AP European History
The AP course and examination in European History are intended for
qualified students who wish to complete studies in secondary school equivalent
to college introductory courses in European history. The examination
presumes at least one academic year of college-level preparation.
The inclusion of historical course material in the course description and
in the examination is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board
or Educational Testing Service of the content, ideas, or values expressed in
the material. The material has been selected by historians who serve as
members of the AP European History Development Committee. In their
judgment, the material printed here reflects the course of study on which
this examination is based and is therefore appropriate to use to measure
the skills and knowledge acquired in this course.
The current AP program in European History corresponds to the most
recent developments in history curricula at the undergraduate level.* In
colleges and universities, European history is increasingly seen in a broad
perspective, with teaching methods reflecting an awareness of other disciplines
and a diversity of techniques of presentation, including visual and
statistical materials. Trends such as these are used by the Development
Committee to adjust the course and the examination.
The examination is divided into three parts: a multiple-choice section
dealing with concepts, major historical facts and personalities, and historical
analysis; a document-based essay designed specifically to test students?
ability to work with evidence; and two thematic essays on topics of major
significance. Together, these three parts of the examination provide students
with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are qualified to pursue
upper-level history studies at college.
The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural,
economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental
role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we
would all lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary
institutions, the role of conflict and continuity in present-day society
and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and
In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the
goals of the AP program in European History are to develop (a) an understanding
of some of the principal themes in modern European history,
(b) an ability to analyze historical evidence, and (c) an ability to analyze
and to express historical understanding in writing.