APUSH Writing Resources
Writing makes up 60% of the exam. Your ability to communicate your knowledge of U.S. History is essential to passing the exam. Just knowing the material will not be enough, you must be able to show it. The following sections will give you information that will assist you in mastering each of the three types of writing exercises.
Use the following documents to assist you in writing.
Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
The Short Answer Questions are worth 20% of your overall score on the exam. Students will be given a total of four questions, each focused on a different era. The first two questions are required, the next two the student will get a choice of which to answer. Each question is divided into three parts labeled A, B, and C respectively. Students are awarded one point for each successful answer to each part, no partial points. 9 points are available and students who want at least a 3 on the exam should aim to score at least 4-5 points.
Long Essay Question (LEQ)
The long essay is worth 15% of the total grade on the test. Students are given 3 different prompts, each addressing a different time period but with each addressing the same Historical Thinking Skill (HTS). Students can earn up to six points on the essay. A poor essay will earn 0-1 points, an average essay will earn 2-3 points, a superior essay will earn 4-5 points, few essay will earn a 6.
Document Based Question (DBQ)
1 Question | 60 Minutes (includes 15-minute reading period) | 25% of Exam Score. Students can earn up to 7 points on the DBQ. A very good score on the DBQ is generally 3-4 points. Superior scores are a 5-6 with few exceptional essays earning all 7 points.