AP Class Reviews

U.S. History taught by Daniel Burns

by Students and Parents

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Awesome Course! posted by Tim Seida on May 16 2012 at 24:01:13

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

This was my first AP test, and Mr. Burn’s course prepared me extremely well to handle the APUSH exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I probably put in around 9 or 10 hours a week from the beginning of class until April. From then on, my workload increased slightly as I began reviewing for the exam. One thing that was nice about Mr. Burn’s class was the fact that we had finished most material a month before the exam, so we had plenty of time to review.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The practice essays that we wrote throughout the year were tremendously helpful in becoming familiar with the format of the essays. When May rolled around, I felt comfortable with both the document-based question and the standard essay questions that are on the exam.

On a related note, the biographical and research papers are the two largest assignments of the year. I highly recommend starting to work on those projects AT LEAST a month in advance. I did not start my research paper until it was due in a week—not pleasant! :)

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I had already liked U.S. History before this year, but Mr. Burn’s class was fun and interesting.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

One of my favorite aspects of Mr. Burn’s class was the WWW Board, where the class could communicate with each other. It was fun discussing the material that we were learning and debating how it related to current events.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

Any student that is willing to work hard will do well in this course. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Burn’s APUSH class for any student that wants to master US History, do well on the AP exam, and have fun.


An Enjoyable Year posted by Charity Klicka on May 15 2012 at 13:32:06

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, the course most certainly prepared me for the exam. What with all the review, essays, outlines, primary source documents, flash cards and MCQ's, I most certainly was prepared for the exam. One cannot be totally and completely prepared for the exam, but by learning with the APUSH course you can be certain that you will achieve great success and do your very best.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Up until the last weeks of review I had been putting in about an hour or so a day of history review, reading, writing, and studying. Weeks where an essay was due, the time went up a little bit. As I approched the last couple of months to weeks before the exam, I studied about two hours a day. And if I missed a day I would then study a little more on another day. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Some of my absolute favorite assignments were the essays. Although I did not enjoy them at first, I began to enjoy them very much as time went on. The essays helped me to stretch my mind and to grasp different aspects of history that I had not noticed or realized before. I also enjoyed the extra credit activities such as finding the top 25 supreme court cases, top treaties of America, or analyzing the reform movements such as Progressives, Populists and the Jacksonian Democracy. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Most certainly. I came to enjoy many parts of history that had not even piqued my interest before. History came alive to me through the assignments, studying, and most importantly the essays. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Although I did not interect specifically with many of the students, I did enjoy the commenting and feedback we gave each other on our essays and research papers. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I believe that any student who wishes to work hard to the best of their ability will do well in this course. I am not an exceptionally good student, but I have a passion and a desire to do well and work hard in my academic studies. And although I did not get the best score in the class, I learned so much that I could take into my other areas of study and into harder and more challenging courses of historical study. 


An Enjoyable Year posted by Charity Klicka on May 15 2012 at 13:28:16

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, the course most certainly prepared me for the exam. What with all the review, essays, outlines, primary source documents, flash cards and MCQ's, I most certainly was prepared for the exam. One cannot be totally and completely prepared for the exam, but by learning with the APUSH course you can be certain that you wil achieve great success and work your very best.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Up until the last weeks of review I had been putting in about an hour or so a day of history review, reading, writing, and studying. Weeks where an essay was due, the time went up a little bit. As I approched the last couple of months to weeks before the exam, I studied about two hours a day. And if I missed a day I would then study a little more on another day. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Some of my absolute favorite assignments were the essays. Although I did not enjoy them at first, I began to enjoy them very much as time went on. The essays helped you to stretch your mind and grasp different aspects of history that you might not have noticed or realized before. I also enjoyed the extra credit activities such as finding the top 25 supreme court cases, top treaties of America, or analyzing the reform movements such as Progressives, Populists and the Jacksonian Democracy. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Most certainly. I came enjoy many parts of history that had not even piqued my interest before. History came alive to me through the assignments, studying, and most importantly the essays. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Although I did not interect specifically with many of the students, I did enjoy the commenting and feedback we gave each other on our essays and research papers. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I believe that any student who wishes you work hard to the best of their ability will do wel in this course. I am not an exceptionally good study, but I have a passiona and desire to do well and work hard in my academic studies. And although I did not get the best score in the class, I learned so much that I can take into my other areas of study and into harder and more challenging course of history study. 


