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ERIC Number: EJ824461
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Advanced Placement European History: An Anatomy of the Essay Examination, 1956-2000
Blackey, Robert
History Teacher, v35 n3 p311-342 May 2002
The College Board's Advanced Placement European History examination has evolved over the course of its first half-century of existence in virtually all respects: the types and subject matter of questions asked (and not asked); the nature of the history those questions reflect; the number of questions both offered and to be answered, as well as how they have been and not been grouped; the time allotted to answer those questions; the way questions have been worded in order to elicit thought-induced responses rather than those based on memorization of facts; and in its sensitivity to issues of class, gender, geography, ethnicity, and matters of faith. The evolution of the examination is a reflection of the mixture of change and continuity that characterizes both history itself and the evolution of the survey of European history course. It also reflects how teachers and scholars evolve during the course of their careers, all in an effort to do a still better job, to get closer to ever-elusive perfections, to learn from their own history as they would hope their students have learned from the history they teach them. In this article, the author presents an examination of the exam, an anatomization of forty-five years of essay questions (540 such questions in all, with a high per exam of 31 in 1956, to the current seven, which it has been since 1976). The author's idea is that such an analysis will reveal some useful, if not provocative, characteristics about a program--as well as the discipline of history--in which thousands of secondary school and college/university teachers have invested so heavily. (Contains 45 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A