Why Teach History?

A Website for James L. Smith

AP U.S. History Review Materials
Developed by James L. Smith from the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description

The documents on this page are designed to provide students with materials to study during the weeks before taking the AP U.S. history exam. The AP exam requires that students not only know a significant amount of historical information, it also requires them to write well and think historically. (60% of the AP exam is written, and 100% of the exam requires historical thinking skills.) The skills of writing and thinking must be developed over time in an AP U.S. history course, and the documents on this page are intended primarily to provide a review of historical information. Students should know as much of the information from these documents as possible and then apply their thinking and writing skills to answering questions on the AP exam.

General Information about U.S. History and the AP Exam
Use the three documents below to gain information about the format of the AP exam and some general information about U.S. history that students should know before taking the exam.
Historical Time Periods and the Concept Outline
The College Board has identified nine time periods for U.S. history and provided key concepts for each time period. The Concept Outline for AP U.S. History provides the required historical information (divided into nine time periods) that students should know before taking the AP exam.
Themes in U.S. History
The College Board has identified seven themes in U.S. history to help students connect major historical issues to broad historical developments. The documents below provide information from the Concept Outline for each of the seven themes.
A Few Significant Topics in U.S. History
The documents below provide
required information from the Concept Outline for each topic, as well as examples of optional information that can be used to support key concepts in U.S. history.

The AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description and other materials for teaching AP U.S. history can be found at the Advances in AP website.

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