Excellent course! posted by Chris Evans on May 31 2011 at 18:21:13

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

This was my first time taking an AP course and I think this course prepared me very well for the test. The multiple choice questions were extremely easy after all of the studying we did. I was a little crunched for time on my essays. But that wasn't unexpected because, in general, I'm not very good at timed essays. With that in mind, I think all of the course’s essay practice really boosted my essay writing skills. Without the help of the course and Mr. Burns, my essays would have been very poor.  

This course was well taught and well structured. It was a good contrast to my K12 AP Macro-economics class. That course was poorly managed by my teacher (she put me in the wrong class at the beginning of the year) and was also poorly structured.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It’s hard to put a number on it. I would say that I probably spent seven hours a week on the course in the fall. After Christmas, when we started writing timed essays, the workload went down to four or five hours a week. In the month and a half before the AP exam, things picked up again when I wrote my research paper and began to study for the exam. Realistically, I probably spent eleven hours a week on the course during this time.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found the practice quizzes on the AHAP site extremely helpful. They were a great help in nailing down facts and preparing for the multiple choice section on the AP test.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I’m already a pretty big fan of history, but I think the course broadened this interest considerably by introducing me to events and movements in US history that I had never heard of before.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

            There was a great atmosphere on the AP site. All of the students were very helpful and kind to each other. Sometimes I did find the online interaction assignments (like commenting on other student’s essays) to be a little redundant or unhelpful. But overall, I’d say the online interaction with my classmates was a boost to my AP test performance.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

            I would recommend this course to any hardworking student who wants to do well on the AP US History exam.


APUSH- A Rewarding and Fun Course! posted by Hannah Kovscek on May 23 2011 at 15:21:20

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? I felt very well prepared for the exam. Mr. Burns provided a lot of fun ways to review and prepare, such as with coming up with our own top 25 Supreme Court cases and listing why we thought those particular cases were important. We wrote several essays a month to prepare for the three essays on the exam, and also completed at least three quizzes each week, with usually one of those quizzes counting towards our class grade. Another thing that helped prepare us for the exam was reading at least 9 PSDs (Personal Source Documents) a week. This helped us to analyze speeches, letters, etc. better from the past. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I usually spent no less than an hour or two each day on the course, with 6-12 hours of total work each week. During the weeks leading up to the AP US History exam, I tried to spend a good three hours- sometimes more, sometimes less- each day reviewing.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I really enjoyed the cartoon analysis and interviews we had to do. They were a lot of fun to write and conduct. I also really enjoyed writing the Bio essay and the research paper. Before this class, the largest paper I had ever written was not even 1,000 words long. I really went out of my comfort zone with this course and wrote two papers over that word count, plus wrote smaller papers almost every week. I really enjoy writing now. :)

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Definitely! I learned SO much, I can't help NOT being more interested in our country's history!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Communicating with the other students is not face-to-face, as one would probably expect. We used the WWW board to mainly communicate and discuss amongst ourselves. Every other week, however, those who wanted to "met" at a designated time on Google Chat to discuss and debate on things ranging from the constitutionality of the national bank, to labor unions, and to things not relating to US history such as what type of pen we all used or the weather where we lived. However, to really become friends, you have to actually do so outside of the class. Me and another girl became really close friends when she reached out to me during the middle of the course. We're now planning to take another AP course through PA Homeschoolers together!

What sort of student would do well in this course? To do well in this course, you need to be a hard worker, a good writer, a good time manager, and a lover of US history. If this describes you, this course is meant for you!

Some tips that I would have liked to known before I went into this course-

1. Manage your time wisely! Try to evenly distribute each week's work so that you WON'T be up late, late, late Friday night trying to meet the midnight deadline. Also, only take 1 AP course if this is your first year taking college level courses. Although this was the only AP course I took this year, I greatly felt the work load that rested on my shoulders with taking this course.

