Course Description: AP U.S. History covers the spectrum of American history from pre-Columbian days to the present. Using chronological and thematic approaches to the material, the course exposes students to extensive primary and secondary sources and to the interpretations of various historians. Class participation through seminar reports, discussions, debates, and role-playing activities is required; special emphasis is placed on critical reading and essay writing to help students prepare for the AP examination. The course is structured chronologically, divided into 9 units.
Major differences between AP and other courses
- This is a college level course and as such, each student has the opportunity to earn college credit by earning a score of a three or better on the National Advanced Placement Exam offered in May.
- Because students are potentially earning college credit for their work, A.P. U.S. History is designed to be taught on the college level and many students find the pace and work load difficult.
- Each test will cover a significantly greater body of information than students may be used to.
- Homework will consist primarily of reading assignments and reviews of daily notes in order to master the large body of factual information.
- There will be very few "simple" assignments where the student can improve his or her grade merely by completing the work. Furthermore, while there is remediation, there will be no extra credit offered.
- There are relatively few graded assignments each semester, which increases the need for adequate preparation every day.
- Responsibility for mastering the material rests primarily with the student.