AP Notes, Outlines, Study Guides, Vocabulary, Practice Exams and more!

dying in APUSH

By: arabian
Sep 21, 2010

i have no idea how to study for this class. im not a bad student but i have no idea where to start. please, any tips for studying for this class? and does anyone have or know where i can get notes for The Enduring Vision 5th Edition?
lastly, would you advise for me to outline each chapter or is it a waste of time? my teacher gives out a list of about 30 terms for each chapter and gives good lectures (which i take thorough notes on) but i cant decide wether i should or shouldn't also outline the text. i tried yesterday but doing barely half of a chapter took me 3 hours! would studying the terms and lecture notes and only reading each chapter be enough for tests and the final exam in may?

please help me :(


BASSxMASTER's picture

It depends on the teacher. If we read the chapters and do the terms we will make a passing grade. My teacher even told me that making a b in this class is going to be really hard. So dont be hard on your self if your walking out of there with a 76.

arabian's picture

o God :(

Hal's picture

I got a 5 on the exam.

Throughout the year before taking the AP Exam, make sure to take notes for each chapter, and make note cards (if that works for you) but somehow note the important dates/events/people so when you are studying for the exam you can look back

right up the the AP exam there are certain strategies you can take:
- find certain topics (find international relations, distribution of power btw federal. gov't and the states, power of the supreme court, power of the president esp. in times of wars,imperialism, etc) that maintain throughout U.S. history, and test your self by loading everything you know about those topics (dates, people, events) so you can write about any trends (example: how did the power of the supreme court change and develop throughout U.S. history?)

-make time lines for certain events
-***Know the order of the presidents, their years in office, major events/bills, and what their political party (this can be memorized)

-last year the Document Based Essay was on the Colonists and the year before I think it was on Vietnam, so you probably wont get those

- for the multiple choice. try to limit it down to 2 choices, if you really can't answer it DON'T (no points are taken away for non-anwsered questions)

-as you get into the late 20th century (like around JFK) history becomes more broad and less specific.

-Throughout the year, get experience in analyzing documents, go over some famous speeches (Lincoln's inaugural address & emancipation proclamation, JFK's inaugural address, FDR's war speech, etc) and find their contextual significance

-in case you didn't know, the college board website as a full exam (last years/the year before) with the DBQ's, short anwser's, and the *multiple choice

***When you are studying for the final exam remember that they don't expect you to necessarily know all the facts (though there are many specific dates you should know, ex: 1776 (duh), 1607 (duh) ! ) what they want you to know are the trends/changes and the generalized details of what happened throughout history. Your teacher should get examples of essays that got 5's so you can see how not all of them were specific.

arabian's picture

dude thanks so much, you just saved my life...

i just wanted to ask, is it better if i make my own notes or using notes that are online good too (as long as they are good in depth notes)? and would flash cards help or no?

also, how long on average did it take you take notes on the chapters? like half an hour or one and a half hours? lastly, how did you study for the chapter tests you had through the year (like did you reread each chapter or just studied your outline or what)?

im just having a hard time dealing with so much information.
thanks for sharing your experience...thats what i have been looking for, someone who did well and is willing to share his/her techniques with everyone else.

KKW's picture

I have AP US and i can tell it is really a hard class but i go through each page and write down 5 important facts...then I create little type games to help me study. My teacher makes us do a binder every other week and its brought up my grades so much ..i know that if i study a little bit more it can boost up my test scores. Just know that the AP exam at the end of the year is only on DBQ's and 1 subject so better study up if you know whats good for you!(:

KKW's picture

be found on websites such as my class goes through an online notes and they are very thourough and good.
They are located at
www.classjump.com and they help me ALOT!
so try it out(:

Hal's picture

what are you taking about? if your teacher tells you getting a b is hard than they are probably not teaching well.

arabian's picture

i know right? thats what i was thinking...i hate it when you have a bad teacher cause you cant do anything about it and become less motivated to do well in the class

xonoodles92's picture

the teacher may not be a bad teacher, but a b may still be hard to get. my teacher is an awesome one but he's really determined to make it a hard, challenging, college-level class

Prone454's picture

Yes you are right it does depend on who your teacher is, so yeah don't be hard oon yourself.

Hal's picture

I got a 5 on the exam! and I barely studied!

the average on the APUSH exam at my school was a 4.8

yoshi_13's picture

Im in the same boat and yes, it can be tricky. I think that what you're doing seems to be plenty of effort, but that really does depend on your teacher. When it comes time for the AP Exam, I should think you'd be ready; but as for grades, only the 5wk grades can tell. In my class though, you'd be at the top!

xc_lax_4ever's picture

I find that the outlines, in addition to the text, help alot with understanding and processing everything. flascards, too. whoo study party! yeah- form study groups. they help to split up the workload- just make sure you can trust the people you're working with. good luck!