2. Become friends with the other students early on in the course! Don't be afraid to reach out to the other students by sending them an email or chatting with them using Google chat. You will be SO glad that you did.

3. REVIEW! Reviewing is so, so important. Get in the habit to review each week's chapter and study guide before you take the ANH quiz each week. It will greatly improve your score (which will count toward your grade).

4. Begin reviewing for the APUSH exam no less than a month before the test! Trust me on this. :)

 

I hope I helped you make up your mind on whether or not you want to take this course! If you do take it, I know that you'll really enjoy it, and make new friends and obtain new information in the process. :)

 


Mr. Burn's Amazing APUSH posted by Philip Bonneville on May 12 2011 at 20:03:58

I felt very well prepared for the AP exam, as we finished studying the course material more than a month before the exam, giving us plenty of time to spend reviewing.

 

I am generally the sort of student who can succeed in a course despite spending significantly less than the recommended amount of time.  However, for APUSH I found myself needing to spend 10-14 hours a week (the higher end on essay weeks).  Don’t expect to get by reading, studying, and writing less than 8 hours a week for this course.

Some advice: plan on preparing for your biographical essay and research paper far in advance.  I started working on my biographical essay four weeks before it was due and ended up having to stay up late and rush to finish it on time.  I began reading books and consulting other sources slightly more than two months in advance for my research paper; this proved to be sufficient to keep the work load at a moderate pace.  It is true that I wrote more than was required for this assignment and that I like to spread out my research and writing, but avoid the temptation to think that, because Mr. Burns removes an essay requirement the week that each of these two major assignments are due, you can start and complete each one in a single week.

 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to write a research paper for this course.  It gave me an opportunity to improve my analytical and persuasive skills with respect to a larger assignment.  It was also fun to describe and analyze three historical cartoons over the course of the year.

As far as exam prep is concerned, the BG (regular) and DBQ (document based question) practice essays were exceedingly valuable.  To succeed on the AP exam, you can’t just know the material; you need to be able to effectively present it as you argue in support of your thesis – and do so in a timely manner.  This is why these assignments are so necessary.  I went from requiring about three hours to plan and write an essay, to being able to get one done in the 35-45 minutes allotted on the exam.

 

Yes, it definitely did.  While I still would not pursue history as college major (since I have a science/math bent), this course has dramatically augmented my interest in the subject.

 

Certainly!  We had a lot of fascinating discussions, debating topics from the legality of the South’s secession to possible connections between the just-begun Libyan War and Vietnam.  These conversations really helped to cement my understanding of the material and improve my analytical ability.

 

A student who is able to spend the required time, who is willing to work hard, and who has at least some experience with analytical and persuasive writing (although not necessarily a lot – Mr. Burns helps with it) will excel in this amazing course.  I definitely recommend it!


A Challenging but Beneficial course posted by Sam Baggenstos on May 09 2011 at 17:36:09

This course--plus a generous helping of hard work--is all I needed to do well on the Advance Placement United States History examination.  Daniel Burns is an excellent teacher, carefully guiding me and the other students from Columbus to Clinton.  With America: A Narrative History as the main textbook Mr. Burns supplements the readings with essays, special research projects, class discussions, and my favorite, primary source documents.  If you are self-motivated, and eager to learn but don't know how to tackle the enourmous breadth of US history--this is the class for you.  You will come out of this class not only knowing more about US history, but also being able to write excellent essays in a short amount of time.  I highly recommend this class.


Take this class, pure and simple! posted by Xavier Gurrola on May 06 2011 at 19:40:38

Ever wonder what George Washington actually did as President? How the Civil War happened? Or how the heck America got into the position as a world power after only 150 years of independence? This class will answer that and more.

To start off, I love history. Coming into this course, however, I was slightly afraid. This would be only my second AP course/exam, and I've always heard rumors that the history exams are usually the hardest. Rest assured, the content of this course is accessible and Mr. Burns is a fabulous teacher that provides almost anything you would need, from Study Guides for each textbook chapter to mindful critique of essays.

