Is APUSH Hard? Can You Pass the AP United States History?

History is a fascinating subject, rife with mysteries, and even answers to some of the most burning questions in today’s world.

Are you considering taking up AP United States History, but are unsure of its level of difficulty? Is APUSH hard?

The best way to evaluate this is to draw references from statistics, the perception of students, and the nature of the course.

If you are looking for an instant answer, though, then you’d better gear up because, yes, APUSH is one of the hardest and most popular AP classes.

Key factors dictating the difficulty of APUSH

AP classes are unsurprisingly more challenging than others, but even within them, there are various degrees of difficulty. You can judge this based on certain factors, which have been discussed below.

Pass Rate and 5-Rate

If the percentage of students who score a 3 or above on an AP exam is low, then it is best to assume that the class is hard. However, this can also be deceptive if a small set of highly dedicated students appears for an exam.

In 2019, the pass rate for APUSH was 53.6%, which gives the impression that it is a tough exam to crack. The 5-rate for APUSH was 11.8%, which is very low, given the number of students who take the test.

The content covered in APUSH

History is unending, and AP US History covers the past few hundred years of US History. It is bound to be teeming with countless facts, figures, timelines, and events to memorize and track.

You also need to analyze documents, illustrations, and demographic charts from various periods.

The nature of the exam is challenging, as well. The answers need to be well-supported, coherent and based on extensive background knowledge and theme interrelations.

What do the APUSH students think?

The most common concern among APUSH students is that it is incredibly stressful, and you need to take the test under high pressure.

The course material is grandly extensive and time-consuming. The general agreement between students is that AP US History is undeniably a difficult class.

How to determine your suitability for APUSH

If AP US History can give you a push towards your ideal career, then you must go for it. Even so, it is possible that despite your fascination with the course, you may find it too hard.

The level of difficulty that APUSH will serve you with is entirely dependent on you as an individual.

Here are some ways to determine whether you will be able to do well in APUSH:

  • Have a comprehensive conversation with your teachers, who will be able to give feedback on your abilities
  • Talk to your school’s counselor for guidance and information on your school students’ APUSH performances
  • Chat with some seniors who take APUSH and get an idea about the course and study methods
  • Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses — If you find science and math easier than humanities, then you may want to reconsider
  • Check the compatibility of your other AP classes with APUSH in terms of study-time. If you have other time-consuming classes such as AP Biology, it may cramp up your days and cause stress.

Summing up: Is APUSH hard?

The bottom line is, yes, APUSH is a hard AP class and requires dedicated and constant hard work. It is vast and demands an open and flexible mindset. However, it is an engaging and fun class too.

While statistics and popular opinion may indicate that AP US History is a challenging class, you must introspect your potential and abilities so that you make the best decision and don’t end up compromising on your grades.

Related: Is It Possible to Pass the AP Art History With Flying Colors?

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