Advanced Placement history courses begin new format

Abby Doeden, Staff Reporter

The Advanced Placement (AP) history program has undergone many changes this year, and with three weeks under its belt, teachers and students are still trying to adjust.

All AP history courses, with the exception of AP U.S. History, now begin during term two. The biggest change this year is in the AP social studies tests, which will focus more on primary sources.

Ms. Anne Sateren, Social Studies, believes that, while the changes have made a difference in class schedules, the changes will not drastically affect teaching styles

provided by Creative Commons
provided by Creative Commons

“As of now, we are kind of doing everything the same way as before with the exception of teaching more broader skills. It’s really the tests, I think, where the changes will come into play,” Sateren said.

The change in the AP history tests mostly affects the kind of thinking students have to do. For the new test, a broader thought process will have to be applied. Instead of just memorizing facts from a textbook, students must understand the changes and patterns of the world and nations over time.

While the format is new to most history classes, it is the same test as the 2015 APUSH test. However, teachers who haven’t taught with the new parameters and students new to AP history are learning for the first time how generalize facts instead of memorizing them.

Kyle Miller, junior, took APUSH last year and believes the format of the test makes the test more difficult.

“There is a lot more reading, and you have to think more in-depth because of the rigorous material,” Miller said.  

While a 12-14 day loss of instructional time before the test is a downside to the program changes, Sateren hopes that the learning will still be fresh and improve scores.

“Having the students [in class] right up until the test will hopefully help scores, and [students] won’t have to spend as much time studying,” Sateren said.