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AP U.S. History Exam

The AP U.S. History exam tests students’ knowledge of American history dating back from 1491 America to the present day. The exam involves:

  • Critical reading.
  • Interpreting historical evidence.
  • Synthesizing your ideas in a coherent written argument.
  • In-depth analysis.

Students have 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam. The first section consists of 55 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 55 minutes. Most U.S. history multiple choice questions come in sets of three to four questions requiring students to respond to sources such as historical texts, graphs, and maps. This section is worth 40% of the total exam score. The second section consists of three short responses questions that must be answered in 40 minutes. The first two questions will be regarding an event between 1754 and 1980. For the third question, students will choose between an event from 1491 to 1877 or 1754 to 1980. The three short response questions are worth three points each. This section is worth 20% of the total exam score. Next, students will analyze seven documents and recall outside information on a topic in 60 minutes to answer an extended document-based question. The DBQ is on a matter between the years 1754-1980. The DBQ is graded on a 7 points scale. This section is worth 25% of the total exam score. Finally, students must complete the extended essay in 40 minutes. This section is graded on a 6-point scale and is worth 15% of the total exam score

July 5, 2023

for the SAT can be a daunting task for high school students. There are many resources whose quality varies, and this article will go through how to best use SAT resources to prepare. First, the best way to understand the SAT is to study with actual SATs. The more familiar you become with the unique structure and language of the SAT, the more your goal will be achievable. Students should attempt to take the SAT practice test in near-like testing conditions. It is important to time yourself according to the SAT time to get a feel of the pacing. Ideally, students should schedule a four-hour block of time to test and only take official breaks. However, if that is not possible, students should at least adhere to the time given for each subsection to gauge the number of minutes they can allot for each question. Using official tests for SAT practice questions also gives you a better prediction of your score and can help you determine what areas you need to focus on. Once you’ve taken a test, carefully review the questions you missed and the ones you guessed, analyzing why you got each one wrong and how the question is solved. After using the official SAT questions to establish a baseline, students can use other resources to target specific reading, grammar, and math skills. Many SAT prep workbooks with skills pages and hints can support your practice. Many online websites will also provide excellent resources. Remember to use an official SAT as a post-test to see your growth before taking the actual test!

June 21, 2022


The primary foundational reading skill is phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is listening for and manipulating individual phonemes or sounds in spoken words. The English language has 44 phonemes that students must learn to be able to read fluently. To comprehend a text, students must be able to decode it automatically. Students cannot distinguish and manipulate unless they can decode the phonemes effortlessly. Successfully decoding phonemes is an auditory skill that reading instructors can work to develop in the students they work with. Early learners must be explicitly taught to hear the sound in words and manipulate them. There are many phonological activities that reading instructors can incorporate into their lessons. Reading instructors can begin by teaching students how to segment two phonemes’ sound levels and then move on to 3 phonemes’ sound levels. As students develop those skills, the instructor can ask them to identify the first sound in the word “pat” or the middle sound in the word “rug.” There are also nonsense words that children can practice to hone in on this skill. The teacher can read nonsense words such as “gat” and ask students what sounds do you hear or segment the sound and have students identify the word. The instructor can also model phonetic skills by reading short rhyming poems to or with students. As the teacher reads, he or she can have the students participate by raising their hands when they hear the “sh” sound. As students practice these activities, they will be able to apply the phonemic awareness sound to the written word automatically.

July 14, 2022


Narrative writing and descriptive essays allow the writers much more flexibility than the standard 5 paragraph essay. However, writers must still follow some essential guidelines. Narrative and descriptive essays still need a thesis statement. In narrative writing, the thesis statement can be the moral of the story. In narrative and descriptive writing, the writer must use techniques to keep the reader engaged. The writer should show instead of telling. Writers can show through descriptive language that appeals to the reader’s senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The reader should be able to visualize the events of your story through their senses. Writers can also elevate their writing style by including figurative language like metaphor and simile. Another way for students to boost their writing style is by using dialogue. Dialogue keeps the story moving and helps the reader understand the characters. Quotation marks are used to set off speech or writing that another person said or wrote. The writer should present the ideas or events in an organized and logical structure. Use transitional words or phrases to avoid choppiness and ensure ideas’ clarity. Transitions are words or phrases that connect related ideas and provide an effortless flow of ideas and words. If you need to add details to your story, ask yourself the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Writers should also avoid using the passive voice as much as possible. Ask yourself if the doer of the action is the sentence’s subject. If not, consider revising the sentence. After ensuring all the essential ideas are included in logical sequences, check your writing for common grammatical mistakes. Avoid using relative pronouns, unneeded phrases, qualifiers, and anything that creates redundancy that doesn’t add to the story. Please review the rules for commas to ensure that you have used them correctly. Dashes replace commas or colons to emphasize and instruct the reader to pay extra attention to it. If writers address these guidelines in their narrative and creative essays, they will have an excellent grade.

August 23, 2022

Why should students have homework?

Education experts recommend ten incremental minutes of homework for each grade level. For example, a 6th grader is expected to complete 60 minutes of homework. However, is there a benefit of homework assignments on test scores? Studies find a positive link between time on homework and achievement. Homework gives students another opportunity to review class materials. Children learn at different paces, and the time spent in the classroom might not be enough for some students to grasp a subject’s critical concepts fully. Repeating a task multiple times can feel tedious, but it is necessary to help increase your child’s skill and understanding of a subject. The studies suggest that homework can improve students’ scores on the class tests at the end of the topic at all grade levels. Where did these time recommendations come from? Well, studies show that homework for middle school students appears to reach a diminishing return after about 90 minutes. For high school students, the positive line continues to grow between 90 minutes and 2.5 hours a night, after which return diminishes. There are other benefits associated with homework. Homework strengthens the home-school connection by allowing parents to see what is being learned in school. Teachers and parents can learn more about how the student likes to learn and provide a deeper understanding of how to approach new material. Homework can also engender other positive traits, such as fostering independent learning and responsibility. Homework also teaches students how to problem solve and take responsibility for their part in the educational process. Regular homework should be considered an investment in your child’s future.

November 4, 2022