Passing the AP European History test in high school can earn you valuable credits that can be transferred to college. Learn how audio study materials can help.
Taking advanced placement classes is not for the faint of heart. That’s especially true for AP European History, which, alongside AP World History, AP Biology, and AP US History, is among the notoriously most challenging AP classes. The passing rate is 54.6%, which is significantly lower than the average passing grade of all AP classes (64.2%). What’s more, only around 10% of students get the highest grade.
To pass the AP European History exam, you’ll need to have the proper study guide, do practice tests, and develop quite a few strategies. Here are a few tips that will help you along the way.
Tips to help high school students score high on AP exams
The AP European History course is broken down into nine units. During your studies, you’ll learn about the history of the old continent, from the Renaissance all the way to the Cold War and contemporary Europe. You’ll go over Industrialization, World Wars I and II, absolutism, protestant reformation and many other topics.
Nine segments is a lot. Not to mention, the subject of the course is challenging in and of itself. If you have an aptitude for history, you might have an easier time passing AP Euro. However, remember that even if history is your topic of interest, the course material is still extensive and arduous.
So, how does one pass the AP European History, then? Here’s a crash course on passing one of the most demanding AP exams.
Tip #1 — Study material far in advance
One of the best tips for all high school students who are trying to pass the AP European History test is to plan your timeline and study in advance. The course covers sociological, economic, as well as cultural and political happenings in Europe from 1450 to the present day. That’s a lot of material that you’ll have to go through in a short while. So, don’t wait because the course material will quickly catch up to you and overwhelm you.
It’s best to start going over the nine segments as soon as the semester starts and to work through them at your own pace (but make sure you’re ahead of the syllabus). Make a detailed study plan that determines when you’ll go over certain segments (like the French Revolution or the Italian Renaissance) and stick to it.
Tip #2 — Use a text to speech reader
The key to passing AP European History is having good organization. You’ll have to plan out your study time so you’re able to go over the entire course and comprehensive review material. Organization will also be key on test day. You’ll have to pre-plan your answers in order to be able to get your point (or thesis) across and include all the sources and evidence into it.
To be able to do that, you’ll have to go over the course material several times. The best way to do that is to use a text to speech (TTS) tool like Speechify. Speechify is a text to speech tool that will read out any text to you out loud in English and many other languages. Originally created for people with dyslexia and reading difficulties, this tool will allow you to go over the material for your AP European History exam no matter where you are (or what you’re doing).
It essentially turns your test prep material and review book into an audiobook. That makes retaining information easier (since the material is read out to you, like a podcast). What’s more, it saves you time. You can make a playlist of your material (from the official test prep book like the Princeton Review or Barron’s AP European History study guide) and content reviews that you previously wrote out and answer questions on the go.
Tip #3 — Practice test with flashcards
Not all study material will be readily available to you. Some of it you’ll have to make yourself because test preparation can’t consist of just re-reading the material. This will help you prepare for the multiple choice and short-answer questions on the test.
Making flashcards will help you go over the course material. You’ll be able to connect the material and dot down the key information. It’s best to divide your flashcards into nice segments (one for each section of the course). That will be helpful both when you do the practice exams and on actual test day.
Use Speechify to get the most out of studying
Speechify is easy to use and available on all devices. So even if you find yourself somewhere with only your phone and some free time (but no exam prep book), you’ll be able to revise your material with Speechify.
This TTS tool has a wide range of natural-sounding voices. So it will never give you the impression that you’re listening to a robot yammering about Protestant Reform. Instead, you’ll be able to pick a natural-sounding voice (maybe even Gwyneth Paltrow’s) that will read the information from your study material to you.
Speechify is a fast program so the text-to-speech transformation is instant. There are no long loading times. What’s more, you’re also able to control the speed of reading. So, if you’re trying to go over something really quickly, you can speed up Speechify to anything between 2 to 5x.
If you’re someone who retains information better when you listen to it, then Speechify is a great tool for you. An audio learning tool like Speechify can help you learn faster, be more efficient, and be more productive.
What is the first part of the AP European History Exam?
The Ap European History exam has two sections, and you’ll have a total of three hours and 15 minutes to do all three of them. The first part of the first section is the multiple-choice questions part. You’ll have 55 minutes to answer just as many questions. The second part of the first section is the short-answer part. You’ll get three questions that you’ll have to answer in short form in 40 minutes. Out of those three questions, the final question will give you the option to choose between two writing prompts.
The second section is the free-response or essay question section. You’ll have 60 minutes to write a long essay on a DBQ (a document-based question), and your essay will have to have multiple paragraphs.
What was the significance of the Treaty of Berlin?
The Treaty of Berlin significantly weakened the position Russia had in Europe because it protected the Ottoman Empire. It ended the alliance between Russia, Austria, and Prussia (also known as the Holy Alliance).
Is AP European History hard?
In short, yes. AP European History has a below-average passing rate, just like AP World History. However, with the right study guide and schedule, test prep, flashcards, full-length practice tests with practice questions, and a lot of work, you’ll be able to pass it and even score the highest score.