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A Level History revision ... annoying

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Aaah bloody history!! This is the first real time i've had trouble with any sort of revision.

Well first off does anyone do A Level history? or has anyone done it in the past?

Its just i'm having trouble knowing how to revise it as there is SHITE loads of stuff to go over, i mean 4 tudor reigns, plus european stuff like stalin etc. I just don't know how to go through it all, as i have loads and loads of notes

I mean content wise, i'm ok. I can quite easily read my notes and pick up all the factual content its just i'm just a little confused at how to go about it all, if that makes any sense at all.

Alot of the marks go for analysis and argument, not just factual stuff. So just reading my notes won't help. Maybe making notes and notes on my own opinions etc could be the answer?

Sorry if this sounds pretty boring to people, just doing my head in. Apart from this my revision is going fine :thumb:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes i do A-level history, i have the opposite problem, i couldn't be arsed getting the facts into my head, i'm doing the tudor course aswell, the century long thingy module will be the hardest imo, though i'm very good at writing essays, also you need to have a good knowledge of historeography for the synoptic piece which is shitty but just get to know what the schools of thought are, not whole essays, maybe a sentence or two, the key to writing a good essay is looking at how the question is set out, for example, if it says "to what extent" then you not only have to look at what extent it did go but also the extent it didn't go, just split your essay into two sides, then come to a conclusion, that works with most questrions...good luck :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'm getting much better at writing essays now, its just the revision bit of it thats confusing me for some reason ....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    GoodFella wrote:
    i'm getting much better at writing essays now, its just the revision bit of it thats confusing me for some reason ....

    try breaking the tudors up into each monarch...then from that foreign policy, domestic policy and religious policy...make bullet notes and also spider diagrams for key issues...read over them and make the connections that are needed
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thats would I would do. the other thing I did was rewriting my notes over and over again, condensing it each time so I associated every thing with the key word or phrase I had condensed it down to at the end.

    I did A-level History, and now do degree level history. I usually focus on the significance and things once I get the basic facts, as that way it shows more of an understanding of the historical relevance and significance rather than just knowing the facts.

    If I can think of anything else, I'll let you know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I usually focus on the significance and things once I get the basic facts, as that way it shows more of an understanding of the historical relevance and significance rather than just knowing the facts.

    thats the key i think...you take an event or treaty and look at it's significance and how it affected future treaties and how it differed from past ones...examiners like that i think
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did A-Level history, but dropped it in the second year. I was the only student, so i had no opprotunities for peer discussions. By now you should have written a fair few essays, analysing history. Revise your facts, but most of the marks will be in how you analyse them. Think about why events occured, what preceded them, how do they relate to the bigger question, criticise the sources, is there bias? for example? Hope that helps.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, I think learning the facts is still important for the analysis because then you can put the source in context and look at the reliability of it - ie, who wrote it and when, was it before or after events happened etc etc.

    I did AS Level History and had a similar problem. I got a B but I don't really know why because I was focusing on my three A Levels.

    It's a difficult subject, but I found the examiners were looking for more general knowledge about a range of issues than forcing you to learn exact facts. As long as you know roughly what happened, when, and in what order, you should be alright.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks guys :) , great help.

    We've done quite a few past questions in lesson and i'm getting way better at my analysis. I'm just gonna focus on finishing making my notes, read through them all and then make some kind of summary notes about what i think etc etc.

    Cheers
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The good thing about my final A Level History paper is that it was pretty easy to know what the main question was. The module was 'The Decline Of The Liberal Party' and the final essay was just a varient on "What caused the decline' It just got changed year on year to x was the main factor discuss. hehe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What stuff is learnt at A-Level History? Just curious, because I'm planning on taking it in September. (I'll be in my first year then)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What stuff is learnt at A-Level History? Just curious, because I'm planning on taking it in September. (I'll be in my first year then)
    It really depends where you study what you learn. It will depend on the eam board the school uses, and the choices of modules they make. Best thing to do would probably be to ask the history department :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As for the revision, simply reading your notes isn't enough. You need to making notes of your notes and, even more importantly, doing past exam papers. Even if you don't want to write an entire essay out, you need to at least be making essay plans with a closed book, and politely asking your tutor to tell you where you're going wrong and what you're missing out.

