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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kaplan AP World History test prep (with dvd)
AP World History 2016 (Book + DVD)
ISBN10:  1625231423
ISBN13:  978-1625231420
468 Pages
Kaplan Test Prep Series
Kaplan Publishing

Visit Kaplan Online

I love history, always have...I was a high school AP History student years ago, so I thought IF this prep could get a golden oldie like me a passing grade, it could work quite well for those preparing to test today. Of course, many things affect your scores - as study habits differ from person to person, however, this book is an all inclusive prep, that tries to convey the most relevant information, quickly and concisely. I took a practice test prior to reading the first page of the book - to give me a starting point on which to judge any improvement. I knew I wouldn't be hanging that score on the fridge... - I passed, barely. After reading through about half the book I already knew my next test score would be better. So, I took a second practice test - and as predicted, I had improved. By the time I completed the entire prep book, I was truly feeling my oats. I could see where a majority of my errors had been. The tips given throughout the study had changed the way I was approaching the questions, in addition to how I was answering them. I was proud of that last score.

There's a lot of information in this book. I'm not going to try to list everything in this review, just highlight the major points and themes. It explains everything from registration and fees to the weighted scoring. AP exams are very different than other kinds of history exams - all questions are geared toward eliciting a higher-level answer. There are four parts: *The Basics,  *"How To" approach to the exam;  *Diagnostic Test with answer key; *World History in review divided into five sections, and Practice Tests with keys.

There are five themes:
  • Theme 1:  Interactions between people and the environment
  • Theme 2:  Development and interaction of cultures
  • Theme 3:  State-building, expansion, and conflict
  • Theme 4:  Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems
  • Theme 5:  Development and transformation of social structures
Historical Thinking Skills:
  • HTS 1:  Crafting historical arguments from historical evidence in World History
  • HTS 2:  Applying chronological reasoning skills to World History
  • HTS 3:  Applying comparison and contextualization skills to World History
  • HTS 4:  Applying historical interpretation and synthesis to World History
Knowing why the questions are written helps the student decipher what is being asked. The questions on the practice exam help prepare you for what to expect on test day. Even with excellent preparation you will have to guess at some of the answers. Since scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly (no penalty for incorrect answers), it is important to never leave a question unanswered. The book emphasizes time management (bring a watch), organization, and how to write good essay answers. The video tutorials on the included DVD, help review the most important concepts you can expect on the exam.

Like I said, there's a lot of good information here. As for my personal experience - reading the book improved my scores and at the end of the day, that is the goal. If I were a student, preparing to take the World History exam, the Kaplan AP World History prep book would be the cornerstone of my study (albeit not the only source I would consult). I recommend it without reservation.

Good Luck!


*It has been noted by others that the practice questions in this book are easier than those on the actual exam. I recommend utilizing multiple sources as you prepare for test day.

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