material on the test. Use this study guide daily.
When the test is about a month away, use a study guide for the AP European History Exam. A few weeks prior to the test, take on more practice exams to cover any last minute material. Before the day of the exam, make sure you get plenty of rest and focus on doing your best. Don’t stress out or rush through the material. Make sure you get through the questions in a reasonable amount of time.
With anything you want to succeed, practice is key. Since you already have an outline of how the test is structured, you should practice getting comfortable with multiple choice, DBQ, short answer, and essay questions. Use the process of elimination and other multiple-choice tactics to aid your success. For the DBQ, short answer, and essay portions complete practice questions from past tests, study guides, or even in the material from the AP course itself.
Study the outline of the tasks, and the terms, concepts, and theories that will be included. Use past research to study from to get familiar with analyzing the free response section.
Utilize practice test and exams from previous years. The Collegeboard website has sources and materials available, so that you can look at grading rubrics and past exams as well. Additionally, you can also purchase additional materials such as books or notes online or in a bookstore. AP prep services are typically available through a school or outside source.
Your fellow peers and classmates, who might be stronger in the subject or have already taken the exam, are also a good source for help. An always reliable and present source is your AP teacher. They will have a strong background in the AP subject as well as knowledge for the test content and format. More than likely, they have a thorough familiarity in the AP exams and are valuable resources for helping students prepare.
Ask your teachers for help when preparing for the AP European History Exam. They could provide you with recommendations or additional study materials to review concepts more clearly.
When it comes to study time, ensure that you are only reviewing what material will be on the test. Regularly check in with yourself on how well you understand the content. Collect all textbooks, study guides, and notes needed for your study session. Make sure that you stay organized. Organization plays a huge role when it comes to succeeding on an exam. From following the study guide to having enough pencils and an ID on exam day, you must stay organized throughout the entire preparation process. This order will create a constructive studying environment and mindset.
By staying organized and prepared, it is very possible to exceed the average AP European History Exam score, and earn a 4 or 5. All you have to do is focus and confidently take the exam.
Lastly, just relax! By this point in your life you have studied for and taken countless exams. Try to do your best while both preparing for and taking the test. With a positive attitude you can achieve anything!
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Found on AskReddit.
1. An essay on a made-up book.
One of my teachers that is an APUSH grader posts Facebook statuses each day about the dumbest things she reads, so they are allowed to say. But my favorite story was from a teacher that did the AP Lit grading. The teachers are allowed to read the responses to open ended questions on books they haven’t read, but she says that if people aren’t too familiar with them they tend to pass it off to someone who has actually read it. One day she got a response on a book she had never heard of, so she tried to pass it on to someone else. But no one else at her table, or in her room, had heard of it either. Which in this case is strange, because this is a room full of English teachers, and all of the source works for that response are supposed to be of a certain academic caliber. After finally resorting to looking the book up online and calling around to a few bookstores, they determined the book did not exist. Someone had made up an entire plot-line, and then analyzed it and wrote an essay on it.
2. An illustration of College Board’s annihilation.
My comparative government teacher told me about the essay that contained no words — just a picture of Godzilla and King Kong attacking the College Board building.
3. At least he was an honest test-taker?
My stat teacher told us that all he saw on a FRQ was ” I know I failed this, but the teacher was a milf, so it was totally worth it.”
4. A pretty brief summary of the reformations in England and Germany.
Best story from my AP European History teacher, who was also an AP grader. An essay question one year asked to describe the similarities and differences between the protestant reformation in England and Germany. One student wrote, “In Germany, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. In England, Henry VIII nailed Anne Boleyn.”
5. This is what happens when you translate “laughter” in spanish to “crying”:
I took AP Spanish this year. I mistranslated the words for laughter and smile in my head as crying and sadness. I ended up writing 200+ words about the health benefits of being sad.
6. A slip-up on the AP Music Theory exam.
Friend of the family used to grade AP Music Theory exams. There’s a sight-singing section on the exam where, at least when I took it, you had to sing onto a tape that would be scored based on accuracy. He had to hear a TON of really horrible ones, but he told us one story that I remember.
The student’s recording began fine, and then the student made a mistake, yelled “Ahh FUCK!” and then proceeded to start singing “Tooty Fruity”.
7. An AP Euro student who evidently didn’t know one Enlightenment thinker.
My AP European history teacher told us that one year, the essay was on Enlightenment thinkers. One student wrote “The Enlightenment had many great thinkers, none of which come to mind currently.” and nothing else.
8. A kid who wrote a two-act play across two different AP tests.
When I was taking AP exams my senior year, one kid in my class wrote a two-act play about a couple trapped in zoo over night. While trapped there, a radioactive source causes the animals to mutate into human/animal hybrids and the human/animal hybrids chase the couple throughout the zoo, trying to eat them (the giraffe was named puzzles). The first act was in his AP English Lit exam; the second act was in his AP Euro exam.
9. A somewhat hostile illustration.
My English teacher told us that one of his favorite essays that he graded was actually not an essay at all, but a “perfectly drawn and shaded” picture of a middle finger.
Said he almost didn’t have the heart to give him that zero.
10. When in doubt: fake poor handwriting.
When I took AP US history I couldn’t remember which amendment abolished slavery, so I made the number look like really bad hand writing. I got a 5.
11. A student trying to make light of a bad situation.
My History teacher told us that one time there was a test where the student just traced an outline of their hand, with a small caption underneath that said “high five! :D.”
She gave the paper a high five, but still gave the student a zero.
