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AP Human Geography ~ Key Mistakes & Strategy on AP Exam (compliments of Shmoop)

Ms. Samm 2015/2016

Unit 1: Intro to Geography
Absolute vs. Relative Location
Absolute location is a way of describing a location with reference to an arbitrary fixed point. To figure out what
this means geographically, turn to our old friends the equator and the prime meridian. The absolute location of
Washington, D.C., for example, is 39N, 77W, which means that the District is chilling 39 north of the equator
and 77 west of the prime meridian.
Relative location, on the other hand, describes a location relative to something else. (Relative like in
comparison to, not relative like your Great Aunt Millicent.) When you tell a friend that you live just past the gas
station and five minutes north of the Chick-fil-A, you're providing a relative location.
Latitude vs. Longitude
You know what these terms refer to (hint: lines), but which is which? Latitude and longitude give the exact
coordinates of any location on the globe. Latitude runs the same direction as the equator along an east-west
plain. Longitude, on the other hand, runs parallel to the prime meridian in a north-south direction.
Here's a cheesybut easyway to remember the difference. Lat-titude is flat, like the horizontal surface of a
table. When you look at a map, remember that latitude lines go horizontally from left to right, while longitude
lines run vertically from top to bottom.
Relocation Diffusion vs. Expansion Diffusion
Diffusion is the movement of a particular characteristic (e.g. language, religion, even fashion) across space.
However, most people forget there are two types of diffusion: relocation and expansion. You're not most people.
Don't do it.
In relocation diffusion, the number of people with a certain characteristic (say, peacocks as headgear) can
remain the same, but they bring the characteristic to different places without winning any converts. In expansion
diffusion, on the other hand, traits spread outward from a hearth or origin and start picking up more people.
Kind of like an avalanche, but with less snow.
If we go one level deeper, the two types of expansion diffusion are contagious diffusion, which are spreads due
to direct contact between the innovator and adopters, and hierarchical diffusion, which are spreads from larger
places to smaller places.
Confused? Draw a chart. It helps, we swear.
Site vs. Situation
Geographers use "site" and "situation" to describe different things, so don't use the terms interchangeably. A site
is a physical location, which includes a description of climate (is it arid or tropical?) and topography (is it a
mountainous, shoreline, or plain area?).
Situation, meanwhile, refers to a place's location relative to other things. For instance, is the place close to major
waterways and transportation routes, or is it relatively isolated from urban centers?

One way to remember the difference is to tell yourself that sites sit tight, since they won't be moving around any
time soon. Situations do not, since a place's situation depends partly on what's nearby.
A key part of acing an exam is an understanding of what each question is asking, so in each major section of
this study guide were going to focus on a different type of question that may appear on the test. We'll start with
the most basic type of question on the AP Human Geography exam: the definition question, which happens to
be exactly what it sounds like. Unsurprisingly, these questions ask us to recall the definition of human
geography terms.
Let's take a look at an example.
Sample Problems
A map is:
A. a three-dimensional portrayal of a two-dimensional surface of the Earth
B. an artistic rendering of a location and its surrounding area
C. a two-dimensional surface with a drawing on it
D. a two-dimensional portrayal of the Earth's three-dimensional surface
E. a rendering of the Earth
This isnt exactly world-shattering information, but its important nonetheless. The question gives us a
geography term and asks us to pick the correct definition from among the five choices. (The correct answer is
(D), by the way.) Inversely, the APHUG exam might also invert this format by giving a definition and asking for
the correct term.
The key is to understand what the question wants to knowand master a whole busload of vocabulary terms.
When staring down a multiple-choice question, its often tempting to pick the longest answer or the one with the
fanciest terms. Resist! Like a late-night infomercial, these answers utilize buzzwords that don't always have a
lot to do with what they describe, and like those Moon Shoes we almost bought late last Thursday night, they
look cool, but they can be a waste of time, money, and healthy ankles. Take the following example:
The term "academic geography" refers to:
A. geography as a cohesive and systematic study of scholastic institutions
B. the careful study of the Earth as a unified geological whole
C. statistical analysis of regional data gathered by institutes of higher education
D. geography as a recognized social science and subject of university study
E. the study of geography as a universally boring topic
If your gut reaction was to spring for (A), (B) or (C), you might want to have a little talk with your gut. The first
three choices dazzle us with geography-related words, but none of the statements are truethe correct answer is
When the going gets tough, the process of elimination gets going. (Were paraphrasing.) Through process of
elimination, we can usually rule out one or two answers right away. That means that we can double or triple our
chances of getting a correct answer before we even put on our master level thinking caps.
Plus, the AP exam bookletthe one with all the multiple-choice questions printed in itwill not be graded, so
when youve eliminated an answer, scribble, cross-out, or mark-off the answer in the booklet. Circle the

