5 Steps to a 5: AP European History 2024 - Bartolini-Salimbeni B., Petersen W., Arata K. 2023


Welcome to the world of Advanced Placement (AP) European History. Whether you are, or have been, enrolled in an AP European History course at your school or are preparing on your own, this guide will help you to move smoothly and confidently from your individual starting point through a five-step process that will bring you to the level of preparation you desire. Along the way, you will be evaluating your current level of preparation, evaluating your learning strategies, reading widely, analyzing primary documents, taking practice multiple-choice tests, and writing practice essays. As you go, you will be developing the strategies and confidence you need to score a 5 on the AP European History Exam. Each of the content chapters concludes with questions that focus on mastery of content. In general, they follow AP Exam formats, though not strictly as do the practice exams.

The five-step process is described in detail in the Introduction. Here, I simply want to urge you to enter into your preparation with enthusiasm. The intricate story of European history is dramatic, fascinating, and extremely relevant to the world in which you live. The information, understanding, and skills that you will learn by working through this guide will help you to do well on the AP European History Exam, but they will also help you to excel in college and to become a well-informed, critically thinking human being. New to this edition is a section labeled Further Resources at the end of each content chapter. These resources include offerings of fiction and nonfiction, films, music, and artwork that can be used to supplement (though not to supplant) the text.

As you begin, it is important that you not think of this guide as some large book to “get through.” This guide is a tool and, like many tools, it can be used in a number of different ways. You can follow it through from beginning to end, or you can jump around, using the information and exercises contained in it in any way that suits you best. So take some time to familiarize yourself with the contents of this guide; get a feel for how it “works.” Then, when you are ready, read Chapters 1 and 2; they will help you to choose the mode of preparation that is right for you.

Good luck, and enjoy your journey!


Many thanks to Grace Freedson for putting us in touch with McGraw Hill and to Del Franz for superb editing. We would also like to thank the anonymous outside evaluators for their invaluable guidance.




Beth Bartolini-Salimbeni holds degrees in history, Spanish, Italian, and comparative literature. A former Fulbright scholar and twice a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellow, she has taught AP World History, AP European History, and AP Art History at the high school level as well as history and languages at the high school and university levels, both in the United States and in Italy.

Wendy Petersen earned undergraduate degrees in political science and French before going on to a Master of Arts in political science. Time spent studying in France and England sparked an interest in history, and she began her career teaching world history in southwest Houston in 1997. Since moving to New Mexico in 2000, she has taught a variety of Advanced Placement courses. In 2014, she was selected to be one of the first teachers to pilot the new Advanced Placement Seminar course, part of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Capstone program.

Kelsey Arata, MA, has taught a variety of history courses, including AP European History and AP World History, at Ann Sobrato High School and San Luis Obispo High School in California. She earned her undergraduate degree in history from Santa Clara University in 2011. She then earned her Master of Arts degree in History from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and Master of Arts in Teaching from Santa Clara University.