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AP US HIstory Taking the Exam. Strategies for the Multiple Choice Read the question thoroughly: pressured for time, many students make the mistake of.

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Presentation on theme: "AP US HIstory Taking the Exam. Strategies for the Multiple Choice Read the question thoroughly: pressured for time, many students make the mistake of."— Presentation transcript:

1 AP US HIstory Taking the Exam

2 Strategies for the Multiple Choice Read the question thoroughly: pressured for time, many students make the mistake of reading the questions too quickly or merely skim them. By reading a question carefully, you may already have some idea about the correct answer. You can look for it in the responses. Carefully reading the question is especially important in EXCEPT and NOT questions. Eliminate any answer you know is wrong: You can write on the multiple-choice questions in the test book. As you read through the responses, draw a line through any you know are wrong. Read all of the possible answers, the choose the most accurate response: AP exams are written to test your precise knowledge of a subject. Sometimes there are a few probable answers but one of them is more specific. For example, a question dealing with the Open Door Policy in 1899 may have an answer that seems correct: “It sought to promote U.S. interests overseas”, however, there may be an even better answer, one that is more specific to the topic: “To provide the U.S. access to trade in Asia”. Avoid Absolute responses: These answers often include the words “always” or “never”. For example, the statement “Jefferson always rejected the Hamiltonian economic program” is an overstatement in that Jefferson never attempted to eliminate one of the key features of Hamilton’s economic plan, the Bank of the United States. Mark and Skip through Questions: “Never answer a question you do not know until you have to”. Especially in an environment like the AP Exam go through the test one time answering only the questions you know you know. Then, go back through a second time and answer questions you thought you knew but were unsure. Finally, attack the questions you don’t know by eliminating answers and narrowing your guess.

3 Strategies for the Multiple Choice Types of Questions: Classic/Best Answer Questions Most Common Question Read the Question and select the best answer EXCEPT Questions These are really true/false questions You have to divorce yourself from looking for the correct answer (or one that is true) because there will be four true/correct options. Remember you are looking for what is false/wrong. You might want to mark a T or F next to the answer options to narrow down your choice, if you are left with one false then that’s your answer List and Group Questions These questions tend to take one of two forms (a group of possible answers that you can treat as true/false or a group that you are being asked to put in chronological order) With question that you would have to put in chronological order, look to see if answer options can be eliminated by identifying in the list what happened first and what happened last. Chart/Graph Questions Political Cartoon Questions Interpreting Maps Questions

4 Strategies for the Multiple Choice Types of Questions: Chart/Graph Questions These questions can be very easy, because the answer is typically given in the chart if you interpret it correctly. Be careful not to get bogged down in the chart or graph. Read the question first and see if you can eliminate any answers before you look at the chart/graph. This will both limit your answer choices and familiarize you with what you are looking for in the chart/graph Political Cartoon Questions Political cartoons are the opposite of Chart/Graph questions. You will need to look at the cartoon first and identify any symbolism and the point of view of the author before reading the question. By doing so, you may be able to eliminate answers or see clearly what the correct answer is more quickly. Interpreting Maps Questions “The Key” is “The Key” in many cases. Oftentimes maps are not about geography, weird right, but about social and political trends. By looking at the key you may be able to find out more than by aimlessly studying the map itself.

5 The Document-based Question (DBQ) The writer will be presented with ten or more primary sources and asked to use these as evidence in answering an essential question. Primary Sources include: Maps, political cartoons, photographs, illustrations, graphs, charts Speeches, essays, books, documentaries, editorials DBQ’s run the gamut from “Why” and “Explain” questions to “support or refute” and “how and why” questions. All essays ask you to incorporate your personal knowledge of history and that is important, but in DBQ’s you need to stay grounded in the documents and show your ability to group them and use them effectively as evidence supporting your position on the question. The following are very important in answering a DBQ: Background: your knowledge of the topic Analysis: Your ability to interpret and explain the documents Synthesis: your ability to blend your outside information with the information provided in the documents to explain an issue

6 The Document-based Question (DBQ) Steps in organizing and structuring your DBQ Essay: Step 1: Brainstorm ideas that related to the question Step 2: Consider a structure for your response Step 3: Analyze each document. What is the meaning of the document? What or who is the source – The Supreme Court, a Presidential Candidate, a Labor Leader, a Capitalist? The source provides important clues to the position being put forth in the document Make some notes about the meaning of the document, generalizations that relate to the document Remember that you will need to demonstrate synthesis between your personal knowledge and what you got from the provided documents.

7 The Document-based Question (DBQ) Structuring a response: You will want to begin by sharing some personal knowledge in the background for this particular paragraph. For example in answering a question about the rise of Monopoly Capitalism you may want to begin a body paragraph relating to the formation of labor unions by establishing that this period featured tensions between workers and the “Robber Barons” because of hazardous working conditions, low wages, and long hours” Next you will want to incorporate documents that you find to be “pro-business”. Perhaps documents B and D accused that Labor Unions hurt the profitability of business and stifled the nation’s economic growth. Next you should use any documents that are “Pro-Labor”. Perhaps document G shares details the suggest the exploitation of workers and the consumer. Bring the reader back to your main point by taking a stand on one side of this particular issue and be assertive/decisive in your language. Nobody scores a mamsipamsi very high.

8 Structuring a Free Response Essay #1 most important thing: WRITE AN EFFECTIVE THESIS STATEMENT AND MAKE THAT THE FIRST THING THE READER SEES. You also want to incorporate an effective analysis and appropriate use of information You need to write a well-thought out essay that demonstrates well- structured, well-written response to the question being asked. Your Thesis Paragraph should be no more than 8 sentences. An effective thesis statement General background information about the topic Supporting statements that lead to the formation of body paragraphs Your body paragraphs need to provide background information (demonstrating personal knowledge of the time period), use of provided documents as evidence (in DBQ’s only) or specific factual information that supports your topic, and an analysis of the topic. Your conclusion (which should again be somewhat brief) should sum up your topic and response and close your essay.

9 Structuring a Free Response Essay Framing the Debate: To demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the issue or question, you need to show that you are aware of both sides of the argument or perspective. This “frames the debate” for the reader Therefore, in your introduction you want to also incorporate the “other side” of the issue (the one you are not supporting) Be absolutely certain that you don’t spend so much time on the “other side” of the debate that the reader is unclear about which side you support. Take a stand on the issue, but include the other side of the debate as well. The objective is to take a decisive stand on the issue in your thesis, develop your argument, include the “other side”, and bring your thesis home with well developed historical information and analysis Outlining:

10 Structuring a Free Response Essay Outlining: It is incredibly important for you to make good use of the “planning” time that you are provided for each essay. Time spent on forming effective outlines for your responses: Once you have formed a quality outline it is time to write your essay: Examination readers are looking for a clear thesis backed up by specific historical information and analysis. Concentrate on use of accurate information (don’t write about anything you are unsure of its accuracy) in straightforward, concise prose (get to the point without using unnecessarily flowery language). Remember, using words that you don’t know what they mean in incorrect context does not make you seem smarter, quite the opposite. You cannot fool AP Readers with elegant language. Write about things you know, with language that you understand.

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