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To make matters more complicated, the AP US History course and exam are about so much more than dates and names.
Seven themes of equal importance—American and National identity; Migration and Settlement; Politics and Power; Work, Exchange, and Technology; America in the World; Geography and the Environment; and Culture and Society—provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course.
These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical development in different times and places. This description is really just a long and drawn out way of telling potential APUSH students that there’s quite a bit of information that goes into AP US History reviews. Mere memorization will not get you that 5 you want on the exam.
Take a look at the Nullification Crisis, for example.
AP US History students must recognize that this event was more than just an argument between Andrew Jackson and John C. It represented the social, economic, and political rifts between the North and South that led up to the Civil War.
Whether or not you’ve decided that you want to embark upon the AP US history review process and take the APUSH course, you’ve probably already asked yourself this question, “Is AP US History Hard? But don’t let this information turn you off from taking the course or exam.
APUSH difficulty ranks up there as one of the hardest AP courses and exams.That means structure and argumentation matter nearly as much as the evidence you use. Despite the difficulty that comes with doing an APUSH DBQ, they are manageable with a little bit of studying and prep work.One of the first steps to owning the DBQ is to understand how the DBQ and the APUS exam are structured.Even mentioning the letters DBQ can trigger a minor heart attack in the most strong-willed APUSH student.DBQ stands for Document Based Question and is arguably the most difficult component of the APUSH exam.It’s just that you’ll need to think critically and deeply about each topic on top of memorizing the important details of crucial dates and events.When it comes to a major event in US History, theme, context, and detail must be considered.Once you get to know how and why the APUSH course and exam are so difficult, you can use that information to your advantage and work towards earning that 5 when it comes to exam day. This may come as a little bit of a surprise, but AP US History is one of the most difficult AP exams you can take.We will outline the details that make the APUSH exam so difficult, the high expectations that come with being an APUSH student, and advice on how to move forward in the AP US History review process. Many AP students assume that exams like AP Chem or even AP Calculus BC are the hardest to score a 5, or even get a 3, but when you take a look at the APUSH score distributions from recent exams, you’ll see how difficult the exam can be.Here is how the exam breaks down: • Section I — Part A: Multiple Choice — 55 questions; 55 minutes • Section I — Part B: Short-Answer Questions — 4 questions; 50 minutes • Section II — Part A: Document-Based Question — 1 question; 55 minutes (includes a reading period with a suggested time of 15 minutes) • Section II — Part B: Long Essay Question — 1 question (chosen from a pair); 35 minutes If you haven’t already done so, look through the AP US History Course Overview These documents lay out everything that you need to know about both the APUSH course and the APUSH exam.One top of that, they also contain example questions that mimic those from the actual APUSH exam, letting you familiarize yourself with how the questions will be phrased and presented.