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World History AP, or WHAP, is a college level world history class that tests a student's ability to connect the fundamentals of history under principals such as culture, economy, and political aspects. Students will be required to do conceptual and analytical thinking to link different civilizations with one another. The purpose of this course is not to memorize dates and history, but rather to understand how all civilizations can be linked with TRENDS. You will be required to understand these trends in both the multiple choice and free response portion of the exam, unlike APUSH(AP US History), which requires a great deal of information retention.
At the end of the year, you will take the WHAP exam to determine your knowledge in the class. The exam is composed of 70 multiple choice questions worth 50% of the grade and 3 essays worth 50% of the grade together. The multiple choice questions test aspects of cultures and your knowledge of remembering their differences and similarities, such as How did _______ differ from ________ economically? The free response part has 3 essays: a Document Based Question, a Change over Time Question, and a Compare/Contrast Question. With each essay, you can score from a 0-9, which is based on a rubric I will post below. Getting a 5 on the exam means earning about 70-100% of the maximum allotted points, while a 4 is around 50-70%.
My world history textbook was an absolute PAIN to read. As a result, I decided to purchase this book to supplement the overall experience for the class. And it helped: significantly.
The book starts off with more info about the WHAP test, such as what to expect and how to answer questions. Its key strategy is Process of Elimination, and it will provide examples to help explain how best to use it. ONE THING THAT HAS CHANGED AS OF 2011 IS THAT THERE IS NO MORE GUESSING PENALTY FOR THE TEST, SO FEEL FREE TO GUESS WITHOUT PENALTY. The huge chunk in the middle is like a secondary textbook, more on this later. The last part of the book contains 2 AP full length tests, in which I suggest you use one for a diagnostic and the second to test your skills.
If a WORLD HISTORY book makes me actually enjoy reading it, its obviously going to stick in my head better. And that is the magic of this book. Don't expect huge lengthy paragraphs on certain chapters; rather, information you will actually need for the test. The book is sprinkled with some comical effects that make it much more easier to understand. Also, there are small information boxes that let you connect places to places, the main focus I mentioned above. I highly recommended knowing these boxes like the back of your hand; you WILL need them for the exam.
The tests are probably the closest to College Board AP style as you will see in a reference book. Rather than asking for straight facts like some books I know, Princeton's uses an analytical basis for its questions just like the AP. Furthermore, there is an answer key at the end with useful explanations about the answers as well. In fact, the Princeton Review's tests are very close, if not HARDER, than the real test, so they are very valuable. I suggest saving them till the 2 weeks before the exam, when you are reviewing this book.
There are no primary resources in the book and no example essays, but I will remedy the 2nd part at least with a link below. Though the book does give guidelines on how to write the essays, it would be nicer to see actual ones along with commentaries. The lack of primary resources isn't that significant, but still noteworthy, as there are often questions in the multiple choice over historical documents.
One question I've been asked several times is if it is a good textbook replacement. Honestly, for the class itself, it's not enough. As stated above, the book will work wonders if you supplement it with a few notes of your own, but this shouldn't be your ONLY resource if you want to make an A in the class. I used online outlines to complement this book, and as a result got the A. What does this book work best as? A refresher. I can promise that nearing the time for the AP, I forgot many important details from the first semester. Thankfully though, this book let me recall names I had forgotten, such as Mamluk and the Hellenistic Era. It's good(actually, amazing) for the AP, as the AP doesn't require that much detail, but your teacher will most likely incorporate details this book won't cover.
This book is truly not the best for super essays, but decent for good(5 or 6/9) essays. When I took the essays for the actual exam, I can just say that I felt a little screwed. A 8 or 9/9 essay requires a LOT more detail than the book provides. For example, one of the 2010 essays was to describe changes over time in African religion systems. The book briefly covered this, but it was only about 1/2 page of info. YOU WILL NEED MORE FOR A BETTER ESSAY(more significantly so as it is 50% of the grade), so please do not rely on this book single-handedly.
