I am currently in AP USH. I am a bit worried that I won’t do very well on the AP exam. Does anyone have tips for learning the materials or taking the AP USH exam?
According to my daughter, our high school found students performed better on the test after they reduced the homework a bit, and changed up the grading to encourage working smarter, not longer. Apparently students, wanting a good grade in the class, spent too much time on the writing portion of the homework, specifically the DBQs (this is also what gave APUSH a reputation in the high school for having several hours of homework each night). When they took the AP exam, they’d run themselves out of time, and score poorly.
While I am not fond of the idea of “teaching to the test”, to address OP’s question, I would say to watch your timing.
Keep on top of the textbook reading----
-History’s very much a memorization-heavy class, since many questions will ask about ramifications of a certain treaty, or to compare and contrast two similar events in different countries. On a similar note, learn how to summarize while taking notes----
-you don’t have much time on the AP test, and you don’t want to spend 1/2 your time describing the background to every event before getting into your actual argument.
-Focus. on. the. key. concepts. Literally everyone who understood the key concepts was able to score well even when they didn’t know specific dates.
-Second of course is to memorize the key dates of events that are most important such certain elections (who was running/what they argued for/who supported them), riots, movements.
-Know the Native Americans, monopolies, women and African American movements, mormons/their trail/polygamy, the different kinds of settlers (indentured servants/city upon a hill/homogeny/Quakers/why people got banished from those places), the differences between Northern/Middle/Southern colonies, the difference between the North and South during the civil war, enlightenment/evangelicals, manifest destiny and railroads, the lawsuits/battles between Native Americans and miners, spanish vs. french vs. dutch vs. english settlers and their relationships with the natives/why they came to America/and where they settled, the two types of elections that were advertised (Virginia plan vs. New Jersey plan), steel riots, American Revolution, the bill of rights/declaration of independent, and Manifest Destiny. Of course you should know as much as you can (and there is more than this list) but those are the main things I remember from taking it (off the top of my head)
-TAKE/LOOK at the online practice tests. They help a lot.
-Read “Apush 5 steps to a 5” and try the practice tests
-Look at the requirements for the essay portion and know what takes the essay from a 5 to a 6 (FYI, it is being able to connect what ever you are talking about and comparing it to another point of history)
Hope this helps! Good luck @sophiepalmtree!
I am in APUSH, scored a 4 on AP Euro. Here are a few tips I have (for history courses in general:
-I agree with @CindyLeuWho about memorizing the key concepts. You can pull of anything if you know Romanticism, and other ideologies that were important to the time period.
-Read the textbook. Even if it is just a bit of reading, take 10-15 minutes every day to read a bit of the book. It is impossible to recall knowledge that you haven’t seen before.
-Once you feel that you have a strong grip on the material, practice with some multiple choice problems. At first, just try to go for accuracy. Understand how the test creators will make the questions. After a while of doing this, try to go a little faster. Then even more. After you are down to under 45 seconds per question you are ready for the stimulus based questions on the AP test.
-If you are lost watch every Youtube video you can find on the topic. Especially before a reading quiz (to keep your grade up/get it up).
-Hopefully your teacher gives you a concept outline for each unit. If they do not, try to create one yourself. Do so by looking at the College Board outlines and see if you can come up with a definition for each one. If you cannot, add it to your list, and study it later.
-Take these unit by unit, not all at once. Once you feel you could teach this unit to another person and have them get an A, that is when you know you are ready.
I hope you find this helpful, and I hope we both ace the exam.
Hey! I’m also taking APUSH and i really recommend watching “Adam Norris”, he has awesome reviews for each period of only 10 minutes. This is for getting the main ideas of the information in each time period.