Essay Tips - Tamalpais Union High School District
Transcript Essay Tips - Tamalpais Union High School District
General Review Tips
• Prioritize - Focus on topics/areas of weakness first
• Avoid trying to memorize too much - Review “big picture” concepts
first, specific terms/name/events later
• Look at old materials - Review in-class and reading notes, past essays
& tests, study materials from Fall final
• Try different approaches - There is no “best” way to review
(alone/group, on-line/book/flash cards, practice tests/packets – it
depends on your learning style – try mixing it up).
• Find a “middle ground” - Some review better than no review. Too
much review is counterproductive.
• Be positive – You have learned a lot this year & the AP exam is graded
on a major curve.
AP Exam Multiple Choice Information
55 minutes for 80 questions
Each question has 5 possible answers
Multiple Choice counts for ½ of total score
No points lost for wrong or skipped questions.
Questions get progressively more challenging.
BIG curve on multiple choice - Score over 40 likely
earns a 3 (passing score) – over 50 likely earns a 4
and over 60 a 5.
• Chronology of Questions:
– 16 (20%) pre 1790; 36 (45%) 1790-1914; 28 (35%) 1915 – 1990
• Topic of Questions:
– 28 (35%) Politics; 28 (35%) Social/Cultural; 12 (15%) Foreign
Policy; 8 (10%) Economics; 4 (5%) Cultural/Intellectual
AP Exam Essay Information
• There is 1 DBQ essay you must write on and 4 FRQ
prompts of which you must write on 2. You will be
required to write one FRQ on a topic prior to 1880 and
one FRQ on a topic after that date.
• The 5 total essay prompts will range in their topics
chronologically and thematically.
AP Essay Writing Tips
• READ prompts multiple times
• Brainstorm & make a quick “plan of attack”
• Introduction needs some brief background on “big
picture” followed by an on-topic thesis
• Body paragraphs need to BLEND details with analysis.
(Facts & explanations).
• Grading is “holistic” – no points “taken away”, just
earned. If in doubt, make a guess.
A few AP US Exam review websites:
Terms grouped by “era”
General review websites:
Brainstorm significant people,
events, themes, trends and/or
ideas from 1606-1800
Key concepts to consider
• Political: Regional differences, government structure,
Enlightenment values, Articles of Confederation,
Constitution, Fed vs. Anti Fed, French & Indian War,
clashes with Native Americans
• Social: Regional differences, Role of women, impact
of religion & First Great Awakening, Deism
• Economic: Regional differences, slavery vs.
indentured servants, mercantilism, salutary neglect,
Evaluate the extent to
which the Articles of
effective in solving the
problems that confronted
the new nation.
• Analyze the contribute of TWO of the
following in helping establish a stable
government after adoption of the
• John Adams
• Thomas Jefferson
• George Washington
“The United States Constitution represented
an economic and ideological victory for the
traditional political elite.” Assess the
validity of that statement for the period
1781 to 1789.
• Analyze the impact of the American
Revolution on both slavery and the status
of women in the period from 1775-1800.
Analyze the ways in which
British imperial policies
between 1763 and 1776
intensified colonials’ resistance
to British rule and their
commitment to republican
Analyze the effect of the French and Indian
War and its aftermath on the relationship
between Great Britain and the British
colonies. Confine your response to the
period from 1754 to 1776.
Analyze the role of trans-Atlantic trade and
Great Britain’s mercantilist policies in the
economic development of the British North
American colonies in the period from 165- to
Analyze the cultural and economic
responses of TWO of the following groups to
the Indians of North America before 1750.
Compare the ways in which
religion shaped the development
of colonial society (before 1750)
in TWO of the following regions:
• How did economic growth,
geographic, and social factors
encourage the growth of slavery as
an important part of the economy of
the southern colonies between 1607