Check out these top 6 pieces of advice provided by the best resource - former AP U.S. History students! They’ve taken the course, used the prep books, and mostly importantly, been through the exam.
“The course singles out many dark times in US history; however, there is a slew of examples of change and continuity in history, so you do not need to know the caliber of the bullet that killed Lincoln but you need to construct essays that take a thematic approach. For example, if you were forced to write an essay about the expansion of slavery before the American Revolution, some of the examples that I would mention include: The first slaves brought to Jamestown (1619), Bacon's Rebellion (1676), the New York Conspiracy, and the Stono Rebellion. The first two demonstrate a push towards slavery; meanwhile, the last two illustrate the African Americans' resistance to slavery. Just pay attention for themes in history and the course should be a piece of cake--it was for me once I adjusted to this ideological stance.” - apstudent0
“A tip from a student who took it this year, start reading in the summer! Always try to get ahead of your reading. This will be a very hard class, but stick to it. It gets easier as it goes on.” - Beachbruh
“I took it last year, and would agree by saying the exam is easier than the course. I recommend using AMSCO, I read it a week before the exam after taking the class and feel confident. Other than that, I advise you to stay on pace with the class, as most APUSH classes are work-intensive and tend to go quickly. It's a total relief once you've finished the test, though. Good luck!” -picknroll222
“So I know that the APUSH exam got revised again this year, but I took it last year and I got a 5. I just wanted to share a couple things with you:
- Adam Norris APUSH Review Website/Youtube Channel is like 90% of how I got a 5! Print out his study guides and finish them by following through the videos. THIS IS A LIFESAVER.
- Crash Course is always good. I read it twice like two days before the exam. The important thing here is that it's used as a refresher/grounder for material you already have a gist of. I thought APUSH was much better than Euro since it was a lot more about trends and "big ideas." That's not to say that you can just skip out on knowing key dates/names, but it's a lot better than differentiating between all the freaking kings with the same name.
-You can get the AMSCO book too if you want MC practice. I got it, but I opened it like twice lol. It helped me in the sense that it just gave me experience on what to expect on the test.
-Practice your DPQs. My teacher really never made us do DPQs so I was really rusty when I took the test, but hey somehow it worked out. Just have a general idea of how you're going to format it. The important part is that you know the process and have the style to back it up.
Best of luck guys!
P.S. I would stay away from PR and Barron's for APUSH unless you really like them. I just feel like they're just regurgitating the concepts and Crash Course can do that much faster and more efficiently. Adam Norris, for me anyways, actually helped connect the dots conceptually.
P.P.S. Don't stress too much about your performance in the class. I bombed every test I took in APUSH, but got the five.” - ForwardAlways
“Hey 2016 APUSHers!
I took AP US History last year and although it was stressful, looking back I really enjoyed it! My advice:
1. Read the textbook! My school uses The Enduring Vision. For the in-class chapter quizzes this is the most helpful! Also although quiz grades are low at first, you get used to them and improve. Once in awhile there is one a lot of people do bad on, but the quizzes generally have an upward trend.
2. Practice essays and DBQs! My class was literally going over these right before the exam because we realized we hadn't done them right on the practice exam. Obviously it turned out fine but be sure to familiarize yourself with the test!
3. Focus on recent history. Chances are by the end of the year your class will be pressed for time, and a lot of the recent history is rushed. However it is important to fully understand!
4. Don't. Procrastinate. Sometimes it is hard to avoid, but with many other hard classes I was frequently up late working on APUSH! Do your best to manage your time!
These are very general tips but if anyone has any questions let me know! Good luck everyone!” - Puppy4
“AMSCO is definitely a great prep book to get a 4/5 on the exam, but you'd better buy it soon and start reading it now. The book is 700+ pages (though a great deal of that IS practice quizzes, but still) and so it wouldn't be very helpful to start using it a week before the exam. However, if you are looking for a supplemental text it would be a great resource.” - tupac4
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