For more tips, check out the Ultimate Guide to AP Human Geography

PRACTICE!! Here are all the past FRQs organized by topic: 

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The Basics:

  • There are 3 free-response questions (FRQs) you must answer in 75 minutes. You do not have choice, all three given are mandatory.
  • FRQs each have 2-4 questions that may break down further. For example:
        A. Define push factor.
        B. Define pull factor
        C. For each of the following, describe ONE push & ONE pull factor.
                 1 . Economic
                 2. Cultural  
                 3. Political 
  • Each FRQ is worth between 6-8 points each. The points are determined based on how many pieces of information the question is asking for. As a mini-example, the example above would be worth 1 point for part A, 1 point for part B, and 6 points for part C, for a total of 8 points.
  • The FRQ should be answered as concisely as possible, but in as much detail as you need. Each point on the FRQ can be earned in 1-3 sentences, depending on what the question says. Think of the FRQs as short-answer, not essays.
  • AP readers award points for what you do correctly and never take points away. You are given points for correct answers and anything incorrect is not given any points. Therefore, it is always best to try every question because there is no penalty for guessing
  • Label the parts of your FRQ (A, B, C, etc) and start each FRQ on a new page.
  • You can include a diagram or sketch in your FRQ, but you should not leave this as your only answer. Answer the question in words and use a diagram to help prove your point, if needed.

Common Verbs on the FRQs 

  • List / Identify: Give the answer directly in one sentence. No explanation needed.
  • Define: Provide the meaning for a word or concept using examples when possible.
  • Describe: Fully illustrate how something works or worked. Often paired with identify.
  • Discuss: Explore the relationship between concepts using examples and detailed explanations.
  • Explain: Identify and discuss logical connections or patterns between given concepts.
  • Compare/Contrast: Discuss similarities and differences between two or more concepts.
  • Evaluate/Assess: Argue for a position using evidence
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