Ten Essential Tips for Creating an Effective AP World History Study Guide

October 20, 2023

AP World History is a challenging course to score a 5. However, with proper preparation, students can improve their chances of getting a high score.

The best way to study for this exam is by keeping up with class content throughout the year. Also, a prep book can help review course material and historical themes in an easy-to-read format.

Understand the Test’s Format

You cannot cram for the AP World History exam unlike other AP exams. It’s designed to assess more profound skills, like analyzing primary sources and understanding change and continuity over time.

To master these skills, keeping up with class content throughout the year and working with an experienced tutor for help is essential. 

Take Practice Tests

The AP World History exam is unlike the standard multiple choice test, requiring that students know historical trends and patterns. A clear understanding of these themes can make it easier to recognize continuity and change over time.

Practice tests can familiarize students with the test format and identify gaps in their knowledge. Luckily, there are several official resources available for students to use. 

Make a Study Plan

The AP World History exam is one that you can only sleep through part of the year, read a prep book in the spring, and score a 5.

The modern extended essay question requires analyzing primary documents to understand continuity and change over time.

Creating a study plan that includes practice tests is critical. These mini-quizzes help you pinpoint your academic gaps and maximize your studying time. 

Memorize Key Events and Concepts

Unlike the more fine-grained AP US History exam, the AP World History test expects you to know broad themes and events rather than specific details. For example, it’s essential to understand how a particular event or development fits into broader themes such as colonialism and industrialization.

Creating study guides can help you remember these significant events and concepts for the multiple-choice section of the exam. It is also helpful for the Document Based Question (DBQ) and the long essay question. The best way to prepare for these sections is to keep up with class content throughout the year.

Create Study Guides Together

Many students wonder, “Is AP World History hard?” While this course is challenging and requires extensive reading, it is also one of the most valuable classes for college-bound high schoolers.

Luckily, there are several ways to make studying for the exam easier. One way is to create practice quizzes and tests to help you identify areas where you need more study time. Another option is to engage with a tutor who can teach you how to take tests and evaluate and interpret historical materials.

Prioritize Your Time

The AP World History exam is challenging, but it mustn’t be impossible. By following these six tips, you can be well on your way to taking this tricky test!

The most important thing to remember when studying for AP World History is to keep up with class content throughout the year. This means paying attention in class and reading the textbook regularly. It also means keeping up with your classroom notes and creating study guides.

Create a Study Schedule

The AP World History course requires students to read a lot. The class covers eight history centuries, and students must master the material. Memorizing dates and regurgitating facts won’t earn top scores.

Students must also be able to identify patterns of continuity and change, understand the concept of periodization, and demonstrate skills like synthesis. They must also be able to write effectively. The DBQ and extended essay are worth a significant portion of the score. The DBQ can cover any unit from the exam, but the extended essay should focus on a specific period of history.

Practice Test-Taking Skills

The AP World History exam is not one that you can cram for the night before. Instead, it would be best if you worked to build a strong foundation throughout the year.

The good news is that you don’t need a photographic memory to succeed. The College Board’s document-based question-scoring rubric clearly defines what makes a high-scoring response. Regurgitating dates won’t cut it.

A tutor, especially in the spring, can help you keep on track with your reading and course material. They can also help you practice test-taking skills and develop the strategy to do your best on the exam.

Organize Your Notes

As you prepare for the exam, identify which areas you need more time studying. Is there a particular period, region, or historical theme that you’re having trouble with?

While the AP World History course covers an expansive span of history, it’s not necessary to memorize every detail. Instead, focus on understanding the significant patterns and developments throughout the course. Especially for the document-based question, you’ll need to be able to identify and assess continuity and change over time. This means analyzing the documents’ context and making connections across cultures.

Ask for Help

If you’re struggling to make progress, consider asking for help. A top AP World History instructor can assist you in studying more effectively and improving your writing skills.

Whether you’re struggling with the Document Based Question (DBQ) or the long essay question, an experienced tutor can help you break down the big picture into smaller chunks. They can also teach you to connect historical documents to more prominent themes and ideas. This will make it easier to answer the complex questions on the exam. 

Leave a Reply