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AP US History Advice

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    • Profile picture
    Nov 20, 2016
    | Would highly recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    I would 110% recommend this course to other students. Yes, this is an AP course so it will be challenging, but the pace and material covered are engaging and once the test is over you are free to focus on whatever you want. This is a course for the United States history enthusiast, or just your average student. I received a 5 on the AP exam last spring (and I'm not a history enthusiast) and was very happy and owe a lot of the preparation to my AMAZING teacher.

    Course highlights:

    Wow, what a comprehensive course. This course definitely moves very quickly, considering you have to learn all of United States history before the end of April. While that may be daunting, the coursework is not too hard to handle and included many fun projects. A few highlights: when learning about the conflicts between the Native Americans and settlers, our class took a page out of the musical Hamilton, and constructed raps and music on a specific battle or encounter, and rapped them aloud in class! This specific project was actually featured on NPR! Another highlight was a play that we read. We often read the play aloud in class and it was funny to hear everyones interpretations of the characters in the play. Another fun project was when we had to pick a topic we were very passionate about, mine was women rights, and design a posture or art piece or song about that topic and then share it to the class to educate each other. A lot of our learning was done this way and also through engaging in simulations. We also watched a lot of interesting documentaries and clips about the different time periods we were studying. This course covers the first foot steps onto American soil (Christopher Columbus), to 9/11. I loved all of the seminars and group discussions, as well as the support given in writing the essays and preparing for the test.

    Hours per week:

    3-5 hours

    Advice for students:

    While it depends on your school, the course itself is not too hard; the test IS. While you should always listen actively to your teacher, it's incredibly important that you listen closely on HOW to take the test. Some tips from my experience with the test: -You will not be able to simply walk into the test, take it, and do well; you need to know how to take it. It is not like a regular test. -The writing sections especially: short response and essays. There are different ways and formulas and key components to each writing section that you MUST know in order to have a shot at receiving a high grade on it. -DO NOT slack off or ignore your teacher when they teach about how to take the test. -The multiple choice section is also incredibly important and there are tricks and tips to how to figure out the answers. If your teacher goes over this, pay attention, if not, buy a review book. -As to the point above, BUY A REVIEW BOOK!!! I used Princeton Review AP US History book and it was extremely helpful and really aided me in staying organized. -Come to the test prepared with all your materials so you're not stressed before the test starts. In terms of the actual course: -Complete all of your homework and engage fully in group projects or class discussions. Not only will you (probably) receive credit but you will understand the material and benefit from the class more. -When your teacher grades your essays and makes comments and suggestions, take it seriously, practice it, and apply that feedback into your next essay. You should be constantly improving throughout the year and always asking how you can improve your writing. -KEEP ALL OF YOUR NOTES, HANDOUTS, ESSAYS, WORKSHEETS etc., from throughout the year. I cannot stress enough how beneficial it was to me to look back through my coursework from the whole year when I was studying for the test. -Do not leave studying for the last minute. This course covers all of American History (almost to date). As much as you think you can, you cannot memorize all of American History the night before the test. You simply, cannot. -Do not plagiarize. This goes for all of your courses no matter what grade you are in. Copying someone else's homework or test or essay does not help you prepare for the test or further your understanding in the class. Not to mention you could get into serious trouble. Just do it yourself. -Ask questions!!!! This is extremely important. Do not be afraid to raise your hand and ask for help or ask a clarifying question. Chances are, there are at least three people in the room with the same question too afraid to ask. You can only benefit from asking for help. Good luck to all those who are taking the test!!! Wishing you the best. And if you were thinking about taking this course I hope this helped in your decision.

    • Fall 2015
    • Moverman
    • Group Projects Participation Counts Great Discussions

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