questions that you skip and plan to return to or put a star next to difficult questions that you'll double-check.
Make the test yours.
Unit 2: Population
Exponential (or Geometric) vs. Arithmetic Growth
Don't be thrown off by the math terms. Arithmetic growth is arithmetic (add xnumber of things per unit of time),
but exponential growth increases population much more rapidly (things are multiplied, not added).
Remember that old story about the king who promised to pay his servant by placing coins on a chessboard? The
king put one coin on the first square, two on the second square, four on the third, and so on. Each time, he
squared the number of coins from the previous chess square in order to get the number he must put on the next
chess square. His kingdom ran out of money before he filled the entire chessboard, which doesn't seem like a
very good monetary policy to us.
Child Mortality Rate vs. Infant Mortality Rate
They may be a bit morbid, but these two concepts almost always appear on the APHUG exam. Child mortality
rate is the number of children per thousand who die after their first birthday but before their fifth. Infant
mortality rate refers to children who die before their first birthday.
The two typically follow the same trend (i.e. when child mortality is high, infant mortality is high, and vice
versa). Infant and child mortality rate often indicate a country's development. The higher the two rates, the less
developed the country is, meaning less access to medicines and nutritious foods. The reason that these ages are
chosen rather than, say, the tenth birthday or fifteenth, is because at these ages children are more susceptible to
nutritional deficiencies and childhood illnesses, which are usually preventable.
Growth Rate vs. Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
People often confuse these two concepts, so let's get those definitions as clear as possible. Growth rate is a
percentage (it can be negative, positive, or zero), and the total population grows by this percentage in any given
year. Total fertility rate represents the average number of live children born to a woman in her lifetime. TFR
needs to be 2.1 to be at replacement rate (i.e. zero population growth), replacing both parents when they die,
with an extra 0.1 to cover for children that die due to accidents, disease, and so on.
Rust Belt vs. Sun Belt
The Rust Belt and the Sun Belt hang in America's closet until it needs to hold up its pants. No, they're actually
geographical areas within the United States.
The Rust Belt is the part of the US around the Great Lakes area. It's called the Rust Belt because these
industrial statesMichigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohiohave lost many of the manufacturing jobs that were once
available, prompting people to move somewhere else for work. It's a region that experiences net out-migration.
The Sun Belt, on the other hand, consists of California, Texas, Florida, and all of the states in between, which
are sunny places. These states are experiencing a net in-migration due to a lower cost of living, newly available
job opportunities, and a frankly excellent climate. The Rust and Sun Belts highlight major migrations within the
continental United States.

Sample Problem
One thing the AP exams expect you to do is to read and interpret maps and spatial data. It's one of the few times
that geography is all about pretty pictures.