    As for the facts themselves, writing them out on a postcard and memorising the postcards when you're on the bus or whatever is a very good idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Renzo wrote:
    The good thing about my final A Level History paper is that it was pretty easy to know what the main question was. The module was 'The Decline Of The Liberal Party' and the final essay was just a varient on "What caused the decline' It just got changed year on year to x was the main factor discuss. hehe.

    I am doing that this year...It's the dullest module but pretty easy at least. Oh yeah, you're thingy says Bucks..No chance you had Swan if you went to Challys? :lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am doing that this year...It's the dullest module but pretty easy at least. Oh yeah, you're thingy says Bucks..No chance you had Swan if you went to Challys? :lol:

    AGS old boy Im afraid ;)

    I found the module very interesting, though mind you im now at uni studying politics. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Renzo wrote:
    AGS old boy Im afraid ;)

    I found the module very interesting, though mind you im now at uni studying politics. :thumb:

    Ohh I know a few people at AGS, seem cool. It's RGS everyone's supposed to hate I think.

    Fairnuf, yeah I take Politics AS too which certainly makes that module easier. Hope ya enjoying it at uni. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    HEnry VII/Louis XIV/Peter the Great

    Hey. I'm doing Henry VII/Richard III, Louis XIV and Peter the great for AS, and i was wondering how anyone does last minute cramming. my exams like 2moro n am just not gonna get the A i need!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    YOu don't do any last minute cramming, that is how you improve your examination performance.

    You have revised as much as you can now. Have a long hot bath, an early night, and get up tomorrow morning and make sure you have a reasonably-sized breakfast with a lot of complex carbohydrates in it. Don't look at your notes any more- regardless of the temptation- as last-m,inute cramming only serves to confuse rather than clarify.

    Everyone always crams at the last second, and it is always counter-productive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    GoodFella wrote:
    Well first off does anyone do A Level history? or has anyone done it in the past?

    Alot of the marks go for analysis and argument, not just factual stuff. So just reading my notes won't help. Maybe making notes and notes on my own opinions etc could be the answer?

    Maybe it's a bit late to be of benefit to you now, but I've (nearly) got a PhD in history and I did it at A-level, albeit eight years ago.

    Cramming in facts isn't the important thing - a few factual errors don't really matter so much. What's important is a general understanding of the period and its historiography, and some ideas and arguments oif your own that you have enough factual knowledge to produce evidence in support of.

    To be honest, I have to say that I don't havce particularly good memories of my A-level history course. It wasn't that well taught, and the syllabus was pretty pedestrian. It all seemed to be about a narrow, nationalistic conception of history, and about learning by rote rather than developing some sense of chronology, and some coherent theory of why change over time occurs. But that's my pet soapbox, and probably best stayed away from... ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My history exams are like two weeks away still, the revisions going ok now.

    You think it would be a good idea to have a seperate sheet just full of my own ideas, arguments on certain areas in the topic?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know about a separate sheet, and far be it from me to tell you how to do your revision!

    No, all I was trying to say was that it's more important to have a good general understanding of the period you're studying it, than it is to know every minor point of detail. If you get one or two dates wrong, that is less important than misunderstanding the period as a whole: in other words, and as an example, it is more important to understand the connections between Lenin and Stalin, and the process by which Stalin came to power, than it is to know the date of Lenin's death and Trotsky's expulsion down to the minute!

    History's not about being able to regurgitate dates and facts: it's about understanding, analysing and interpreting the past. Those are the skills they're looking for - not just a good memory.

    Try and gain as good an understanding of what other historians have written, and develop your own views on the basis of that. If you can critique a few other historians' work (i.e. X says this ... but his argument fail because he doesn't take account of ... ), then so much the better. Either way, be aware of who the more important historians in your field are, what their preoccupations and blindspots are, and think how this has influenced their work.
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