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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2008
I took the 2008 AP World History exam. To prepare for the test, I read Kaplan's, Barron's, and Princeton Review's AP World History test prep books. Of the three, Barron's has the lengthiest history review. Pretty much the entire book is history review. The review is really detailed, and actually seems more of a textbook than a test prep book. In addition to lengthy reviews, this book also summarizes each time period, breaking it down into sections, such as gender role or political structure, really well. This book has a lot of practice questions, 10 almost every few pages. Unfortunately, the sample tests and practice questions don't reflect the actual AP World History exam questions at all. The practice questions in this book are more context questions than conceptual questions, and doesn't really challenge the student to think about the interactions between different cultures, which is basically what the AP World History exam test is about. This book does an even worst job to prepare you for the essays; although plenty of essay questions are provided, none of them have a sample essay so that students can see what might be expected of them in their essay; the general tips/suggestions in the beginning of the book just doesn't cut it. If you have several weeks before the test, you may want to consider this book for its lengthy review. I just got my grade, a 5.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
This is a poor review book for the AP World History Exam. It has one main problem: it's way too long. While the review material is good and informative, it is simply too dense to be helpful. More isn't always better. To put it into perspective, this book has a 400-page review of world history. The AP Edition of The Earth and Its Peoples, a popular AP textbook, is 1000 pages. Once you take out the excess pictures, maps, and charts in the actual text, both books are approximately the same length. So, if you want a second textbook, this Barron's book is fine. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

A good review book for the AP Exam should boil down world history to the larger themes and trends, while providing not much more than the important and essential details. This book loses itself in the details and under-covers the larger themes (which the AP exam covers in depth). By regurgitating all of world history in 400 pages of dense text, the authors have failed to do their job.

Unless you want a second textbook, I don't recommend this book. This book really just hides behind its promise of an "extensive" and "comprehensive" review in order to shirk its responsibility to turn several thousand years of history into a concise, but helpful review. The authors should have spent their time writing more practice exams instead of reporting the minutiae of world history that the AP exam has never and will never test.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
This is a great tool to get an overview of everything that will be on the AP exam, since textbooks have too much information to possibly remember at once and tend to go into unnecessary details. The Barron's book provides a good and detailed summary of every time period and lists economic, social, and political developments that are necessary to know for the essay portion of the exam. It also provides good sample multiple choice questions in its practice exams, though its essay topics are definitely not like actual essay questions. However, the book still offered me a comprehensive and detailed summary of all topics covered on the test without going into extra detail. I got a 5 on the AP test =]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2011
I took AP World History last year. The Barron's book may not suit everyone but it was the most helpful book that I came accross. While the summaries of units were very long, the book included VERY HELPFUL UNIT TESTS, as well as practice topics for all three types of essays. The practice exams at the end of the book were slightly harder then the actual AP test but I thought that it was better to take the harder practice tests and then be pleasantly suprised while taking the exam. Overall, the book was the perfect choice for me; I would recommend it to anyone who wants to score higly and doesn't mind the extra reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
This book was really helpful when I was studying for my AP test last month! Even though it was a bit long and I didn't actually read it cover to cover, it had a detailed table of contents that made it simple to find exactly the information I was looking for. It explains things in a way that is easily understandable, and one of my favorite parts was that it had rubrics showing how each part of the test was graded and what to do to get full points. I don't think I would have survived without it, and I would most definitely recommend it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2009
This book is very very lengthy and i felt it wasn't any better than my regular book in class. I was a bit disappointed because some of the information it covers are really unimportant for the test. One thing i like is how they have these little quizes after each chapter so that was nice to refresh my memory every time. Also i liked the example essays because it really showed me how to write a good one. Overall, this review book is above average but i would stick with something else.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2008
After studying this text almost religiously for over a month prior to the AP exam, and scoring 4's and 5's on the practice exams, I was shocked when I discovered to have gotten a 3 on the exam. Not a 4, or 5, just a mediocre 3. This book is inadequate at best in preparing students for the type of questions and essays that appear on the real thing. Rather than focusing on the topics that are most likely to be covered, it is seemingly just a mass of text - I would deem it a better text book replacement than an actual study supplement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2010
A must have! Comprehensive and concise. Easy to study and weaves broad themes seamlessly. I DO HAVE TO MENTION a companion book that is just as important McGrawHill's "5 Steps to a 5 AP World History." Hint: get to know the Change/Continuity charts well. If you study both of these you'll have the knowledge and the analytical skills you'll need to ace the AP History test. Plus the "5 Step to a 5" will help you plan out your study routine, so you won't be trying to cram it in in 3 or 4 week. I got a 5 using these 2 books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
A very comprehensive look at world history - I used it to review for the FSE and I learned a bunch of other interesting things along the way. It gives enough of an overview of all the important world history events to offer a decent knowledge of what's been going on in the world, as well has how one thing can affect many.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2011
The product arrived in great condition and it was clearly brand new. It was indispensable for my AP World History and it was so thorough with the subjects and time frames covered in the test I found it amazing. I can honestly say I got a passing score on my AP Test thanks to this book!
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