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6-Week Study Plan for Mastering the AP World History: Modern Exam

Week 1: Foundations and the Global Tapestry

  • Focus: Dive into the origins of civilizations and classical empires from c. 1200 to c. 1450, examining their cultures, technologies, and governance structures.

  • Key Topics: Detailed study of developments in East Asia (Song Dynasty's innovations), Dar al-Islam (the spread of Islam and cultural exchanges), South and Southeast Asia (impact of Hinduism and Buddhism), and Europe (feudalism, Crusades).

  • Skill Development: Emphasize comparison skills by identifying similarities and differences in political structures, social hierarchies, and cultural developments across these regions.

  • Activities: Create Venn diagrams to compare two regions, analyze primary sources to understand cultural exchanges, and write short comparative essays.

  • Resources: Utilize Khan Academy for thematic videos, Freeman-Pedia for visual summaries, and AP Classroom for practice questions and feedback.

Week 2: Networks of Exchange and Land-Based Empires

  • Focus: Explore the dynamic trade networks and the political and cultural implications of empire expansion and administration.

  • Key Topics: Silk Roads, Mongol impact on Eurasia, Ottoman, Mughal, and Qing empires' governance, and the significance of the Trans-Saharan trade.

  • Skill Development: Develop causation analysis by linking trade networks to cultural and technological diffusion and assessing the impact of empire expansion on global history.

  • Activities: Map exercises on trade routes, comparative charts of empires' administrative strategies, and causation essays on the effects of trade and empire.

  • Resources: Heimler’s History for review videos and strategy tips, Quizlet for key term memorization, and primary document analysis exercises from various databases.

Week 3: Transoceanic Interconnections

  • Focus: Assess the global upheaval initiated by transoceanic exploration, including the Columbian Exchange, maritime empire building, and technological advancements.

  • Key Topics: Motivations behind European explorations, impact of the Columbian Exchange on global demographics and economies, establishment and development of maritime empires (Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, British, French).

  • Skill Development: Highlight continuity and change over time by examining the long-term impacts of exploration and empire-building on world societies.

  • Activities: Timeline projects on the Age of Exploration, thematic essays on the impacts of the Columbian Exchange, and DBQ practices on maritime empires.

  • Resources: Crash Course World History for engaging overviews, interactive maps from Freeman-Pedia, and AP Worldipedia for in-depth articles.

Week 4: Revolutions and Industrialization

  • Focus: Investigate the revolutionary transformations that reshaped societies, focusing on the Industrial Revolution's causes, spread, and social and economic impacts, alongside the political revolutions that redrew world maps.

  • Key Topics: Enlightenment ideas, the American and French Revolutions, the spread of industrialization beyond Britain, social and political responses to industrialization, and the wave of independence movements.

  • Skill Development: Sharpen document analysis skills with a focus on primary sources from the Industrial Revolution and revolutionary movements, preparing for the DBQ section of the AP exam.

  • Activities: Analyze Enlightenment texts, compare political revolutions across regions, and evaluate the effects of industrialization on different social classes.

  • Resources: Primary source collections for document analysis, Khan Academy courses for content review, and video essays from historians on YouTube.

Week 5: The 20th Century and Beyond

  • Focus: Unpack the complex developments of the 20th century, including global conflicts, the Cold War's geopolitical tensions, decolonization movements, and the nuances of globalization.

  • Key Topics: Causes and consequences of World Wars, dynamics of the Cold War, processes and impact of decolonization in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and the environmental, cultural, and economic facets of globalization.

  • Skill Development: Enhance argumentation skills by forming and defending theses on 20th-century developments, with a focus on synthesizing diverse historical evidence.

  • Activities: Debate the impacts of the Cold War on third countries, write essays on decolonization's legacy, and create presentations on globalization's effects.

  • Resources: BBC documentaries for historical overviews, TED Talks for perspectives on globalization, and scholarly articles for deep dives into specific topics.

Week 6: Comprehensive Review and Strategy

  • Thematic and Skill Review: Begin the week by revisiting the major themes and skills covered in the AP World History: Modern curriculum. Use a mix of flashcards for quick recall of key terms and events, and engage in active discussions or write brief analytical pieces to synthesize your understanding of larger historical processes. Focus on areas where you feel less confident to solidify your knowledge base.

  • Exam Practice: Allocate two days to taking full-length practice exams under timed conditions to simulate the test day experience. This practice is crucial for refining your time management skills and getting comfortable with the exam format. After each practice exam, spend time reviewing your answers, especially focusing on the questions you got wrong or guessed on, to understand your mistakes and learn from them.

  • Skill Sharpening: Dedicate time to polishing your DBQ and essay-writing skills. Review the College Board’s scoring guidelines and sample responses to understand what makes a high-scoring answer. Practice outlining essays quickly and efficiently, focusing on thesis development and integration of evidence.

  • Mental Preparation: The day before the exam should be focused on mental preparation. While it's important to do a brief review, especially of your notes and flashcards, avoid deep-diving into new or complex material. Instead, prioritize relaxation and mental clarity. Engage in activities that reduce stress and enhance focus, such as light exercise, meditation, or spending time on a hobby that relaxes you.

  • Physical Preparedness: Ensure you have all logistical aspects of the exam day planned out, from what you’ll eat for breakfast to how you’ll get to the exam location. Gather all necessary materials the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

Remember, consistency is key. Stick to your study plan, but also be flexible and adjust as needed based on your progress and understanding of the material.

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