The workload for this class, if supplemented with note-taking and study guides for each chapter, is moderate. However, it gets you SO well prepared for the exam, and, if taking notes (like you should!), will save tons of time and your emotions once review time comes around!

All in all, I cannot find any faults with this course. It prepares you well, and I feel like I actually LEARNED something (other than just how to memorize a bunch of facts that will be forgotten right after the exam). So, if you are undecided about the quality of this course, rest assured it earns a resounding GREAT from me!


A.P. U.S. History - The Best Class Ever!!! posted by Porter Dickie on May 06 2011 at 18:23:25

This course was very good in preparing me for the AP exam. My teacher did a great job in making suggestions on review and encouraging us along the way! I usually put in a 12-15 hour work week for the class. As for assignments, I found the essays and multiple choice quizzes helpful in preparation for the exam, while discussions with my fellow classmates and the biography and research papers were extremely enjoyable. This class has helped me realize that I want to enter the history field when I graduate from college. Communicating with my fellow classmates was especially valuable as well as interesting. Debating with my peers on the constitutionality of the secession of the South or the Vietnam War was one of the class highlights for me. If someone is seriously considering this class, they need to be a hard worker because this is a college level class. They also need to be a strong writer and debater willing to discuss the subject matter in various ways. Overall, this was an amazing class, my favorite ever! 


AP US HIstory Review posted by Rebeka Rosales on May 14 2010 at 14:30:07

This course helped me so much in taking the US History exam. I walked into the testing area very confident in my knowledge. All the study materials really prepared me for the test and I fully recommend it. 

The working hours each week weren't bad either. Usually eight to ten hours of actually interesting work. Studying US history can be a very daunting task but this class made it fun and interesting and really made me love history all the more. 

The other students also helped me to look at some of the issues and subjects in different ways and helped in way to form my own opinions about certain subjects. If you love history, listening to other points of view, and are willing to work hard this class is certainly for you. 


Review of APUSH with Mr. Burns posted by Julia Wenger on May 14 2010 at 10:29:32


Much reading and writing--but quite educational and a good choice! posted by Daniel Luckenbaugh on May 11 2010 at 20:13:15

Dear prospective APUSH student,

If you are thinking about Daniel Burns’ class, then you are thinking about a fine class.  This class prepares you for the AP exam--but you have to review on your own, too, particularly for the essays.  I could have been more prepared for the essays than I was; I did not spend enough time reviewing specifically for the essay section of the AP exam.  However, I was prepared for the multiple-choice questions.

This course was the heaviest of my courses this year.  If you are planning to take more AP courses than just APUSH, then time is a heavy factor, maybe the deciding factor, in determining what courses and how many to take.  I took AP Lang (English Language), and both courses put together consumed a majority of my daily time spent on school most of the year.  I spent quite a few hours a day on APUSH; each week has special assignments, so that influenced how much time I spent daily.  Also, working on the biography in the first semester and on the research paper in the second semester required more time.  The number of hours I spent every day on the course varied depending on what the syllabus assigned for the week and how heavy each week's assignments were.  I think reading weeks (reading the Barron's Guide as well as the textbook) were heaviest.

The essay weeks required less time, unless I desired to spend a lot of time on my essay before we started writing timed essays.  The course generally was a four-week cycle, but the syllabus says, "Make sure you check the schedule of assignments regularly because there are some exceptions to this rotation at the beginning of the year, around holidays, and as we approach the exam date."

Interview/cartoon analysis weeks definitely required less time than reading weeks.  A good idea is to interview someone on a weekend or Christmas break.

I did enjoy researching for the biography and the research paper.  You may choose your own topic, so that allows you to enjoy the assignment.  Discussions on the board were my favorite part.  We had some awesome discussions on topics like government's job, government healthcare lol, the War on Terror, the causes of the Civil War--including slavery's role, politics, slavery (distinct from causing the Civil War), the honesty of the textbook in certain places :D, and what ifs (like what if the South had won the Civil War: would America have still become a world power?; what if Parliament had let the colonists elect representatives: would the Revolutionary War still have happened?; and what if European diseases had not effected the Indians: would the colonies still have been successful?).  The class was blessed to have a Constitution buff this year, and that livened up some discussions.  However, sometimes I was one of a few or the only one who wanted to discuss something.

