How Students can Prepare for History Exams

How Students can Prepare for History Exams

Your History textbook lies open in front of you as you leaf through the pages mentioning the rise of Fascism and Nazism, World Wars, Great Depression and so much more. And that’s not all. Political Science is yet another area that you have to deal with before you confront your History exams.

The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you think of History is the painful task of memorizing innumerable dates and trying to retrieve the information once your exam commences. Along with that, you also need to memorize names of famous personalities and places. And, the political incidents related to them. In a nutshell, this is a subject that truly tests your memory. This is the main reason why History might appear daunting to some students.

I know that the very thought of studying History might sound dull to most of you. But then, since there is no way to avoid studying it, students should be aware of the best methods to study the subject. After all, learning each and every point by heart might not prove fruitful, if you aren’t following an appropriate study pattern. Let’s talk about some of the best ways students can prepare for their History exams:

  • Study thoroughly: Go through all the notes you have collected in your History class at school. It would be great if you can exchange notes with that of your friends. This would make you aware of any point of information that you might have missed while taking down notes. Study all kinds of questions that might probably be present in your question paper. Some pupils prefer group studies for this purpose. You can also solve the last year’s question paper or mock test papers.
  • Plan properly: Proper planning can make History seem really interesting. Make an outline for every answer you’re about to write. Use bullet points to remind yourself what are the areas you would emphasize upon, just like you draft an essay. Make sure you have not missed any essential dates, names or other crucial information. Now, practice translating these points into complete sentences. This is a good method of preparing for your exams, when you have to compose meaningful sentences to convey your thoughts.
  • Revise some more: I would advise you to start studying at least two months before your History exam. This would grant you extra time for learning new lessons and also revising everything you have learnt so far. Collect all your notes, textbook as well as your reference material when you’re studying for your History exam. If you are stuck at a particular answer, feel free to approach your teacher or lecturer and share your queries with him or her. This makes you ready to answer every question in the test.
  • Avoid studying on your exam day: Revising your study materials on the day of your exam can be stressful. This is particularly true in case of students suffering from ‘exam anxiety’. This is one of the best exam tips I can give you, students. Try to relax. Or, go for a brisk walk. Trust me, you would score well in your exam if you have been preparing for it since a long time. So, be calm and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your brain before an exam.
  • Take a quiz: Exhausted after a long History session? It is now time to check how much you have learnt. Refresh yourself with a quick ten-minute History quiz on the chapters included in your curriculum. Request your History teacher at school to conduct a classroom quiz contest to test your knowledge on this subject. It acts as a powerful motivator, especially prior to exams. The quiz can include multiple choice questions or even a rapid-fire round and is a great revision technique for students.
  • Watch movies: I bet you would love to hear this - watching documentaries and video clips on some History topics can enable you to learn the subject faster. Choose the movies that best portray historical events. Then, watch them together with your classmates. They are a beautiful source of ‘infotainment’, (information fused with a generous dose of entertainment) that can facilitate the process of learning to a great extent. But, before you watch a film, ensure that it is relevant to your subject.
  • Use online resources: The modern classroom has much more to offer students, apart from its traditional chalk and blackboard technique of imparting lessons. For instance, several educational institutes have started resorting to social media to simplify learning. So, make the most of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus while preparing for your History exams. In addition, go through the various online quizzes, mind maps and flashcards during your revision sessions. Why not also practice solving sample test papers and online questionnaires? That can also be of great help.
  • Record yourself: Did you know that reading aloud a particular lesson eases the process of memorizing it? When you are reading about a particular historical event, record yourself. Similarly, when you are writing an answer, say it aloud as you do so. And when you are done with your studies, listen to the recording. When I say ‘listen’, what I really mean is that you must not merely ‘hear’ but focus on every word that is being mentioned. Therefore, when you are reading your study material, do it very slowly.

History would soon start appealing to you if you adhere to these tips that I have mentioned. Hope you enjoy preparing for this interesting subject, friends. Wishing you all the very best for your History exams. If you have more ideas up your sleeve that can help you prepare for this subject, do share them in the comments section provided below. We would be more than happy to hear about it!


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