I need to devise a study schedule for the AP US History exam in May, but I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas?
Topic: I need to devise a study schedule for the AP US History exam in May, but I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas?
July 16, 2019 / By Guendolen Question:
I was in a class that I had to drop this week because while I was learning a lot about history, it was taking me a lot of time and I need to figure out how to take notes. I have a good sense of what happened when, but I don't really remember any treaties or anything and have no way of going back. My teacher said that I could still visit the website (it's an online class) to participate in the discussions and get the prep advice he posts there, but he won't grade my work and won't make me follow the syllabus.
I still have all the books for that: textbook, DBQ book and Barron's Guide (essay prep mostly), and a Primary Source Document anthology. He also gave us links to free online documentaries. I got a test prep book from REA because the reviews were really good, but that's for preparing two months before the exam and I need a stronger baseline now.
I have to start from the beginning and work up...thing is I really hate my textbook and kinda screwed up the first couple chapters by hi
ghlighting everything. Like I said, learning how to take notes. Still don't know how...never had to before, learned everything without it, but if I'm going to remember the Rush-Bagot Agreement (only know the name right now, read about it two days ago...) I need to have notes.
I liked the setup we had before but I've discovered that I actually don't work well from textbooks. I think I need the more engaging writing style most historians who write for the general public have, if I'm going to remember it. I would spend hours staring at the textbook and not remember much of anything, so that's kind of a bust.
My teacher had us on a four-week cycle that covered certain time periods, and each week we would have to write something. A cartoon analysis, essay, DBQ, or discuss an extra reading assignment. He posted the assignment so I can do that and was thinking that all the writing would still be good, but it's the reading part that's confusing me.
The tough part will be devising a schedule
for prepping. I'm going to go to the library and find a nice thick book about each time period and use that instead of the textbook to study for them. The teacher's schedule worked pretty well, but I fell behind, couldn't catch up, and actually cheated twice...it wasn't anything major -once I did research in the middle of an essay, the other time I found the answers to the chapter quiz ahead of time- and I know I only hurt myself, but anyway the point is I couldn't keep pace with the class. Each week I'll read 50 pages or a chapter, research what I need for the essay, watch a documentary, read 9 PSDs, and write the essay.
But, if I had a set kind of schedule that would help. My parents won't do it -they both work and I said I wanted the responsibility- so I'm trying you guys.
Do you have any general advice, recommendations for studying, note taking, books,, and could you help me make a study schedule? Feel free to email me, my email handle is my username.
Best Answers: I need to devise a study schedule for the AP US History exam in May, but I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas?
Diana | 2 days ago
The information density that is commonly found in textbooks can be quite a challenging, especially if there is a tight time frame.
Perhaps a study technique more geared to your learning style could be of help. I am strongly visual, so as I work my way through a college level text, I am busy turning the information into spatially organized study notes. Images, charts, concept maps, etc. that I make myself (engage in)stick in my memory. My favorite tool for visual note-taking is Cmap. It is free. You can download it at http://cmap.ihmc.us/download/index.php. If you want to see how Cmap can be put to use for history go to http://cmapspublic2.ihmc.us/servlet/SBRe... . You navigate by clicking the icons at the bottoms of the nodes. We discovered Cmap after this class started, so the early units are not filed with a lot of information. About 1/2 way through the course the notes get full and detailed.
If you are auditory, try using a recordable portable player for your note taking. DON'T just read the text aloud and record it though. Read a section and get playful with the material: dramatize a bit of it with character voices and everything, create an auditory mnemonic by making the information sing-song-y, etc.
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If you want to study for AP US History using an interactive online FREE course, rather than , or in addition to, your textbooks, check out Hippocampus.org. The AP courses there are used by the University of California Virtual High School.
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Ok....here's some advice from a history major, and someone who got a 3 on the AP test 10 years ago. First of all, throw out all of that crap about outlining and note taking you learned in 6th grade. It's useless. Your notes don't need to look like this:
The Civil War
A. Started in 1861
1. Lincoln called for volunteers
2. South Carolina wanted Fort Sumter evacuated of US troops
a. blah, blah, blah
These are YOUR notes, so be as messy or as organized as you want. I always wrote things down like this:
-Start in 1861
-Linc. called volunt. for troops
-S.C. wanted F. Sumter evacuated.
I can read this, it takes less time to write, and I'm not trying to remember whether I'm on letter b or c, or any of that stupidity. Write things in the margins, scribble out mistakes, draw arrows to connect things--whatever helps YOU remember important facts.
While taking notes, you don't need to know all the mind-numbing details. Get the year (month and day aren't important and you won't remember it), the people, the place, and a general idea of what happened and why it was important. That's it! History is unique because you just need to be able to write a good essay, and you don't need to fill it full of trivia! It's better if you don't. For example:
The Civil War started in 1861.
The Civil War began in the early 1860's.
Both are correct, but the last one is easier to remember. If you accidentally write 1862, you just lost a few points.
On the AP test, you will have to write a big essay, and that will be the biggest part of your test. Your teacher will be able to give you "possible essay topics" a few months before the test. Get these topics, and look up everything you can about them, write notes, and memorize them. Practice writing essays if you have time (Remember you need an intro, body, and conclusion) while you read your history chapters. At the end of the chapter, take a few of the questions at the end and write short essay answers to practice.
For a study schedual.....read a chapter or section (however your text book is broken up) a day. Just toss the primary source book on the shelf and forget about it! It will only bore and confuse you, and it's not like your going to remember enough of a speech or a treaty to quote it on the test! Trust me, it's worthless. Focus on the text book. If you seriously hate your text book, go online and pick up another US history book that you can understand. It's the SAME history, the SAME information, just written in a different style. Take notes while you read---short, sweet, and just a few sentences to help you remember what you read. Condense those lengthy paragraphs into a sentence you can remember! Keep it interesting....call Pres. Taft "Fat guy", Abe Lincoln "Ape"....anything to make you laugh and remember who these people are. If you aren't too embarrassed, read out loud to yourself. It will keep you awake, and reading and speaking and hearing and writing all at the same time gaurantees that you'll remember it.
One last tip: RELAX! It isn't life or death, it's AP history. The college I went to wouldn't take my 3. Most want a 4 or a 5, because they want you to have to pay THEM for that history class. I did SO awful in my AP class because it was boring, I didn't know how to take notes, and it was overwhelming. But, 1 month before the test I read the whole text book, worked my butt off on those possible essay questions, and somehow pulled a 3. My teacher couldn't believe it. I had the highest test score with the LOWEST class grade. I went on to college and majored in history and loved it and was on Dean's List.
So don't stress! You can do this! :)
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Originally Answered: Last minute study tips for exam preparation?
For last minute study I would suggest you to just revise. Do not study any new topics at the time of exams.
And if you have just not studied anything for your exam, then in that case just go through the overview of the syllabus, do not do deep study of every topic or subject, but if you have enough time for preparing all the topics wisely then just go for it..
Best of luck!