What can I bring to the AP® U.S. History Exam?

So you’ve taken the course, written lots of practice essays, studied every day for a month, and memorized as many APUSH flashcards as you could find.

And now, the big day is almost here.

The AP® U.S. History Exam

Make sure you’re ready by checking out the list of things you can bring with you to the exam.

What you can bring to the AP® U.S. History Exam

Below is a list of all the things you can bring with you into the exam room. Note: It’s possible that not all of the items will apply to you (e.g., the Student Accommodations Letter).

  • Two No. 2 pencils with erasers. These will be used on the multiple-choice portion of the exam.
  • Two black or dark blue ink pens. These will be used for the free-response questions. Be sure to bring black or dark blue ink pens only. Leave your gold glitter pens at home.
  • A watch. This is a simple analog or digital watch with no internet access or alarms. Don’t even try to bring your smart watch in the room.
  • The AP® Student Pack. This is given to you just before you take your exam and contains a label that you need to place on your exam. Follow the labeling instructions carefully.
  • Government- or school-issued ID. If you don’t attend the school where you’re taking the AP® U.S. History Exam, you must also bring a government- or school-issued ID.
  • College Board SSD Student Accommodation Letter. If you require accommodations beyond the regular exam, you’ll receive a letter that verifies this (e.g., you need a braille or large-type exam).

Remember, you won’t have to bring all these things—but it’s in your best interest to be as prepared as you can for the exam.

To that end, here are some great tips to help you prepare.

The Dos and Don’ts of the AP® U.S. History Exam

DO bring a pencil and pen

The proctor will likely have pens and pencils available if you do not have one. However, time is of the essence on AP® Exams. Plus, there’s always the chance your proctor will run out of supplies. Having your own extra pens and pencils to hand (in case one breaks or runs out of ink) is a great way to ensure your test taking goes smoothly. So don’t take any chances; bring extras!

DON’T bring electronics

The only electronic device you’re allowed to bring with you to an AP® Exam is a calculator—and since the AP® U.S. History Exam doesn’t require one, you can rest easy leaving all your electronics at home or in your locker. Yes, that means your cell phone too. There’s no easier way to get your exam disqualified than by being caught with a phone in your hands.

DO get enough sleep

Sleep is absolutely vital when it comes to performing to the best of your ability. Some researchers have even discovered that the lack of sleep is as detrimental to your mental capacity as being drunk. Do yourself a favor and make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep every night in the week leading up to your AP® U.S. History Exam.

DON’T talk during the exam

Not only does this mean you shouldn’t talk to your neighbor during the exam, but you can’t talk aloud to yourself as well. You read that correctly. If you’re caught talking aloud to yourself, your proctor is well within his or her right to disqualify you. If you have the habit of talking aloud to yourself when you read, practice reading silently in the weeks leading up to the exam.

DO eat a good breakfast

Though you’ll get a break for lunch time, your brain needs fuel in order to work as much as it will during the exam. Eat a full and balanced breakfast before you step into the exam room. Don’t forget to pack a lunch for later as well! A small snack can help you get some much-needed sugar and energy during a break.

DON’T eat anything new that morning

The only thing worse than really having to go to the bathroom, is really having to go to the bathroom during your AP® U.S. History Exam. You don’t want to find yourself sick to your stomach because you decided to risk chugging gallons of coffee and a protein shake on the morning of your exam. Don’t take any chances. Stick to what you know and usually eat for breakfast.

DO answer every question

Remember, the multiple-choice questions you get wrong are not counted against you. That means you should answer every question regardless of whether or not you know the answer 100%. You should even put in an effort to answer every question in the free-response question. The AP® judges reading it will award you partial credit if they see that you’ve put in the effort—even if your answer is a little off the mark.

DON’T forget to prepare

That means practicing and being aware of what the exam looks like. Luckily, we’ve got your back. Be sure to check out all of our resources to help prepare for the AP® U.S. History Exam.