AP Human Geography FAQs

April 1, 2024
AP Human Geography FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the AP Human Geography exam to maximize your score and boost your confidence on test day. Preparing for the AP Human Geography exam requires more than just knowing the material; you also need to be familiar with the ins and outs of the AP exam itself. We'll review how this AP exam is graded, when you'll get your test score returned, and more.

Why should I take the AP Human Geography exam?

First, in preparing for the AP Human Geography exam, you will be introduced to interesting material that you probably have not yet encountered during your high school experience. Preparation for the test exposes you to an exciting discipline that explains many of the processes occurring on the earth that you encounter on a daily basis. Secondly, preparing for the test provides you with an opportunity to improve your analytical and writing skills. Finally, if you do well on the test, you will be given Advanced Placement credit that may exempt you from having to take this course at a college or university, meaning you can get jump-started on your university career. 

How much does it cost to take the AP Human Geography exam?

The current fee for every AP test is $95.00. Many states and schools pay for students to take these tests. Be sure to check with your AP coordinator or high school counselor before paying the fee yourself. Fee reductions are available to students who require financial assistance. Check College Board for details on how to qualify. 

Do all colleges accept AP Human Geography test scores?

Advanced Placement is awarded to you by colleges or universities, not by the College Board. The best way to find out about a college’s policy is to look in that institution’s catalog or on its website, or to contact the registrar’s office at the particular college or university you are interested in attending. Additionally, you can use the College Board website (www.collegeboard.com) to investigate each university’s policies. The College Board performs an annual survey and reports each college’s policies on its website. 

What materials should I bring with me on AP Human Geography test day?

  1. Several sharpened #2 pencils (with erasers) for the multiple-choice answer sheet. 
  2. Black or blue ballpoint pens for the free-response questions. 
  3. Your school code—ask your AP coordinator if you are unsure. If you are home schooled, you will be given a code at the test. 
  4. A watch to keep track of time. 
  5. Your Social Security number for identification purposes. 
  6. A photo I.D.

How is the AP Human Geography Exam graded?

Each portion of the test is worth about ½ of the student’s overall grade. The multiple-choice section is graded electronically by tallying the number of correct responses. To grade the free-response questions, each year in June a reading is held that convenes college faculty and secondary school AP ­teachers to score the responses. These readings are led by a Chief Reader (a college professor), who ensures a rigorous system for maintaining the reliability and validity of scoring across readers. 

Once scores have been obtained for both the multiple-choice and free-response sections of the test, they are combined, and the total raw scores are converted to a composite score on AP’s 5-point scale:

AP Grade



Extremely well qualified


Well qualified




Possibly qualified


No recommendation

Grade distribution charts are available at AP Central, as is information on how the grade boundaries for each AP grade are established. Most colleges or universities will accept a score of 4 or 5 for credit and placement. Scores of 1 and 2 are not accepted, and many universities will accept a 3 for credit and/or placement. 

When will I get my AP Human Geography test score?

AP Grade Reports are sent in July to the college(s) you designated on your answer sheet, to you, and to your high school. You are able to view your scores and send them to additional institutions (for a small fee) online at College Board.

If I feel that I performed poorly on the AP Human Geography exam, can I cancel the test score?

In order to have a grade canceled, AP services must receive a signed letter requesting cancellation by June 15. The letter must be sent to: 

AP Services 

P.O. Box 6671 

Princeton, NJ 08541-6671 

Grade cancellation deletes an AP test grade permanently from your records. Grades may be canceled at any time. There is no fee for this service; however, your test fee is not refunded. The grade report that you and your school receive will indicate that the grade has been canceled. 

How do I register to take the AP Human Geography exam?

The AP coordinator at your school is your best source for registering for the test and getting all the specific details of test date and location. If you do not have this resource, contact the College Board, and they will guide you to the nearest location to register for the test. 

When is the AP Human Geography test offered?

All AP tests, including the AP Human Geography test, are offered in May. Check the College Board website to find out the exact date of the test. 

How many times can I take the AP Human Geography exam? 

You can take the test every year it is offered, but your grade report will include grades for every AP test you have taken, including scores for any repeated tests. 

Are copies of old AP Human Geography tests available? 

The College Board does release copies of past AP Human Geography tests. The tests cost $25.00 each and can be purchased by phone (1-800-323-7155) or from the website. Additionally, if you go to the College Board website and navigate to the Human Geography Test page, sample multiple-choice questions along with the actual free-response questions from past years are available for free.

Should I guess on the AP Human Geography exam?

You should guess whenever you are not sure about any question. As of May 2011, the College Board no longer penalizes you for incorrect answers. You gain points for every correct answer. 

What if I have more questions about the AP Human Geography exam?

If you still have questions about the test, the best source is the College Board website. If you cannot find the information you are looking for within the site, it is easy to contact the Board with any questions or concerns you might have about the test.