Well, this year I experienced the Hell and torture of the AP US History exam. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Really, you'll study so much during the year, you'll find so many small things to fixate yourself on (Credit Mobilier
, Marshall Plan
, Platt Amendment
), you'll dedicate yourself to memorizing all the legislature that took place under the New Deal
, you'll remember all 27 amendments of the Constitution
, and then they won't ask you about any of the small stuff, they won't ask you anything about the New Deal, and they won't even mention the Constitution unless they're talking about tbe Continental Congress
1, Study big on colonial America when it's exam time. You'll need the reminder.
2. Study Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Franklin Roosevelt. The multiple choice section will have an endless number of questions on these guys regardless of what version of the test you're taking.
3. Look at old DBQs in your given time frame to figure out what's not going to be the DBQ topic. I took it today (May 11th, 2001) and my entire class was right on the money by doing this. We boned up on the Cold War and we got the Cold War.
4. If you don't know anything about the topic of a DBQ, try to use information in the documents to make it sound well synthesized. Don't say anything that you don't know for certain.
5. If you're doing a free response question and you can't remember the name of something you're using for an example, just say something like, "A specific law in (foo year) said yadda yadda yadda." For example, I couldn't remember the name of the Wabash Case so I said, "A Supreme Court case during this time period ruled that an individual state..."
6. Don't spend too much time on one free-response question. The best idea is to write your thesis down and a couple of opening sentences down in your planning time on the booklet to get ahead.
Some tips on taking the class:
1. Take notes and keep them in a safe place. You'll need these eventually.
2. Try to actually learn the material instead of regurgitating it on tests. When it comes to writing essays, you're going to be expected to be analytical and you can't do that if you just memorized what the Compromise of 1850 did.
3. Participate in class. Speak out. You'll learn more.
4. Don't cram for tests. You'll forget everything.
5. Do your reading. If you don't, you won't understand the notes you're taking.
Added July 6th, 2001, 4 days after receiving my test score of a 3: Make sure you address ALL questions in a free-response essay or else you will get a low score on the individual essay, dropping your overall grade dramatically. Well at least I got college credit.