Is AP US History Hard? Is AP US History Worth Taking?

3 min readnovember 18, 2020

Sander Owens

Sander Owens

AP US History 🇺🇸

454 resources
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Introduction 👋

Hello! If you're here, you're probably wondering whether or not you should take AP US History. Don't worry! We're here to help. In this guide, we'll go over how hard APUSH is, what other AP classes might help you succeed, and whether APUSH is worth taking as a class. Plus, we have linked some helpful articles and replays that may help with you

How Difficult is APUSH? 🧠

Good question... 🤔
The simple, but unhelpful answer, is that it depends. This is because history classes like APUSH have vastly different styles depending on your teacher. So, a good way to figure out if APUSH will be hard is to ask some people who have taken APUSH at your school. Be sure to ask what kinds of work the class required.
Some teachers emphasize learning how to write the essays for the exam, which requires a lot of writing work, whereas others focus more purely on the historical content, which leans toward doing tons of reading and responses/comprehension questions 📝
In terms of studying for the exam, APUSH, and other AP history courses, can be pretty intensive in terms of workload, as both the content and the exam format can require substantial review and practice. The APUSH exam has four types of questions, including three different types of free-response questions. Be prepared to do a considerable amount of format learning!
Also, knowing history doesn't always translate to doing well on the exam. You must connect different historical events and recognize big historical patterns.

Other AP Classes That Might Help 🏫

However, if you have taken other history AP classes, APUSH becomes significantly easier. The exam format is exactly the same as AP World History: Modern 🌍 and AP European History 🇪🇺 With recent modifications to the curriculum, the focus of APUSH is after settlement by Europeans.
AP Comparative Government 🗳️, another class that may help, can provide context for the countries you are comparing, or even AP Human Geography 🚜, to connect the history to present world events and the way people are in the world right now.

Hopefully, this guide will help you make the right decision about whether APUSH is worth it! Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Is APUSH Worth Taking? ⚖️

Again, it depends (so straightforward, I know). There are a few things that would make APUSH worth taking for you:
  • Knowledge/Interest 🤯: If you are generally interested in history and enjoy learning about history, APUSH is definitely a great course to take as it allows you to go down into the nitty-gritty of American history.
  • Credit 🎓: APUSH can frequently satisfy a social studies/other general education credit at your college. Be sure to check which colleges accept which scores for credit.
  • Challenge 🧗: APUSH, and AP History classes in general, are relatively difficult classes with lots of moving parts for the exam and hundreds of years of history to remember. If you feel like taking a challenging and intellectually stimulating class, we would definitely recommend APUSH!

Helpful Links 🔗

We hope this guide has helped answer your question, and that you can make the best decision for you about whether to take APUSH. You got this 🎉
Browse Study Guides By Unit
🌽Unit 1 – Interactions North America, 1491-1607
🦃Unit 2 – Colonial Society, 1607-1754
🔫Unit 3 – Conflict & American Independence, 1754-1800
🐎Unit 4 – American Expansion, 1800-1848
💣Unit 5 – Civil War & Reconstruction, 1848-1877
🚂Unit 6 – Industrialization & the Gilded Age, 1865-1898
🌎Unit 7 – Conflict in the Early 20th Century, 1890-1945
🥶Unit 8 – The Postwar Period & Cold War, 1945-1980
📲Unit 9 – Entering Into the 21st Century, 1980-Present
🚀Thematic Guides
🧐Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
📋Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
📝Long Essay Questions (LEQ)
📑Document Based Questions (DBQ)
📆Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep
✍️Exam Skills (MC, SAQ, LEQ, DBQ)

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