AP World History Short Answer Questions

Part B of our our AP World History practice exam consists of short answer questions. For the AP World SAQ section, you must answer question 1 and 2. Then, choose to answer either question 3 or 4. Note that the short-answer questions do not require you to develop and support a thesis statement.

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

“Man, are you capable of being just? It is a woman who poses the question; you will not deprive her of that right at least. Tell me, what gives you sovereign empire to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents? Observe the creator in his wisdom; survey nature in all her grandeur, which you seem to feel the need to emulate; and give me, if you dare, an example of this tyrannical empire. Your heart is capable of forming bonds of friendship with ours; why do you degrade yourselves by subjugating us?”

— Olympe de Gouges, “The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen,” 1791

a. Describe ONE way in which Gouges’ argument reflects the ideas of the Enlightenment.

b. Explain ONE way in which the feminist movement in the late 18th century, as illustrated by the passage, differed from traditional roles of women in European society.

c. Explain ONE historical situation in the period 1750–1900, other than the one illustrated in the passage, where social or political movements led to significant changes in the societal roles or rights of a specific group.

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

“The city’s once-imposing walls, which had withstood centuries of sieges, now faced an adversary determined to breach them. As I gazed upon the advancing Turkish forces, the gravity of the situation became all too clear. The sounds of battle, the cries of defenders and attackers alike, echoed through the air, creating an eerie symphony of chaos and destruction.

As the hours passed, the Turks pressed deeper into the city, pushing forward with unwavering determination. St. Sophia, the magnificent cathedral of Constantinople, could not escape their relentless assault. With shock and sorrow, I saw them take the church by storm. Once they had established themselves within that sacred space, they showed no mercy. The peaceful halls of worship were transformed into scenes of violence and horror, as they mercilessly took the lives of everyone they found within those hallowed walls.”

a. Describe ONE significant challenge faced by the city of Constantinople and its defenders during the siege, as highlighted in Nicolò Barbaro’s account.

b. Identify and explain ONE significant cause or factor that contributed to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 as suggested by Nicolò Barbaro’s account and discuss its role in the city’s downfall.

c. In what historical context did the siege of Constantinople in 1453 take place, and why was the city strategically important to both the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire?

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

a. Describe ONE significant change in global trade patterns between 1200 and 1750.

b. Explain ONE political or cultural impact of the spread of religions during this period.

c. Identify and describe ONE technological or scientific advancement between 1200 and 1750 and explain its impact on a specific society or region.

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

a. Describe ONE major political or social change that occurred as a result of the French Revolution (1789–1799).

b. Explain ONE way in which industrialization between 1750 and 1900 transformed the economies of a specific region or country.

c. Identify and describe ONE significant global conflict in the 20th century and discuss its impact on international relations.

Once you have selected which questions to answer and written out your responses, review our sample responses to evaluate what makes a perfect answer on the AP World History exam.