AP Human Geography : Major Geographical Terminology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Major Geographical Terminology

Which of the following describes the internationally agreed upon official time reference?

Possible Answers:

Greenwich Mean Time

British Standard Time

Central Time

Universal Standard Time

Universal Mean Time

Correct answer:

Greenwich Mean Time

Explanation:

Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, is Earth's internationally agreed upon official time reference.

Example Question #2 : Major Geographical Terminology

The summit of the tallest mountain on Earth is located at the border of which two nations?

Possible Answers:

Argentina and Chile

China and Pakistan

Nepal and China

Italy and Switzerland

United States and Canada

Correct answer:

Nepal and China

Explanation:

Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth. Its summit, more than 29,000 feet high, is located at the border of Nepal and China.

Example Question #3 : Major Geographical Terminology

The area of the earth known as "the torrid zone" is located between __________.

Possible Answers:

the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn

the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn

the Equator and the Antarctic Circle

the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator

the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle

Correct answer:

the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn

Explanation:

The "torrid zone" is another name for the tropics, which describes the areas between the Northern Hemisphere's Tropic of Cancer and the Southern Hemisphere's Tropic of Capricorn. These lines of latitude mark the points furthest from the Equator where the sun can still be directly overhead at any point during the year. The areas within the "torrid zone" are the warmest places on earth, featuring rainforests and other tropical environments.

Example Question #4 : Major Geographical Terminology

In geographic terminology the term “idiographic” most closely describes __________.

Possible Answers:

A theory that is unproven or that relies on partially conclusive data, and is thus not widely accepted

The belief that the physical geography of a region deeply impacts the culture and society of that region

A feature that is unique to a certain geographic region

The use of geospatial technologies to better inform policy making in local or regional government

A feature or theory that is universally applicable across a multitude of regions

Correct answer:

A feature that is unique to a certain geographic region

Explanation:

The term “idiographic” is used to describe or refer to a feature that is unique to a particular geographic region. It is distinct from “nomothetic” which means a feature or theory that is universally applicable across a multitude of regions.

Example Question #5 : Major Geographical Terminology

Climate change and global warming are best described using the term __________.

Possible Answers:

Idiographic

Diffusion

Sustainability

Nomothetic

Anthropogenic

Correct answer:

Anthropogenic

Explanation:

Climate change and global warming are environmental changes caused by human actions. The term used to describe this phenomenon is “anthropogenic.”

Example Question #6 : Major Geographical Terminology

The cultural-geography theory of possibilism is concerned with the relationship between culture and __________.

Possible Answers:

politics

the economy

None of these

religion

the environment

Correct answer:

the environment

Explanation:

Possibilism is a cultural-geography theory that evolved from the racially informed theory of environmental determinism. Environmental determinism argues that environmental conditions provide constraints on the growth of culture in many parts of the world. On the other hand, possibilism concedes that environmental conditions provide a broad range of cultural limitations and advantages for various regions of the world; however, it contends that culture is otherwise determined by the environment's social conditions.

Example Question #7 : Major Geographical Terminology

The concept of “placelessness” is most associated with which of these geographers?

Possible Answers:

W.D. Pattinson.

Arno Peters.

Carl Sauer.

Edward Relph.

George Perkins Marsh.

Correct answer:

Edward Relph.

Explanation:

The concept of “placelessness” refers to the homogenizing effect of cultural diffusion, particularly in the modern world. It was developed by the cultural geographer Edward Relph in the 1970s. According to Relph, the spread of pop culture and globalization was leading to an inevitable breakdown of the individual identity of communities, causing one place to closely resemble another place, and, eventually all other places.

Example Question #7 : Major Geographical Terminology

In geographic terminology the term “nomothetic” most closely describes __________.

Possible Answers:

a feature or theory that is universally applicable across a multitude of regions

a feature that is unique to a certain geographic region

the use of geospatial technologies to better inform policy making in local or regional government  

a theory that is unproven or that relies on partially conclusive data, and is thus not widely accepted

the belief that the physical geography of a region deeply impacts the culture and society of that region

Correct answer:

a feature or theory that is universally applicable across a multitude of regions

Explanation:

The term “nomothetic” means a feature that is universally applicable across a multitude of regions. It is distinct from “idiographic” which describes a particular feature that is unique to a certain geographic region. The idiographic is usually the concern of local or regional geographers who are concerned with a narrow, but deep, understanding of a relatively small geographic region. Whereas nomothetic is usually the concern of systematic geographers who are concerned with universal features and aspects of Earth’s geography.

Example Question #8 : Major Geographical Terminology

Quantitative data relies on __________.

Possible Answers:

deductive reasoning

inductive reasoning

political funding and personal motivation

mathematical models and numerical data

empirical observations and personal interpretation

Correct answer:

mathematical models and numerical data

Explanation:

Quantitative data, as distinct from qualitative data, relies on numbers and mathematical models. “Quantitative” means measures using numerical facts. Quantitative data has become more and more important in geographic inquiry because it leads to more objective, less personally motivated, conclusions.

Example Question #9 : Major Geographical Terminology

Which of these is an example of a “perceptual region”?

Possible Answers:

The Mediterranean

Yorkshire

The Deep South

The Australian Coastline

The Amazon River Basin

Correct answer:

The Deep South

Explanation:

A “perceptual region” is a region that exists only in the minds of people. It is not a formal boundary, nor is it perceived uniformly by each person. For example whilst we can all agree on the region that encompasses the United States we might not all agree on the region that encompasses the “fly over states.” "The Deep South" is a perceptual region of the United States with no defined boundary. What someone from one area of the country would call "the Deep South" may be hotly disputed by a person from another part of the country. The difference between the southern states (south of the Mason Dixon Line) and "the Deep South" is purely perceptual. All the other answer options have clearly delineated physical boundaries or features.

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