I don't think one assignment was particularly valuable in preparing for the exam or learning about American history.  Primary source documents (PSDs) have to be the most valuable way to learn history, and we were required to read 9 a week for most of the year.  Our textbook (America, a Narrative History, 7th edition) had a companion anthology of PSDs.  And some students found websites with PSDs.  As far as valuable in terms of preparing for the exam, nothing really sticks out.  We were required to take three practice quizzes a week to practice with multiple-choice questions, though.

The course somewhat enhanced my interest in American history.  I got hooked on history when I was in elementary school and decided in about late junior high or early high school to major in it in college.  (I took this course as a junior, and I thought I would become a professor of history, but changed my mind partway through the year).  I was fairly surprised to find ANH (America, a Narrative History) as honest as it is and as broad as it is.  The 7th edition starts with some pre-Colombian cultures and finishes with Hurricane Katrina.  It also gives different views sometimes (for example, it mentions Charles Beard's thesis about the economic motives of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention).  In short, it is not boring.

Communicating with other students is a must! :).  Seriously, (and as mentioned above about discussions) one thing that made this class so enjoyable is that opportunities for discussion abounded throughout the year.  Communication with other students is indeed interesting and valuable.

What sort of student would do well in this course?  The sort which is willing to work hard--that is vital--discuss various historical topics (including controversies and topics which cross with history-related fields, like politics and economics), spend lots of time during the year--including many weekends--reading and/or writing, which has plenty of time for the course, and which enjoys American history.  (Well, that last one is a guarantee:)).  As alread mentioned, time is a huge factor.  I had to sacrifice a rather big chunk of my summer vacation to do APUSH, AP Lang, and a college course, but I was also finishing Eagle Scout.  So consider your plan for the school year--especially how many AP courses in addition to APUSH and/or college courses you may be planning to take--plus any extracurricular activities before deciding on this course.

If you do decide to take this course, you'll have a preparing teacher and classmates who want to learn about our country's history and gain college credit in the process, like you.  Good luck!  And thanks again to Mr. Burns for an enjoyable year.


Mr. Burns APUSH!!! :D posted by Emily Johnson on May 14 2009 at 18:06:06

I definately felt prepared for the AP exam. You have to put in the work--you can't expect to read the chapter and remember everything months later, but Mr. Burns' study guides were very helpful!

The class took a lot of time, on average between 10 to 15 hours. Most of it was spent reading PSDs--you need more than nine a week to get enough extra credit. But all the work was intereting, which makes it worth it.

Probably one of the funnest parts was having discussions on the WWW board. We would discuss history (of course) but generally with a philosophical twist. We had some very different opinions; it was very interesting to get other people's perspectives on things that seem obvious to me. :D

Overall, this was a very fun, very interesting, very informative class. It takes work, but if you have any interest in history, the work is fun!


Great class, very intense posted by Caroline Kjellberg on May 14 2009 at 15:39:54

I walked in to the exam room at 7:45 slightly nervous and walked out around noon completely relaxed. This course was great preparation for the AP exam. I was actually overprepared.

I put about 6-10 hours a week in to the course, depending on the weekly workload and my overall schedule. I'd say someone with an average reading speed would probably do fine spending 60-90 minutes a day on the assignments. I thought the weekly essays were a ton of fun since we often got to choose our own prompts and we really had to defend our positions. Mr Burns gave very fair grades and his comments were always really helpful.

I was already interested in American history before I joined the course but after having to take a serious survey course, my interests have expanded a lot. I'm looking forward to reading a few books about eras I got more interested in- namely the Jacksonian era and the turn of the 20th century. The discussion board was always pretty lively and always had something going on. I already had a friend in the class so I didn't really try to expand my social horizons here, but everyone was really friendly. Also, my friend and I were the only people from my state, so that would have complicated any potential social stuff :P

This class is definitely worth your while if you're ready for how intense it is. If you stay on top of the work you'll be fine, but if you fall behind it's very difficult to catch up. Stay in a daily routine for this class, even if you, like me, are not a daily routine kind of person. If Mr. Burns says you might want to do weekend reading or start some chapters in advance, he's giving you good advice. Actually, any advice Mr. Burns gives is good advice.

