Ultimate AP® Human Geography Scoring Guide: Score Calculator (2024)

The AP® Human Geography exam is a 2-hour and 15-minute examination that can influence college admissions and even get you college credit and placement. If you are enrolled in the AP HUG course or are self-studying for the exam, it is important to understand how the test is scored. This is probably one of the first steps to help you prepare for the exam effectively, and it can help you plan your study strategy. Familiarizing yourself with the AP HUG scoring system will also allow you to concentrate on exam sections where you are likely to perform well.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand AP Human Geography scoring guide, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll explain how the exam is scored and answer some of the most common questions you might have about the AP Human Geography exam scoring system.

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How Is the AP Human Geography Exam Scored?

The AP Human Geography exam consists of two types of questions: multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and free-response questions (FRQs). Section I consists of 60 MCQs that must be answered in 1 hour, and section II consists of 3 FRQs that must be completed in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Each section is worth 50% of the total exam score. Here’s an overview of the sections, the number of questions and their types, and the raw scores for each section:

SectionQuestions Time AllocatedPoint per QuestionRaw Score
Section I60 MCQs1 hr160
Section II3 FRQs 1 hr 15 mins760
Total Composite Score 120

Note: The raw and composite scores listed above are based on College Board® data for the 2023 AP exams and could possibly change for the upcoming assessments.

For each correct answer in the multiple-choice section, students can earn 1 point. Therefore, it is possible to earn a maximum of 60 points by answering each of the 60 questions correctly. Remember that 50% of your final grade will be determined by your performance in this section. Your performance on the FRQs, which are graded on a 7-point rubric, count for 50% of your final grade.

After the raw scores for both sections I and II are calculated, they are converted to derive your composite score out of 120. This composite score is again converted per the College Board’s AP scale of 1 to 5.

You do not lose points for wrong answers in multiple choice, so make sure to choose an answer for every question.

AP Human Geography Scoring Table

Your AP score is used by colleges to determine who receives course credit and/or placement. Students must achieve a minimum score of 3 to be eligible for college credit.

The College Board conducts extensive research to set the AP exam scores so that they can represent how well students would do in a real college class. In AP Human Geography, the main goal is to teach a college-level geography class in high school. So, the board makes sure that if you get a certain score on the AP HUG exam, it means you would do comparably well in a similar college-level geography course. The table below shows the equivalency of AP scores with regular college grades for human geography.

AP Exam ScoreCollege Grade EquivalentQualification
5A+ or AExtremely well qualified
4A-, B+, or BWell qualified
3B-, C+, or CQualified
2Possibly Qualified
1No recommendation

On the AP HUG examination, a score of 4 or 5 is regarded as outstanding. Always verify the minimum requirements of the colleges you intend to apply to.

Human Geography is a popular AP intro course. Students consider the course content "easy" but the exam "hard." Most students get the lowest scores on this exam.

AP Human Geography Score Distribution

Most AP exams saw a drop in pass rates due to the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but AP Human Geography has been the opposite; AP HuG students exhibited a significantly stronger understanding of course content and skills in the 2022 AP exams compared to students in 2020 and 2021. This has been a remarkable achievement for both AP Human Geography students and teachers.

According to a recent study, students with a score of 2 on the AP Human Geography exam performed better in college than their peers with the same high school GPA and SAT score. Read our AP Human Geography Exam guide to learn why taking the exam is beneficial.

If you’re preparing for the AP HUG exam, it is important to learn how other students have performed in the last few years. This allows you to gauge the difficulty level of the exam and can help you evaluate whether this course could fit into your AP schedule comfortably. Check out the table below to learn about the AP Human Geography score distributions from the past four years:

AP Score% of Students 2023% of Students 2022% of Students 2021% of Students 20204-Year Average
516 %14.9 %15 %10.7 %14.1 %
420 %18.7 %20 %18.3 %19.2 %
318 %19.6 %19 %20.1 %19.1 %
214 %15.0 %16 %16.9 %15.4 %
132 %31.8 %31 %33.9 %32.1 %

Most colleges require a 3 or higher for college credit. AP Human Geography can be used with the right study tools, course instruction, and dedication.

