Is AP World History Hard? (FAQs) | 2023

Many view AP World History as one of the most challenging AP classes. This is unsurprising because this class focuses on about 100 decades of world history.

Despite the rigorous AP World History curriculum, some still believe this class is not as challenging as many presume.

This post will provide an excellent response to the question surrounding the difficulty level of AP World History and provide some tips for excelling in this class.

What is AP World History?

Advanced Placement World History is an AP class focusing on the current age’s economic, political, cultural, and social developments.

This class involves the evaluation of books, photographs, and other physical materials to develop a robust analysis of historical events.

AP World History is an excellent AP class choice for anyone looking to study courses such as archaeology, history, anthropology, or their related degree programs at the university because they can receive college credit.

Some of the skills you will acquire from this class are analytical, oral, and written communication and good research skills.

Factors That Determine How Difficult An AP Class Is

Here are some of the factors that make an AP class challenging or less complex:

1. Pass rate

The pass rate of an AP class is one factor that determines the difficulty level of an AP class. It is the percentage of students scoring three or above on a specific exam.

According to research, it is understood that the most common AP classes have the lowest pass rates because of the high number of students who attempt them.

So, look at the success rate of an AP class before determining if it is challenging.

2. 5 Rate

The 5 rate of the class is another factor that determines the difficulty of an AP class. It is simply the percentage of students that score five on the exam.

3. Objective Content Difficulty

The objective content difficulty of an AP class is determined by the syllabus of the class and the abilities that a student must possess before they can earn a score of 3 or more in the class.

Undoubtedly, AP classes with a large learning syllabus pose more of a challenge to students.

However, people surprisingly do well in classes classified under the objective content difficulty category over others because only daring students are always willing to enroll in them.

4. Student opinions

The opinions of students that have taken the class before are another factor that can affect your view of the difficulty level of an AP class.

A student that has taken the class before should be able to tell you if the assignments are complex and the amount of time the class consumes which can also define how hard the class is.

5. Timing

Many students can view an AP class to be problematic if they are to take it in their junior year at school.

This is because, at this point in their academic journey, they are not used to AP classes yet and may not even have the skill to overcome the rigorous nature of AP classes.

On the other hand, if students take a particular AP class in their senior year, their experiences with other AP classes they took in their junior classes can enable them to determine if an AP class is challenging.

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Does AP World History Have a rigorous syllabus?

The AP World History class syllabus is about a thousand years of human history.

However, the AP World History: Modern version, which is the upgraded version of AP World History, offers reduced course content.

Despite this, the AP World History: Modern class still has a taxing syllabus that will require an enormous time commitment.

Luckily for students, they can still cover the syllabus well before the exams because all they have to do is identify lasting patterns throughout history.

Additionally, this class requires excellent critical thinking skills, which are needed to analyze the significance of historical events.

Students of this class must also commit all the valuable aspects of history to their memory and develop the ability to write. You will scale through AP World History with flying colors if you possess all these skills.

Do Students View AP World History As A Challenging Class?

Most students who have taken AP World History classes before view it as a relatively tricky course. Their perspective of AP World History all comes down to the extensive curriculum of the class.

However, the exams are more flexible than many AP classes and are more like a profound summary of general history, unlike AP US history classes.

Immediately you will have a good grasp of the main topics of this class and develop the capacity to link critical historical events; answering questions in the AP World History exam will be a breeze for you.

Nevertheless, the extensive syllabus of this class makes intensive reading even more necessary. You must also possess the dedication to go the extra mile.

Many students take AP World History in their 10th grade, which is unsurprising because it is more of an introductory class for people who want to take AP US History in higher classes.

However, it is still shocking that the pass rate of this class is low even though it is not as difficult as AP Physics and AP Chemistry, which people view as the toughest APs.

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How To Achieve A Passing Score On The AP World History

The high failure rate of AP World History is simply because many students don’t know the ideal techniques for preparing for the AP exam.

So, if you are taking this class, ensure you apply the tips below to enable you to scale through the class with flying colors:

1. Consider the views of people that have taken the class

The best way to know if the class will be challenging for you is to make inquiries from other students that have taken the class before.

Also, meet your history teacher and seek their opinion on the AP World History class and if it is the right choice for you.

Furthermore, contact your school’s guidance counselor for their advice on your choice of taking the AP World History class and know if other AP classes will suit your academic goals better than it.

If a senior student in your school advises you not to take the class, maybe because the teacher that handles it is not good enough, for your good, avoid the class.

2. Consider your abilities

You won’t struggle to excel in an AP World History class if you have excellent reading and writing abilities.

This is why most students looking to major in English and have good English skills quickly scale through this class.

To succeed in this class, you must also possess good retentive memory, which is important for recollecting even the most complex history.

3. Consider your schedule

Combining AP World History with other classes requiring writing and memorization can be challenging.

For instance, combining AP World History with a class such as AP English may not work because AP English also has a rigorous workload.

So, no matter your choice, ensure you don’t overload yourself, which can lead you to ignore other school work entirely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On AP World History

What is the most popular AP class?

With over 500,000 students taking the test in 2021, AP English Language and Composition is the most common AP class in the world.

What is the most challenging AP class?

The most challenging AP class is AP Physics 1, with the coursework in this class focusing on several complex concepts.

What are the most accessible AP classes based on pass rate?

The most accessible AP classes based on pass rates are AP Physics C, Calculus, Spanish Literature, Physics C, and Physics 2.

Which AP exam do people fail the most?

People fail AP Physics 1 more than any other AP class. However, AP Physics 1 is closely followed by AP Environmental Science and Chemistry.


AP World History is a relatively tricky AP class. It is surprising that many students still opt to take this class.

The workload that this class can be overwhelming for any student. However, now that the curriculum of the class has finally been adjusted and cut down, this class is now simpler to pass.

Despite this, you will excel in AP World History if only you have good writing and reading skills.

Also, to stand by earning credit at the end of the class, ensure that you turn in your assignments on time and give your very best at every quiz or test that you take.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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