Use These 6 APUSH Study Guides to Get a Better Score

Looking for an APUSH study guide to help you achieve your best score? Here’s a roundup of 6 great APUSH study guides.

1. Gilder Lehrman AP US History Study Guide

The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s AP US History Study Guide is a comprehensive guide to the historical content on the exam. The College Board (you know, the folks who make the APUSH exam) recommends this study guide on their APUSH website, so you know you can trust it to be reliable and well-researched.

This APUSH study guide is organized by period. Each of the 9 APUSH periods has:

  • a video covering the main ideas for the period
  • an outline of key concepts
  • an interactive timeline of events
  • a collection of primary source documents
  • links to other related videos and essays

Gilder Lehrman also offers a free multiple choice practice test so you can see how much you’ve learned.

2. Khan Academy AP US History Study Sheet

For a quick but comprehensive overview of the exam, check out Khan Academy’s AP US History Study Sheet. The most helpful feature is a chart that cross-references each of the 7 APUSH themes with the 9 historical periods that you’ll see on the exam. This is a great tool to help you sort through the vast amount of content on the test, and boil it down to the major ideas. It also helps you see the connections between ideas across time, which is awesome for dealing with synthesis questions on the APUSH exam.

Also on the study sheet are some other useful features like:

  • a series of video tutorials on how to approach each question type
  • a list of key primary source documents you should be familiar with
  • a list of landmark Supreme Court cases you’ll want to know for the test
  • a list of vocabulary terms you’ll want to master (this is a great list to use to make some flashcards)

3. APUSH Study Guide

You’re really getting a two-for-one here, as I’m about to point you to two different resources from Albert that can serve as valuable study tools as you prepare for the AP US History exam.

The first is this One Month AP US History Study Guide. It gives you a daily plan for a month-long review of AP US History. The detailed plan gives you activities for each day, including examining resources from the test maker, reviewing concept outlines, taking practice questions, and making flashcards. If you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of the exam or if you’re just not great at getting yourself organized, this handy plan neatly lays everything out for you.

The second Albert resource I want to direct you to is The Ultimate Study Guide to AP US History. This is basically a giant chart that lists the key concepts for each period. The really cool thing, however, is that each concept links directly to practice questions so you can instantly test your knowledge of that topic.

4. Glencoe Online Learning Center: American History

This site from Glencoe is designed to accompany their American History: Connecting with the Past textbook. However, it is a great tool whether your class uses this particular book or not, and it is totally free to use. You don’t need a book code or anything like some textbook sites require.

This study guide has two main components: chapter activities and the “Primary Source Investigator.” The activities for each chapter (found in a drop-down menu on the left sidebar) include:

  • chapter outline of main themes
  • several different quiz formats, including multiple choice, true/false, and image-based essay questions
  • free response short answer study questions, some based on primary source documents and some not
  • “Where Historians Disagree,” which discusses major historical interpretations involving the period
  • “America in the World,” which discusses how the US related to larger global events and patterns during the period
  • interactive maps

The Primary Source Investigator is a vast library of primary source documents. Since so much of the APUSH exam is stimulus-based, it’s a great idea to spend a lot of time working with these types of documents. Here, Glencoe provides both explanations and comprehension questions for each primary source document in their collection.

5. AP US History Review and Study Guide

This is a PDF study guide that follows along with The American Pageant textbook, which is used in many APUSH classrooms. Whether or not you’re using this particular textbook in class, this is a very thorough outline of the content you can expect to see on the APUSH exam. In this APUSH study guide, each chapter contains both an outline and a list of key terms with definitions.

6. AP US History Notes

This APUSH study guide from AP Study Notes has a lot of helpful resources, including:

  • chapter outlines (based on The American Pageant textbook)
  • important vocabulary terms, broken down by chapter
  • multiple choice practice questions (Note: These questions are not formatted like the stimulus-based multiple choice questions on the current APUSH exam; however, they still provide helpful content review.)
  • topical outlines
  • timelines of major events
  • a list of important Supreme Court cases
  • sample student essays on a variety of topics

Browse these APUSH study guides to find the one that works best for you, depending on how much time you have to study and the way you learn best.

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  • Sarah Bradstreet

    Sarah is an educator and writer with a Master’s degree in education from Syracuse University who has helped students succeed on standardized tests since 2008. She loves reading, theater, and chasing around her two kids.

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