I'm currently studying AS Level History and I'm after some general hints and tips for that I can achieve as least a C or above.
I studied Russia for my first module and completely F'd it up and got a U so I need to resit it again.
All the information seems impossible to generate!
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I did Russia for my AS (alongside the English Civil Wars for the sources paper) and came out with an A!
I can't tell you what you absolutely NEED to do because it has to be what works for you. If it's not your preferred way of learning then it won't be effective.
This is the advice I give to all AS History students who ask;
• Make sure to order notes in a way that is easily accessible. Keep them in a folder, or better yet write them in exercise books (This saves the stress of finding that most of your Civil War notes have fallen out of the folder somewhere when you need to revise).
• Try not to leave everything until a few weeks before the exam – go over your notes regularly, as this prevents blind panic in the two weeks leading up to the exam.
• Find somewhere quiet, comfortable and well lit to do work. Your bed will not do! It gets uncomfortable after a short while, which could limit your concentration. Desks are your friend, especially if they aren’t facing the TV (See below).
• Having the TV/iPod on whilst revising doesn’t always allow you to concentrate properly. Watch TV when you’re done. Also throw your phone in a drawer and leave it there until you’re done – they can be a bigger distraction than the TV...
• Do as many practise essays as you can, and get feedback on them. Feedback will help you take a step in the right direction.
• Actually do the homework tasks you are given. They’re being set to help you, not to ruin your social life.
• Keep all the essay plans you make, and look over them when you revise. It doesn’t matter if the question you planned seems obscure, you never know what the exam board is going to throw at you, and it’s better to be prepared. (‘Fail to plan, and you plan to fail’ ect.)
• Swap essays with your friends and peer-mark them. Colour coding the PEEL/ADCRU (PEEL = Structure for Russia paper - Point Evidence Explain Link and ADCRU - Structure for sources paper - Author Date Content Reliability Utility) points helps too. Doing this will help with understanding a strong essay structure, and identify what you should/shouldn’t be doing. It’s a good idea to do this with any example answers from past papers you may have too.
• In the last 2-3 weeks before the exam, make a revision chart, and mark off every half hour/hour you do in revision. It can be a great confidence boost to see a visual representation of your hard work.
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and taking some time to relax. Lack of sleep and being overworked does nothing positive to your mood, concentration or memory.
Ive already done history AS last year and i would recommend that you start revising NOW, structure to your revision is what you need. Get the text book, summarise every chapter so then you could possibly cram at the last minute. I done this and i got an A at AS.
I don't know what exam board you're doing, but if it's possible check their website and look at the examiner's reports. I found they were really helpful in making you think about how you would plan an essay, or how you would approach a question.