12. An essay that never really got to the point, but was funny nonetheless.
My AP US History teacher grades the AP Exam ever year and his favorite was one sentence: “Booker T. was a guy who take a trip.” That was all that was on the essay. The question was about how W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington planned to improve the condition of blacks following the Civil War.
13. An essay about ice cream for the AP US History exam.
For US History, my teacher always showed us this one example of a DBQ essay that a kid wrote. It was about ice cream and he drew a stick figure and labeled it George Washington. The essay was supposed to be about slavery…
14. A very creative short story.
My AP Human Geography teacher told us about how he graded a paper where a kid wrote a 6-page short story about a rabbit and managed to incorporate the correct answer and got full credit. I called bullshit but he swore it was true.
15. A $5 bill taped to the exam.
I read AP exams in the past. Most memorable was an exam book with $5 taped to the page inside and the essay just said, “Please, have mercy.” But I also got an angry breakup letter, a drawing of some astronauts, all kinds of random stuff.
16. A very creative poem about Joseph Stalin.
A poem about Joseph Stalin. It was fucking amazing. The only line I really remember was ‘he had eyes made of death and a ‘stache of pig iron.’
17. A pretty glaring mistake on the AP US History exam.
One of my high school history teachers was one. He told us he once read an entire essay about a sex scandal between Betsy Ross and Thomas Jefferson.
18. The ol’ writing dirty jokes and then crossing them out trick.
When I took my test, I would put really irrelevant jokes/dirty jokes in the middle of my essays, then cross them out (because they can’t be graded) but sure as hell could be read.
19. A two-act play plus a review of it on an AP Physics exam.
One of my friends decided that a good use of his AP Physics-C exam was to write a 2-act play and then top it off by writing a review of it. If I remember correctly, he gave it 4/5 stars.
20. A student who couldn’t handle the elitist tone on his AP English exam.
When I took my AP English exam, the final of the three essays had a prompt that said “Pick a work from this list or one of similar literary quality and discuss character foils.”
Well, I got pissed off at the elitist tone of the “literary quality” bit, so I started my essay: “Literary quality is a very subjective thing. Nowhere are character foils more evident than in Dr. Seuss’s masterpiece, Go Dog Go.”
I then proceeded to write an entire essay on character foils in Go Dog Go, comparing the black dogs to the white dogs, the dogs over the house to the dogs under the house, etc.
21. An essay written backwards.
My Government teacher is a reader and told us of an essay they received one year that was written perfectly backwards. The grader had to hold it up to a mirror to decipher it.
22. This is what happens when you take an AP exam that you haven’t studied for.
When I took the AP World History exam, I had the option of taking the Comparative Politics exam for free. Sure, why not. I didn’t study for it at all. After answering a few of the essay questions, I got bored/stumped/wanted to leave because I had bronchitis and felt bad for the serious test takers who had to listen to me coughing…so I drew an elaborate picture of a dinosaur holding a sign that said “Sorry, I didn’t even take this class.” Got a 2!
23. A sympathetic letter to the grader.
I just took my AP Lit test today. I think they might get a bit of a chuckle out of my third essay. I didn’t intentionally do something funny, it just sucks so bad.
But relating to the question, my English teacher told my class of how she knew of one student who just didn’t write the final essay. Instead, they wrote a letter to the grader telling them to take a break and go get a cup of coffee. They went on to compare themselves to the grader, talking about how they were both confined in a room to do something that they didn’t want to do, yet they’re still doing it all the same. Somehow, they got a 2.
24. An essay that fully channeled Billy Madison.
On my AP Euro test a few years back there was an Essay about post WWII life and we hadn’t gotten that far in the class and I wasn’t sure of the answer. I wrote as much of an essay as I could but the majority of it was a detailed sketch of the entire bathtub scene from Billy Madison. Shampoo vs. Conditioner.
25. A pretty harsh “free response” essay.
Fun fact. The teachers of your AP classes get the free response parts back. I wrote awful things about my AP physics teacher on the exam (essays about how he didn’t teach), and the next school year he came and showed the booklet to me.
26. The entire lyrics to N.W.A’s “Fuck The Police.”
I took the AP Lit exam today. My friend, in order to increase the essay length, wrote out the entire lyrics to N.W.A’s “Fuck The Police” in the middle of his essay and proceeded to cross it out, which meant they can’t grade the test. As we were in the back of the room, I was able to be shown a glance of his test, and can confirm this.
27. A virus written on the AP Computer Science exam.
When I took the AP computer science exam, one of my classmates, frustrated with his inability to figure out what the hell they wanted versus his years of actual programming experience, wrote a virus.
28. When in doubt, go for panda facts.
One of my friends was taking the Lit one, but she totally blanked on one of the essay responses and just ended up writing every fact she knew about pandas. Got a 2.
29. A one-sentence essay.
I took my AP Lit test about three years ago and one of the prompts was about an incredibly dull poem called the “Century Quilt.” I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm, so with 10 minutes to go I wrote a grammatically correct 2-page single sentence essay.
My AP Lit teacher’s face turned purple when I told him- but I still got a 4!
30. A plea of sorts.
My AP US History teacher had a few funny stories. One kid wrote a rap about how his mother made him take the class and begged the reader to give him a 5. Her group also got a lot of bribes in the booklets. She said that they put it all together and bought lunch with it. Solid.
31. A scary-looking clown and Breaking Bad quotes.
I took an AP Chemistry exam and I had no idea what I was doing. So on one of the pages where I was supposed to be answering a question about batteries I put a very large, very menacing picture of an evil clown. Also, a bunch of “Breaking Bad” quotes.