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How to Win the Battle of History Revision

History revision needs a smart strategy, much like some of the war campaigns you’ve studied.

To ensure GCSE victory, here are many of our tried-and-tested revision techniques if you are embarking on an exam battle this year.

Mission 1: Get your Facts Straight

‘Facts facts facts,’ Dickens once wrote in ‘Hard Times.’ When it comes to History revision, not much has changed. Knowing the facts will help you answer both short and long questions. How best to learn them though?

One way is to create timelines with pictures/symbols to help you remember the order of events. Including key bullet points for each event/law/battle will help you. Of course, you can pin these sheets up when revising, or keep them in a revision folder.

Mission 2: Know Causes and Consequences

Once you know WHAT happened, your next mission is to focus on the WHY.

To construct historical explanations, you need a deep understanding about:

  • Short and long-term causes
  • Whether there were a range of reasons why an event occurred
  • What the motivations were

Of course, you can’t reference causes without alluding to consequences – what happened afterwards. Focus on:

  • What changes happened as a result of
  • Whether the consequences were positive or negative – perhaps they set off a change of further events
  • How important the changes were, not forgetting that some actions might have totally changed history

For the above, why not create some simple flow charts or spider diagrams that separate information into easily-accessible chunks? Revising whole chunks of a text book in longhand can backfire.

Mission 3: Understand the success criteria in short questions and longer essays

Armed with plenty of tips and tricks already taught to you by your teacher, the exam should be plain sailing. Sitting staring at an exam paper, however, is a different kettle of fish.

You have to make sure you:

  • Answer the right questions on the right topics
  • Don’t plan shorter questions as the longer questions have more marks
  • Refer to both sides of the argument before reaching conclusions

Often, history question expect you to interpret and evaluate – not just regurgitate facts. Practising these essentials will help you conquer anything the exam throws at you!

The boards such as AQA publish previous GCSE History papers and mark schemes. One of our best tips for success would be to study with the answers so that you recognise what examiners look for

Master History Revision with a Private Tutor

Of course, this all sounds easy. You still have to practise reading questions, know what key words in questions are really asking of you, and to achieve everything within a tight timeframe.

If you struggle with any of the above, it can make such a difference to enlist the support of an ally – your very own tutor. Drop us a note if you want to discuss this further.

In the meantime, here’s a link to one of our popular posts about how studying History can open up a host of careers!

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