AP U.S. History Professional Development

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Several online professional development resources are available for AP U.S. History teachers.

Teaching and Assessing AP U.S. History

Some content related to scoring and historical thinking skills is currently being updated to reflect the recent changes to the AP history rubrics and AP U.S. History CED. For details, see below. We’ll email you when those units are available.

If you weren’t able to complete all of the segments before they became unavailable and this affected your CEUs, please contact apushonlinepd@collegeboard.org for help.

As you prepare students for the exam's focus on writing historical arguments, you can access an online resource that provides, for each historical period:

  • videos of professors and teachers modeling and explaining the use of content from each period to develop the historical understandings and thinking skills that students will need for the exam;
  • a long essay, document-based, or short-answer question to give students opportunities to practice the skills that will be assessed on the exam, and
  • training in the use of AP scoring guidelines to score student responses with accuracy.

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNv51PmTfK4 width:700px height:394px align:left autoplay:0]

The modules are grouped as shown below.

AP Professional Development Modules Chart

How to Access

You can access the available modules using the login information emailed to you. If you've forgotten your login information, recover it here. Visit our FAQ for more information about accessing this resource.

Introductory Module: Mastering AP U.S. History Scoring Guidelines

This module will introduce you to the different types of questions on the AP U.S. History Exam, as well as what is expected of students in order to receive a high score. You’ll also have the opportunity to practice scoring student analytic writing responses and learn how they might be scored on the exam.

Log in to access Mastering Scoring Guidelines


Available now

Period-Specific Modules: Teaching and Assessing Across the Periods

These modules introduce you to activities you can use in your classes and what is expected of students in order to receive a high score on questions about each period.

Each period-specific module has three components:

  • Focus on Research, where you’ll hear about key historical issues and themes for the period
  • Focus on Teaching, exploring how you can help students develop a particular historical thinking skill while discussing the period
  • Focus on Assessment, a concluding unit featuring an in-depth exploration of an AP U.S. History Exam question that lets you practice scoring student responses*

Log in to access period-specific modules

*Focus on Assessment units are currently being updated for Periods 8 and 9. You’ll get an email when they’re updated.

Available now:
Period 1 (1491–1607)
Period 2 (1607—1754)

Period 3 (1754—1800)
Period 4 (1800–1848)
Period 5 (1844–1877)
Period 6 (1865–1898)
Period 7 (1890–1945)
Period 8 (1945–1980)
Period 9 (1980–present)

Working With Challenging Primary Sources

In line with the goal of promoting student engagement with meaningful texts, the College Board is providing a free online resource for teachers. Featuring introductions by Sam Wineburg of the Stanford History Education Group and James Bennet, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, and created by veteran AP U.S. History teachers, the resource provides strategies for teaching reading and writing focused on meaningful and challenging primary sources. By inspiring students to create a “series of questions, not a series of answers,” this resource helps teachers encourage in-depth analysis of the historical context and the author’s language choices to produce exemplary student writing.

These modules were developed for AP U.S. History teachers, but the nonfiction reading and writing strategies they explore will be useful for teachers of a variety of AP subjects.