Read an Excerpt
EXCELLING ON THE
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY EXAM
Prepare with Confidence
If you’re looking for a true edge on Test Day
If you’re slogging through your textbook, struggling to boil it all down
And if you’re not willing to settle for second best
then this new edition of REA’s AP European History test prep is for you.
REA gives you all the tools you’ll need to master the Advanced Placement Examination in European History:
* Summary appraisals of the cultural, diplomatic, economic, political, and social strands that form the basis of the AP course and the exam.
* Unrivaled relevant, detailed, and properly apportioned, review of European history in a context that (a) accords with known exam coverage, (b) will serve to sharpen your classroom discussion and (c) will keep you from having to continually check your textbook for citations as you study.
* Handy timelines that not only summarize each period’s key events but also explain their significance.
* Carefully chosen artwork that pictorially presents the progression of events, ideas and trends associated with a given period.
* Bibliography of additional study resources.
* Comprehensive index that speeds specific referencing.
* Four full-length, true-to-format practice examswith 320 multiple-choice items in allthat prepare you for the AP exam like no other book can.
* Complete array of sample essay questions and answers.
Importantly, this book embraces the same principles of organization and coverage as those adopted by the AP Program’s European History Development Committee, which is to say that REA, too, recognizes that early twenty-first century teaching on college and university campuses reflects a broad perspective in terms of the sweep of intellectual and cultural history; political and diplomatic history, and social and economic history.
In choosing REA, you’re putting yourself in the company of tens of thousands of AP students who have benefited from our total preparation package year after year.Moreover, teachers across America and beyond find that this book offers a clear-eyed, no-nonsense narrative of the history of Europe. In fact, many AP instructors use it to supplement their classroom text and lectures precisely because it so comprehensively supports specific curriculum objectives for the AP course and exam.
About REA’s TESTware
Practice exams 1 through 3 of this book are included in two formats: in printed format in this book, and in TESTware format on the enclosed CD. We strongly recommend that you begin your preparation with the TESTware practice exams. The software provides the added benefits of automatic, accurate scoring and enforced time conditions. The content and format of the actual AP European History exam are faithfully mirrored. See below for a detailed description of the format and content of the AP European History Exam.
About the Exam
The Advanced Placement European History examination is offered each May at participating schools and multi-school centers in the United States and more than 30 other countries.
The Advanced Placement Program is designed to allow high school students to pursue college-level studies while attending high school. Participating colleges and universities, in turn, grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who do well on the examinations.
Format of the AP European History Exam
The AP European History exam is approximately three hours and five minutes long. The exam is divided into two sections. Each section of the exam is timed and completed separately, and each counts for half of the student’s score. None of the exam items focuses on the pre1450 or the post2001 period.
1. Multiple choice. This section consists of 80 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 55 minutes. The questions are designed to measure the student’s ability to understand and analyze European History from the High Renaissance to the recent past. This section tests factual knowledge, scope of preparation, and knowledge-based analytical skills.
2. Free response. This section is composed of three essay questions designed to measure the student’s ability to write coherent, intelligent, and well-organized essays on historical topics. The essays require the student to demonstrate mastery of historical interpretation and the ability to express views and knowledge in writing. The student may be required to relate documents to different areas, analyze common themes of different time periods, or compare individual and group experiences that reflect socioeconomic, racial, gender, and ethnic differences.
Part A consists of a mandatory 15-minute reading period, followed by 45 minutes in which the student must answer a document-based essay question (DBQ).
In Parts B and C, the student is asked to answer two thematic questions in 70 minutes. Students choose one essay from the three essays in Part B and one essay from the three in Part C.
In determining the score for the free-response section, the DBQ is weighted 45 percent while the two thematic essays are weighted 55 percent. The entire free-response section counts for one-half of the final grade.
