AP U.S. History? I seriously need help!

I have a D average right now and I at least need a C. My mid-term exam is on Friday and I really need to pass it. I'm reading my textbook now but I don't understand anything. I read it and then forget all I've read! Any tips on memorizing this stuff for my exam? Or any tips or advice on this class in general? I really need it:(


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I had AP U.S. History my senior year and it was so unbelievably easy for me. All I did was read a chapter over and over again and look at specific dates and names and memorize them. It helps to read a section and then look back at the heading of that section. If you can't remember the gist of what was under that heading and what it means, you didn't "get it." So you need to reread it.

    Then I would keep reading and repeat to myself what I had memorized. Also, my textbook had this online site with free outlines and summaries of the chapter so I would memorize everything on the sheet. I guess my tips only work if you have a really good memory.

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    • + Chew gum when you study and then again at your exam. Also, helps with memory.

    • Show All
    • I hope you can...kind of late to put all of your efforts onto this one exam. Did you ask your teacher about extra credit? My AP History teacher offered it to kids.

    • Yeah I've asked. Apparently I'm only 2 points from a C so he said if I focus then I bring up my grade for sure.

What Guys Said 2

  • History was always my best subject. I find it easier to study if you know someone in the class you can maybe ask a few questions you need help with. I would also advise not spending a ridicouls amount of time trying to study either. I have done that before and by the time I got the test I was so confused with information that it looked like the test was written in another language.

    Best advice when it comes to history there is usualy one major thing the teacher focuses on in class. Try going over the key topics with a highlighter pen after each class.

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  • Yeah, you're suppose to take many weeks to revise it. Trying to remember it all 2 days before the test doesn't work too well.

    Lol I usually do that as well though.

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    • Lol no. I've been reviewing my notes since last Monday. This just doesn't stick with me and it's all so confusing. All the dates, documents, and little pieces of information I need to know. It's driving me crazy! Lmao

What Girls Said 5

  • Oh, APUSH. I'm not doing too well in that class myself. :P

    But what I find helps memorizing really boring passages: first, make sure you're completely focused and not distracted when you read. Basically just get IN THE ZONE. Try not to have any distractions (loud family members, computer, etc.) around. Going to the library often helps.

    And when you read, what I do if I have time is read it once - it doesn't have to be that thorough, just kind of skim it. And then read it once again, more thoroughly, and this time, highlight it or use Post-It notes or take notes or something. Whatever works for you. I'm a fan of these: link

    After you're done reading, I like to review online. This website really helps me go over what I just read: link That only works for the particular textbook I have, but if you go by topic it could probably help you too. Or just google if there are any notes that correspond with whatever textbook you use.

    And to study before the midterm, go over all your notes from class, and maybe look up practice AP tests online? I just googled it, and it came up with a ton of results.

    Also, I've noticed that if you're learning history it helps to try to figure out the motives behind what happens, because then you can really get the gist of it. If you know WHY people/countries/whatever did certain things, the specifics aren't as important.

    Haha sorry this was so long, and good luck. :)

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  • You are down to the wire now & the reason you are struggling is because you aren't focused & you're letting your mind get distracted. It has nothing to do with the subject. You wouldn't be taking an AP class if you weren't a good student. So first off, stop telling yourself you suck.

    Pull out your syllabus and Yellow highlight everything that will be on your exam. Organize that into categories. Use one sheet of paper for each category -break it down. Use mnemonics for the most important points. You will remember things best if they are in chunks of three -no more that seven.

    As you jot down occurrences think up a story in your mind -like a day dream about what it must have been like during that era. Think of the things that were going on, the effect it had on the country. Put your thoughts into an application mode as opposed to a visual memorization mode.

    If you can't rely on visual learning alone you need to add auditory and/or kinesthetic strategies. I totally agree with Miss Anonymous about the singing. So read your organized categories out loud or sing while you are walking or doing some sort of physical activity- smelling different fruit or candy also stimulates memory (easier if you can bring those smells with you to the exam-try jolly ranchers that match the highlighters).

    Take breaks often. When you are on your break do something that allows your mind to think of something other than history -like nothing. lol Drink water. Get at least 6 hours of sleep. You don't need luck... ;)

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  • I took the A.P. US history exam a very long time ago and I made a 4 on it, but I only held a high B+ if that in the class (due to my lack of study skills). Now that I'm in college I found the best way for me to study is in a very quiet setting without any distractions (not even music, unless its John Williams or the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack).

    Flash cards are the best way to "memorize" history. First you have to write out the part of history (like Abraham Lincoln) and the explanation on the back (16th president, civil war, killed by john wilkes booth). Then again I'm a repetitive learner and when I repeat something over and over again, I finally "memorize" it.

    If you are worried about dates, get multiple sheets of paper, tape them to your wall, and then create a timeline (complete with pictures of battles, presidents, women, etc) and then watch it evolve around your bedroom.

    Good luck!

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    • Okay. Thanks! I'll probably do that, anything to make it all stick with me. Lol

    • The best way to make it stick (from personal experience) is not to stress about it. Just relax and know that everything is going to be okay. Seriously I did worse on tests that I had high anxiety/ stress over. Before you do study, try to relax yourself (not fall asleep!) like listening to Dane Cook or something and then study.

    • Alright, I will. Thanks:)

  • Hi :D

    I Know this sounds very stupid, but I study by singing!:P

    Let me explain: I take a song I am very into in the moment and I change the lyrics by what I am suppose to study! Then I simply memorize song.

    You should see me at exams , I am almost dancing^^

    Hope that helped And sorry for the mistakes, I speak French .

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  • Four words-of-advice: Stay focused and concentrate.

    Quit signing on gag, quit surfing the web(If you can). quit thinking about your boyfriend, quit worrying about not getting it done. Too much is going on in your mind and it's distracting.

    If you really have difficulty remembering it, maybe surf the net or youtube for a video lecture that explains AP U.S. History. Maybe wiki it if you like to get an overview.

    When you can't remember the details, get the overview of the story first.

    But essentially, it's the focus that matters the most. First half an hour of studying is always a pain, but once you are into it/in the zone, everything will come naturally rest assure. Also, be patient in understanding. If you can grasp some ideas (with help from your friends) within 2 hours, that's already a start and progress.

    Genuinely wish you the best of luck.

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