Top 10 Study Tips For AP US History

The AP US History exam is a tough exam for most students and the reason why it is so is because of the amount of history that you must be familiar with.

Taking out time to study lots of history is very boring but when you have the right study tips, you can have fun.

That’s why we have provided for you the most effective tips that can help you to study and memorize the necessary details in this article.

So keep reading!

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Study Tips For AP US History Exam: Top 10 Tips

You should start studying sooner rather than later for the AP US History exam because there’s so much information to remember. 

So, below are the Top 10 Tips that we recommend to help you prepare well for the AP US History Exam.

They are:

Tip 1: Create A Daily Study Routine.

Creating a routine early in the school year can help you stay on track, meet your study goals and avoid cramming at the last minute.

It will also enable you to take control of your time and start learning how to manage it more efficiently. 

Once you have a routine in place, this will help you to balance your other coursework with the exam preparation.

I will recommend that within the first month of the school year, you should create a flashcards with Learning tools, flashcards, and textbook solutions | Quizlet for each unit covered.

It will really go a long way to help you study and memorize better.

Tip 2: Make Thematic Connections

The ultimate goal of AP US History is for you to be able to connect individual events to the main themes of the course and draw conclusions about historical trends based on your analysis.

So while studying, don’t just look at events. Try to examine how they relate to other events of the time and how they might have brought about different cultural and political attitudes. 

Also, try to know their various outcomes of a particular event, and how and why they fit into other larger trends.

Do well to dig deeper because it will help you on both in-class assessments and the AP exam.

Tip 3: Create A Yearly Outline For The Course

Creating an outline is beneficial because it helps to break down the classes and what to study.

So the best thing to do when outlining the course is to write a paragraph summary of each section of history that you have studied and then explain the time period transition.

By creating this summary, it will help you to establish some continuity in your thinking.

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Tip 4: Read and Repeat

When you read content notes for AP US History, you might think you have a fact committed to memory only to forget it when you are about writing the exam.

This is really the worst experience that you can have.

So, in order not to encounter such, it is to pause every couple of minutes and try to remember the facts that you just reviewed without looking back at your notes; you’ll immediately know whether you’re absorbing the information or not.

If you’re having trouble remembering a particular fact, try to make a distinctive connection with something else that’s easier to remember.

For example, let’s say you are trying to remember which items were taxed by the Townshend Acts. 

You could think of the mnemonic GuLPP iT to remember them. It also makes sense because all the taxes were repealed except for the one on tea.

If you can stick to this method, you wouldn’t have any reason to forget a single fact.

Tip 5: Study With Friends

This is a pretty dangerous game because friends can sometimes be the biggest distraction from studying. 

But if you do it right by getting friends who share in the goal as you, then, they can also be a huge help to your studying.

Discussing ideas helps you better understand them. And if there is a part of history that you are just really struggling with, chances are you have a friend who is pretty knowledgeable about it.

When studying with friends, trying to make use of a whiteboard or a course outline can be quite helpful. It helps to guide what exactly to learn everyday.

Tip 6: Cultivate The Habit Of Using A whiteboard When Studying

Whiteboards have in recent times been highly recommended because it helps you to understand history holistically by thinking about topics on a large scale. 

So, if you are a student who loves visual learning, this will really help you map things out to see the bigger picture. 

It is also a perfect instrument for group study situations when each student is in charge of a review of specific eras, topics, or motions.

When you diagram historical ideas on a whiteboard, they get locked up in your visual and auditory memory.

Do try and get one today!

Tip 7: Create A Study Game 

Studying a particular material for a long time can also be very tiring and boring.

But trying to mix it up with making a game out of it can make it fun.

An example of such is the Jeopardy-style reviews for history which can work wonders for unit reviews and more. 

For example, with your study group, go through asking each other various questions, and for every question one of us gets wrong, we have to do three push-ups or whoever wins it will have a free lunch.

Just any funny game you can think about.

Tip 8: Take A Full-Length AP US History Exam Practice Test

Take a full, legitimate AP US History practice test and simulate realistic testing conditions. 

Time yourself according to the actual test, and complete both essays (DBQ and Long Essay). 

Mark any multiple-choice questions on which you had to guess even if you guessed correctly.

 It’s crucial to review and brush up on this information later.

When you’re through, grade your practice test to determine how well you’d perform on the real AP exam if you took it now.

You may need to allocate more or less study time depending on how much you want to enhance your AP US History test score. 

If you’re already near a 5 or low 5, you may only need to go through these procedures once and be satisfied with your results.

Tip 9: Practice Writing Essay Questions 

Before taking the AP US History test, you should practice writing essays so that you are familiar with the time limitations and standards. 

This is particularly true for the Document-Based Question, which has its own format.

Practice your skills on extra free-response questions after evaluating the flaws in your writings from the original diagnostic test. 

You don’t have to write out full essays to save time, but you should at least construct rough outlines that incorporate all of the components of a great essay.

If you have trouble with time on your first AP practice test, I will recommend going through another timed free-response part in its entirety so you can practice moving faster.

Tip 10: Meet With Your Teacher To Discuss Difficult Periods, Concepts, Or Units

When you find yourself lost, schedule a meeting either before or after school with your teacher. 

For instance, if you don’t quite understand the Gold Standard Act, send your teacher an email outlining your difficulties, and your questions. 

Afterall, a teacher teaches the class for a reason, and they are probably not only super knowledgeable but also passionate. 

So, most teachers would be thrilled to give you an extra hand or a piece of advice. 

They are such an untapped resource that students generally don’t take advantage of.

So, if you haven’t thought of doing that, you should consider it today.

Reach out to your teacher today before it’s late.


1. What Is The AP US History Exam?

The AP US History exam is one of the longer AP tests, and it has four different types of questions: Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Document-Based Question (DBQ), and Long Essay. 

The main thread running through this test is an emphasis on analyzing historical evidence and applying outside knowledge in context.

2. How To Get A 5 On The AP US History Exam?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret to scoring a 5 on AP US History aside from a combination of applied learning, great study habits, and deliberate practice. 

History exams from the College Board now emphasize a lot of Historical Thinking Skills.

3. What Is On The AP U.S. History Exam?

The AP, US History exam, is one of the most popular advanced placement exams administered by the College Board. 

It is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and consists of two sections: multiple choice/short answer and free response. 

There are 55 multiple-choice questions which count for 40% of the test.

4. How Do AP US History DBQs?

How to Write a DBQ Essay for AP US History – 2022 Guide

  • Prepare well. Before the exam, you will probably need one to two weeks to master all the material.
  • Practice. 

This is a key part of preparing for the final DBQ issue

  • Ask for help
  • Understanding the question
  • Analyze the documents
  • Make a plan and start writing.

5. What Are The Best Study Tips For APUSH?

This is one of our favorite study tips, especially for APUSH, in particular. 

Whiteboards allow you to think about things on a big-picture scale to consider history holistically. 

Additionally, they work great for group study environments where each student can helm a review over specific periods, concepts, or movements.


If you have read the tips that we have provided for you and implement it from today in your study plans.

Believe me, you will see a big difference in the way you understand and memorize the basic details that you need to know for a successful pass in your AP US History Examination.

If you tried these tips, do well to leave feedback in the comment section provided below.

Good luck!

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