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Facts and dates for A-Level History (Edexcel)

One of my main problems that is pretty much always the cause for me getting marks taken away is that I don't really include that many facts, figures, or dates. I find it kind of hard to remember a slew of dates and important facts, and I tend to instead use wide and sweeping facts in my essays such as just naming names instead of giving specific facts and dates. I would, for example, say that "the increasing of military expenditure by Russia in 1913 and 1914 threatened Germany" instead of "the fact that the Russian military expenditure was at 800 million roubles in 1913-14 and that its army was expected to reach over 2 million troops by 1916 convinced General Moltke to beg the Kaiser to mobilize". In light of this, how many facts, figures, and dates do I need to memorize? How specific do I need to be with them - can I just give an estimate or stop at the year of a date? What are some good tools to help me to remember these facts?
So specific facts are a key part of History. Not only does it show you know what you’re talking about, but it provides accuracy and clarity for your reader/ exam marker.

You don’t often have to remember the minute details, even just for A-Levels. However you would be expected to support your statements with some form of supporting evidence.

For example whilst the statement “The battle of verdun was extremely costly for French and German forces alike” is factually correct. A true historian would word it as “The battle of verdun was extremely costly for French and German forces alike. Resulting in around 400,000 casualties for the french and almost 350,000 for the Germans”.

This is because the to reader, without figures and facts that are unable to assess the extent of your original meaning. To someone who knows nothing about Verdun, saying it was a costly battle could mean anything from 2,000 casualties to 400,000 which is quite a margin!

Constant revision is really the best bet. Try to associate numbers with specific events or people. That way if you find yourself writing about something you tend to remember the figures with it. For example when writing a exam on Hitler if you were to remember the number 1933 then when it comes to writing about his rise to power you can remember the year he became chancellor and so forth.

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