Most people are overly concerned with the Multiple Choice section of the exam. This section can easily be the hardest, but don't let that scare you - knowing how to view the multiple choice questions correctly can easily reveal the correct answer and also be an invaluable review for the essays.

Multiple Choice Overview

You will have 55 minutes to complete all 80 questions. Each correct answer is worth 1.125 points, meaning that you can earn up to 90 points on this section. There is no longer any penalty for wrong answers so there is no excuse to not guess. The best method is to answer what you know and skip the ones you don't. If time allows, go back and try those other questions. If time does not allow, bubble in the same choice for each question. Here's the reasoning:

Imagine that there are 10 hypothetical questions. Now what if you put A for each answer? You're guaranteed to get 2.25 points towards 80. What if you did that for 20 questions? A word of warning though: By bubbling the same answer for every question you can only earn 18 points. If you actually read the questions and try, you'll see that you can easily earn more than that.

*You should shoot for 40 correct answers on this section if you're going for a 3, 50 for a 4, and 60 for a 5.

The College Board asks two types of questions: straight forward questions ("Which of the following best characterizes Renaissance humanists?"), and fill in the blank questions ("Capitalists used the 'putting-out' or domestic system primarily in order to").

The exam will have 40 questions that cover between 1450 and Napoleon, and then another 40 questions that cover from 1815 to the present. With that said, it's still possible to have more questions about England during the Industrial Revolution than Eastern European Absolutism, and vice versa, so it's still important to study everything. The authors categorize questions based on time period, not on geographic location.


Guided Questions

The most effective way of increasing your chances of picking the correct answer is to remove the "distractors," or answer choices that seem correct, but aren't. Let's look at one question from earlier.

1. Which of the following best characterizes Renaissance humanists?
      a. They rejected Christian perspectives
      b. They concentrated on the study of humans from a biological perspective
      c. They rejected writers from the pre-Christian period
      d. They emphasized rhetoric based on classical models
      e. They maintained the principles of medieval Scholasticism

The first thing we should do is look for the wrong answer because there are 4 of them. We know that the humanists trumpeted human achievement and ability, but that does not help up much. Let this be a warning - to get an AP question right you must know a lot of information, not just a brief definition of a term or two. This question alone assumes you know the following terms - humanist, pre-Christian, rhetoric, classical, and Scholasticism.

The second problem with this question is the word "best." That means there are at least two answers that may be right, but you're charged with finding the one that is "most right." The easiest choice to cross out is B. There was no field of biology then. Now we're down to 4 choices. The next one we can cross out is A. Humanists were not anti-Christian, as the question assumes. Now we're down to 3.

Looking at C and D, it appears that they are opposites. Knowing that "pre-Christian" and "classical" are referring to the same thing, how can someone both reject and and emphasize models/writings from the period? Remembering that the arts borrowed from the classical era, and that humanists stressed subjects such as history, Latin, and rhetoric, we can reason that D is the best answer.

Here's another one for you to try.

    2. Capitalists used the "putting-out" or domestic system primarily in order to
           a. operate outside the restrictive guild system
           b. find ways to put women to work
           c. take advantage of high unemployment rates in overcrowded cities
           d. take advantage of the enclosure movement
           e. avoid building large factories

This question is much more difficult. You are looking for the statement that makes the sentence true. Here the word "capitalists" is the key. There's only one answer choice that is true of both capitalists and the domestic system - A. B is wrong because it assumes that all capitalists cared about women, which isn't true in this era. C is wrong because "putting-out" refers to moving the work from the cities to the countryside. D and e are wrong because they both deal with the Industrial revolution, while the question deals with pre-industrial economic systems.

Again, this is a question that assumes you know a lot of terms. Terms are key here - if you don't know what a word means you can't hope to know the answer for the test.

Outside Review Sites:

Quizlet is an invaluable resource for reviewing terms. You can cycle through the terms flash card style or play review games with them. Here are the resources they have for AP European History. There are a few ways to use this site. First, you can review the terms flash card style, defining the term and then cliking the word to see if you are correct. The second way to use this site is to play games. Matching words to definitions as they fly by or unscrabling them earns you points, which are then put on a leaderboard so you can compete with your classmates.

Mrs. Pojer, a teacher in New York, has created a great review site as well. Here is a link to her quizzes. They include both multiple choice questions as well as matching. Some of the terms are ones we have not sutddied before, but they are still fair game for the AP exam so you should pay attention to them.


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