AP Human Geography: Course Overview

AP Human Geography Course Overview

Are you interested in learning about the world we live in and the societies that inhabit it? AP Human Geography might be the perfect course for you. As an AP course, it allows high school students to earn college credit by demonstrating their mastery of the subject through the AP exam. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about AP Human Geography, including its exam structure, the subject, and study strategies to help you achieve your best score.

AP Human Geography in Brief

AP Human Geography is an advanced course that explores the intricate relationship between human societies and their environments. It covers various topics, including population, culture, politics, urbanization, and economic development. This course promotes critical thinking, analytical skills, and a global perspective. It can lead to career opportunities in various fields and may offer college credit for successful completion. In essence, AP Human Geography provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the world's complexities and prepares them for future academic and professional endeavors. The AP Human Geography Exam will be held on 7th May 2024. 

Importance of AP Human Geography

AP Human Geography is a course that explores the relationship between humans and the Earth's surface. It helps students in the following ways: 

  • Understanding the World: AP Human Geography helps students gain a deep understanding of how human beings interact with and influence their environments, societies, and cultures on a global scale. It provides insights into why places are the way they are and why people act the way they do.
  • Global Perspective: AP Human Geography encourages a global perspective. It broadens students' horizons and helps them appreciate the interconnectedness of the world, making them more informed and empathetic global citizens.
  • Current Events: The course keeps students informed about current events and global issues, making them better prepared to engage in discussions about pressing topics such as urbanization, migration, and cultural conflicts.
  • Cultural Competence: It fosters cultural competence by helping students understand the diversity of cultures and societies, which is increasingly important in our interconnected world.
  • Policy and Decision-Making: Knowledge from AP Human Geography is valuable for individuals interested in careers related to public policy, as it provides insights into the social, economic, and political factors affecting policy decisions.

Syllabus of AP Human Geography

Unit Name Description Weightage in the Exam
Unit 1: Thinking Geographically In this unit, students explore the fundamental role of maps, which are essential tools for geographers to represent and analyze the Earth's surface. Maps come in various types, each serving a unique purpose, from topographic maps that detail the Earth's physical features to political maps that depict boundaries and thematic maps that highlight specific characteristics. 
Unit 2: Population and Migration In this unit, Geographical analysis of population takes center stage, allowing students to discern patterns, trends, and their implications for diverse regions. Concepts such as population density and spatial distribution are explored in detail, shedding light on the spatial arrangement of people around the globe. 
Unit 3: Cultural Patterns and Processes In this unit, students begin by defining culture in a geographic context, exploring everything from language and religion to customs and traditions. Then, the students delve into the intricacies of cultural characteristics, attitudes, and traits that guide geographers' understanding of societies. The unit also involves the exploration of specific cultural traits, like language, cuisine, art, and popular culture, and their spatial distribution, highlighting the diversity and richness of human societies. 12-17%
Unit 4: Political Patterns and Processes In this unit, students understand about "Nation" based on shared identity, culture, or history. The concept of a "Nation-State" is explored, examining its impact on politics and identity when state borders closely align with national boundaries. The unit also delves into "Political Boundaries" and their formation's critical role in geopolitics, and it analyzes the lasting effects of historical forces like "Colonialism and Imperialism" on contemporary political geography. 12-17%
Unit 5: Agriculture and Rural Land Use In this unit, students explore political geography. It starts with an understanding of the "State" as a political entity governing a defined territory. Students then investigate what defines a "Nation" based on shared identity, culture, or history. The concept of a "Nation-State" is explored, examining its impact on politics and identity when state borders closely align with national boundaries. The unit also delves into "Political Boundaries," looking at their formation and far-reaching impacts on geopolitics.  12-17%
Unit 6: Cities and Urban Land Use In this unit, students explore urban geography. They investigate urbanization, examining its societal, economic, and environmental impacts. The unit covers urban models, shedding light on city organization and function. Urban planning is discussed, encompassing topics like zoning, transportation, and infrastructure, and urban challenges are addressed, including housing, transportation, environmental sustainability, and social inequality.  12-17%
Unit 7: Industrialization and Economic Development In this unit, the students study the historical and contemporary processes of industrialization that transform economies and societies. They investigate various aspects of economic development, including indicators, theories, and strategies to improve living standards. Additionally, they explore globalization and its impact on the global interconnectedness of economies and cultures, influencing trade, migration, and cultural exchange. 12-17%

AP Human Geography Exam Structure

The AP Human Geography exam consists of two sections: 
Section 1 is made up of 60 multiple-choice questions that test your understanding of key concepts and skills across the entire course. The students will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete this section.
Section 2 is made up of three free-response questions that test your analytical skills and knowledge of real-world scenarios. You'll have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete this section.

Top 10 Majors Backed up by AP Human Geography

AP Human Geography can be a valuable foundation for a wide range of college majors due to its interdisciplinary nature and emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. 

1. Urban Planning: Understanding human geography is essential for urban planning, as it involves city development and infrastructure management.

2. Environmental Science: AP Human Geography's focus on human-environment interactions is relevant to environmental science, especially in areas like resource management and conservation.

3. International Relations: Knowledge of global demographics, culture, and politics can be highly relevant to international relations.

4. Economics: The course's focus on economic development and globalization aligns with an Economics major.

5. Political Science: AP Human Geography's exploration of political boundaries and nation-states is pertinent to political science.

6. Sociology: Sociological studies benefit from understanding human cultural patterns and behaviors.

7. Anthropology: Anthropology majors can leverage AP Human Geography's emphasis on culture and cultural traits.

8. Environmental Studies: The course's exploration of environmental impact and sustainability aligns with an Environmental Studies major.

9. Public Policy: Understanding demographic patterns and urban issues is critical in public policy and governance.

10. International Business: Globalization and cultural understanding are essential for international business majors.

TutelaPrep’s College Navigator allows students to search for colleges based on their preferred country and course. Not only that, it also provides valuable insights into each college’s specific admission requirements for those exams. Through College Navigator, you can even connect with alumni at your chosen colleges to get a firsthand feel for campus life and academics.

To learn more about AP Human Geography and gain in-depth knowledge about the subject, check out the podcast below.

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