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The Ultimate AP US History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ

by Jennifer L on February 02, 2021

The Ultimate AP US History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ

Content Difficulty

The five-point rate of AP US History in the past years was around 10%-11%, which is a relatively low five-point rate among arts subjects. However, in 2019, there was a huge improvement to 12.1%.

Compared to World History that has a large coverage, US History focus more on the details and depth of the content. It requires an in-depth memorisation of the details, but not limited to that. Students are also required to compare and contrast from a greater point of view. They need to analyse the causes and influences of a certain historical trend in different perspectives, as well as pursuing a deeper understanding of historical events.

 

Content Coverage

First of all, from the time dimension, AP US History is divided into 9 time periods, from the discovery of the US continent to the year 2000. However, it only revolves around the history of US, and does not involve much of the history of other countries.

Secondly, in terms of the theme of examination, AP US History is divided into nationalities and races, technology, environment, immigration, political policy, diplomacy, culture and religion, social structure these 8 themes. They will also be included in almost every historical period, the development of history is often driven by a variety of factors and the mutual influence between each other, so we cannot look at each in isolation.

Hence, it is necessary to establish a comprehensive and profound view of history for each theme or period of investigation.

 

Should You Take AP US History?

The difficulty of history subjects is relatively high. In addition to the higher requirements for candidates’ reading and writing skills, it also requires a lot of memorisation and preparation for exams. Of course, this subject will greatly improve our reading, writing and even speculative abilities, which is also an important part of general education.

 

Exam Format

Section 1A: Multiple Choice
55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score
• Questions usually appear in sets of 3-4 questions.
• Students analyse historical texts, interpretations, and evidence.
• Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included.


Section 1 B: Short Answer 
3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Exam Score
• Students analyse historians' interpretations, historical sources, and propositions about history. • Questions provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.
• Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps.
• Students choose between 2 options for the final required short-answer question, each one focusing on a different time period:
-Question 1 is required, includes 1-2 secondary sources, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1754 and 1980.
-Question 2 is required, includes 1 primary source, and focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1754 and 1980.
-Students choose between Question 3 (which focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1491 and 1877) and Question 4 (which focuses on historical developments or processes between the years 1865 and 2001) for the last question. No sources are included for either Question 3 or Question 4.


Section 2A: Document-Based Question
1 Question | 1 Hour (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score
• Students are presented with 7 documents offering various perspectives on a historical development or process.
• Students assess these written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence.
• Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
• The document-based question focuses on topics from 1754-1980.


Section 2B: Long Essay 
1 Question | 40 Minutes | 15% of Exam Score
• Students explain and analyse significant issues in U.S. history.
• Students develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence.
• The question choices focus on the same skills and the same reasoning process (e.g., comparison, causation, or continuity and change), but students choose from 3 options, each focusing on historical developments and processes from a different range of time periods—either 1491-1800 (option 1), 1800-1898 (option 2), or 1890-2001 (option 3).

Score Distribution

Test Prep Strategy

AP US History is quite a challenging subject. It a relatively difficult among all AP arts subjects.
There are many learning points, and it takes a certain amount of effort to study this course well. To get a high score, you need to grasp the following two principles:


Have a certain understanding of US culture. The history of any country is related to the culture of the country. Hence, the understanding of culture will directly affect ability to master the history. For students studying US History, if they don’t have a basic understanding of US culture, they will be unfamiliar with the basic concepts of the US political system, social environment, and ethnic issues. All these will increase the difficulty level of the subject.

Organise your notes and sort out all the learning points. During the exam, forgetting any names will result in anxiety in candidates. In order to avoid missing learning points, it is recommended that students try to sort out and summarise the learning points by themselves. Students can write out the events based on the timeline on a mind map. This now only help to reduce mistakes in MCQs, it also help in your reference in long essay questions.

Recommended Study Guides

-The American Pageant
-Harper Collins
-AMSCO 2016
-Direct Hits
-No Bull Review
-Princeton 2020
-Barron
-Kaplan
-REA
-WILEY

 

Collection of Official Papers with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

  1. AP US History 1984 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  2. AP US History 1988 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  3. AP US History 1996 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  4. AP US History 2001 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  5. AP US History 2002 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  6. AP US History 2006 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  7. AP US History 2012 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  8. AP US History 2013 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  9. AP US History 2014 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  10. AP US History 2015 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  11. AP US History 2016 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  12. AP US History 2017 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  13. AP US History 2018 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  14. AP US History 2019 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  15. AP US History Practice Exam with Multiple-Choice Questions
  16. AP US History Practice Test 1 with Multiple-Choice Questions
  17. AP US History Practice Test 2 with Multiple-Choice Questions

 

Click here to obtain the latest AP US History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ from ExclusiveSAT. 

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