In 2020, almost 49% of students scored a 3 or higher on the AP HUG exam. This number jumped to 54% in 2021, and dipped again in 2022 to 53.2%. 2023 saw a rise in success rates of 54%.

Minimum Score Requirement for College Credit

With a score of 3 or higher on the AP Human Geography exam, you can earn up to three hours of college credit. Some schools, however, require a 4 or 5 for college credit. Some colleges offer both advanced placement and credit, which allows you to skip the course and receive credit for it.

AP credit policies vary with colleges. It’s a good idea to check with your prospective college on the credit and placement policies for AP HUG. To give you a headstart, we have compiled a list of colleges and the AP scores they accept to grant you placement and/or credit:

InstitutionPassing Score AP RecognitionPlacement CreditEquivalent Course

Auburn University
3CreditNo Credit
4 or 5Credit3 Hrs CreditGEOG 1010 (Global
Geography) or 2010
(Cultural Geography)
American University4Credit4 Hrs CreditSISU-1**
Baylor University3, 4 or 5Credit3 Hrs CreditGeography 1310 or
Anthropology 1310
Boston University4 or 5Credit4 Hrs CreditGE 102
Carnegie Mellon University4 or 5Credit9 CMU Units66-011, AP Human
Geography
Dartmouth College5Credit0 CreditGeography 1
Duke University3, 4 or 5Credit0 CreditNone

Florida State University
3, 4 or 5Credit3 Hrs CreditGEO 1400
Fordham University4 or 5Credit3 Hrs (Non-Major
Elective) Credit
None
George Washington University4 or 5Credit3 Hrs CreditGEOG 1001
Georgia State University3Credit3 Hrs CreditGEOG 1101
Harvard University3,4, or 5Credit0 CreditNone

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Ultimate AP® Human Geography Scoring Guide: Score Calculator (2)

Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

A score of 3 is “qualified,” a 4 is “well qualified,” and a 5 is “extremely well qualified.” Check the AP credit policy of any school you’re applying to see if they offer college credit.

In 2022, 221,815 test-takers earned an average AP Human Geography score of 2.70.

The AP Human Geography exam scores are curved to ensure uniformity and standardization across paper, digital, and timed exams. AP exam scores are then translated into college credits, where applicable.

AP scores are usually released in the month of July.

It is important to practice exam-like multiple-choice questions and get to know the free-response question rubric. To boost your confidence, increase your knowledge, and prepare for the AP Human Geography exam, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Take an AP Human Geography practice test to find out how much you know.
  2. Make a plan to study (and stick to it) before your test.
  3. Use an online learning tool that has practice questions like those on the test and full explanations.
  4. Keep track of your progress to see where you’re doing well and where you need to improve.
  5. Start studying for an exam by practicing. This allows you to see how your answers compare to others that have already been graded.

References

  1. AP® human geography student score distributions - AP central. College Board. (2022).
    https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap22-human-geography-score-distributions.pdf
  2. (2023, June 29). 2023 AP Human Geography scores. Twitter.
    https://twitter.com/AP_Trevor/status/1674524783189295104?lang=en
  3. (2020, Fall). AP® Human Geography. College Board.
    https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap-human-geography-course-and-exam-description.pdf

Read More About AP Human Geography

About AP Human Geography Exam

Staying up-to-date on the exam info can help you boost your confidence. From basic exam details to eligibility criteria, find out everything about the AP Human Geography exam here.

AP Human Geography Exam Format

Knowing the format of the exam is a tremendous advantage. This simple guide explains the AP Human Geography exam format, including exam components, question types, and more.

AP Human Geography Course and Exam Description

Are you curious about the units, topics, and key concepts tested on the AP Human Geography Exam? Our AP HUG Course and Exam Description Summary has everything you need.

Exam success requires access to an informative study guide and materials. To ace your exam, make the most of UWorld’s essential review tips on frequently tested topics.

Ultimate AP® Human Geography Scoring Guide: Score Calculator (2024)
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