Prepped & Polished SAT Instructor Anooj got a 5 on his AP US History exam and shows you how to ace your AP US History exam. Pay close attention to these tips!

Today, I’m going to be showing you four simple tips on how to get a five on the AP US History exam

Tip #1 Timeline

Build your own custom timeline of the United States history. Start from the very beginning. Start having intervals of 10 to 20 years and fill out key events, people, places, things, and anything that you think relates to that time, and just jot it down.

You want to build all of the US history timelines so that when you’re doing essays on the exam, you’ll be able to come up with key facts and details to support your opinions. This is a great exercise to get a nice chronological overview of United’s History exam.

Tip #2 Old DBQs

You want to find old AP United States history exams on the College Board website and then go through the old DBQs and FRQs. What you want to do is read the prompt really quickly, and in under five minutes, you want to start thinking about what you would write and what key facts, figures, and things you’d use to support your arguments. Now, the timeline is going to help you come up with these different key facts and figures and things like that to support your essay.

If you find yourself that you’re not able to, in under five minutes, come up with something to write or generate an opinion, jot down that specific time period of prompt, just the main concept of it, and review it. You want to be able to diagnose your weakness weaknesses when you’re doing this and figure out what’s giving you trouble. Go through about 10 of these exams because the essays account for more than 50 of your score. So, if you want to get that five, you really really have to know your essays really well and to get under time all key facts and figures.

Tip #3 Class

The key to getting a five is you want to do well in class. What I mean by doing well is doing all the homework and reading all the textbook assignments. You want to be on top of your classwork because if you’re not when you go and start reviewing, you’re going to start learning things for the first time. And, when you’re reviewing two to three weeks before the exam, you want to have all these things already in your head. You’re just refreshing; you’re just kind of, you know, reading the title or something in a review book, and all this information is coming to you, retrieving all that from when you studied during your class.

Don’t sweat it too much if you’re not doing too well in the class because it’s a very fast-paced course; there’s a lot of information. Always think about the bigger picture and try to summarize every type of concept or event that’s happening into something simple and concrete that you can think about so that when you’re reviewing, you can pick those ideas up really quickly. If you want to focus on that class, you can’t review your for the first time and expect to learn this information. You have to get a nice detailed explanation from your thick textbook. I know it sounds brutal, but you guys got to do that.

Tip #4 Flashcards

Because the AP United States history exam tests so much material, I recommend going on Amazon and buying a set of pre-made flashcards. They’re all over the internet. You just want to get them as they’re going to help you actively recall information. A lot of the AP United States History exam is going to be actively coming up with ideas, essays, and multiple choice.

You’re gonna have to think about stuff like what happened during the Civil War, what happened during the Civil Rights Movement. The flashcards are going to drill these different ideas, people, figures, events, times, and all those into your head. So, you just want to constantly get in the habit of reviewing flashcards. It’s just going to keep you really primed for all these different all the different materials.

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What was your biggest takeaway from these tips? Do you have any questions for Anooj and Alexis Avila?

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