AP US History Introduction
AP US History is the most popular of all advanced placement exams and courses. The course and test were designed to offer students exposure to an introductory, college-level course equivalent to those taken by first-year history majors.
AP US History Course Goals
A proper AP US History course will cover major themes and trends that were significant to the development of the American people from the Colonial Era to the present day. Students should have applicable knowledge of how various events and movements in US history have helped to shape American society, values, politics, military development and culture.
If your AP History course syllabus or class materials are lacking in coverage of these areas, you may use the materials below to supplement your learning. Mastering these lessons as well as the materials in your AP US History class could potentially help you gain an advantage during the test.
AP US History Exam
The AP US History exam is the most popular of all advanced placement tests offered by College Board. The exam tests students on United States history from the colonial periods to present day America, demanding a thorough understanding of developing themes and the ability to analyze the significance of documents or periods that have impacted the history of the country.
The exam is split into two sections, 80 multiple choice questions and a free response section (DBQ and 2 free response essays).
The AP US History exam is graded based on answers in two sections:
- Section I: 80 multiple choice questions with 5 possible answers each (55 minutes)
Section II: 2 Free Response components (1 hour and 20 minutes):
- DBQs/Document Based Questions (45 minutes recommended)
- 2 FRQs/Free Response Questions (35 minutes recommended)
Section I of the exam is worth 50%, with Section II worth the other 50%. Dividing Section II down further, the DBQ portion is worth 45% while each FRQ is worth 27.5% (55% total).
Students will be given a composite score of based on their combined results from both sections.
AP History Notes, Concept and Themes
- Section 1: First Contact and Colonization
- Section 2: Revolution and Nation-Building
- Section 3: Antebellum America
- Section 4: The Civil War and Reconstruction
- Section 5: The Guilded Age, Populism and Progressivism
- Section 6: The United States as a World Power
- Section 7: The Great Depression and WWII
- Section 8: The Cold War Era
- Section 9: Recent Events