Content of the Exam
In general, the AP European History exam covers the following topics:
Political and Diplomatic History 3040%
Social and Economic History 3040%
Intellectual and Cultural History 2030%
The exam encompasses the High Renaissance to the present. The time periods are covered as follows: 50% from 1450 to 1789, 50% from 1789 to present. Major late medieval events bearing upon post-1450 events may also be included. The number of questions covering the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is divided about evenly, which is approximately 25% of the total number of questions for each century.
In addition to studying the review presented in this book, test-takers should acquaint themselves with current issues affecting European society, thereby gaining the necessary perspective on modern European events.
You may find the AP European History exam considerably more difficult than many classroom exams. In order to measure the full range of your ability, the AP exams are designed to produce average scores of approximately 50 percent of the maximum possible score for the multiple-choice and essay sections. Therefore, you should not expect to attain a perfect or even near-perfect score.
For more in-depth information regarding the AP European History exam, please visit the College Board website at www.collegeboard.com.
How To Use This Book
What do I study first?
Read over the course review and the suggestions for test taking. Next, take the first practice test to pinpoint your area(s) of weakness, and then go back and focus your study on those specific problems. Studying the reviews thoroughly will reinforce the basic skills you will need to do well on the exam. Make sure to take all the applicable practice tests to become familiar with the format and procedures involved with taking the actual exam.
To best utilize your study time, follow our Independent Study Schedule, which you will find in the front of this book. The schedule is based on a six-week program, but if necessary can be condensed to three weeks by collapsing each two-week interval into one week.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the AP European History examination. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate!
Cramming is not an effective way to study, because it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to familiarize yourself with it.
Scoring REA’s Practice Exams
Scoring the Multiple-Choice Section
For the multiple-choice section, use this formula to calculate your raw score:
_______ - ( _______ x 1/4) _ _________________________
number number raw score (round to nearest
right wrong* whole #)
*Do not include unanswered questions.
Scoring the Free-Response Section
For the free-response section, use this formula to calculate your raw score:
_____ + _____ + _____ = _____ (round to the nearest whole number)
DBQ essay essay
essay #1 #2
Each essay question is given a score of 09 points. It might be helpful to have a teacher, or another impartial person knowledgeable in European history, decide how points should be awarded. A tough, objective appraisal is your best insurance against test-day surprises. Follow all AP requirements to properly calibrate your score.
Figuring Your Composite Score
To obtain your composite score, use the following method:
1. 13 x ___________ = _____ (weighted multiple-choice scoredo not round)
2. 73 x ___________ = _____ (weighted free-response scoredo not round)
Now, add the two weighted sections together and round to the nearest whole
number. The result is your total composite score. Compare your score with this table
to approximate your grade*:
*To allow for consistent comparison of test-takers’ scores from one form of the test to another, the College Board uses a statistical weighting method called equating. As a result, REA’s practice-test scoring method can only approximate the score you could expect to achieve on the actual exam.
AP Grade Composite Score Range
The overall scores are interpreted as follows:
AP Grade Interpretation
5 Extremely well qualified
4 Well qualified
2 Possibly qualified
1 No recommendations
Most colleges will grant either college credit or advanced placement to students who earn a 3 or higher. Check with your school guidance office about specific school requirements.
Scoring the Official Exams
The College Board creates a formula (which changes slightly every year) to convert raw scores into composite scores grouped into broad AP grade categories. The weights for the multiple-choice sections are determined by the chief reader, who uses a process called equating. This process compares the current year’s exam performance on selected multiple-choice questions to that of a previous year, establishing a level of achievement for the current year’s group and a degree of difficulty for the current exam. This data is combined with historical trends and the reader’s professional evaluation to determine
the weights and tables.
The AP free-response problems are graded by teacher volunteers grouped at scoring tables and led by a chief faculty consultant. The consultant sets the grading scale that translates the raw score into the composite score. Past grading illustrations are available to teachers from the College Board and may be ordered using the contact information given in this book. These actual examples of student responses and a grade analysis can be of great assistance to both the student and the teacher as a learning or review tool.
When will I know my score?
In July, a grade report will be sent to you, your high school, and the college you chose to notify. The report will include scores for all the AP exams you have taken up to that point.
