78. Periodization


78 Days.  1,872 Hours. 112,320 Minutes

Great.  You and the AP World Test have met.  You got to know each other.  Now that you know the mechanics of the test (When, Where, Tips for test taking); it's time we start looking at the curriculum (stuff they want you to know about history).  

Something I had a problem with at your age was that there is just SO MUCH information that I could never possibly learn it all.  GOOD NEWS: YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEARN EVERYTHING THAT's EVER HAPPENED EVER... You just have to know what the College Board thinks is important.  That's still  a good bit of information.  Like any other thing in your life, it helps to take big tasks and 'chunk' them into smaller ones.  The AP World Curriculum does just that:

There are 6 eras.  Start thinking about history as 6 Films.  Break it down like Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.  Each PERIOD has a distinct beginning, middle, and end.  Each PERIOD may not be as fun or interesting as another PERIOD in your mind; but you need to know them all.  

Star Wars Periodization Example.jpg

You need to know:

  1. The PLOT (What's going on? What events happen? What opens the PERIOD? What brings it to a close?)
  2. The MAIN CHARACTERS (What Empires are important? Are there any specific people you should know?)
  3. The SETTING (What are the key areas to focus on? Are certain areas featured more heavily than other areas?)
  4. The CLIFF HANGERS (Does anything carry over from a previous PERIOD? What things are left unresolved?)

Knowing the PERIODS is one of the best investments of your time.  These PERIODS frame the essays.  Generally the essays will be asking you to analzye something in/and around these time restrictions.  (My website is divided by these same PERIODS).  


Like I said earlier, not all of them are your favorite.  Also, check that chart again.  Not all of them are as important.  Therefore (much like Star Wars) we will start with the most worthless PERIOD... The first one (I'm obviously referring to Phantom Menace as A New Hope is the 2nd best of the Star Wars films... Just wanted to clarify).  Tomorrow, we start with FOUNDATIONS...

Posted on February 24, 2016 .