AP Human Geography

beginning of content:

AP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. According to surveys of comparable curricula at four-year colleges and universities, it is equivalent to a one-semester introductory college course.

Students successfully completing the course will:
  • Use and think about maps and spatial data
  • Understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena
  • Recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes
  • Define regions and evaluate the regionalization process
  • Characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places

 

Topics covered on the exam include:

Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives (5–10%)

  • Geography as a field of inquiry
  • Evolution of key geographical concepts and models associated with notable geographers
  • Key concepts underlying the geographical perspective: location, space, place, scale, pattern, regionalization and globalization
  • Key geographical skills
  • Geographic technologies such as GIS, remote sensing and GPS
  • Sources of geographical ideas and data: the field, census data and satellite imagery

Population (13–17%)

  • Geographical analysis of population
  • Population growth and decline over time and space
  • Population movement

Cultural Patterns and Processes (13–17%)

  • Concepts of culture
  • Cultural differences
  • Cultural landscapes and cultural identity

Political Organization of Space (13–17%)

  • Territorial dimensions of politics
  • Evolution of the contemporary political pattern
  • Changes and challenges to political–territorial arrangements

Agriculture and Rural Land Use (13–17%)

  • Development and diffusion of agriculture
  • Major agricultural production regions
  • Rural land use and settlement patterns
  • Modern commercial agriculture

Industrialization and Economic Development (13–17%)

  • Growth and diffusion of industrialization
  • Contemporary patterns and impacts of industrialization and development

Cities and Urban Land Use (13–17%)

  • Development and character of cities
  • Models of urban systems
  • Models of internal city structure
  • Built environment and social space

Read the full course description and exam information with sample questions.

AP Human Geography Development Committee

Committee Co-Chairs

  • Lisa Benton-Short, George Washington University, Washington , D.C.
  • Nancy H. Watson, Lawton Chiles High School, Tallahassee, Florida

Committee Members

  • Fernando Bosco, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
  • Allison Hunt, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Darren Purcell, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • Jody Smothers-Marcello, Sitka High School, Sitka, Arkansas

College Board Advisor

  • Richard C. Gindele, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Chief Reader

  • Donald Zeigler, Old Dominion University, Virginia Beach, Virginia