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Is AP World History really as hard as people say?

hudachihudachi Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
I'm a rising sophomore and I am taking a couple AP courses this year, one of them being AP World History. All of my older friends tell me stuff like "Oh yeah AP World is hell. I hated it. It's definitely the hardest AP" Is it really that bad? I'm kinda worried about if I'm gonna do well in it. What are some good books to look into for this course? Are there any study skills that you guys would recommend for this course?

Replies to: Is AP World History really as hard as people say?

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 37,632 Super Moderator
    It is not the hardest AP. But the workload is highly dependent upon the teacher. I will say, though, of the 3 history APs, the hardest one is the first one you take, regardless of the name. But you'll survive.
  • Just a KoreanJust a Korean Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Depends on the teacher, I had an easy time because my teacher was amazing most people I knew got 5s
  • excovererexcoverer Registered User Posts: 577 Member
    At my school, it is known as one of the hardest APs offered, however, @skieurope and @Just a Korean are both right in their statements. It really depends on the teacher and how they try to structure it. If someone structures it to be harder than the AP Exam (like mine did) the class will be very hard but prepare you well for the exam, for example.

    Even if the class turns out to be hard, the supplementary books in class should be a great resource. I didn't use my textbook unless I had to do because I didn't like it very much, but every kid in my class was required to purchase an AMSCO AP World book, and I used that book really often. It gives you all the informant details you need for a certain topic and even includes practice questions.

    The only study skills I recommend are that instead of just memorization, I highly recommend analyzing the events you are reading. Once you take an AP World multiple choice, you will find that it is very different from a honors or regular class because almost every question is based off a passage, picture, or data, and it requires you to analyze it and pick the best answer choice, even when multiple choices can be right. Figuring out what answers are red flags to tricks, preparing yourself to analyze, and getting good note taking skills will help you a lot.

    Have a good day!
  • itachasukeitachasuke Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    I can tell you a bit about the difficulty of the exam, seeing as how my sister took it last year and got a 2. It’s going to be a smack in the face if you’re not properly prepared, and especially the class if it’s your first AP. In my sister’s school, you had to take your own notes and read almost a chapter every night from two textbooks (one in class, one review book). So to answer your original question,... yes it will be hard.
  • Just a KoreanJust a Korean Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    That's what I mean by teachers matter. I had to do the same thing but very month we had unit exams that were past AP questions and the teacher I had (a graduate of Stanford so like the best teacher in the school lol) summarized each unit perfectly.

    If you need extra help check out http://www.freeman-pedia.com/ It helped me prepare for the WHAP test and also Crash Course can help to a extent. WHAP to me was easier than APUSH because its much broader and you don't have to much in depth tbh. For example there was no question on the WHAP test when I took it about the Carolingian or any of those fancy European dynasty. As long as you completely know China you will at least 3 the exam ;)
  • chrysalismchrysalism Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    edited August 13
    Whether you'd consider AP World a hard class depends on where your strengths lie. On the one hand, it covers a ton of information and requires you to analyze commonalities/differences and continuities/discontinuities between different areas and time periods. On the other hand, the sheer volume of material means that you won't have to memorize as many minute details as, say, APUSH (you'll memorize general date ranges rather than specific days and times, and in a few cases general trends rather than specific events).

    Some tips: take good notes on the textbook, even on topics the teacher doesn't go that in-depth on, and make sure you know where your notes are when AP exam time rolls around. As the class progresses, take notes on connections between empires/kingdoms/eras that you've learned about - that's what you'll be tested on in the SAQs, LEQs and DBQ. Speaking of the above, practice writing them, and for the LEQs and DBQ get good at making sure you earn the "easy points" (by learning how to write your thesis, contextualization, and source analysis quickly according to a template). World is definitely not the easiest class you'll take, but it is entirely possible to get a 5 (or whatever score you're aiming for) with a little preparation.

    Also, John Green's Crash Course videos are a lifesaver. You will learn to swear by them.
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 788 Member
    For some people yes and others no. If history is not your thing it will be much harder as it covers a huge time period. No need to take an ap class in a subject you do not like and since world history is one of the first high schoolers can take, many take the class who shouldn’t.
  • sciencegirl2024sciencegirl2024 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    AP World was one of four APs I took during my sophomore year, and as a "STEM person", I can say it was the most difficult for me. (My other APs were Calc AB, Stats, and CS A, so do with that information what you will). Because there is so much material that is covered in the course, and because my teacher assigned so much, I had to spend an average of two hours a night JUST on AP World homework to maintain A's in that class. My school is notorious for having difficult history courses, however.

    Study Tips for regular tests throughout the year:
    -Use quizlet to find reviews of the textbook chapter
    -Get a study buddy who is approximately the same level (or higher) as you in skill level, and quiz each other verbally on details from the chapter. I found this to be the best method for me for remembering random details.
    -Constantly be reviewing old chapters!
    -Try to connect every detail to a Big Idea. The AP World curriculum is focused on several Big Ideas and these are helpful to keep in mind as you learn.

    Study Tips for the AP Exam in May:
    -Study the rubrics for the LEQ and DBQ! Even if you know all the details about history, you won't perform well if you do not write their essays how they want.
    -Study from AP Style questions. All multiple choice are "stimulus-based" now, and you should know how to do those kinds of questions.
    -Time yourself! One of my biggest issues on the exam was not having enough time to read passages and write my responses. Make sure you practice completing essays in the time allotted.
    -If possible, study EVERYTHING. From personal experience, every time any of my AP teachers said something "probably won't be on the AP exam", I saw it come up on the AP exam!

    All this being said, I learned a lot in this class and I am very glad I took it in the long run. If you are up to the challenge, I say take it!
  • knxbe808knxbe808 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    It honestly depends on the teacher you have. At my school APWH is the hardest AP offered because the teacher grades as if it is a college class. There were two APWH teachers one made the class extremely difficult (90% of the class had a C) but prepared everyone for the exam and the other one gave everyone either a B or an A but none of them passed the exam. I took the class thinking all I needed to do was memorize dates, but that’s the complete opposite. In APWH you need to be able to analyze events, connect them and think critically. History is not my best subject and I only really like US History so this class was really hard for me. I ended up getting a C in the class but weighted it was a B. My teacher was a very hard grader and purposely made the exams very difficult. In addition, I always did better on the writing sections but she wouldn’t include those in our final grade because most of the class would fail it. She said that our grades reflected the score we would get on the exam but I got a 3 (I’m really bad at multiple choice) and a lot of my friends who also got C’s got a 3 or 4. Her grading didn’t make any sense because everyone who passed the exam got the same grade as people who got a 1.

    Some tips:
    -Get a prep book now if you haven’t already bought one because it helps as a reference. I used Princeton Review and it really helped explain everything in simpler terms
    -Memorize the leq and dbq rubrics and just figure out the easiest ways to get the points.
    -Take multiple practice tests while timing yourself
    -Take notes
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 722 Member
    It depends on the teacher and on the school. In DD's HS, APUSH gives more homework than AP World. AP World is taken as a sophomore, and APUSH by juniors.
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