AP Insight: U.S. History

A Road Map to AP Success

AP educators leveraged years of teaching experience, data, and student work to identify key challenge areas – the concepts and skills most foundational to success in college and AP U.S. History. Teachers use AP Insight to create a road map in their own syllabus, target challenge areas, and help students connect building blocks to master the course. 

Back to AP Insight Home

Strategically Focus Instruction

AP US History Overview of Challenge Areas


Challenge Areas

Flexible Building Blocks by Period

American and National Identity
Supporting Claims: CCOT Ethnicity and Assimilation
  1. 5 Purpose/POV/Audience: Antebellum Nativism
  2. 6 Limitations: CCOT Agency and Assimilation
  1. 7 Counterclaims: CCOT WWII African American Identity
  2. 8 Transitions: CCOT Post-1965 National Identity
Politics and Power
Developing Claims: CCOT Economic Reform Movements
  1. 4 Thesis and Claims: CCOT and Early Industrialization
  2. 6 Tying Evidence to Thesis: CCOT and Labor Strategies
  1. 6 Tying Evidence to Thesis: CCOT and Populism
  2. 7 Linking Evidence to Claims: CCOT and Progressivism
Supporting Claims: CCOT and Political Parties
  1. 3 Unpack Arguments: The Origins of Party
  2. 4 Tying Evidence to Thesis: Second Party System
  1. 7 Comparing Arguments: CCOT to New Deal Coalition
  2. 8 Argument Development: CCOT of Postwar Parties
Argumentation: Causation and Popular Movements
  1. 4 Developing a Claim: Causation and Antebellum Reform
  2. 8 Argumentation: Causation and Civil Rights Movement
  1. 8 Argumentation: Causation and Activist Groups
  2. 9 Argumentation: Causation and Conservative Movement
Work, Exchange, and Technology
Limitations: Context and Government Role in Economy
  1. 4 Limitations: Contextualizing Market Revolution
  2. 6 Counterclaims: Context and Gilded Age Economics
  1. 7 Counterclaims: Context and the Progressive Era
  2. 7 Contextualizing the New Deal
Culture and Society
Supporting Claims: Context and Regional Identities
  1. 2 Analyzing Context: Creating Race-Based Slavery
  2. 4 Extended Analysis: Slavery and Sectionalism
  1. 5 Tying Evidence to Thesis: Reconstruction and Identity
  2. 6 Argument Development: Contextualization and Sharecropping
Migration and Settlement
Argumentation: Cause and Effect 20th Century Migration
  1. 7 Quantitative Evidence: Causes of Great Migration
  2. 7,8   Support Claims: Causes of 2nd Great Migration
  1. 8 Counterclaims: Causes of Postwar Suburbanization
  2. 9 Linking Evidence to Thesis: The Rise of the Sun Belt
Geography and the Environment
Develop Claims: Effects of Competition for Resources
  1. 1 Analyzing Arguments: Geography and Empire Building
  2. 3 Thesis: Causation and American Indian Alliances
  1. 5 Linking Claims: Effects of Expansionism
America and the World
Primary Sources: Compare Intercultural Relationships
  1. 1 Aud/Purp: Compare Cultural Responses to Europeans
  2. 2 Aud/POV: Compare Colonial Systems and Native Responses
  1. 2 Aud/Purp: Compare Native Responses to Colonization
  2. 3 Arg/POV: Compare Natives' Shifting Balance of Power
Interpretation: Periodizing U.S. Foreign Policy
  1. 3 Analyzing Claims: Characterizing Early Diplomacy
  2. 4 Analyzing Claims: Periodizing U.S. Expansionism
  1. 5 Evaluating Claims: Turning Points—U.S. Expansion
  2. 7 Interpretation: Turning Points—U.S. Intervention


Year-Round Support for Teachers and Students

AP teachers and higher education faculty developed classroom-tested tools and resources to help you focus, gain insight, and increase impact on students as you prepare, teach, assess, and act on the challenge areas in AP.


Getting Started is Easy

Access to AP Insight is available for a subscription fee based on the size of your AP program or classroom. Teachers, districts, and state departments of education all currently subscribe to AP Insight.

Contact us at apinsight@collegeboard.org to learn more and subscribe.

Contact Us