The Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) for social studies is a United State history test. Questions cover the span of US history from exploration until World War II. Concepts from US government are included as well. Even state history has a special place on the test.
What’s On the AHSGE?
The social studies AHSGE is content rich! Preparing for this or any social studies test requires students to take a who, what, where, when and why approach to studying. Students should study key periods in US history and be able to identify the people, events, places, and dates that were most important and explain why they were important. Here are some key ideas; every student should have a basic understanding of these facts for the AHSGE social studies test:
Exploration: The Crusades, the Reformation, the Renaissance, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, the Columbian Exchange, St. Augustine, Jamestown
Colonial Period: The Great Awakening, First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Patrick Henry’s speech, French and Indian War, battles of the Revolution (Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Valley Forge, Yorktown), leaders of the Revolution (Washington, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Revere), Treaty of Paris
Revolution and Federal Period: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, amendment, elastic clause, federalism, Marbury v. Madison, Gibbons v. Ogden, rise of political parties
National Growth: War of 1812, statehood for Alabama, Jacksonian Democracy, Trail of Tears, Indian Removal Act, manifest destiny, Monroe Doctrine, Missouri Compromise, women’s rights, abolition movement, authors Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson, Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act, Dred Scott decision, Kansas-Nebraska Act, formation of Republican Party, John Brown’s raid
Civil War and Reconstruction -Battles of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, & Sherman’s March to the Sea, Alabama’s secession (dates and places) Emancipation Proclamation, 13, 14, & 15 Amendments, Morrill Land Grant Act, Homestead Act, carpetbaggers, scalawags, goals of Reconstruction
Late 1800s – Tuskegee Institute, problems in Alabama agriculture, Industrial Revolution, Jim Crow, Plessy v. Ferguson, Spanish-American War
Progressive Era – 16th, 17th, 18th, & 19th Amendment, new constitution for Alabama, Progressive reforms
World War I and aftermath – causes (nationalism, imperialism, militarism, system of alliances), dates, trench warfare, results (League of Nations, disarmament, rise of dictators, depression, rebellion in colonies), the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, New Deal, urbanization
World War II – causes of war (aggression/expansion, appeasement, revenge), start of war (events and dates), results of war (deaths, damage, Holocaust), Marshall Plan, United Nations, state of Israel formed)
The AHSGE social studies test is a multiple choice test. Students should read the questions carefully and read each answer choice before marking an answer. And, of course, no question should be left blank.
Resources are available to help learn all this content. Use the link on this page to see flashcards that help students prepare for the social studies test. Written for parents to help their children study at home, the flashcards are also used in dozens of Alabama high schools.
Finally, skill practice is needed also. Students should practice reading maps, tables, charts, and graphs, which can appear on AHSGE. They should read the title first, read any data labels, and then read the data.
Students should arrange sessions with teachers to review any content they don’t understand and take advantage of AHSGE tutoring sessions offered by the school.
And, last but certainly not least, students should go to bed early the night before the test. Their performance on the test will be greatly influenced by how awake and alert they are on test day.