AP Exams are just around the corner and if you are taking the AP US History Exam we wanted to share some helpful test prep tips:
1. Understand the structure of the test and plan strategically: You can taylor your review if you know the strucutre of the test.
Ensure you thoroughly understand the course content for the multiple-choice questions. You will have roughly 40 seconds to answer each problem. Test-takers are no longer penalized for incorrect responses, so answer every question if at all possible.
To maximize your time, make sure to not spend too much time on one question. Come back to difficult items if time allows.
The essays are divided into two free response questions and one document-based question. Use the mandatory reading period for the document-based questions effectively and monitor your time. As with the multiple-choice problems, do not allow spend too much time lingering.
2. Know events and details:
While it is impossible to remember every date and fact in the textbook, you must still devote time to learning key events. It will be very hard to analyze the events and connect them among historical eras if you do not know the key events first.
3. Practice the essays: Practice both types of essays including the document-based question and the free responses – as frequently as possible. You only have three essays, so performing poorly on even one of them will have a serious effect on your score.
Make sure to synthesize material and do not simply summarize the information. For the free response questions, choose three or four important historical events or facts that relate to the topic you’ve chosen. Demonstrate how each is connected to your thesis as well as to each other.
For the document-based questions, do not feel the need to refer to every document. Again, select three or four that are most important and useful to your thesis and discuss them in more detail. Practice structuring your essays in this way, using previous test prompts provided by the College Board, until you are confident that you grasp how to write them. As with everything on the AP U.S. History exam, preparation is the key.
- Know the difference between a guess and an educated guess
You won’t lose any points on the multiple-choice portion of your exam if you skip questions, but there will be a deduction for every question you answer wrong. A little AP help: if you can eliminate a few of the choices, try taking an educated guess.
- Relax the night before the test
Don’t cram. You are being tested on knowledge that you have accumulated over the course of the year, in your AP course. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend – anything to get your mind off of the test!
Here are some additional links with AP Test practice questions and tips from the college board: