How To Survive: AP European History

How To Survive: AP European History

Rachel Seo, Features Editor

The Wrangler’s new How to Survive weekly series will provide a steady stream of helpful (and sometimes sarcastic) information that will get an average adolescent human being into the constant swing of life…just don’t jump off into the wood chips at the wrong time.


If you are one of the brave few who have ventured out into the world of AP classes by taking AP European History, congratulations! You’ve completed step one!

No, seriously. Step one to surviving AP Euro was actually signing up for the class.


  1. Sign up for AP Euro. (Because nobody ever survived anything by never trying it.)


Unfortunately, Step One was the easiest part. While it’s easy to look at a challenge when it’s locked behind a metal cage, it’s not as easy when that cage is unlocked and you find yourself inside the box with the beast. That’s when you begin to learn to face it.


  1. Actually do the summer homework. Like, actually do it. Just do it. (Isn’t Nike supposed to be an “in” thing these days?)

Laziness is most likely the first obstacle you’ll run into. You don’t just don’t want to do summer homework. Who does? It’s summer! The beaches are poppin’, the fairs are cracklin’, the heat makes your brain dull, and your friends probably haven’t done the homework either (most likely they aren’t taking the class…or you guys are complaining about it together).

Many people drop the class by the end of the summer, simply because they didn’t want to do the summer homework. But trust me: junior year summer homework is way more hard-core than AP Euro summer homework. If you want to be prepared for the AP Death Trap That Is Eleventh Grade, AP Euro is the way to go.


  1. STICK WITH IT. Congratulations! You were one of the select elite who actually did his or her summer homework. When all the other students around you were dropping like flies, you did the homework, turned it in, and managed to bungle your way through the first test.

It doesn’t matter if you get an awful grade on the first test. Remember: it’s the FIRST TEST, most likely of your FIRST HISTORY AP CLASS. (AP Human Geography was instituted this year–2015-2016–so you, the class of ‘18, haven’t taken it.) Chill. Hang out with your homies. Discuss what was hard about the test. Do all of those things.


To be honest, AP is a lot different from regular high school classes. You probably won’t receive a lot of busy work; beside the occasional binder check, you might only probably have reading and studying as homework (with notes). The load isn’t as intense as everyone says it is. A former Euro student, Kulsoom Naqvi (11), says that “the first few weeks of the class are intimidating, but you’ll eventually get used to it and the class will get easier.”

Sure, the stress level is high. But such is life when you’re taking AP classes. If you even had the thought that maybe you should take AP Euro, you’ll probably be taking more honors/AP classes in the future.

What better way to prepare for your future AP aspirations than by tackling at least one AP class sophomore year?




Another way to survive your AP classes is by asking for outside help. Your teacher might introduce you to a YouTuber named Tom Richey (, who is an AP Euro/APUSH teacher in the eastern part of the United States. He uploads lectures and has tons of helpful PowerPoints on his website; definitely check him out at least once. (Also, if you Tweet him, he’ll probably respond back…)

Another resource is to get a hold of a good outline that you can study from. Don’t print it out all at once (your printer will go berserk), but use it to help you study for tests. It has all the important points down, and it’ll help you; I promise:

Lastly, buy a good AP Euro review book (recommended: Princeton Review; it has the most summary), and right before the AP test in May and annotate/read its entirety. The Barrons book is popular, and it’s okay if you want a ton of practice test questions, but it skimps on a lot of the summary, and mastery of the information is your priority.


  1. CHILL.


You’ll be working a lot harder this year than you did last year if you’re taking Euro, but don’t forget: there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Try to get some sleep. Eat proper food. Try to have a decent breakfast at least once in a while.


And, in case you’re wondering why on earth I have the authority to be writing this article, I got a 5 on the AP test. And if I could get a 5, you can as well.