AP U.S. History, a Deep Dive


The APUSH exam is an important assessment for high school students who have taken the advanced placement US American history class. The exam is designed to test a student’s knowledge of American history from pre-colonial to the present.

The class consisted of time periods 1-9 ranging from the years 1491 to the present day. The exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. The multiple-choice section of the APUSH exam is designed to test a student’s knowledge of specific historical events, people, and movements. Students will need to analyze primary and secondary sources and interpret graphs and charts related to American history. Some of CollegeBoard’s tests in the past have also included political cartoons for students to analyze. The multiple-choice section is worth 50% of the student’s final score.

The free-response section of the APUSH exam requires students to write two essays in 90 minutes. The first essay is a document-based question (DBQ) where students are required to analyze and interpret primary sources related to a specific topic in American history. The second essay is a choice between two prompts requiring students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a particular historical event, movement, or individual.

“I took the APUSH exam when I was a junior,” senior Jacobo Gallego. “It was very challenging at some points, but I did manage to pass the exam because I put a lot of time into studying during the end of the school year.”

The free-response section is worth 50% of the student’s final score. Preparing for the APUSH exam requires a significant amount of time and effort. Students should focus on mastering the key concepts and themes of American history, as well as developing their analytical and writing skills. It is important to review primary and secondary sources related to American history and to practice writing timed essays.

This is not a course you can cram the night before the exam. The APUSH exam is challenging but rewarding for students who have prepared themselves with college-level material. With careful preparation and a solid understanding of key concepts and themes, students can perform well on the exam and earn college credit.