Lastly, if you have a minority opinion about something or you just disagree with the textbook, don't be afraid to talk about it. I took some fringe views in a few of my essays and was graded fairly on them. There's no penalty for disagreement, just for poor logic.

Definitely take this class. The test will be a joke and you'll actually learn cool stuff. Example: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all really liked to collect and play...marbles. Yeah you have to learn names and dates but Mr. Burns makes it all interesting. What are you waiting for? Go sign up!


APUSH 08-09 posted by Olivia Cline on May 11 2009 at 12:10:57

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

As much as is possible. APUSH is basically a monstrosity but we covered everything that was on the exam in class- anything I couldn't remember was simply a product of my own poor memory. How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

A lot honestly. This course takes a lot of work, and most of the time was spent reading and studying. At least twelve hours a week and sometimes quite a bit more.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Especially valuable, yes. Favorite? No. The DBQs helped so much with my knowledge of whatever subject we were covering, but they weren't fun by a long shot. =]

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes actually. I went from someone with a mild interest in American history to someone who will now sit around and have an animated discussion about the Founding Fathers.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

HOLY COW YES. I met one of my best friends through this class, and despite a 3-hour time difference and living on opposite sides of the country [I live in North Carolina, she lives in California] we're now "second-best" friends. ^_^ <3 Besides that [which would have been enough on this front just on its own], I've made several other valuable friendships and had some very animated discussions on various topics with people I never would have met otherwise. =]

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes. You'll work your butt off, but you'll end up having a lot of fun and you'll be prepared for the exam as long as you put in the work.


Madeline Gillen's 08-09 APUSH Thoughts posted by Madeline Gillen on May 09 2009 at 01:05:38

Dear Mr. Burns,

Thank you very much for your teaching this year. I felt very prepared for the AP exam, and believe it was due to your skillful choice of course work. I think it was essential that you required and encouraged such a variety of learning sources. I would recommend this course to any friend or family member, but I would caution them that AP US History is a huge topic and one must not underestimate the work it will take.

Your class undoubtedly enhanced my interest in the subject. I know I mentioned in my introductory letter that my parents and older sister are all lovers of history, while I was for the most part was impartial. I can now say that I feel quite more than impartial and consider knowledge of history essential in one's education.

I think self motivation is key in this course. Also, the ability to recognize that while the year is a long haul, the work can be broken down and almost must be in order to be retained.

Thanks again, Madeline


APUSH by Daniel Burns (DB) posted by Connor Baer on May 27 2008 at 15:41:59

Did you fee like the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Most definitely. I actually felt like the exam didn't test us on our total knowledge well enough. It was very specific on certain things, so in that regard I almost felt over-prepared. (if that's possible)

How many hours per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

When I first looked at the course and saw all the hours that people had put into the work, it looked very intimidating. To be sure, this class is not a slouch class, but the hours really do slip away. I spent anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours a day, and probably around 9-11 hours a week. The reading takes most of the time, so be prepared to be spending time with a heavy book.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes. I found myself doing research on certain topics just because I was interested in them. The structure of the class makes the learning enjoyable and not a painful process.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Haha. We had many interesting and heated debates on the forums ranging on topics from the ideas of the Constitution to abortion to homosexuality to evolution to pretty much anything we could think of. I really enjoyed my classmates and I learned a ton from our discussions. For homeschoolers, this is a great way to stretch outside of the house and interact with other people.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

If anyone asked me if they should take the APUSH class by DB, I would say "yes" in a heartbeat. I've heard the class by Mrs. Richman is really good as well, but you can't go wrong with Mr. Burns. He makes the learning process enjoyable and acts more as a facilitator than a teacher which puts the responsibility on the student. This is a great class, and anyone who is willing to put the time and effort into the work should try it!


