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on October 10, 2012
Ok first off let me just tell you that I got a 4 on my AP test. This book WORKS. I had a decent techer, but I never read our class textbook because it was HORRIBLY written and really difficult to understand. Suffice to say, I didn't really learn anything the whole year in that class and when I took the practice World History exam a month before the real one, I got exactly what I expected to get, which was a ONE. Right after the practice exam I went out and bought the Princeton Review prep book for AP World History. It seemed like an easy enough book to read, but once I started studying it I found myself unable to actually commit to it. Now I was down to 2 weeks before the test and I still didn't know much more than before my 2 weeks of studying the Princeton review. I then decided to buy this book and LOVED it. It is so easy to read and split up in short little chapters that focus on a certain topic of a specific period. The book is divided into time periods, which made it really easy to understand because it all went in order. Within the two weeks before the test I read the entire book cover to cover. If I had started earlier and really studied the content more, then I'm positive that I would have gotten a five, but since I didn't exactly study it in depth I got a four. Either way a 4 is still a really good score, especially since I started with such a small knowledge base of the subject and I practically learned the entire year's worth of info in 2 weeks. Seriously don't waste your money on any other prep book. This book is the best out there and if you read this entire book (it's actually the smallest and shortest of all prep books, I checked) then you are guaranteed a 4 or higher.
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on January 29, 2012
A lot of AP review books are massive--they cover a lot of material. I have never been able to read one of those cover to cover.

If you want a small, easy to carry book that contains a wealth of information (but limits itself to the most important information), then this is the book for you.

The only downside is that this book may not cover the topics in the same order as your textbook may have, but this is still an excellent review for the final AP World test.
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on October 5, 2011
This book is very informative and easy to follow. There are helpful test taking tips along with outlines and important facts in each chapter. This book is a great study tool and makes me feel very prepared for the exam. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to be successful on the AP World History exam.
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on May 21, 2012
I like the key terms in the beginning of the book. Crash Course chooses the most important terms and explains them well. The main part of the book is chronological review. The author divides the world history into six periods. In class, our teacher always ask us to do a SPRITE (social, political, religion, intellectual, trade, environment) chart for a civilization or an empire, so that we can have an overview for each important country. However, in Crash Course, the way how the author does the outline isn't exactly clear. He focuses on different things for different periods and different empires. It was a little bit hard to follow his logic and hard to get a large picture. Since he uses everything in the same font and same style, it is also hard to tell which points are more important than the others.

I like how the author gives many AP test tips because people use different test books across the country. It is pretty interesting for me to find out what the AP Central focuses aren't exactly same than what the textbook focuses. Part III of the Crash Course book is pretty useful. It is good for last-minute essay review. The clear periodization and the list of the most important civilizations certainly helped me to put everything together. Moreover, I like the summary chart for religions in Page 52. I hope the author can have more charts like that. Besides the charts, I hope the book can include more graphs and timelines.
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on October 3, 2011
What a useful book! Love the format. The chapters are broken down into topics and time periods, which makes it easy to find subjects for review. Really helpful test tips scattered throughout. Also includes some great strategy information for different parts of the test (eg. multiple choice questions and essays).
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on May 21, 2012
Overall, Jay Harmon's AP World History Crash Course book was effective, however, there are aspects of the book that could be improved. The book's religion chart was clear and concise, however, the book's long list of bullet points seemed more like a long textbook that did not define its terms rather than a brief summary. In addition, the online test was confusing and unhelpful. Harmon did a good job at displaying the key facts for the AP World History exam, but must keep in mind that his readers are looking for a clear and concise summary of events for the exam.

Harmon's organization of the book needs help. Harmon's crash course book used long lists of bullet points in an attempt to give readers information. But as a student looking for a quick summary of a period of time, these bullet points did not give an overall idea of the time period. Instead, Harmon should have used short summaries at the beginning of each chapter, and then gone into detail with bullet points for those looking for more explanation. By giving an overall summary, readers can know the overall trends of the chapter. If readers are confused about a specific term used, they could look to the bullet points for more information. In addition, Harmon would sometimes mention key terms and then fail to define them. As a student looking for a quick way to review, one does not want to have to go to an online source to look up the key term. Harmon's organization needs to appeal to the student looking for an overall summary upfront, with more details for those looking for more information.

The AP World History Crash Course attempted to use some diagrams to appeal to students. The world religions chart was a helpful way to look at important religions by comparing them side-by-side. In addition, the map that showed "Origins and Diffusion Routes for Selection Religions" helped show how the world religions spread across the globe. While useful, this map would have more useful if it could easily be compared with a map of trade routes during the same time period. In addition, more comparison charts would have been helpful. Students would benefit from the use of short and concise charts to compare regions such as the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire. While the book did use some charts, more diagrams would be useful for students looking for quick ways to remember key facts and remember differences in world powers.

Harmon did an overall good job at choosing to organize the book based on time periods set up by the College Board, but still confused readers with the exact timeline of history. The AP World History Crash Course book would greatly benefit from a large timeline that shows the major dynasties and world powers throughout the AP World History syllabus. As Harmon uses long lists of bullet points to show important material, readers can become lost at the exact chronology of events. Students who are looking for a clear and concise summary of world history would greatly benefit from a timeline.

One of the ways that the book advertises itself is by giving a free online practice exam to those who buy the book. Within the front cover are directions on how to access the online exam. These directions are wrong. In fact, it is hard to find how to access the exam on the website. Most students would have simply given up on finding the exam and never would have taken it. For the few who venture on and finally figure out how to take the exam, there is not much reward. The exam is poorly worded and needs to be updated. After going halfway through taking the exam, it froze. Extremely frustrated, I completely gave up on the book. The online exam needs serious work, as do the directions that take you to the exam.

While the AP World History Crash Course book was a good attempt at offering students a quick and easy summary to study from, it could be benefited from reorganization, more diagrams, a timeline, and an improved online exam. Overall, this book did help me to prepare for the exam. If I had solely relied on this book, however, I would have been in deep trouble. The book is helpful, but needs background information from other sources. While this exam is helpful, it could benefit from making itself more into a cheat sheet for those cramming the night before. Students already have textbooks; they are not looking for another one.
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on December 14, 2014
Helpful "catchall" review book with chronological and thematic review of the long march of AP World History. Particularly helpful for CCOT and C&C essays that come in the FRQ section of the AP test.
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on July 11, 2012
I had an awful teacher for this course, and was almost in tears three weeks before the exam. I got this book, read it cover to cover, and recieved a 5 on the exam! It's a wonderful, in depth, interesting book that teached you exactly what you need to know, in almost no time. Buy it!
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on May 3, 2014
When I bought this book for my younger brother, I imagined that this book would be a size of a regular school textbook. However, its the size of a traveler's guide.
I asked my brother how he thought of the book, he said "It's okay, but it's not the best. It's very informational and helps define many terms. It's like a dictionary for AP World." I only bought the book because his teacher recommended it..
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on June 21, 2014
Pretty good review, I like this book because it provides straightforward bullet points on main ideas. It's also not an intimidating huge textbook, so I actually got to pore over this two times. Unfortunately, I only scored a 4 on the test in May 2013 (time was an issue for me).
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