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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The most wonderful time of the year {part 3}

Happy AP weeks! The mayhem has officially begun. 

One more time, in case you forgot the run-down of AP Exams in general:
AP Exams are comprehensive final exams that can be taken by students who do or do not participate in Advanced Placement courses (yes, you can take the AP exam if you did not take the AP course). These courses are made to give high school students a chance to challenge themselves with college-level curriculum in high school. Should a student score high enough on an AP Exam (the scale is 1 to 5), they may or may not receive college credit and be exempt from college classes depending on the school.

This post will focus on AP United States History. The APUSH exam will take place on Wednesday, May 14, at 8:00 AM.

I love APUSH. It was and still is probably the best class I've ever taken. It was fascinating in my opinion, especially since I saw things that I had seen thousands of times from a different angle. Words cannot describe my love for it! 

I (somehow) got a 5 on my APUSH exam. To be honest, last year's DBQ was a gift from God, but I did maintain a solid A all year, so I hope my APUSH tips help all of you taking it!

The format of the exam is like the other AP exams we've talked about so far - 60 minutes of multiple choice, then 2 hours in which to write 3 essays.

Multiple Choice
Crack out those AP review books! Multiple choice is pretty tough for this exam. There are ~80 questions that you need to plow through in an hour. 

To do well on this section of the exam (it counts 50% of the final score), really delve through your notes and textbook. If you have the American Pageant text, thank your lucky stars because it is a great textbook that comes with handy timelines at the end of each chapter. 


Creating a big timeline will be helpful in drawing out the big concepts you need to know, and from there, seeing what times/topics you don't remember much about. See here for a website that got me through the course with chapter summaries and quick definitions!

Another thing I did that was so helpful was writing out the entire history of the United States by presidential administration. I just wrote the name of the president, when they served, and the major events that happened during their term(s).

The Essays
Take some aspirin. Your hands will hurt about halfway through the second essay and you'll be glad you did!

The DBQ - DBQ stands for Document Based Question. I know a lot of people hate DBQ's, but I really enjoyed them. You'll be given 8-10 documents, mainly primary sources, and then will proceed to read through them and then synthesize them in an essay. Basically, you're given hints as to what the AP graders are looking for. The documents are meant to trigger your memory about some more details on an event or topic. Use 2/3 - all of them to receive more credit!

Free ResponseThe next two essays are your choice. You'll be given 2 options and you'll pick from there which one you want to write on. One category is usually politics/war and the other is usually religion/economy/social issues. Brush up on women's history, immigration cycles, economic events (Big Business, Great Depression, post-Civil War, etc.), the Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, segregation, civil rights, and things of that nature to make sure you're prepared for the final two essays.

Remember to keep your student pack that has your AP number on it! It is the only way you'll get your scores in July! You'll also need both pen and pencil for this exam. Pencil for the Multiple Choice and a blue or black ink pen for the essays. The BIC® pen I talked about here is a great option because it's 2 AP-approved pens in one!

Happy APUSH-ing! If you would like some more study tips, please e-mail me, and I'd be happy to help!

xx, Victoria
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Thoughts? I want to read them!
xx, Victoria