Edexcel GCE History revision tips?Watch
I'm doing the USA in Asia (Korean and Vietnam Wars) and Civil Rights (Martin Luther KIng etc) - I think one of them is the D4 option, are you doing either of these? If so, I might be able to help!
These two breaks it down into much easier chunks than big text books, once you have these you will find it a lot more easier to revise.
This series has done wonders for my History grades!
As for revising once you have the books that depends on how you learn best; do you know what kind of learner you are? Visual learner etc?
- The factors you will inevitably discuss in your answer are not entirely detached entities. Therefore, if you can discuss - even if it's only for a sentence or two - how some of the factors you're discussing are interrelated, that can boost you up quite significantly.
- Evaluate your factors as you go. Always end your paragraphs stating how that particular factor is significant to the question you're answering. Top answers will always be tightly argued in relation to the question.
- If you can slip in a historian's name, even if it is just a name-drop, then that certainly can't hurt - the examiner won't see it frequently in this exam. Don't stress about this one though, only do it if it's possible and relevant to your question.
Introduction: Introduce the argument - briefly state the main points you will be examining on both sides of the argument. Start with the ones that support the argument, then drop in a "however" and list the points that oppose it.
Main body: Split this into two halves - support and oppose. Devote a paragraph to each point you will make. First, state the point, justify it with evidence, and then the outcome of it whilst relating it back to the question.
Conclusion: reach a judgement!
I know this sounds very simple but it's just always good to keep a clear essay structure in your head. If you're having trouble thinking of points, just spend 10 minutes in the exam making two mind maps, one for each essay, and lay out the points you will make. This saves time and helps you remember the points you will make.
Revision-wise, I can't speak for Stalin's Russia, but for Civil Rights please make sure that you learn those court judgements from Plessy vs Ferguson onwards. They're important!
Hope this helps, and good luck!