Princeton Review APUSH 2016

What is the point of taking AP classes, you ask? And where specifically does the Princeton Review APUSH 2016 book come into play?

AP classes now can ease stress later

AP classes now can ease stress later

To paraphrase the philosopher George Santayana: Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it…. In college!

As a student, you are already so busy with a full course load of classes plus extracurricular activities, while still trying to find time to spend with the people you care about, doing the things you love. If you think life is stressful now, just imagine how much busier it will get once you start college! This is not meant to make you feel anxious, but rather to indicate the importance of Advanced Placement (AP) classes. If you’re already now spending all the time and effort to learn history, or chemistry, or psychology – why not get college credit, so you’ll have one less class to worry about while you’re out there exploring the world of college life?

My Review of Princeton Review APUSH 2016 Book

Through taking AP classes while still in high school, students come out on top in three valuable ways: they are able to complete necessary college requirements to free up time in the future for subjects which interest them; they are able to explore subjects in a “trial run” of sorts to see if they’d be interested in studying the topic in further depth; and they are given the opportunity to develop and improve those academic skills which will help them best to succeed in college.

Cracking the AP US History Exam 2016 edition

Cracking the AP US History Exam 2016 edition

The APUSH (AP in United States History) is a class which I found simultaneously interesting and challenging. I loved that for the first time in my life, history was about more than just memorization and learning things by rote. This AP class allowed us the opportunity to think more outside of the box and use our reasoning skills to figure out information – a very different skill indeed.

On my quest for a perfect 5 on the AP exam, I came across many review books. Of them, my hands-down favorite for best APUSH review book would have to be Princeton Review Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam. This review book is a bestseller, and it isn’t hard to see why. One thing I liked about this particular review is that unlike other books, I did not find myself skimming it to find the information I actually needed. Instead of burying the important material amidst pages and pages of irrelevant facts, this book was very to-the-point and contained exactly what I needed to know.

The Princeton Review has been helping college and aspiring college students succeed for 30 years, and their review books (over 150 of them!) grant students access to the necessary information and skills without incurring the cost of a private tutor. This particular review book includes 2 full-length practice tests with explanations of each answer, plus full reviews of each topic on the exam, strategies for acing the test, and access to the online AP Connect portal.

Preparing for the US History AP Exam

Even if you’ve been diligently attending class, taking careful notes, and keeping up with homework and assignments, the AP exam is like a true college course in the sense that it requires more outside preparation time than typical high school classes. For this reason, pacing yourself and studying well enough in advance are crucial if you wish to succeed! Some students purchase an AP exam review book at the beginning of the year and read along each section as they learn it in class, while other students prefer to use their review book closer to the time of the actual test. My recommendation would be to use it for both purposes. For starters, as you go through each time period with your class, skim along that corresponding section in your review book. Different teachers teach differently, and having a more standardized book to refer back to can be helpful. Then, when your class is drawing to a close and it comes time to step up your studying a notch, you can refer back to your review book and spend more time going over those sections which had given you the most difficulty. True, going through a review book twice can take quite a bit of time, but if it helps you to pass this exam than isn’t it worth it?

United States history

United States history

The AP US History exam focuses on American history from around 1491 until the present day. It is designed to be comparable to a two-semester introductory history course at a university-level. There are nine time periods covered on the AP exam, broken down into the following ranges:

  1. 1491-1607
  2. 1607-1754
  3. 1754-1800
  4. 1800-1848
  5. 1844-1877
  6. 1865-1898
  7. 1890-1945
  8. 1945-1980
  9. 1980-present

90% of the courses focuses is on the period ranging from 1607-1980, with only 5% addressing each of the first and last periods.

Of these nine distinct historical periods, the exam focuses on each of their corresponding events, developments, and noteworthy individuals. There are seven main themes covered throughout the course:

  • American and national identity
  • Migration and settlement
  • Politics and power
  • Work, exchange, and technology
  • America in the world
  • Geography and the environment
  • Culture and society

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The Advanced Placement program from the College Board offers more than 30 courses, each one modeled off of a comparable college course. Each course culminates with a standardized, college-level assessment, and most universities within the US as well as over 60 countries abroad recognize AP credits.

College Board AP program

College Board AP program

These exams consist largely of multiple-choice questions, which are scored by machine, and free-response essay-style questions, which are scored by trained AP exam readers (either AP teachers themselves, or college faculty). The student’s raw score is converted into a composite AP score ranging from 1-5. Depending on the specific college and course, college credit is typically granted for either a score of 3 and higher, or 4 and higher. An AP score of 3 is considered equivalent to a college grade of C, C+, or B-. An AP score of 4, on the other hand, would be comparable to a college B, B+, or A-. And for those students earning a 5 on their AP exam? Congratulations! You are up there with college students receiving an A in their courses.


It’s never too early to start planning for college! If you’re currently deciding to take the SAT exam, our review of various study books including the Kaplan New SAT Premier 2016 will be very useful.

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