This is a map of geothermal resources in the continental US. (Note that the temperatures are far too high to refer
to air temperature above ground.) It's an exciting map, colorful and informative. Now suppose that the AP exam
asked this question:
Assume that facilities for generating geothermal energy are best situated above areas that have geothermal vents
at or above 200 C. Based on the map above, a company looking to construct such a facility should invest in
land in which state?
A. Nevada
B. Florida
C. Louisiana
D. Maine
E. Alaska
The correct answer is (A).
We'll take it step by step. We have a map with information about temperature of geothermal vents and are asked
to apply it. First, we can eliminate Alaska, (E), because it's not even on the map. For map questions on the AP,
use only the information provided, not the vast reserves of trivia floating around the ether. We're interested in
places at or above 200 C, and the key to the right tells us that these areas will be red, so now let's look for super
red states.

Among the four remaining answers, only Nevada (A) and Louisiana (C) have red areas at all. Assuming that a
company wants to invest in land for a plant, they would be better off choosing Nevada, because it has larger red
areas. When we pay attention and identify what's being asked in map and spatial data questions, it makes
aworld of difference.
Get it? World? We're so punny.
Unit 3: Culture
Universalizing Religions vs. Global Religions
Universalizing religions also tend to be global religions, but they're not technically the same thing.
Universalizing refers to a particular religion's belief system and its tendency to embrace converts regardless of
background. This shared faith among so many groups is what makes a universalizing religion a global religion,
or a religion that has a global geographic range because it has spread to many countries.
Dialects vs. Pidgin
A dialect is a regionally distinct variation of one language (usually the official language of a country). Think of
how people who live in the South say "y'all" instead of "you all," or the Queen's English differs from American
English. While an Australian may have a hard time understanding a Texan at first, both speak the same language
and are capable of understanding each other.
A pidgin, on the other hand, is a mix of two or more languages that is used as a means of communication
between two or more groups who do not share a language. Many pidgin languages were originally used to
facilitate trade, but some are used as a way for immigrants from one area to communicate with natives or
immigrants from another area. French Creole and Spanglish are examples of pidgins used in the United States,
but there are many others throughout the world.
One of the main tasks of the APHUG exam is to "understand and interpret the implications of associations
among phenomena in places." Lots of syllables, but with a simple meaning: cause and effect. When civil war
erupts in a landlocked country, what happens to its neighbors? How do droughts affect areas that depend on
extensive crop irrigation? Why do victims of ethnic discrimination choose to migrate to one country over
another? And perhaps most importantly, do charity singles really work?
The people at the College Board don't expect you to spit out facts like an encyclopedia. That being said,
knowing the material can't hurt, right? Have an example or two ready for every main section; they'll definitely
come in handy. If talking about assimilation, for instance, which is encouraging ethnic minorities in a
multicultural state to adopt the dominant culture, know a few real-life examples. Consider the use of English as
a language of instruction for immigrant children or people choosing certain biblical names for their children.
Examples are everywhere in the world around us.
Sample Problem
AP also wants you to understand the importance of place, even how people perceive space. When reviewing,
pay attention to the relationships between different things and the reasons why certain interactions produce the
results that they do. To answer the civil war question, think about regional conflicts and how governments often
fail to keep peace during civil wars. Don't worry if cause-effect is confusing at first. Pay attention to the
connections between different phenomena, and the relationship should be apparent.

Let's try a sample question:

