GCSE History Revision Tips

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boitown
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#1
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Does anybody have any revision tips/advice for achieving an A* at GCSE history? TIA
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Frappé
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#2
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I got A* in history ask me anything!

I made a timeline of every significant and relevant event. I then dated it all and took time to make sure i understood each event and could thoroughly explain what it entailed.
I then summaried how certain events lead to another where relevant.
I also summarised the pro's and cons of certain events where relevant.
Just understand and be able to explain everything in order of when they occured. If you explain them verbally it's so much easier to remember it all.
And in terms of answering questions, i wrote down every type of question and how to answer it for full marks.
And i listed everything to look for when evaluating sources e.g. Date/author/actions/tone.

In the exam the main thing to remember is be detailed in your understanding and explanations and keep answering "why?" in your answers and write in a logical order properly answering what the question wants with good english and a great structure to the answer.

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MissML
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#3
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I had an A* at GCSE too.

Personally I struggled with remembering the important dates, and it's these that will give you a bit of an edge in the top marks, so I made a few timelines with the important dates and events, as well as flash cards to help me remember which date was for which event.

Look through past papers and see if you notice a pattern in how the questions are structured, as well as how the top answers are structured. Reading the mark schemes at the same time will give you an insight into what the examiners are looking for, and what they don't like to see.
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boitown
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#4
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(Original post by Frappé)
I got A* in history ask me anything!

I made a timeline of every significant and relevant event. I then dated it all and took time to make sure i understood each event and could thoroughly explain what it entailed.
I then summaried how certain events lead to another where relevant.
I also summarised the pro's and cons of certain events where relevant.
Just understand and be able to explain everything in order of when they occured. If you explain them verbally it's so much easier to remember it all.
And in terms of answering questions, i wrote down every type of question and how to answer it for full marks.
And i listed everything to look for when evaluating sources e.g. Date/author/actions/tone.

In the exam the main thing to remember is be detailed in your understanding and explanations and keep answering "why?" in your answers and write in a logical order properly answering what the question wants with good english and a great structure to the answer.

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Thanks a lot, great advice I have just started to make a timeline of all of the events, and will definitely take on board the other ideas. My target is an A*, and at the start of year 10, I seemed to be achieving it in every other subject but history and really struggled with time management- as I ended up writing too much detail and not finishing the question- but in the recent mock at the end of year 10 I achieved an A* for Unit 1 (AQA B). Would you recommend revising early (as in now, when my exams are May 2016) or closer to the date?

Also, sorry to be a pain but you wouldn't have happened to study languages? (I take French and Spanish) and struggle with the speaking controlled assessments, if you did do you have any tips/ advice? Thank you again
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boitown
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#5
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(Original post by MissML)
I had an A* at GCSE too.

Personally I struggled with remembering the important dates, and it's these that will give you a bit of an edge in the top marks, so I made a few timelines with the important dates and events, as well as flash cards to help me remember which date was for which event.

Look through past papers and see if you notice a pattern in how the questions are structured, as well as how the top answers are structured. Reading the mark schemes at the same time will give you an insight into what the examiners are looking for, and what they don't like to see.
Thank you, I will definitely print off some past papers and mark schemes Do you have any tips for time management? thanks again
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Frappé
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#6
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(Original post by hollsy)
Thanks a lot, great advice I have just started to make a timeline of all of the events, and will definitely take on board the other ideas. My target is an A*, and at the start of year 10, I seemed to be achieving it in every other subject but history and really struggled with time management- as I ended up writing too much detail and not finishing the question- but in the recent mock at the end of year 10 I achieved an A* for Unit 1 (AQA B). Would you recommend revising early (as in now, when my exams are May 2016) or closer to the date?

Also, sorry to be a pain but you wouldn't have happened to study languages? (I take French and Spanish) and struggle with the speaking controlled assessments, if you did do you have any tips/ advice? Thank you again
You seem to be doing well already!
For history just make sure you understand all concepts/events at this point or maybe half an hour of revision regularly, not too much. I would say leave revision for 2months before the exam which is plenty of time. Then the revision will be just applying everything you already know in exam format. Save your energy for now.

I did! I did german and got A* also. The ca is hard-(i had to retake a speaking ca myself). Well i would say understand what you've planned to say because it will make more sense remembering. And my technique was use rhythms of speaking when learning or count the syllabls in each sentence so you remember it all. My method was : say/learn one line then say the first and second line then the first second and third line and keep adding it on until you have the whole paragraph.
Is the issue remembering it or reciting it etc?


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12345username
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#7
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(Original post by Frappé)
I got A* in history ask me anything!

I made a timeline of every significant and relevant event. I then dated it all and took time to make sure i understood each event and could thoroughly explain what it entailed.
I then summaried how certain events lead to another where relevant.
I also summarised the pro's and cons of certain events where relevant.
Just understand and be able to explain everything in order of when they occured. If you explain them verbally it's so much easier to remember it all.
And in terms of answering questions, i wrote down every type of question and how to answer it for full marks.
And i listed everything to look for when evaluating sources e.g. Date/author/actions/tone.

In the exam the main thing to remember is be detailed in your understanding and explanations and keep answering "why?" in your answers and write in a logical order properly answering what the question wants with good english and a great structure to the answer.

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Hiya.
I saw this thread andwas wondering if you could help me for my ocr history b mock that's coming up. I have no clue how to structure 10 markers or 6 markers. I just wanted to know vaguely how to set it out and how many paragraphs i need etc. Sorry if this is a silly question.
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jamestg
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#8
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(Original post by hollsy)
Does anybody have any revision tips/advice for achieving an A* at GCSE history? TIA
I got an A however I was very close to an A*, I got an A* in the hardest unit within the subject and very high A grades in the remaining two (one being one mark off an A*).

Firstly don't get bogged down on dates. Learn the content and the order of the content first, and then fill in the dates. You'll just become overwhelmed with things.

Secondly, read around the subject. Although you don't have to do this - extra research won't hurt and you can find some good arguments historians have made to questions you could get. Extra reading also helps when writing your essay questions as you need to be able to know keywords or phrases to demonstrate your understanding.

Thirdly, don't drift off with your answer. It needs to be focused to the question, anything else that's not relevant no matter how good it is written it simply won't get you any marks. Mark schemes are banded (ie you have to meet certain criteria to gain a certain number of marks). Follow the criteria and you will do very well.

In essays talk about how if something didn't happen, if you get a question on how Hitler gained power and you need to talk about the importance of key events - talk about how an absence of the 1929 crash would have an impact on Hitler and how he may have remained a 'joke'.

People will probably be saying make timelines and do past papers for history. Timelines won't help, you should already have a basic overview in your work and an idea of the chronology of the time period you're looking at. Past papers will help but honestly don't over use them - do questions from your textbook and revision book first before attempting the exam questions. Make sure you know what is required of you to get top marks.
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