Top 13 Ways to Survive APUSH

A-PUSH your way through AP US History with Blueprint approved tips.


Emily Kehoe, Staff


How to Survive APUSH (AP US History)


Becoming an APUSH student has it’s defining moments, including some, not limited to; throwing your laptop, the NASH book, non-trads, trads, and your notebook out your bedroom window. But here are some ways that you can survive the two or possibly three trimesters.

1. Write down everything you hear. Don’t assume that you will remember it all. Not unless you have some sort of superpower that allows you to remember five hundred years of detailed history. 


2. Do your non-trads on time. Trust me on this, you don’t want to get behind and get stuck doing chapter seven on the pilgrims when you are doing chapter seventeen in class and talking about the Civil War. 


3. Do your non-trads with a ton of details. Yes, that fact about the Secretary of War from 1845 is going to be important. The details are what makes history, well, history. Plus, you will thank yourself later when you can look back on your non-trad when you study and you have a detailed reason on why that Secretary of War was fired.


4. Know your vocab terms. Yes, it is tedious to remember some big long words, but in the long run, knowing those words could save you on a test in class or on your AP exam. It’s also the easiest way to get points in that class.


5. Know what an ACE is, especially a “little c.” You are given about four-ish minutes to write a paragraph about whatever time in history you are given. Knowing that A means to answer the question, C or “little c” means to put in a fact about the answer, and E to explain the fact and the answer is the fastest way to get your point across. Just hope your pen does not run out of ink. Which brings me to my next point… 


6. Have a pen with you at all times. All tests, fill in the little bubbles for multiple-choice, or written has to be done in a blue or black pen. And no, the felt tip ones from PaperMate don’t count. (It’s considered a marker.)


7. Yes, there is a crap ton of homework. Always expect at least half an hour or more of homework if you want to stay ahead of the game by getting your non-trads done, reviewing crash course videos, or simply just reading the textbook.


8. The textbook is everything. Swallow your pride, you’re going to have to read this textbook front and back, and you are expected to know what’s in between the two covers. So suck it up and start reading, because you aren’t going to have Google with you at the AP exam. 


9. Take the third trimester class. Taking an extra trimester of a core class sounds awful, but believe me, taking it will basically ensure that you pass the exam. You cover the last six or seven chapters that might be on the exam in the trimester as well as review all the written portions of the exam straight up until the exam. 


10. Staying on top of the game. It never hurts to read ahead a little, do the extra problem, or research, aka Google what might come up next chapter. It can be super helpful even to have the most basic understanding of the chapter.


11. Ask away about cows. Cows are a very popular subject in the class.


12. Take off your hat. Don’t question it, just take off your hat.


13. Never question the furbies. Ever.


These aren’t all the ways to ensure you get an A in the class or get a 4 or 5 on the exam, but doing even some of these is the best way to get those top grades and scores. I salute you, and good luck on your AP journey.