The Darfur Conflict, which began in 2003 in Sudan, came about because:
A. the UN failed to pass a resolution to protect non-Arab refugees
B. not enough humanitarian aid was given to the rebels
C. non-Arab rebels took up arms to protest alleged government discrimination
D. the weak Sudanese democracy collapsed overnight
E. the end of the Cold War signaled an end of external aid
Draw from what you know about civil conflicts. The most common basis for war is culture; the most common
cultural conflicts are centered on religion or ethnicity (this is especially true for civil wars such as the one in
Rwanda). Understand, however, that many causes go toward creating a war. Consider all the options in the
answers before jumping to something that seems correct.
The Darfur conflict has received much international attention, mainly because of UN failure to prevent the
rampant human rights abuses. Now, look at answers (A) and (B). Both involve international aid given to some
group within the country. Typically, this occurs after the war has begunwar is what drives refugees out and
limits availability of resources. Therefore, (A) and (B) can't be causes of civil war. This also eliminates answer
(E), which also deals with external aid.
Civil wars are heavily armed conflicts (as opposed to non-violet wars, such as trade wars). Which of the
remaining answers, (C) or (D), introduces an element of armed conflict that would make the situation in Sudan
a civil war? (C) is the correct answer. While (D), government collapse, can lead to internal turmoil, it does not
explain why people took up arms against fellow Sudanese.
Unit 4: Political Organization of Space
Centrifugal vs. Centripetal Forces
Physics time! Just kidding, don't have a panic attack. The AP Human Geography exam is relatively free of the
mathier sciences. No, a centrifugal force is something that can divide a country. For example, racial or ethnic
differences could lead to tension, economic instability, high unemployment, or anything else that would make a
country less cohesive. It's always easier to blame it on the other guy, huh.
A centripetal force, on the other hand, is one that helps unite a country. A shared common identity, religious and
racial tolerance, a booming economy, and political power are all centripetal forces. To help keep the two
straight, think of a flower: all of the petals (think centripetal forces) work together to create a cohesive identity.
Self-Determination vs. Sovereignty
Both of these terms indicate that a country is free to choose its own destinyto some extent. The important
distinction between self-determination and sovereignty is subtle but critical, because a self-determining state
may not be sovereign, but a sovereign state is almost always self-determining.
A self-determining state can govern itself, but it may not be completely free to do so. An example of this would
be India under British colonial administration; technically, India self-governed, but not without influence from
the metropole.
Sovereignty is similar to self-determination, but the state is not under the compulsion or influence of another
state. Therefore, of the many self-determining states that were a part of the British Empire, only Great Britain
itself was sovereign.

Geographers are obsessed with patterns. Without patterns, geography wouldn't be so much a science as a
guessing game. One key concept required for identifying patterns is scale. How far a geographer zooms in or
out of an issue determines what sort of information he or she needs or observes and how that information can be
applied to different problem-solving tactics.
Let's use World War I as an example. For starters, how did World War I start? Well, most historians agree that
war was triggered when Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian terrorist organization called the Black Hand,
assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. (Phew, that
was a lot of commas.) On a limited, local level, this event was about Serbian nationalism and organized struggle
to secede from the Austrian Empireand the Archduke's driver making a wrong turn at the very wrong time.
Now zoom out a bit: after the Archduke's assassination, which exacerbated local disagreements in the Balkans,
Serbia refused to meet Austria-Hungary's demands, and the latter declared. Hmm, an inciting incident leads to a
list a demands, and when those demands aren't met, war is declared. This could describe any number of
conflicts throughout history, no?
Now let's zoom out a bit more: Serbia was confident that it could defy the Austro-Hungarian Empire because of
Serbia's alliance with Russia, who agreed to back Serbia in the event of an attack. A pattern developed when
Germany then declared war on Russia to make good on its alliance with Austria-Hungary, and the United
Kingdom declared war on Germany when the Germans failed to leave neutral Belgium, a UK ally, out of the
whole deal. France also declared war on Germany, but mostly to steal back territory lost a few decades earlier, a
pattern in itself.
Soon, other European countries were dragged in, then the colonies, and ultimately, one small event was the
catalyst for a war that involved people all over the world over, another pattern that was repeated only two
decades later at the outbreak of World War II. Sheesh, these patterns are everywhere!
Patterns like those mentioned above are helpful when dealing with new information. If the AP asks the cause of
World War I on an international level, you know that the answer is more complicated than "because someone
forgot to tell the Archduke's driver where he was going," but if you come across a conflict that you're not
familiar with, think about the types of things that lead to war and identify similarities between the information
given and situations you're more familiar with.
If you familiarize yourself with the complex relationships that lead to conflicts, including current tensions
among states or ethnicities, entangling alliances, or historic rivalries, it becomes much easier to successfully
identify these things on the fly.
Here's a less violent example of how we can use scale to identify patterns:
For a long time, colonies in North and Central America survived primarily on agriculture instead of industry
A. North America was populated with cheap slave labor and unsuitable to heavy investment in
B. North America already had a bustling trade in sugar and crops with Central America and the
Caribbean and saw no need for trade
C. European colonizers did not want to create competition in their colonies
D. countries like Britain and France were eager not to do anything that may fund a revolution
E. all of the above
The correct answer is (C).

