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Beth Gonzales

AP US History Review: Plan for Your Upcoming Test

AP US History Review: Plan for Your Upcoming Test

Planning for your upcoming AP US History test can seem like a daunting task. With over 9 different time periods and 7 different historical themes, there is an immense quantity of information to review and understand! Use our AP US History review to help you create a successful study plan for your upcoming test.

How to review for AP US History: getting started

People learn in different ways. Expecting to achieve 100% success from a plan made for someone else may not be your best course of action. As you begin to review for APUSH, consider your individual skill set, learning style and abilities. Try out a variety of study methods in order to determine your favorites. When you find a study method that works well for you, stick with it!

Consider taking a practice test

No one wants to take a full-length APUSH practice test. However, it is a great way to begin your AP US History review. There are several online options for practice tests, but only one official exam. Visit AP College Board to take a previously released full-length AP US History test, complete with essay section and answer rubrics.
A practice exam gives you a realistic view of your current skill level of APUSH knowledge. Determine which areas you need to focus on, and which you can check off your “got it” list. Did you score low on the document-based essay question? Definitely incorporate more practice into your study plan. Conversely, if you did really well answering questions about the ideological defenses of slavery, you know you can focus your study time elsewhere.
A practice exam is also a great way to experience what the upcoming AP US History test will be like. Working through each section of the test is a great way to familiarize yourself with types of questions, overall level of difficulty and how long it really takes you to complete an essay. Taking a practice test helps to eliminate any potential testing “surprises” prior to the real exam.

Create an AP US History study calendar

An advantage to your current AP class enrollment is that recent AP material is still probably fresh in your mind. However, you still need to take time to look over material taught in the first part of the year! With so much AP US History information to review, make a study calendar outline to help keep your study plan on track for your upcoming test.
If you don’t want to create one from scratch, take a look at the study calendars from Kaplan or the one-month study guide from If you plan on studying longer than one month prior to your exam, simply adjust the timeline to fit your needs.

Figure out a study schedule

Because you don’t need to learn new material (just review old information), you most likely don’t need to study for lengthy periods of time every single day. This is where practice test results come in handy: score well? Aim to study 2-3 days a week. Score poorly? Try studying 4-5 days a week, depending on how much information you need to cover.

Explore different resources and ways to study

Copious amounts of AP US History review materials can be found online. Search and select resources based on your learning style, skill set and budget. Remember: a successful study plan fits your individual needs. Find what works best for you by trying different study methods and activities.

AP US History class resources

Over the course of the year, you probably amassed many review materials just from your APUSH class, such as chapter outlines, class notes and practice essays. You also have access to your APUSH textbook. Those materials are your primary study source, so don’t neglect them!

Online resources

Some of the best overall information on APUSH is at College Board. The AP section of their site is dedicated to everything you need for an AP US History review including testing requirements, test content and other APUSH FAQs.
Although not usually a go-to for study materials, visit YouTube for some great APUSH informational videos. Adam Norris has over 387 chapter review videos spanning three different textbooks. Khan Academy shares tips and strategies for how to take the exam (sounds boring, but really good information about answering specific questions). John Green’s APUSH Crash Course is also worthy of a view.

Online review activities

The internet offers so many different AP US History review activities. Depending on your study preferences, try taking practice quizzes or tests to help boost your recall and review important information. You can also make flashcards or play online review games like APUSH PacMan or Jeopardy!
Another great way to get in some study time is to review chapter outlines from APUSH textbooks. Many sites combine all these study tools into one student center, so you have access to entire sections all in one place. You can see our recommendations for the 5 best AP US History test prep resources.

What comes next?

You made a review plan for your upcoming AP US History test, but what comes next? Visit our blogs to learn more about what to expect from your APUSH test, how to review your AP test scores, or anything else APUSH at Magoosh. Good luck on your test!

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About Beth Gonzales

Beth is an educator and freelance creative designer who devises innovative and fun-loving solutions for clients. She works with families, students, teachers and small businesses to create and implement programs, campaigns and experiences that help support and maximize efforts to grow communities who critically think, engage and continue to learn.

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