Your grade will be used by your college of choice to determine placement in its European History program. This grade will vary in significance from college to college, and is used with other academic information to determine placement. Normally, colleges participating in the Advanced Placement Program will recognize grades of 3 or higher. Contact your college admissions office for more information regarding its use of AP grades.
Studying for Your Exam
It is very important for you to choose the time and place for studying that works best for you. Some students may set aside a certain number of hours every morning, while others may study at night before going to sleep. Other students may study during the day, while waiting in line, or even while eating lunch. Only you can determine when and where your study time will be most effective. But be consistent, and use your time wisely. Work out a study routine and stick to it.
When you take the practice tests, create an environment as much like the actual testing environment as possible. Turn off your television and radio, and sit down at a quiet table free from distraction. Make sure to time yourself, breaking the test down by section.
As you complete each practice test, score your test and thoroughly review the explanations to the questions you answered incorrectly; however, do not review too much at one time. Concentrate on one problem area at a time by reviewing the question and explanation and by studying our review until you are confident that you completely understand the material.
Keep track of your scores. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. You should carefully study the reviews that cover areas with which you have difficulty, as this will build your skills in those areas.
If you are not familiar with standardized tests such as the AP European History exam, there are many ways to acquaint yourself with this type of examination and help alleviate any test-taking anxieties. Listed below are ways to help you become accustomed to the AP exams, some of which may be applied to other standardized tests as well.
Become comfortable with the format of the exam. Stay calm and pace yourself. After simulating the test a couple of times, you will boost your chances of doing well, and you will be able to sit down for the actual exam with more confidence.
Read all of the possible answers. Just because you think you have found the correct response, do not automatically assume that it is the best answer. Read through each choice to be sure that you are not making a mistake by jumping to conclusions.
Use the process of elimination. Go through each answer to a question and eliminate as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating just two answer choices, you give yourself a better chance of getting the item correct, because there will be only three choices left from which to make your guess.
Work quickly and steadily. Work quickly and steadily and avoid focusing on any one question too long. Taking the practice tests in this book will help you learn to budget your time.
Beware of test vocabulary. Words such as always, every, none, only, and never indicate there should be no exceptions to the answer you choose. Words like generally, usually, sometimes, seldom, rarely, and often indicate there may be exceptions to your answer. When analyzing and writing your essay answer, be aware of words such as analyze, assess, evaluate, compare, contrast, describe, discuss, explain, and identify.
Learn the directions and format for each section of the test. Familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the exam will save you valuable time on the day of the actual test.
Answer every question. There is no penalty for guessing, so answer every question before you run out of time, even if you are not sure of the answer.
The Day of the Exam
Before the Exam
On the day of the test, you should wake up early (preferably after a good night’s rest) and have a good breakfast. Make sure to dress comfortably so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. Also, plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test and will spare you the anxiety that comes with being late.
Before you leave for the test center, make sure you have your admission form, social security number, and another form of identification, which must contain a recent photograph, your name, and signature (i.e., driver’s license, student identification card, or current alien registration card). You will not be allowed to take the test if you do not have proper identification. Also make sure to bring your school code, as well as several sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers for the multiple-choice questions and black or blue pens for the free-response questions.
You may wear a watch, but only one without a beeper or an alarm. No dictionaries, textbooks, notebooks, compasses, correction fluid, highlighters, rulers, computers, cell phones, beepers, PDAs, scratch paper, listening and recording devices, briefcases, or packages will be permitted, and drinking, smoking, and eating are prohibited while taking the test.
During the Exam
Once you enter the test center, follow all of the rules and instructions given by the test supervisor. If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the test and having your scores canceled.
After the Exam
When taking the exam, you may immediately register to have your score sent to the college of your choice, or you may wait and later request to have your AP score reported to the college of your choice.
Contacting the AP Program
For registration bulletins or more information about the AP European History Exam, contact:
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Phone: (609) 771-7300 or (888) 225-5427