The College Board offers three major AP-level history subjects: AP US History, AP European History, and AP Modern World history.
The most often offered topic from this category is AP US history, or ‘APUSH’ as it is colloquially known, and high school juniors generally take it. However, this varies depending on the school.
Because AP European history and AP Modern World history are frequently offered electives, students in these programs generally range in grade level.
Students are frequently swamped or overwhelmed by the amount of work and effort they must put into the subject, regardless of when they take their first AP history class or whatever AP history program they take. However, a student may take some clear and practical strategies to manage their AP history workload and excel in both the semester and the AP test in the spring!
Content and curriculum
The first stumbling barrier that students may encounter is the enormous quantity of material that they must know for an AP history subject. Students receive material from their textbooks and lecturers, and keeping track of it all might be difficult.
You can do few things to make everything more manageable, both for the class and the eventual AP.
Understand that everything is interconnected
The chief thing to understand is that the AP history curriculum is interrelated.
This means that one occurrence triggers another, triggers another, and so on. Recognizing this can assist a learner in the beginning to learn the critical patterns of each of the periods they cover. Once learners understand the broad ways, they may study some significant examples of those trends and interact with other events. By connecting events, a student may learn, at the very least, the order of these events, so that even if they don’t recall the precise date of an event, they can have an approximation of the date and also know how such an event is related to previous and later events.
Creating timelines is one technique to help link events.
AP history textbook chapters will frequently focus on one topic and period, such as industrial progress from 1800 to 1850, but then the following chapter may go back and look at social patterns from 1800 to 1850. This can be perplexing, making it difficult to see how particular events in one chapter relate to occurrences in other chapters.
A learner may visually see how one event might be related to another and down the line by creating a timeline containing events and information from the chapters that cover the same period. Building a timeline is especially useful during winter finals and, of course, for the AP test.
Connecting events and facts is one of the most successful methods to absorb the AP history curriculum. It helps students develop the critical thinking and analysis skills required for the AP history exam’s writing portions.
When stripped of specifics, many writing prompts are:
- About cause and effect.
- Parallels and contrasts.
- Broad connections between events and what those relationships signify.
Thus, the most efficient strategy to acquire knowledge for both in-class assessments and the AP is to concentrate on how it all connects.
Homework and self-study
A second stumbling issue that AP history students face is time management for the class’s sometimes large assignments. Students will regularly be required to read and outline twenty to thirty page thick chapters from their textbooks.
They will also frequently be given writing suggestions and even research papers to complete.
It might be challenging to balance this with assignments from other subjects.
There are a few significant ways to complete thick and lengthy reading. To begin, most AP history textbooks are organized into chapters using headings and subheadings.
A student can then divide the chapter into portions, using the headers and subheadings as stop and start points, and spread the reading across a few days.
Reading five pages every night is considerably more doable than sitting down and reading twenty-five pages in one session.
Another reading approach is to set time blocks with pauses in between to read as much as feasible. A student can also utilize headers and subheadings to keep track of where they are in their writing.
Highlighting important portions
Although not every student is expected to outline their textbook chapters, many are; going through the lengthy chapters is even more time-consuming. It’s tough to determine what material from the branch to include and what information, while fascinating, isn’t as important.
As a result, students tend to strive to write down every detail in the hopes of avoiding forgetting something vital. There are several alternative techniques for dealing with the over-outlining problem. Because students must select what is and is not significant, this helps them develop critical thinking abilities.
Another method is to limit the number of lines of notes a student takes from each header or subsection.
Finally, the most crucial thing to remember when taking an AP history class is patient.