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    Hi everyone,

    I have a few general questions about history exams at the Undergraduate level, hopefully someone can help!

    How does it contrast to writing coursework?

    How do you illustrate to the examiner that you have an indepth knowledge of the topic with being overly narrative?

    Do you get extra brownie points for engaging with historiography or at least a showing a knowledge of relevant historiography?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Tyreke)
    Hi everyone,

    I have a few general questions about history exams at the Undergraduate level, hopefully someone can help!

    How does it contrast to writing coursework?

    How do you illustrate to the examiner that you have an indepth knowledge of the topic with being overly narrative?

    Do you get extra brownie points for engaging with historiography or at least a showing a knowledge of relevant historiography?

    Thanks!
    Hey! I'm an undergraduate studying history at Oxford and my exams are fairly demanding in terms of their scope so I'm not sure my experience is necessarily representative of the sorts of things that all universities ask of their students during exams... Ask your tutor or check the syllabus!

    Coursework is generally longer and more in-depth than a typical exam answer, thus you're expected to present a highly developed, analytical, and source-led argument that engages convincingly with the historiography. Exam answers are similar, though usually less highly developed (due to time constraints)

    There is no excuse whatsoever for presenting a narrative within your exam answer. Your critical approach should be immediately established within the introduction and your paragraphs should aim to drive your argument to its conclusion. Naturally, such an approach forces you to discuss the historical tradition that surrounds the topic at hand. If you do not address issues posed by the historiography, then how are you going to offer your own interpretation?! It's unlikely you'd be given extra points for this knowledge, rather it's a fundamental aspect of a historian's job.
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    (Original post by colourtheory)
    Hey! I'm an undergraduate studying history at Oxford and my exams are fairly demanding in terms of their scope so I'm not sure my experience is necessarily representative of the sorts of things that all universities ask of their students during exams... Ask your tutor or check the syllabus!

    Coursework is generally longer and more in-depth than a typical exam answer, thus you're expected to present a highly developed, analytical, and source-led argument that engages convincingly with the historiography. Exam answers are similar, though usually less highly developed (due to time constraints)

    There is no excuse whatsoever for presenting a narrative within your exam answer. Your critical approach should be immediately established within the introduction and your paragraphs should aim to drive your argument to its conclusion. Naturally, such an approach forces you to discuss the historical tradition that surrounds the topic at hand. If you do not address issues posed by the historiography, then how are you going to offer your own interpretation?! It's unlikely you'd be given extra points for this knowledge, rather it's a fundamental aspect of a historian's job.
    Thanks for the very informative answer! It helped me streamline my thoughts and prepare for my coming exams!

    A good source of information I have since found is 'History Skills' by Mary Abbott. Chapter 8 entitled 'Examinations' is particularly helpful, but also the book as a whole will help any History undergraduate.

    Thanks again Colourtheory
 
 
 
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