Advanced Placement U.S. History is a college-level introductory course which examines the nations' political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic history from the Pre-Columbian Period (1490s) to the present. The course is taught in accordance with the AP U.S. History curriculum framework, and is designed to prepare students for the AP U.S. History Exam.
AP U.S. History is a rigorous, fast paced and arduous course designed to be the equivalent of a full-year college U.S. History course. Students must also be willing to devote substantial time to study and the completion of class assignments outside of the classroom. Emphasis is placed on class discussion, the use of primary and secondary sources, critical reading, and analytical thinking and writing. Success on the exam is largely determined by student completion of reading and other assignments outside of class and the development of analytical skills. Students should learn to assess historical materials their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance and to weight the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.
The College Board also ties the AP U.S. History exam to the development of historical thinking skills that reflect the tasks of professional historians. These skills will be practiced throughout the course and include Chronological Reasoning (Historical Causation, Patterns of Continuity and Change Over Time, Periodization), Comparison and Contextualization, Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence (Appropriate Use of Historical Evidence), and Historical Interpretation and Synthesis.
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