13 November 2005

AP American History

As I have mentioned before I used to live in the USA. I went to school there for a year, I was in the 12th grade. As I had just finished my o levels and would be going back to start VIth form in Britain when we returned it didn't really matter what I studied apart from maths physics and chemistry as that's what I was going to do for A level.

As I didn't have to worry about graduating from high school I didn't have to bother about taking English or any other subject, I could study what I liked.

Well almost.

Because I hadn't studied any humanities at O level, it was decided by my parents and the school, that it would be a good idea if I studied American History and because I would only be doing one year of it I should do AP American History a college level course - from a standing start of no knowledge except what I had picked up here and there.

It didn't help that the teacher and I immediately took a scunner to each other because we disagreed on almost everything. He used to talk about "socialized medicine" with disdain and a sneer, I said that the NHS made me feel proud to be British.

We spent most of our time talking about current affairs rather than history and when I did read my history book I tended to miss out the battles because I found the descriptions too confusing to follow.

I had done better than everyone expected in the mock exam so we paid for me to sit the exam. However I still wasn't really the best prepared for the exam or the most motivated either. But in the exam itself I was gifted the most unexpected banker of a question.

"Discuss the rise of feminism in the 20th Century."

The couple we were renting our house from, had loads of feminist books which I had read avidly, I didn't know much about American anti discrimatory laws but I did know about the British Acts and about woman's suffrage here. My essay on the subject was a masterly bit of comparing and contrasting the development of feminism in both the UK and the USA.

I was rather pleased with it. But I didn't think I had done that well in the other parts of the exam imagine my pleasure when the results came through shortly before we were due to go home.

I had got a 4 (5 being the highest mark)


  1. that is awesome that you had the comparison of your own country to write about while you were here. i'm sure it was brill :)

  2. I had to do Early 20th Cetury American Politics for O level History back in 1986....termininally dull, why don't they teach british history???

  3. I had to study the Second World War for my GCSE's which caused my parents to comment,"That isn't history we lived through it".