While all the answers seem somewhat plausible, and even though we aren't given many specifics, only one
answer explains the phenomenon named in this question satisfactorily. Answer (A) focuses on a regional (North
American) scale, which is not expansive enough to explain what happened to other colonies. Answer (B) is
similarly only continental in scope; it does not address the metropoles. Answer (D) is not entirely true, and in
any case wasn't simply a New Worldor British and Frenchconcern; many European countries had domestic
tensions to worry about, too.
Even though this is a fairly general question, we can identify (C) as the correct answer if we are aware of
patterns that were repeated many times over the course of the colonial period. The colonizers did not want
colonial factories creating competition for their own manufactured goods; metropoles saw their outlying areas
more as sources of natural resources. There are always going to be specific details that make a situation unique,
but identifying patterns makes the scope of APHUG much more digestible.
Even though the FRQ isn't a formal essay, it should still be focused, well organized, and based on knowledge,
not presumption. If you know nothing else about a topic, at the very least define it and give an example so that
you have a shot at some points for each question.
For instance, if you draw a complete blank on the effects of colonialism, start by writing down what colonialism
is, which might help jog your memory. And take some of the Shmoop practice exams; they'll get you in test
mode. After all this studying and practicing, you're prepared for anything. You got this.
Unit 5: Agriculture & Land Use
Desertification vs. Deforestation
Desertification occurs when topsoil is lost and an area becomes too dry for agriculture. It has the word desert in
it, because that's essentially what the area turns into, so just remember that very little can grow in the desert)
Desertification is also fueled by salinization, which occurs with excessive irrigation.
On the other hand, deforestation is caused by logging and sawing down trees to use the land for grazing or
farming. Both of these terms start with de-, but only deforestation uses those two little letters and a prefix. Just
remember deforestation de-forests, or un-forests, an area.
Land-Intensive vs. Labor-Intensive Agriculture
Land-intensive agriculture requires a lot of land, but not a lot of human labor. One example is herding cattle. A
single rancher can tend to a herd of hundreds, but a vast area of land is needed to feed all the animals. He might
not be a single rancherhe could be married, we don't know his lifebut he doesn't need his significant other
to help with the cattle.
Labor-intensive agriculture requires a huge commitment of human labor for the acreage. Good examples
include crops that must be harvested by hand, such as coffee or strawberries. Modern commercial agriculture is
more land-intensive, since heavy machinery does most of the work.
Sustainable Farming vs. Organic Farming
Nowadays, "sustainable" and "organic" seem to be words that companies print everywhere to make consumers
feel less guilty about buying products. However, there is a nuanced and important distinction between the terms.
Sustainability is concerned with proper stewardship ofi.e. sustainingthe environment, whereas organic
simply refers to products grown without synthetic processes like genetic modification and additives like growth
hormones, pesticides, or herbicides. The two terms are not interchangeable. In fact, certain kinds of organic

