A successful AP US History exam takes time, effort, and sacrifice. Lounging, playing sports, and socializing must be set aside to focus on studying.
Luckily, this article has you covered! This resource will provide a comprehensive course overview and help you create an effective study plan.
The United States and the World
While knowing dates, events, and big names will help you on the exam, understanding how they connect will earn you points on the AP US History exam. Make sure you have a clear grasp of these significant themes to improve your chances of a high score:
During this time, the United States became more connected to the world as it pursued an expansionist foreign policy and engaged in various economic, diplomatic, and cultural initiatives. At home, the nation debated the meaning of democratic ideals and created new institutions to reflect them. In addition, technological innovations accelerated the economy and spurred changes to domestic politics, while the nation’s continued interest in trade led it to seek new markets for its goods.
Once you grasp the major AP US History concepts well, it’s time to practice! The best way to do this is to take a full, official practice test under realistic exam conditions. It would help if you also tried to answer all of the short-answer and free-response questions and the long and short essay sections (which account for a combined 15% of your overall score). Use these tools from AP US History study guide online resources to get a feel for what to expect on the actual exam:
The United States and the Cold War
The United States emerged from World War II as a global power. Still, lingering anti-communist suspicions and new domestic debates over the nation’s proper role in the world fueled anxieties about American influence. In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) brought Cold War politics home, forcing Hollywood writers, directors, and actors to renounce left-wing political beliefs or face blacklisting. HUAC also investigated State Department workers and others, resulting in hundreds of people being removed from federal jobs.
In the arms race that defined the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union each developed powerful nuclear arsenals. The first H-bomb test, at the Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands, vaporized an island and created a 25-square-mile fireball with enough destructive force to destroy half of Manhattan. Both the United States and the Soviets boosted research into new weapons, with U.S. military and intelligence agencies recruiting thousands of German scientists — including Wernher von Braun — under the program known as Operation Paperclip.
Studying for AP US History isn’t just an exercise in memorization; it requires the ability to analyze and synthesize outside knowledge with that given to you in the course material. Identify areas where you miss multiple-choice questions and score low on short-answer and long-essay questions by making a list in descending order of topics that need the most review. Start with these areas and work up to the most challenging issues on your diagnostic test.
The United States and the 1980s
AP US History is challenging because it asks students to remember vast information. It also emphasizes a higher level of analysis and argumentation, with learners learning to evaluate primary source documentation in their essays. Thankfully, this guide will help you create an effective study plan and find the resources you need to master the curriculum.
This comprehensive review guide will cover a wide range of topics, including how different social and political groups have influenced society and government in the United States. It will also cover how people have adapted to both natural and artificial environments and the effect of migration on the nation’s population.
It will cover nine historical periods, starting in 1491 and ending with the 1980s. These periods are divided into shorter and longer segments, each covering a broad topic area. This guide will give you the necessary knowledge to answer short-answer and long-essay questions.
This comprehensive review guide covers all the major areas of AP US History, from the expansion of the United States to the Cold War and beyond. It will also help you understand the role of immigration in the country’s history and how different religious beliefs have shaped American culture. The guide will also help you learn about popular movements, reforms, and activists that have helped shape the country.
The United States and the 21st Century
AP US History is a challenging course with tons of information to memorize. The more you study, the better your chance of scoring well on the exam. Creating an effective study plan is critical to success, but it mustn’t be hard! This article is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about how to study for AP US History—including tips for forming an efficient study schedule, the best ways to practice multiple-choice questions, and resources for practicing essay writing.
AP US History covers the history of the United States from 1491 to the present. The course is divided into eight themes that create connections between each historical period. The following table lists the major topics and concepts associated with each piece. Once you understand the overall structure of the course, you can break it down further into sub-topics for more targeted studying.