Everything you need to know before taking APUSH

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Clara Sloan, Opinion Editor

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As returning students begin to plan for next year, the daunting decision of which Advanced Placement classes to take, or even whether to take them at all, looms near. Even though course selection is over with, students who decide to transfer into AP classes can still make those changes in August. With this in mind, the AP United States History class is one of the many underrated courses that students may not be familiar with.

According to APUSH teacher Micah Tenner, the first thing to know about the course is that while it may be a challenging class, the benefits far outweigh the work. Along with learning essential periods of U.S. history in depth, the course also extensively prepares students for college-level classes.

“They can learn a lot about all the important debates and topics and trends and developments that are still important today. They will get some college preparatory skills in terms of budgeting time and the difficulty of the reading and the writing,” Tenner said.

Of course, an AP course must go beyond the required curriculum in order to effectively prepare students. Luckily, Tenner does just that.

“Mr. Tenner’s lessons are really hands on so you can get a really good understanding of the topic, even if you didn’t understand it before. He’s just really good at explaining things,” said former APUSH student, junior Ellie Fowks.

Similarly, former APUSH student, junior Lizzy Arnold credits Tenner for evoking a sense of respect for history in students.

“I truly am not that interested in history, but Mr. Tenner finds a way to explain concepts in a way that makes them more interesting which has resulted in me liking history way more than I did prior to taking his class,” Arnold said.

Many APUSH students also took AP European History the previous year, so they knew what to expect. However, many of those students were also not looking forward to another year of extensive reading and writing. Most found, though, that APUSH was far more enjoyable due to the preconceived comprehension of the subject.

“U.S. history is going to be more familiar to one than European history. I think when you have all of that background knowledge ready you can kind of understand things a lot easier than if you’re learning about kings and queens–that’s just so foreign to Americans,” Tenner said. “It’s still challenging like AP Euro, but because they have some of that background knowledge, it’s definitely more enjoyable.”

Fowks was one of those former AP Euro students and found that APUSH surpassed expectations.

“I feel like I take a lot of classes, and I don’t feel like I learned that much, but in this class I actually feel like I know so much more about U.S. history,” Fowks said.

 

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