crops are very specifically not sustainable because they are more land- and water-intensive than non-organic
The Shmoop practice exams offer a good opportunity to judge test-taking speed. By taking practice exams, you
can discover which areas you can spend more time on or where you might need where to work faster.
For example, if you're spending too much time on a multiple-choice question in the middle of the exam, try
skipping that section and coming back to it later. For the FRQ, remember to answer the easiest question first.
You may think that because the more difficult questions require more time, you should answer those first;
however, if you do that, you might run out of time for the simple ones that would have gotten you easy points.
Remember: a point is a point on the exam. You won't receive extra credit for tackling the hard questions first,
and there aren't any points deducted for wrong or insufficient answers. Do yourself a favor and use the time
By now you should have a nice arsenal of interpretation techniques to unleash on the AP exam, but here's one
The AP wants you to characterize and analyze changing relationships between places. In other words, they want
you to know what is changing and why, and they'll ask you to put that into in terms of how different places
interact. For instance, why is rail travel less and less popular for people moving across the continent than it was
a century ago? There are a number of reasons: cheaper airfare allows for all classes to travel by plane; the rail
system has been transformed into a system for moving goods instead of people; people favor convenience and
speed while traveling, etc.
Sample Problem
How has the Green Revolution changed the practice of pest control in India?
A. The Green Revolution introduced much more variety in rice strains, making it more likely that some
will survive pests and disease.
B. The Green Revolution subsidized farmers so they would plant less rice and more native plants.
C. New pesticides helped the existing rice strains survive better.
D. New chemical pesticides combined with resistant strains increased the rice harvest.
E. The introduction of environmentally friendly, non-chemical pesticides proved extremely effective.
The correct answer is (D).
Read the question carefully. It asks specifically for any changes in the area of pest control, so broad, sweeping
statements about the Green Revolution won't cut it. First, we need to know what has changed. Thanks to the
Green Revolution, larger crop yields are possible because technology allows us to avoid mass blights and pest
How? Through improved pest-resistant strains of grains and vegetables, as well as the introduction of affordable
and effective chemical pesticides. Knowing that something has changed over time is not enough. We must know
what exactly is different and why it is different in order to answer questions like these.

Unit 6: Industrialization & Economics

Capital vs. Foreign Investment

These words thrown around a lot on the news, and they may start to sound the same after a while, but there is a
key difference. Capital is something that may not seem like much on its own but will help produce other goods
and growth. A canal is capital because, although it's little more than a really watery ditch, it allows water
transport and trade, paying for itself big-time.
Foreign investment, which is often treated like a godsend for developing countries, is not necessarily capital.
Private companies may put money in to get money out for themselves without making any significant
improvement to the infrastructure of the country they operate in. If they build public works projects or upgrade
transportation routes it can be a good thing, but if they merely dump money into a factory building without
providing any other support or capital, the effects can be devastating if the factory closes down.
Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Resources
A renewable resource is a resource that will be naturally replenished so that humans can use it again (e.g.
geothermal energy). A nonrenewable resource is one that will not be renewed over time, or one that takes so
long to renew that, on a human scale, it is nonrenewable (e.g. petroleum). The Industrial Revolution relied on
nonrenewable resources, and for the most part, countries are still using fuels like coal and gas to pull their
industries forward. However, some nonrenewable resources like oil might be depleted in our lifetime, and no
one quite knows how states will respond to this challenge.
We've already talked about using examples on the FRQ section. However, for some of the questions, a deeper
discussion is needed. If you've studied and taken the Practice Exams, you should be prepared for anything the
APHUG throws at you. Figuratively. If someone literally throws something at you during the exam, tell the
When answering an essay question, always write as if you're an expert, even if you're not. When presenting an
idea, do so without saying, "I think," or, "I believe." Don't believe, know. Doing away with the wishy-washy
stuff not only makes you sound more confident, it also saves time, which is crucial on the FRQ section.
Sample Problem
Regionalization refers to the tendency people have to form regions, or distinct areas tied together by a common
trait. This trait could be physical (e.g. climate), political (e.g. the South) or perceptual (e.g. the Bible Belt).
There are also regions that are based on economic characteristics, such as the level of development found in a
certain area. Like many things in geography, region is dependent on scale. There are local regions that span a
few blocks and international regions that cover several countries. On the AP exam, you will be expected to
define regions and evaluate the regionalization process.
Who wants to try a sample question? (Hint: rhetorical; we're trying a sample question.) Remember the Rust
Belt, the Midwest region that suffered greatly when manufacturing jobs were relocated to regions where they
could be completed for less money? When a formerly booming area ceases to become an industrial sector, it is
called deindustrialization.
Beginning in the 1970s, the adult population of Michigan decreased because:
A. adults living in Michigan could not afford rising property costs
B. the people of Michigan did not have access to medicine to treat preventable diseases
C. industrial jobs became more available, but only hired the young
D. amid a time of national growth, Michigan experienced a job downturn
E. both A and D

