Introducing the AP US History Study Guide: Gilder Lehrman’s One-Stop Guide to American History for AP Students


After many years of planning, the College Board has introduced an overhauled and redesigned AP United States History course for the 2014–15 school year. The changes to this course include a new curriculum framework, revised learning objectives, and the introduction of key concepts for each historical period. In addition, the AP US History test has been revamped to include a short-answer section and a revised multiple-choice section.

To guide students, parents, and teachers through these changes, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has created the new AP US History Study Guide. This new website, accessible on mobile devices, offers students the tools they need to excel in their AP US History courses and on the spring AP test. The AP US History Study Guide features:

  • A video introduction by a master teacher to each of the AP US History curriculum’s nine historical periods;
  • Interactive features, including extensive historical timelines, primary source documents, maps, and information graphics;
  • Practical tips and analytical skills to help students study for the new AP US History format;
  • Video and essays by renowned scholars to help illuminate historical periods and historical thinking skills;
  • Featured primary sources from each period, chosen from the Gilder Lehrman Collection’s more than 60,000 letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and books.

The original video for each of the nine periods presents a dynamic and accessible introduction to the events and key concepts with David Riesenfeld, a teacher at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School for Art and Technology in Long Island City, NY.  Along with the introductory video, students can access the myriad resources from the Gilder Lehrman Institute and follow their individual interests for more.

Period 1: 1491–1607, Period 2: 1607–1754, and Period 3: 1754–1800, have launched and additional periods, as well as a section with tips and videos on preparing for the AP test itself, will be posted in the coming weeks. Gilder Lehrman will continue to revise the content based on feedback from students and teachers.

To learn more about the AP US History Study Guide, visit To watch the video introduction to the series, click here.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute, a non-profit pioneer in the use of primary sources in classroom instruction, is uniquely suited to provide AP US History education. For over two decades, the Institute has offered content-rich resources to a national pool of educators and students from public, parochial, private, and charter schools. Through programs such as Saturday Academies and Teacher Seminars and a national network of over 5,000 Affiliate Schools funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute has earned recognition as an esteemed partner of schools and educators in preparing students for college readiness and future careers.

To learn more about the AP US History Study Guide, visit To watch the video introduction to the series, click here.


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