ABOUT AP U.S. HISTORY
AP United States History is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and can earn students college credit. It is a two-semester survey of United States history from the colonial period to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, and interpretation of original documents. A college textbook is used in the course and an average assignment consists of 10 to 12 pages. Students will also be trained in note-taking skills as most of the classes are lectures. Throughout the year, students will be introduced to typical questions used on the AP Exam which is administered in May. Several weeks are spent in intensive review preparing students to take the exam. All students enrolled in the course are required to take the AP Exam. A final exam is also given at the end of the course. A practice exam is administered on a Saturday morning prior to the actual exam. There is a charge for the AP Exam (approximately $85.00) but when you consider a passing grade may earn college credit, the cost is minimal. Even if a student fails to achieve a passing score on the AP Exam, the experience of taking a college course is immeasurable.
Each AP U.S. History Examination is three hours and ten minutes in length and has both a multiple choice and a free-response section. Fifty-five minutes are allotted for Part I, the multiple choice section, which contains 80 questions and accounts for 50 percent of the composite score. Part II, the free-response section, consists of a required 15-minute reading period, a required document-based question for which 45 minutes are recommended, and an essay section in which students select one question from each of two groups of questions. Thirty-five minutes are allotted for each of the essays. The DBQ and the essays account for 50 percent of the composite score.