The correct answer is (D).

From the information we have on the Rust Belt, the answer should be clear. The important concept to
understand about regionalization is that phenomena can be widespread or localized. In the case of the Rust Belt,
the effect was localized to those areas that had concentrated heavily in industrial jobs. When cheaper labor and
materials became available, the booming trade in Michigan went poof.
All this happened at a time when the nation as a whole was becoming wealthier and more developed. Note that
regional trends often seem contradictory in the face of the bigger picture. Because different regions specialize in
different industries, however, it makes sense that changes hit some communities harder than others.
Unit 7: Cities & Urban Land Use
Burgess Model vs. von Thnen Model
They sure look the same, but looks aren't everything (lucky for Papa Shmoop, womp womp). Burgess's Model
of urban land use is applicable to American cities, where residential land prices are generally lower the closer to
the CBD one gets. Von Thnen's Model was created with an agricultural society in mind; the concentric rings
represent different agricultural products and land usage. Von Thnen's Model works well for pre-industrial cities
(think medieval Europe).
Yes, both models look like bull's-eyes, but if you mix them up, you'll miss the mark on the exam.
Gentrification vs. McMansions
Gentrification occurs when middle- or upper-class homeowners purchase and renovate existing inner-city
homes that have fallen into disrepair. This occurs near the CBD, or in the city center. McMansions is another
housing trend, but it takes place outside of the CBD, when suburban neighborhoods see the demolition of older,
smaller houses to make way for new and large McMansions on the property. While both phenomena are
popular, they affect the landscape of different urban areas.
Megalopolis vs. Megacity
A megalopolis is a chain of large cities joined together by improved transportation methods, such as more
airports and highways, and effective rail service. One large metropolitan area along the east coast is the D.C.Philadelphia-New York-Boston megalopolis. This entire collection of cities can be thought of as one giant
functional region. A megacity, on the other hand, does not necessarily consist of many cities; it could simply be
one large city. The threshold is typically 10 million people, and there has to be a high population density.

Two major megalopolises, one on the east coast, the other in Japan. (Source.)
Believe it or not, we've covered almost all the analysis techniques AP expects you to know. You still deserve a
lollipop. But before we part ways, there's one more thing you need to know. The final geographical skill tested
on the AP exam is how to characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places. Simply put, it's a
combination of skills that you've already learned. (Phew!) It combines looking at things on different scales and
observing how things change over time.
For instance, what if the APHUG exam asked about the changing demographics of American cities in the last
century? It's important not only to note the changes over time (e.g. industrialization, mass immigration,
migration of the lower classes into urban areas), but also how the functions of different spaces change. The
trends of urbanization and suburbanization are good examples that will likely appear on the exam. For each
process, name what areas of the urban landscape are affected and by what segments of the population. Is this
happening locally or in many places? Analyzing these factors should make answering any question about urban
areas easier.
Now that you've learned all there is to know about the AP Human Geography exam, take one final word of
advice. Okay, two final words of advice: stay positive.
You know this stuff. Don't doubt that for a second. With the Shmoop review and the practice exams, the format
of the AP exam won't be a surprise. Use the practice exams to your advantage; get those butterflies out now so
that come test day, you'll be comfortable with the format and the material. If the College Board does throw
curveballs at you on the test, you'll be ready. All that's left is to ace that test.