AP Environmental Science

AP Sciences AP Environmental Science

Explore and investigate the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Participate in hands-on, laboratory and field investigations to apply scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies in order to better understand our natural systems and to critically think about environmental issues and potential solutions.

Download AP Environmental Science Course Overview

About the Exam

The exam is three hours long and has two parts — multiple choice questions and free response questions. The multiple choice section is worth 60% and the free response section is worth 40% of the final exam grade.

Section I: Multiple Choice — 100 questions; 1 hour and 30 minutes

The portion of multiple choice questions covering each course topic area is:
  • Earth Systems and Resources (10%–15%)
  • The Living World (10–15%)
  • Population (10%–15%)
  • Land and Water Use (10%–15%)
  • Energy Resources and Consumption (10%–15%)
  • Pollution (25%–30%)
  • Global Change (10%–15%)
Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Section II: Free Response — 4 Questions; 1 hour and 30 minutes

The free response section contains three types of questions:

  • 1 document-based question in which you’ll answer questions related to a given document (e.g., pamphlet, newspaper article, or advertisement)
  • 1 data set question in which you’ll analyze and interpret a given set of data
  • 2 synthesis and evaluation questions which will be in-depth, multipart essays
The free response section emphasizes the application of principles. You'll need to demonstrate your reasoning and analytical skills, as well as your ability to synthesize material from several sources into cogent and coherent essays.

Practice for the exam
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