The book will do wonders for preparing you for the MC portion of the AP. Compared to other prep books, this will at least ensure you a 3 or 4; the others about a 2 or 3. However, that one point difference to a 4 or 5 will require some action on your part, and I shall help you out by providing a few links below. The reason I am giving this book a 5 is because it was the only review book I used, and it, along with a few external notes, ensured me a 5 on the exam. And if I can get a 5, you can too!
ADVICE AND EXTERNAL LINKS:
If taking this class at school-
*Make sure to follow along what your teacher says. If you don't have a good teacher, I highly suggest look at online presentations.
*Add additional notes to the book that you may find helpful. Now remember. SPECIFIC Dates(you MUST at least know the basic time period)/REALLY MINOR details are not at all necessary for this class, so don't waste time doing so.
*It's important to understand the CHANGES OVER TIME in a society(Such as China) and COMPARING AND CONTRASTING two different societies (such as the Mongols and the Byzantines). I highly recommend creating a visual table for each of the societies involved in a time period on the basis of their customs, foreign policy, etc. etc.
*Don't take the practice exams until the few weeks before the exam. They are extremely valuable. When the time comes, time yourself accordingly and make sure to look at the explanations for why you got something right or wrong. Do you see any patterns in the questions you missed? If so, you may want to review the section in either your textbook or PR book.
*Hate the textbook and don't want to use it?! I know! Me neither! I used online outlines of the textbook, and it, along with this book, made my life a lot easier!
*Look at some of the tips below.
If you are self-studying this course-
*Read the textbook part of the book at least 2 or 3 times. Make sure to read the commentaries, they are break-or-make what you will see on the AP questions.
*Take some textbook quizzes at the website mentioned below (they are pretty close to AP level). Review the questions you got wrong and understand why you got them wrong.
*Take one practice test, and see how you do. Analyze the ones you got wrong. See any patterns? Review that chapter again in the book. If you guessed on any question, put a mark on it, so that your patterns aren't flawed. Repeat for Practice Test II.
*As you don't have a teacher to guide you on how to write the essays, I suggest this course of action. First, print out the grading rubric for all 3 essays so that you know how points are given and what you need to put on the essay. ENGLISH GRAMMAR IS NOT IMPORTANT(please do write it in English though!) and neither is spelling; don't waste precious time on that. Take a look at some of the free response questions at the website below, and practice them. Do you see any prompt that might be tricky for you? If you see many of these, you need another information supplement. Find some outlines online and review them. If you only have trouble with a few, review what your PR says.
*Start early, not the week before the exam, to ensure a 4 or 5.
General Advice for Exam-
*Don't be scared to BS(for the lack of a better word..). Essay graders can't penalize inaccuracy, so if you have NO IDEA what your essay is talking about, make it along rather than leaving it blank. Of course, use common sense please. Drawing a superman logo doesn't count as an essay, and neither does THIS IS SPARTAAAA.
*FEEL FREE TO GUESS ON QUESTIONS YOU DON'T KNOW. THE GUESSING PENALTY HAS BEEN REMOVED STARTING THIS YEAR.
*Bring a watch with you on test day to maintain a solid amount of time for each essay- around 40 minutes for each one.
LINKS: Please remove the spaces in the links
1st Link- All of the released Free Response Questions from previous exams. If you look to the right of them, you will see SAMPLES AND COMMENTARY, in which you can actually view EXAMPLE essays to those prompts along with the score they received, and why they received it. This is just as important as this book, so PLEASE do not ignore these. On the same link you can also view 30 ACTUAL multiple choice questions along with their answers. Also- for each year there is a SCORING GUIDELINE which you can use to grade your essays based on the 9 point system.
2nd Link- Textbook AP Styled practice exams
http ://college.cengage. com/history/world/bulliet/earth_peoples/2e/students/ace/index. html
3rd Link- Online Outlines/ More practice questions/ General Help. AMAZING WEBSITE which is quite nicely written compared to the textbook's flowery language.