Short guide to passing a level history

1. Notes, notes, notes! History is about two things: knowing lots of facts and writing good essays. For the first one, start early. Ignore the notes you wrote in class and get the textbook that is written by the examining body. Go through it systematically, in the 3-4 months before the exam and take notes. Be concise. These textbooks are fantastically wordy, last year I summarised the entire thing in about 5000 words. That might seem like a lot, but when you're doing a chapter every week or so for a couple of months it's very very manageable. Once you've done this, summarise your own notes into an effective time-line.

2. Learn the dates It's history, you really do need to know these! If you're really bad at it, like me, get some flashcards and write an event on one side of it and the date on the other. Keep going through them, putting the ones you get wrong in one pile and the ones you get right in another. Keep going through the ones you got wrong until you get them all right. Repeat again the next day!

3. Write an essay on each chapter At the end of each chapter in your examiner-written textbook, there should be an essay question. This is really useful, as it will give you practice in the areas the examiners are most likely to ask- remember, they WANT you to pass! At this stage, you're allowed to do each question with your notes.

4. Past papers No more notes! Now you need to do past papers under timed conditions. Lots and lots and lots. Remember your exam technique: refer back to the question LOTS even if it seems a little clumsy and obvious to do so, sometimes examiners need stuff spelled out to them; make sure there is a clear debate running through your essay and that your conclusion supports the thread of this debate; throw in lots of dates; evaluate as much as you can- your essay CANNOT be narrative, it must be discussing the question at hand.

--Riotgrrl 14:21, 25 January 2012 (UTC)