REMiiSAWESOME's picture

My teacher is such a doll but she doesn't really do any teaching and we all just read the outlines on this website for American Pageant and we have really good test grades. She gives us really good notes to and if you want I could totally upload any subject you need if I have notes for it!! But this class is super easy I got a 4 on world ap last year and I have over 100 in the class so far this marking period so I would have no problem trying to help you, I'm helping a bunch of my friend in it too. You can also review topics on hippocampus.org or something like that cause it's pretty much like listening to a lecture and plus it has a printable version to it so you can refer back to it.

Inkvane's picture

I'm writting all of my notes down as I read then I copy them in korean the next day so they stick in my mind even if they are in korean. Maybe listen to music while you cram or write them backwords. if you do something crazy/stupid with them, they should be more memorable.

Stumper's picture

I would advise doing an outline for each chapter. It will help a ton in the long run because an outline would make sure you cover every important topic. Plus then you will have those notes to go over when studying for finals. The only problem is outlines tend to take a long time to do...
I suggest if your reading every chapter anyway to just write a brief summary of every topic heading to help remember. If your more of a visual person just take some maps, charts or tables off the internet to look over too. That and a list of key dates, terms and people would be more than enough to ace your test and should only take about an extra half hour on top of your reading. Good luck!

kenz10694's picture

I am in the same class and we also use the Enduring Vision 5th Edition textbook. I have taken outline notes for every chapter, but for the last couple of chapters I have been printing off notes from the internet. There are notes on this website, course-notes.org and also www.globalzona.com/ap_us.htm. Good luck!

Firemazz's picture

just make course outlines, they help you focus in on the material

tm101's picture

I love APUSH but hate how many notes I have to take and how many pages I have to read a night. I hope I make a 5 on the AP exam.

arabian's picture

I GOT A 3 ON THE EXAM!!! at least i passed =))) who cares that it was a 3 or 4 or 5 :P :D :D :D

hahahairett's picture

I just started this year! I heard from many past AP US History students to read ahead of the teacher all the time and just take simple notes, don't overwork yourself either!

650271's picture

apush the class i love and hate

mjoy296's picture

i beeen just lookin at the terms on this website i have no idea what else to do

NerdSwagg's picture

Umm well its all about what book you read and how you interpret it. It also depends on the teacher. The test is not the problem but the DBQ itself i sthe problem getting the right format down is the key i sugest use American Pagent book. That is what i use to study and it is helpful or look for other installments of collee level APUSH books that will give you a better idea of what you are reading.

aflecker's picture

Vocab. helps a lot because you know what events occurred and which people did what, and if you keep all the vocab it'll help in preparation for the exam. also being good at the DBQ and free response can save you if you forget things for the MC

aflecker's picture

Vocab. helps a lot because you know what events occurred and which people did what, and if you keep all the vocab it'll help in preparation for the exam. also being good at the DBQ and free response can save you if you forget things for the MC

connorhogue's picture

This was great advise thank you so much your advise was sooooo useful ;)

APsuxabigone's picture

That was by far the hardest class I had ever taken and I barely pulled a D out of it.

Elizabeth_Flowers's picture

I thought that the study books from REA were immensely helpful in studying for the ap test. especially the crash course. i got crash course books for all my ap classes and studied them for the ap test. the apush one was the best

apush1030's picture

Notes are crucial, and getting the right info and interpreting it the right way is important too.

997841's picture

i print out the summaries for each chapter(from the site:they can be long) and when reading from the textbook  i take extra notes on it .Then whenever i have time i look over past chapters on wkds. so far its been working for me.Personally, I think the outlines are tooo long.Study smarter  not harder=) 

Sharpie7741's picture

Thanks to everyone. I'm taking this class next year and I'm worried about how I'll be studying.

Need Help?

We hope your visit has been a productive one. If you're having any problems, or would like to give some feedback, we'd love to hear from you.

For general help, questions, and suggestions, try our dedicated support forums.

If you need to contact the Course-Notes.Org web experience team, please use our contact form.

Need Notes?

While we strive to provide the most comprehensive notes for as many high school textbooks as possible, there are certainly going to be some that we miss. Drop us a note and let us know which textbooks you need. Be sure to include which edition of the textbook you are using! If we see enough demand, we'll do whatever we can to get those notes up on the site for you!