Is AP Human Geography Hard: Reasons, Importance & Tips To Consider

Yes, AP human geography can be hard. But don’t worry; there are many ways to make it easier on yourself. 

And for anyone who’s getting into AP human geography for the first time or who’s finding it more complicated and more complex as the courses pile up, this guide is for you. 

While there are more difficult concepts to understand and apply, that doesn’t mean that the course is less accessible or rigorous. 

In fact, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in human geography or simply want to understand the world around you better, an AP human geography course is precisely what you need. 

Read on to learn more. 

What is AP human geography?

Human geography - lmshero

Advanced Placement (AP) human geography is the study of everything human. It involves understanding people, their cultures, histories, and how they interact with each other and their environment. 

It also covers demographics, the economy, the environment, immigration, and more. 

Human geography education aims to prepare students for careers in various areas involving humans, from politics to development work to media studies. 

And it’s imperative today as we face growing challenges like global climate change, income inequality, religious conflict, and terrorism. 

There isn’t any limit to what someone can achieve once they’ve completed an AP high school program in humanities and social sciences combined—it’s open doors.

The importance of human geography in today’s world

Human geography is a discipline that studies how people move about in the world and how places are connected. 

It’s crucial today more than ever because our planet is changing rapidly, and we must figure out new ways of living. 

The following are some of the major importance of human geography:

  • Human geography helps us understand how people and cultures are related to each other
  • It provides information about the economy, politics, social problems, and more
  • Geography can help us plan things like transportation systems and buildings
  • Human geographers use statistics and tools like GI Science to understand patterns of development better
  • Geography teaches us how ecological systems function and interact with each other, both at regional and global scales 

Beyond just helping us understand our world, human geography gives researchers a unique perspective on humanity. 

By studying how humans interact with their surroundings, explorers can learn more about who we are and where we come from.

Why do people think AP human geography is hard?

The AP human geography course is one of the most challenging courses a student can take. If you’re looking to challenge yourself, this class is for you. 

Not only will you be learning about all things geographical, but you’ll also have to do some heavy research to pass the tests. Below are some reasons why the course is hard.

1. It requires understanding complex concepts and theories

To understand complex concepts and theories, AP human geography is hard. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have strong foundations in elementary education. 

Without a solid understanding of basic grammar and math concepts, students will have a tough time grasp­ing more advanced topics such as population growth or mapping processes. 

There are always exciting adventures in international studies or city planning for those who succeed in this coursework and excel on exams.

2. Students must also be proficient in mathematics and economics

Mathematics and economics are two of the most critical subjects in studying human geography. 

Students need to develop a deep understanding of math and economics to be proficient in both.  

Mathematics teaches us how things work, and economics tells us which situations are most likely to lead to good or bad outcomes. 

These two fields of study help us understand human behavior better, which is why they’re essential for anyone who wants a proper understanding of the world around them. 

However, because these subjects are so complex, many students find AP Human Geography hard. Students who aren’t strong in those two areas will struggle when taking other AP courses.

While it may seem like a lot at first, mastering this subject with practice and plenty of studying is doable.

3. AP human geography is hard because the exam focuses on multiple disciplines

AP Human Geography is one of the hard AP classes, but you can pass with dedication and hard work with flying colors. 

According to statistics, 52.5% of students who completed the AP human geography exam passed with a 3 or higher, and scores on this exam averaged 2.69. 

The unit weight on the AP human geography exam determines how vital each unit is in determining your grade on that specific test. 

Hence, it’s essential to focus on your study time when it will be most beneficial for passing.

Tips to consider before taking AP human geography class

1. Consider your goals for taking the class

To succeed in the AP Human Geography class, it’s important to consider your goals for taking the class before you even sign up. 

Consider what kind of student you are and what areas of human geography interest you the most. 

Then search the available content to find classes that will fit those interests and prepare yourself well for test day.

2. Be realistic about your ability in the course and use enough resources to get help

Before you take any AP human geography class, it’s important to be realistic about your ability. 

Remember that the course is challenging, so don’t expect to ace every exam question immediately. 

And don’t try to do everything yourself even when you need help. Consider seeking assistance from professionals or classmates currently enrolled in the course. 

Many resources available on campus and off can help you prepare for this challenging course.

3. Understand spatial relationships using tools like maps and diagrams

Before taking an AP human geography class, you can do a few things to help improve your understanding of spatial relationships. 

One thing you can do is use tools like maps and diagrams to visualize the information. 

Remember that not all information found on spatial maps and diagrams will be clear at first glance. 

Sometimes there needs to be some analysis used for certain concepts or insights about a particular area to be understood. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped for exam challenges.

4. Do research before signing up for classes

If you’re serious about getting a good grade in AP human geography, you must research before signing up for the class.  

First and foremost, ensure you are familiar with the course content. Read the syllabus carefully to know what topics will be covered in each session. 

Second, read through additional online resources, including articles from respected publications and more generic sources like Wikipedia. 

You should also consider talking to your teachers or other students who have already taken the course. They can give you tips and advice to help ensure a successful experience in the class.

5. Pay attention in lectures and read materials regularly

To get the most out of your opportunities to learn in a class and from reading materials, you should approach them with an open mind. 

To prepare for AP human geography, you must regularly attend lectures, interact with classmates, and stay engaged throughout each learning experience.


Is AP Human Geography worth it?

Yes, human geography is worth it if you want to understand the world around you.

Do colleges care about AP Human Geography?

Having a passing score in subjects like Human Geography matters to colleges. Colleges take notice of the type of student that can pass such a test and then use this information when making admission decisions.

What is the pass rate for AP human geography class? 

The pass rate for AP human geography class is 59.0% if you earned a score of 3 or higher and 11.8% if you scored 5 in your exam.

Final thoughts 

Though AP human geography may be hard, it’s worth the investment. Human geography offers students opportunities to explore many parts of the world and understand how societies function. 

The subject is incredibly diverse and provides students with a foundation to explore even more complex topics in academia and the world around them. 

Learning about human geography can help students develop critical thinking skills and evaluate their culture from a different perspective. 

Finally, many of the best teaching methods are used in this course—making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience for teachers and students.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Read more on LMS Hero.

Thanks for reading.