APUSH Short Answer Questions

Part B of our our full-length AP US History practice test features four APUSH short answer questions. You are required answer the first two questions and then you may choose one of the last two questions to answer. The time limit for this section of the exam is 40 minutes. After you finish your responses, you can follow the links at the bottom of this page to review examples of answers that would earn a perfect score.

1. Read the excerpt provided and then respond to parts a, b, and c.

“The Roaring Twenties were marked by a clash of cultures. As cities grew, rural areas began to lose political power. The urban-rural divide manifested in the form of cultural tensions, with urban areas embracing modernity and rural areas holding onto traditional values. The Scopes Trial, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Prohibition era are all emblematic of these tensions.”

— Dr. Jane Smith, The Twenties: A Decade of Tension, 2015.

a. Identify and explain one specific event mentioned in the excerpt that exemplifies the cultural tensions of the 1920s.

b. Describe how urban and rural areas differed in their cultural values during the 1920s, as suggested by the excerpt.

c. Provide one additional example (not mentioned in the excerpt) from the 1920s that further illustrates the urban-rural cultural divide.

2. Read the excerpt provided and then respond to parts a, b, and c.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

— Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863.

a. Identify and explain the significance of the event during which this speech was given.

b. According to the excerpt, what fundamental principle was the nation founded upon?

c. Provide one additional example from the Civil War era that further illustrates the national struggle with the principle identified in the excerpt.

3. Respond to parts a, b, and c.

a. Briefly describe one major difference between the Loyalists’ and Patriots’ perspectives during the American Revolution.

b. Briefly explain how the influence of Enlightenment ideas could be used to support the Patriots’ cause during the American Revolution.

c. Briefly explain how the British government’s response to colonial protests, such as the Intolerable Acts, could be used to support the Loyalists’ perspective during the American Revolution.

4. Respond to parts a, b, and c.

a. Briefly describe one major social or cultural change in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s.

b. Explain how the Civil Rights Movement contributed to or was influenced by the social change you described in part a.

c. Briefly discuss one significant piece of legislation or Supreme Court decision from the same era that supported the goals of the Civil Rights Movement.

After you finish typing your short answer responses, be sure to review the corresponding examples. These SAQ examples show answers that would receive a perfect score along with an explanation of the scoring process.