5 AP World History Resources for Students Who Want a 5

5 min readdecember 14, 2021

Amanda DoAmaral

Amanda DoAmaral

AP World History: Modern 🌍

577 resources
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The Best AP World Resources

So you want a 5 on your AP World History exam? Duh! Of course you do! If you get a 5 on the AP World exam, you'll be on your way to earning college credits for TWO courses. It's actually one of very few AP exams that can lead to double credit like that. In this case, most colleges teach the content of AP World across two courses, World History Before 1500 and World History Since 1500. But if you pass this exam, you'll have credit for both of those classes before you even get there.
So. Worth. It.
Last year, only 9% of students that took the AP World exam scored a 5. You'll need to surround yourself with the absolute best resources if you are headed toward a high score.
Although there are thousands of teacher websites and other free content across the internet, these five resources are proven to help students pass the exam with flying colors. Some of them are free, some cost as much as $40, but when you consider the amount of college credit you can earn, it's a worthy investment to pass this exam.
Let's jump in!

What is it? Kind of like tutoring, but in a group and all online. Every Monday night at 8pm, an experienced teacher and former exam reader hosts a live review to discuss topics and write practice essays live. You can rewatch any of the live sessions as many times as you want!
Why is it helpful? The key feature that Fiveable has that you won't find in any of the other listed resource is a live, real teacher to answer your questions whenever you have them. If you attend sessions live, you can submit questions for the teacher to discuss. The replay will get time-stamped with the answered questions, which makes it really easy to go back and review that answer
Fun Feature: The cool thing about Fiveable is that even though the live reviews are at the core of this resource, there are several other key features like trivia games that members play live! There are thousands of members across the world and you can see how you stack up against them!

2. ASAP World History (on Amazon)
What is it? It's a prep book, but the entire book is made up of images, graphic organizers, and flow charts! It's relatively small at just 268 pages, unlike those thick prep books, and the amount of text is very limited.
Why is it helpful? Some of the content in AP World can be really confusing or overwhelming, but this book is incredibly visual so it helps you make sense of each topic. Plus, there are tons of charts that will directly compare two things and timelines that show continuity and change over time. They definitely created this to align perfectly with the essays and you could use this to write practice outlines!
Fun Feature: Throughout the book, there are little icons that specify whether a topic is "must know," "should know," or "could know". This is an incredibly helpful feature to help you narrow down 10,000 years of world history and focus on just what you need to get a 5.

What is it? Benjamin Freeman is an AP World teacher and exam reader from Virginia that has been developing his website for years. He's created comprehensive pages for each unit that include embedded videos, graphics, and quick explanations. This is hands down the best teacher created site that exists for AP World.
Why is it helpful? It's super helpful to have everything you need in one place, but even better are the graphics he has created. He has maps, charts, and very shareable graphic organizers like this map embedded here.
Fun Feature: One of the best parts of his site is his annual countdown to the exam on his blog. He runs through 80 tips in the 80 days before the exam and it's definitely worth keeping up with!
Watch: AP World History - 🎥 Game of 5s with Freemanpedia

What is it? It's an app! Actually, it's a super useful app and super affordable ($2.99). There are 300 questions on here that cover all 10,000 years in a really straightforward way to help you study terms. These practice questions are not stimulus-based like the exam, but rather quick recall so you can play it a whole bunch of times.
Why is it helpful? Vocabulary is such a big part of any AP exam and this app was created by teachers who truly understand the value of studying key terms. You can play the whole deck or focus just on a time period. Either way, if you play this a few times a week, you'll be golden.
Fun Feature: For every question, there is a detailed explanation in case you need a reminder for why the right answer is right. Each explanation also includes why the other three answers were wrong and it's all right in the app so you don't have to stop and Google anything.

What is it? It's a bit more than your average prep book, but way less than a textbook. A lot of teachers just use this as the textbook because it is so much more condensed in a good way! Each chapter is 10 pages or less and just gets to what's important.
Why is it helpful? It's super easy to read and if you get it soon, you could definitely read the whole thing.
Key Feature: Every chapter has practice questions at the end, which are amazing! There are multiple-choice, short-answer, long-essay, and document-based questions that you can practice throughout. The only downside is the answer key is super secure and for teachers only, so you won't have a quick way to check if you were right.

Bonus Resource: Facebook group for AP World students!
  • What resources do you use? Tweet us at @thinkfiveable or comment below!

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