How To Approach AP® Environmental Science
Multiple-Choice Questions

As you study for your AP® Environmental Science (APES) exam, it is important to be fully prepared for the types of questions you will encounter. The exam consists of multiple-choice and free-response questions across two sections. In this article, we will discuss an overview of each type of AP Environmental Science multiple-choice-question (MCQ) and how to approach them. Using the tips and skills discussed in this guide, you will be equipped to do well on the AP Environmental Science MCQ portion of the exam.

Format of the AP Environmental Science MCQ section

The first section of the AP Environmental Science exam1 lasts 90 minutes, and consists of 80 multiple-choice questions. These questions may appear standalone or in sets. Section I is worth 60% of your final exam score. This is a large percentage, but if you know how to approach the different kinds of MCQs the exam will throw at you, you’ll be able to pass this section with flying colors.

The following is a list of all the AP Environmental Science MCQ types you will encounter on Section I of the AP Environmental Science exam:

Often, the type of question on the AP Environmental Science exam corresponds to a particular science practice2 as outlined in the AP Environmental Science course and description (CED). For example, article-based questions usually require you to apply science practice 3; however, this is not always true since some article-based questions can require you to use science practice 4 or 7.

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How to Approach AP Environmental Science Multiple-Choice Questions

Each question type you encounter will be unique and should be approached differently to get the right answer. We have listed the different types of questions you might see on the AP Environmental Science exam and provided tips to help you confidently tackle and select the correct answer.

AP Environmental Science Multiple-Choice Examples

Learn faster with the Best APES Practice MCQs.
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How can I Practice AP Environmental Science Multiple-Choice Questions?

The UWorld question bank has hundreds of these APES questions, so going through our question bank and carefully reading the answer explanations is the best way to practice for the AP Environmental Science exam’s MCQ section. Our AP Environmental Science practice tests can help you prepare for this section with customized practice tests tailored to suit your needs and boost your chances of getting a high score.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Your answers will be graded automatically by a computer.
Section I is a combination of individual and set-based questions. Students will have 90 minutes to answer the 80 MCQs.
The AP Environmental Science exam consists of two parts, the multiple-choice-question (MCQ) and the free-response question (FRQ) section. Consequently, the number of questions that you need to get right in the MCQ section depends on how you perform in the FRQ section.

Because of the recent redesign of the course, there are not too many places that have up-to-date examples of AP Environmental Science MCQs. However, the College Board® has released 15 questions on the recent AP Environmental Science course and exam description (CED).


1(2024). Exam Components. About the Exam. AP Environmental Science. College Board. Retrieved on March 11, 2024 from 

2(2019). Science Practices. Course Framework. AP® Environmental Science Course and Exam Description. College Board. Retrieved on March 11, 2024 from

Read More About the AP Environmental Science Exam

Many students find it difficult to answer FRQs adequately. For a step-by-step guide on how to successfully respond to AP Environmental Science FRQs, click here.
Are you interested in learning AP Environmental Science exam format? Here is some info on the test structure that you should be aware of before beginning your prep.
Need a perfect test score of 5 to get into a top university? Here’s our guide on how to study for AP Environmental Science, written by experts, including tips to make your prep simple.
Wondering if AP Environmental Science is right for you? Learn everything you need to know about APES, including why to take it, exam prerequisites, exam difficulty, and what’s on the exam.
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