Review of APUSH posted by David Berghan on May 16 2008 at 22:02:18

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. After the three weeks of review we got at the end of the course before the exam, I honestly feel as if the only thing that would have helped me more was the answer key for the exam. :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

1 1/2 to 3 hours a day, and about 9-11 hours a week. Mondays and Tuesdays use to be the hardest though because that was when I had the most assigned reading.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The main book we used as our "text book" is called "America, A Narrative History," or "ANH" as we call it. Honestly, my favorite part of the class, the most valueable part and the most fun part was reading ANH. It is a great book and I will keep my copy in very good condition after the class.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Learning about something in detail always makes it more interesting.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, definately. It was especially interesting for me because I was the only non-Christian student in the entire class, except for one girl who wasn't Christian.


great class! posted by Mary Kate Hetzel on June 28 2007 at 23:20:58

*Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes i definetly feel like i was very well prepared for the exam. The studying and tips from other students really helped.

*Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I loved the interviews and cartoon analysis. I had never done anything like this before and it brought history in a whole new light.

*Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definetly. Since the course ended i began to read Dont know Much About American History: Things you never Learned But Really Ought To Know. :]

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

A very disciplined student would thrive in this environment. Because there is room in this class to go above and beyond, anyone who has the drive could get so much out of this class. I would 100% recommend this class to anyone with a good work ethic. I learned so much and had a good time doing it.


APUSH Review posted by Lillian Otieno on May 22 2007 at 17:44:14

Dear Reader,

If you're reading this, you're probably strongly considering taking Mr. Burn's APUSH class, and you want to get the inside scoop from APUSH alumni like me. Before I answer the guided questions, I would just like to say: this is the best APUSH class in the world!! I learned so much and had so much fun. Mr. Burns is the best teacher in the world. He is patient and really wants you to succeed. The way he set up this class is brilliant! With that said, the guided questions:

1. Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, this course definitely prepared me to take the AP exam. The various assignments prepared me for different aspects of the exam, especially the essays. I was able to finish both the multiple choice and the free-response sections with enough time to check over my responses. I did not feel unprepared for the exam--I was confident because I knew that we had covered all periods of U.S. History. A brief illustration: Because we had finished the entire textbook about five weeks before the exam, I knew I was prepared to write an essay on any topic in American History. It was interesting to listen to the conversations around me--most students were planning what they would write if they got a question on the Cold War (it appeared that they had not finished the book, and had not discussed the Cold War). The ideas ranged from "I'm going to write that the teacher is stupid, she didn't teach us this" to "I'm going to write a poem". I could help smiling, knowing what I would write if we got the Cold War. This just goes to show how prepared I felt because of the excellent layout of this course.

2. How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put about five hours per week into this course. It usually took me an hour to complete the assigned reading, about two hours for the bi-weekly essay, and about two hours reading primary source documents. However, I would say that a person could get an A out of the course if they put in only three and a half hours per week.

3. Are there any particulary favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed all the essays, and I also enjoyed reading primary source documents (PSDs). These helped with recall of information, and I kept finding questions on the AP exam where I would say, "Oh, I know that answer! I wrote an essay [or read a PSD] on that!"

4. Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, it did! If you like politics, this course will give you a background on which to base many of your discussions! I strongly believe every American should take U.S. History so that we can understand the workings of our country. I know no better way to do that than to take an indepth course like this.

5. Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, I did! I was able to make a good friend, whom I talk to and email regularly, as well as several acquaintances. If you want to make a friend though, you must make the effort to contact the person outside of class and start communication. Friends don't just pop up in the class atmosphere. However, I am living proof that it is possible to make friends in this environment.

6. What student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Any student who is disciplined will do well in this class. All the class requires is to do the assignments and make sure you have a grasp on the material. You needn't be a genius writer, or a good memorizer. You just need to be steady and disciplined. I would recommend this course to any student who meets the above criteria or who is willing to put sheer effort into it.

