Study Skills Workshop

Study Skills Workshop
How to Improve your AP
Euro Grade
Mr. Freiler
Reading/Study Approaches
Eliminate distractions (that’s you,
Find a steady pace, not too slow or too fast
Be efficient—work smart, not just hard
A typical 7-10 page assignment should take
between 30-50 minutes
Be active, not passive!
Focus on building understanding, not
accumulating “facts” (use reading guide
Think of yourself as constructing an
analytical framework, rather than
obsessively highlighting
Survey—take 1 minute to look through
chapter/section headings
Question—take 1 minute to ask analytical questions
regarding the reading, such as:
– What caused this event/development?
– What are the main features of this event?
– What other themes/key concepts does this relate
to chronologically?
– What resulted from this movement?
– What is the overall significance of the movement?
– How does this section fit with larger narratives?
Note: Use reading guides and study guide questions
to assist with this.
Read—remember to focus on connecting
main ideas with significant examples.
Annotate—annotate rather than highlight,
use margins to make notes on analytical
statements, connecting key ideasexamples, noting cause-effect, etc.
Review—take 2 minutes immediately after
to review main ideas and make a 1-minute
Revisit your notes at the end of the unit or
to study.
Historical Thinking Skills
Chronological reasoning:
– Cause and effect (long- and short-term)
– Continuity and change over time (What’s changing? Where? Social
developments especially…)
– Periodization (key dates, eras)
Comparison and Contextualization
– Across time and space
– Situate explanations (what else during this era connects with
development X?)
Using Evidence to Make Arguments
– Note how text or other sources arrange evidence to construct a
narrative (evaluate them)
– Pay attention to different types of sources (purpose, audience, bias)
Interpretation and Synthesis
– Historiography
– Think in terms of writing an essay (anticipate question and consider
possible approaches)
Themes (“build” the course!)
1. The interaction of Europe with the world and the economic,
political, cultural, and social effects in both directions (exploration
and colonization).
2. Economic innovation increases prosperity but can also worsen
or ignore poverty and inequality, raising important issues for
governments (Italian city-states and recovery).
3. The movement from authoritative sources of knowledge (Bible,
ancients) to objective sources and the tension between these and
subjective interpretations of reality (emergence of quantitative
thinking in ideas, art, culture, science, technology, economy).
4. The growth in power of the state, the competition among
these nation-states, and the resulting changes in the balance of
power (New Monarchs and competition for colonial empires).
5. Individualism can act as a force for progress but can conflict
with the needs of the community and social institutions (women
and the Renaissance).
Key Concepts
Key Concept 1.1: Europeans’ intellectual worldview shifted
from one based on the authority of scripture and the ancients
to one based on inquiry and observation of the natural world.
Key Concept 1.2: The struggle for sovereignty within and
among states resulted in varying degrees of political
Key Concept 1.4: Europeans explored and settled overseas
territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous
Key Concept 1.5: The capitalization of urban and agrarian
economies redistributed wealth across social groups and
regions of Europe.
Key Concept 1.6: The experiences of everyday life were
increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural
capitalism, notwithstanding the persistence of medieval
social and economic structures.
Visuals and Documents
DO look at charts, cartoons, maps,
primary sources, and art.
Think about how they reflect the
period in which they were
Make notes by them for future
Remember, 15-20% of AP exam
questions employ some form of
visual stimuli.
Review visuals after completing a
reading assignment.
Organize and Think!
After completing a unit, take about 30-45 minutes to
complete an outline or visual map of the unit.
Focus on developing a precise and explicit grasp of
key concepts, e.g., that the Renaissance promoted:
classical learning, secular values, humanism,
quantitative methods, etc.
Connect concepts to specifics—there is no “little picture”
without the
big picture.
Spend more time thinking and less time worrying,
highlighting, memorizing.