Preparing for the AP United States History Exam

Each session will last 2 ½ hours


Session 1 will include an overview of the AP United States History Exam, including strategies and time management, types of exam questions, and historical thinking skills (including analyzing sources and evidence, making historical connections, chronological reasoning and creating and supporting a historical argument).

Students will learn the vocabulary used in essay questions (e.g. comparison, contextualization, synthesis, causation, periodization) so that they understand what a question is asking and how to respond appropriately.

Students will learn how essay questions are evaluated and will use rubrics to score sample essays so that they learn to distinguish between excellent, good, poor, and unacceptable essays. 

Students will practice writing an essay.


Session 2 will focus on the DBQ-Document based question. 

Students will learn to evaluate various types of historical evidence and draw conclusions about their relevance to a historical issue.
Students will practice analyzing and synthesizing historical data, formulating a thesis, and supporting it with relevant evidence. 


Session 3 will focus on the long essay. Students will take a position on a significant issue in American history.  They will learn to develop a thesis, develop historical arguments and present evidence to support those arguments.  They will learn to frame their arguments around the application of a specific historical thinking skill (comparison, causation, patterns of continuity and change, periodization).

Session three will include a review of historical themes and objectives.

American and National Identity ▶ Politics and Power ▶ Work, Exchange, and Technology ▶ Culture and Society ▶ Migration and Settlement ▶ Geography and the Environment ▶ America in the World

We will also review nine chronological periods and key concepts within each period.