The Best AP World History Books

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP World History exam consists of 2 sections, and 4 parts. First one has 55 multiple choice questions, lasts 55 minutes, and counts for 40% of your overall exam score.

The second one has 4 short answer questions, lasts 50 minutes, and counts for 20%.

The third one is 1 document based question that lasts 55 minutes and counts for 25% of your total score.

The last section is a long, 35 minute essay. (15%)

College Board provides free example test questions, so click here if you want to check them out.

Next Exam Date

Thursday, May 17th 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

The AP World exam changed for the 2016-2017 school year. There were some minor changes to the content, but major changes to the format of the test. Be sure to get the latest AP world history textbook below.

There are less essays to write, but there are now four short answer questions, 1 document based question, and 1 long essay question.

The Best AP World History Books for 2018

Book CoverDescriptionOur ReviewBest Price
The Best AP World History TextbookTraditions & Encounters:
A Global Perspective on
the Past, AP Edition

Bently, McGraw-Hill

(The Best AP World History Textbook)
5.0View Price
Barron's AP World History Best Prep Book 2017Barron's AP World
History, 6th Edition


(Best AP World History Review Book)
4.6View Price
Best AP World History Prep BookCracking the AP World
History Exam, Premium
2018 Edition

The Princeton Review

(The Best AP World History Prep Book)
4.5View Price

The Best AP World History TextbookThe AP world history exam is one of the most difficult exams of any AP subject, in addition to being one of the most popular. For that reason, it’s really important to differentiate yourself in this subject. The reason why it’s so difficult is nearly no standard high school curriculum can cover all the history you might encounter on the AP world history exam.

That’s where the Best AP World History Textbook comes in: Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, AP Edition 2017. This is one of the only textbooks that was designed specifically to teach you all the history events that you will encounter on the exam. Not only that, it is also the most up to date textbook.

If you are serious about scoring a 5 on the exam, you owe it to yourself to purchase this textbook.

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Barron's AP World History Best Prep Book 2017

The best book updated for the 2017 exam is Barron’s AP World history textbook.

It is huge and has a lot of information, but you need at least a month or more to read through this whole book.

However, you can also use it to acquaint yourself with the new format of the test without reading through the whole thing.

It has strategies for answering all question types, charts to help you create your own study plan, and two full-length exams with answer explanations.

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Best AP World History Prep Book

Princeton Review has released a new AP World History textbook for 2018 and so far the reviews are really strong. Princeton review is known for high quality material and they are the top of our list in many other subjects, so this textbook might be worth a look yourself.

What is great about their latest 2018 edition is they have 5 brand new, full-length practice tests available directly in the book. That’s right! You don’t even need to purchase a seperate book of practice tests, you can get 5 ones directly in this 2018 premium edition of The Princeton Review’s AP World History.

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Self-Study Tips

The AP World History exam is fairly hard to study for, but if you give yourself at least 2 months before the test to start studying, you can get a 5.

We recommend starting with Barron’s AP World and reading this book cover to cover. Don’t focus too much on memorizing specific dates, but try to memorize larger time periods, religions, and cultures.

Take the practice exam and see how you do. Then reread the sections that you didn’t do well on and make sure you focus on understanding why the people acted the way they did instead of mindlessly memorizing dates.

A month or 2 weeks before the exam you can start looking through the Crash Course book and making sure you know most of the material in it.

You can also watch the World History videos that Crash Course has on their YouTube channel.