How Do You Write Notes in AP World History?

AP World History is a challenging course that requires students to have excellent note-taking skills. The course covers a vast amount of material, and taking effective notes can help you stay on top of the content and prepare for exams. In this tutorial, we’ll explore some tips and techniques for taking notes in AP World History.

1. Use Abbreviations

One of the most effective ways to take notes in AP World History is to use abbreviations.

This technique can help you write faster and keep up with your teacher’s pace. Some common abbreviations you can use include:

  • Ex. for example
  • Univ. for universal
  • C. for century
  • Econ. for economics

2. Organize Your Notes by Themes or Topics

Another great way to take notes in AP World History is to organize them by themes or topics.

This technique can help you see the big picture of the course and understand how different concepts are connected. For example, you could create a table with columns such as:

Date/Period Theme/Topic Main Ideas/Events Significance/Impact
Ancient Greece (800-323 BCE) Polytheism, Democracy, Philosophy, Art, Military Conquest Athenian Democracy; Peloponnesian War; Alexander the Great’s Empire Building; Influence on Western Civilization; Hellenistic Culture; Spread of Greek Culture throughout Mediterranean region;
Rome (509 BCE- 476 CE) Monotheism, Law, Military, Art/Architecture, Science Roman Republic v. Roman Empire; Punic Wars; Julius Caesar & Augustus; Legacy of Roman Law; Christianity’s Emergence and Spread in Rome; Latin Language and Alphabet;

3. Highlight Key Points

Highlighting key points is an effective way to emphasize important ideas in your notes.

You can use different colors or symbols to indicate different types of information. For example, you could use a yellow highlighter for important dates and events, a blue highlighter for key individuals, and a red highlighter for significant impacts or consequences.

4. Use Mind Maps or Diagrams

Mind maps or diagrams are visual tools that can help you better understand complex concepts in AP World History.

They allow you to see the relationships between different ideas and can help you remember information more easily. For example, you could create a mind map of the causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution.


  • New technologies such as the spinning jenny and steam engine
  • Access to raw materials like coal and iron ore
  • Growing population leading to increased demand for goods
  • Rise of capitalism and free trade policies


  • Growth of urbanization and factory work
  • Increase in production efficiency leading to cheaper goods
  • Economic growth leading to higher standards of living
  • Environmental degradation from pollution caused by industrial processes

In conclusion, taking effective notes in AP World History requires practice and experimentation with different techniques. By using abbreviations, organizing your notes thematically, highlighting key points, and creating visual aids like mind maps, you can stay on top of the course content and ace your exams.