This is a great class! I would recommend it to anyone who loves history, who is disciplined, or even if you love to write (honestly, we wrote more in this class than in my Honors English 1 class!). If you're not sure, I would say go for it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Best wishes,

Lillian Otieno


Jared's Review of Mr. Burns' Class by Jared Kephart, May 18 2005 at 06:31:06

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yes, extremely well.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? Approx. 10 hours

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I really loved the debates.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Yes, history is one of those things that the more you know the more you can learn.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? I loved having the different students and different opinions. They gave me loads of new ideas and different opinions.

What sort of student would do well in this course? A hard-working, hard-reading, history-loving, persistent student.

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? I would ONLY reccomend this class to someone who is willing to work hard, is honest, and reliable and has a love of history. If I did think that they were ready I would reccomend this class to them above all others.


w00t for the course! by Andrew Hou, May 18 2005 at 13:19:09

This course is extremely well put together, especially for a first year teacher. ;-) We all really enjoyed being in this class, and I, especially, have gained alot from it. Mr. Burns is an excellent teacher, and I'm almost sorry that this class is over.

The preparation for the AP Exam was very good, especially in the area of essays. The selected prep books were excellent, and essay subjects, outstanding. Although, it would've been nice if there was a bit more preparation for MCQs. All of MCQ quizzes were very well prepared, but I would've felt better prepared if there were even more. The Debates that we had between students were extremely helpful, too. They really encouraged us to think, and they were also great fun. Hopefully, Mr. Burns will be inclined to join in on the debates with his next class. ;-)

This course has definitely piqued my interest in history (as well as government, economics, and politics. :-) Mr. Burns is definitely a wellspring of all infomation pertaining to those subjects, having taken AP and college courses in all of them.). It has given me a greater understanding of what has lead to how our country is as it is today, which is invaluable infomation.

Interaction between students was also greatly encouraged and helpful. They were around so much that they almost "haunted" our Web Forum. Often, questions would be posted on the forum with another student answering them within half an hour. Even with the answer already given, many other students would add their own additions or comments to the answer, giving more infomation that was either in direct corrolatioin or simply pertaining to the subject.

Anybody with a strong work-ethic, a love of reading, and a love of history would do excellently in this course. This is a course that should not be missed. You meet alot of interesting people, all of which are at the utmost highest caliber of academics. And our teacher even more so. Viva le United States!


Need an excellent APUSH course? Look no further. by William Honaker, May 18 2005 at 16:38:45

If you want a five on the APUSH exam, this is the course to take. The cours load is no easy task (quite hard, even) so make sure you are really interested and really have the time for this. Sad is the student who is so eager, but cannot finish his work.

That said, you'll have a lot of fun with this course. The work is enough to please those who love a challenge: about 50-75 pages to study each week, two or more essays a month (it's actually slightly easier when you write them by hand, I found) and also interviews and analyses of political cartoons. And to keep you busy once you've finished the required work, there's a competitive extra credit race. Read primary documents, do quizes, participate in debates, and even band together as Burninites to defeat your APUSH rival class, the Richamnites!! Much fun, all of it.

The best part, once we got over all the extremely tough assignments, was the class camraderie. The best part was checking in on the website every day to catch up on all the latetest debates and discussions, and maybe gain some ground in the extra credit race. You'll make plenty of friends, and maybe you'll even get Mr. Burns to arrange another class trip tO DC!

Mr. Burns has done a very good job with the course this year. You'll be hard pressed to find a better teacher. (But give the guy a break if he's a little late grading your work. He's a really busy guy, with college and all). If you think you can meet the challenge, love history, and feell that you have too much free time, go ahead and apply. You won't regret it.


APUSH Burnite Review by Kylene Peroutky, May 19 2005 at 05:55:12

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yeah, I was still kinda stressed because it was my first AP class, but I felt like I knew the material:-)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? 1 to 2 hours a day, usually about 8 hours a weeks

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I liked the debates and the chrono games, also, I enjoyed the bio essays

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Not really, I've always kinda liked American history, and this year I was just doing what I have liked before, only much more in depth:-)

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Yeah, especially when the 4 hard core students met at the end of the year:-)

What sort of student would do well in this course? I think someone who has already experienced a class where there is very little teaching done, motivated person, and (obviously) a history person:-)

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? Yes!!!! It was a lot of fun even though it was hard work.