About the Test: The Multiple-Choice Questions

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There are 80 multiple-choice questions and a time limit of 55 minutes, which works out to about 40 seconds per question. You get one point for each correct answer on this section, and lose a fraction of a point for each wrong answer. You neither gain nor lose any points for questions you skip. (Students who have taken the SAT or are currently studying for the SAT will probably find this system familiar.) This gradng system is designed to prevent students from guessing at random.

Most of the questions are the same sort of multiple-choice questions that most students have seen hundreds of times on other tests:

1. The Emancipation Proclamation did which of the following?
A. Allowed men over 18 to be drafted into the Union Army
B. Declared a blockade of the Southern coast
C. Declared the South's grievances against the North
D. Freed the slaves in the rebelling Southern states
E. Ended the Civil War

2. Which of the following was not a civil war battle?
A. Gettysburg
B. Bunker Hill
C. Vicksburg
D. Antietam
E. Bull Run

These questions are quite straightforward (the answers, as you may have guessed, are 1. D and 2. B). Almost all of the multiple-choice questions on the AP test will follow this format. However, there are a few multiple-choice questions on the AP test in a format which most students have never seen before (unless they have taken other AP tests or the SAT). They look like this:

3. Which of the following is/are true of President Franklin D. Roosevelt?
I. He attended the Yalta Conference
II. He led the nation throughout World War II
III. He started the New Deal

A. I only
B. III only
C. I and II only
D. I and III only
E. I, II, and III

The correct answer to this sort of question is the answer which contains all of the true statements and none of the false ones. In this example, only statement II is false (F.D.R. died before the end of World War II, so Truman led the U.S. during the last months). Thus, answers C and E are wrong because they include statement II. Answers A and B are wrong because they do not include ALL of the true statements. Only answer D includes all of the true statements and none of the false ones, so it is the correct answer.

While most of the multiple-choice questions are all-text questions like those above, some of them may ask you to study and answer questions about pictures, charts, graphs, maps, or political cartoons.

Next: The Document-Based Question >>

AP* U.S. History
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U.S. History

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