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the unofficial

AP Euro Guide

Provided by an IB junior 2008

Congratulations! You, including your classmates, have started the wonderful course of AP European History. In fact, the course is not so wonderfulunless you dedicate some time to it. IB students: you may feel that as the year progresses, this course sucks. It doesnt matter. But as the year ends, and the exam approaches, youll feel this sick thing in your stomach and youll want it to be over with. Youll spend hours and hours cramming much material you think you forgot. But itll come back! For VPA, Medical, Business, Legal, Agriscience, & Engineering students: the same message goes to you. Remember, this is just a guide to some success in AP Euro. One quick readthrough should do it. Follow it at your own discretion. Where theres a will, theres a way!

Table of Contents
About AP Euro Grades Getting Organized Reading & Notes Writing Hell Month Exam Day End notes 3 3 4 5 5 6 6

AP Euro Grades
During the first week of school, youll have to read a chapter, study it, and take your first AP Euro Test. Itll be a multiple choice test, and everyone will fail it. Wellnot everyonebut people will perform horribly and they will freak out and want to give up the course entirely. But its just the first week! So, to warn you, just relax. Youll find that during the year, youll become that person that just magically gets As on every test, or youll be the person that gets an F on one test, an A on the other, etc etc. It all depends on how much you care. Hopefully, youll take a bit of interest in it. Just understand that youre in high school, and youre taking a COLLEGE course. So its okay to get a C in the class. Just make sure you dont fail it! And dont make that C an effect of laziness. Your grade reflects you (duh), so as long as you know you studied for something, youll feel good about it. Even if you dont get a 3 on the actual AP Test, at least you passed the course! Thats one credit finished.

Getting Organized


Okay, so heres the annoying part. It is extremely crucial to get yourself a bit organized. Your teacher will probably recommend a binder or a folder of some sort to keep all your papers in. Id say to get a binder and one of those spiral notebooks [or if you prefer, just keep your notes in loose paper (in the binder, of course)]. Anyways, I did this at the end of the year, and I realized what an idiot I was for keeping everything everywhere, so its best to start now. Here are two great tips to get you started: #1: Get dividers! As your teacher gives you DBQs (well discuss that later), FRQs, outlines, handouts, etc, youll find out that itll feel like you have a mini textbook. Start separating your sections. Here are some examples: Study guides/ Chapter handouts, FRQs, DBQs, Writing Guides, Rubrics #2: Start a table of contents in your notebook. If youre a note taker, and you have one of those spiral notebook things, save about 3 or 4 pages in the beginning. Label it Table of Contents. Number the pages in the notebook. As you go along, write the sections in your table of contents. When youre studying for the exam and at end of the year, itll be soooooo much easier to find stuff. Plus, you might not have just ONE notebook. There could be several

Reading & Notes

The chapters in the book (if you guys still have the same books we had last year) are super long and sometimes super boring. Read them. Tests are usually at the end of the week, so you can read sections at a time during the week, save it for Thursday night, whatever. But, if you save them for Thursday night, allocate at least 2 or 3 hours to read the chapter, and reread it. Of course, the smarter thing is to read a little at a time and reread it the day before the test. That way, it can rreeallly soak in. Now about notes. This is another extremely crucial, time consuming activity you must do. As you read the chapters, your teachers might suggest creating an outline of some sort to capture specific ideas. I did outlines, and they would sometimes take me a TOTAL of 6 hours (outlining the whole chapter while reading). It all depends on how you take notes, and how long your notes are. Here are some super crucial tips on notes. Pay attention carefully! #1: Pay attention to the way your multiple choice tests are formatted. If you find that some questions are exact phrases or ideas from the chapter, pay close attention to these concepts, so that next time you can jot down any potential questions you think might show up on a test. #2: Write down stuff you forgot. When you take a test, youll forget a lot of things because some tests ask you ridiculous questions on extremely specific details. At the end of the tests, write these down! You might never know when theyll come back #3: Make charts for specific concepts. Some chapters, like ones concerning the Scientific Revolution or the Enlightenment, contain lots of people that wrote a lot of books. And youll have to remember them! Before reading a chapter, skim through to see what youre dealing with. Then make a chart containing columns like Writer, Book, Concept, Effect, etc. This could also work with types of governments, rulers, etc. For dates, you could make a timeline! #4: Include terms. And highlight! If theres a chapter where there are a few rulers, people, or events (not enough to make a chart), make sure you include these people in your outlines or whatever notes you take. Highlight them to catch your attention for a quick review before a test.

#5: Highlighting is your best friend. Now, this doesnt mean to get all crazy and make your page rainbow-colored; but if you dont feel like writing stuff you forgot, or jotting down potential questions, highlight them! Justdont get too crazy.

If youve had prior exposure to an AP course, youll know what a DBQ and FRQ is (if you havent, dont worry). The difference with AP Euro essays is that they can ask you to compare something from the 16th century to something from the 19th century. So it can be difficult at times. To start off though, your teacher might give you the prompts before to study them ahead of time. Follow these tips to help you out: #1: Take notes on the prompt. For every essay, theres an introduction. In AP Euro essays, the intros contain the entire essay summed up in a few sentences. To do this, youll need to know what youre writing about. Before going to class and just winging it, first do some research. Take notes on what the prompt is asking you. If it says, Compare Hitler to Stalin, makes a chart for Hitler and Stalin. Find differences and similarities and voila! You have your essay. #2: Structure your essay beforehand. Now that you have your notes, your teacher will tell you how to structure an introduction. When you go to class, and you have to write an introduction, youll be totally prepared. Why? Because you know that the night before, you already wrote the introduction, remembered it, and you know itll be alright. So write your intro before you step in that classroom. #3: Save the prompts! This might sound really annoying, but sometimes the same prompts may become your midtermsor a redoor something. And when Hell Month comes around, youll be sure to see prompts like them again. So save em! And study em!

Hell Month
These two words put together sound like a total disaster. First, its Hell. Second, its for a month. Hell Month is a time where your teacher will make you write essays and take a test everyday. This is supposed to help you get prepared for the AP exam. However, if youre well organized and you remember some material, you should do fine.

Your teacher will usually hint at what the next test is about. Review your notes and your essays. Reread a chapter every now and then. And, get one of those AP Review books. Theyll come in handy. Heres one amazing tip. There was this kid that just graduated from IB, and before the AP Euro exam, he got a whole bunch of flashcards and wrote down important events, terms, and people he kept on forgetting. If you get the chance, do this during Hell Month! Itll be a major help for exam day.

Exam Day
Its the beginning of the school year, and already Im drilling you about exam day. Its a long way ahead, but when it comes, youll realize how short the school year really was. When the day comes, everyone will be super nervous. Dont worry about being able to study or not. Usually, your teachers will allow you to go to your history teachers classroom. Youll have almost a whole school day to study since the exam is usually scheduled for the afternoon. Just have a lot of hope. Breatherelax. What you studied for is what you studied for.

End notes
When the AP Euro Exam is over, everyone will scream and shout and probably party. Youll be super relieved. But for now, remember what Ive written, and try to follow some of the guidelines. You might never know when theyll come in handy. Also, if you ever need help, just ask. Ask a person thats already taken the course. Ask a teacher. And, if they offer those AP Euro Exam Saturdays, take advantage of them. They might just boost up your grade! Have hope and I wish you the best of luck this year!