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If you are trying to prepare for your year of learning AP World over the summer, here are some tips you should know:
1. Practice Writing ✏️
Writing is an essential component of AP World History. Three out of the four parts of the examination are writing-based. It is best to begin strengthening your writing and learning to write in a limited amount of time. Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced! You will not be as stressed during the year and on the final exam if you can improve your writing.
One of the most important things to know about writing is that teachers have taboo words such as 'a lot' and 'many.' They value more detailed explanations and terminology. You need to make sure you can write using evidence without making a list. To do this, analysis is key.
If you want to succeed, you have to write, write, write.
2. Look Over the Writing Rubrics 📝
The rubrics are the most important tools in this class since it is what your marks are based on. They tell you exactly how and what to write in addition to guiding you through the writing process.
You should aim to memorize the rubrics if you can! Check The College Board for each of the history rubrics (DBQ, LEQ, SAQ).
3. Identify Your Best Learning Strategy 🧠
Teachers tend to go by-the-book because that might be the method that they think is best. Yet, how can someone tell you to take notes on a chapter if that is not how you learn best?
Identify whether you learn best by reading, watching videos, taking notes, or making posters and drawings. All of these methods can work if you do them the right way. If you are unsure about your learning style, you can even try all of them to figure out your individual fit.
I personally remember that when studying for the exam I would fall asleep while reading review packets. Once I switched to videos and sped them up, I was able to pay more attention and stay focused. There is no reason to try and learn with a specific method if it doesn't work for you!
4. Be Prepared for a Lot of Work 📚
Stress in an AP class is inevitable unless you have reached enlightenment like the Buddha.
If you are a student taking an AP history course while overloading yourself with responsibilities and after school activities, then buckle up for a long ride. There is a lot to learn, and assignments and tests pop up every day in this class.
Remember that it is all to prepare you for the test and all in your best interest, but make sure that you understand what you are committing to.
I would work in the car on the way home from sports practice or take my notes when not needed on stage. There is always a loophole or trick you can find to make some extra time, but try not to stress and sacrifice your sleep. Otherwise, you will have bigger problems than not finishing your homework.
You can still learn and be busy, but make sure to give this class the time it needs!
5. Remember that it’s Not About the Memorization of Dates 📅
At first, I thought I would need to be memorizing dates for every piece of history. However, this class is not about memorizing. It is about understanding!
Understanding history and how everything is connected will lead you to success in AP World History. Some memorization will be useful for little details that can make your writing go from good to great, but other than that, don’t stress about memorizing. It is best to prepare yourself for this ahead of time because you may need to practice the skill of understanding big-picture ideas.
Using these preparatory skills will allow you to be comfortable before starting this class, and your teachers will definitely be there to help you along the way.
Good luck preparing! 💛