How to Enjoy AP World History

For the majority of high school freshmen taking AP World History, sitting in a freezing classroom for two straight hours while listening to a monotonous lecture about ancient classical civilizations is equal to torture. As challenging as it is to take an active interest in this subject, there are some ways to accomplish this and hopefully get that 'A' you've been craving.


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    In order to naturally be interested in a subject, you should first know your own interests and hobbies. Ask yourself what you usually do or - as in most cases - want to do in your spare time. Start by categorizing your main interest into one of these broad categories: listening to music, reading, creative writing such as poetry, short stories, or games and comics.
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    If you're a music fanatic like many of us, then the best way for you to grasp the concepts taught in AP World History is probably through remixed, 'geeked-up' versions of your favorite songs with a change of the lyrics so they relate to the chapter or time period you are currently studying in class. If your creativity is low, you can also look these up on YouTube or another video-sharing website. A great example of a remix that relates a famous hip-hop song to history is the following: <>
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    If writing is more of your 'thing', then perhaps you can weave the tricky details of your current lesson into a short story that you choose to write. For example, if you're a guy that goes gaga over action/adventure situations and currently needs to main beliefs behind the European Reformation, you can write a part of a confrontation between Martin Luther and John Calvin and put your own unique spin on how their meeting turns out, all the while incorporating their individual beliefs.
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    On the other hand, if you are more of the movie-and-popcorn type of person, then all you need to do is ask your teacher for their favorite history-related movies, paying attention to those which are the most accurate. Some teacher-approved movies include Gladiator, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Mission.
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    Some of us enjoy reading so historical teen novels would really help these certain individuals. Asking your history teacher or maybe even English teacher for suggestions is a good idea. If not, you can always inquire about interesting teen-approved historical nonfiction from you school librarian, local librarian, or even a "Barnes and Noble" or "Borders" associate.
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    If you're the type of person whose mind is a bit slow in grasping a complex concept like the connections between all the different beliefs and religions in the Reformation, you can always consult for a simplified overview of an important time or concept in history. This can also serve as a vague review just so you remember the key points of a chapter.
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    If you, instead, spend your days surfing the net then this is a useful website for an accurate review of different subjects in AP World History: <>
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    For the gamers/comic-fanatics, you should pay a visit to the comics section of a local bookstore like Barnes and Noble and scan the shelves for history-related material. Some Marvel and Asterix comic books take place in the past and address some of the global issues that took place during that time... be careful for inaccurate information, however.


  • Teacher-recommended, Barron's review books and Princeton review for AP World History are both great tools to use throughout the year in this subject, since they have practice tests and easier to understand text.
  • For those of you have enjoy reading or writing, I HIGHLY recommend visiting <> for short stories written by teens. Just make a quick search on the website and historical short stories will come up. You can also submit original works.
  • One really great way to solidly reinforce a difficult AP World History chapter while also getting a chance at some much-needed extra credit is to create a PowerPoint slide show around the chapter, highlighting the main points like economy, government, and culture. However, your teacher would have to permit this as extra credit in order for you to attain those extra points so its best to ask your teacher first. In any case, it's a great review since you can include pictures, videos, songs, and animations
  • Human communication is usually the best way to get something across so if you're completely lost in the chapter you're doing, you should probably schedule an after-school appointment with your teacher for extra help, attend the history study hall your school offers, if any. Your parents, family members, or even friends are also valuable resources you should use to your advantage.


  • Results may vary...
  • Please be aware that you should enter class with an open mind and that these steps will probably not work for those of you that aren't putting in the required effort.
  • With all the above steps, one should always check the accuracy of each source they use to reinforce the learned material.

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Categories: Advanced Placement Courses and Exams