At ExamTime, we’re aware that each subject is different and requires specific study skills and resources. We decided to create a “How to Study…” blog series dedicating an article to each of the main subjects. Today we will tell you some of the most effective techniques for studying history.
Other subject available in our series: How to Study Maths.
5 Techniques & Resources to Study History
History is one of those subjects that can cause a lot of headaches for many students. This is why students may describe their History classes as long and dull (especially if you have the wrong teacher!). However, a good knowledge of history is essential for all students, not just because it’s a common subject but also because it provides actual context to the reality in which we each live in and can be applied to current affairs and everyday life.
Here are 5 tips on how to study history:
1. How to Study History: Connect & Develop Ideas
History is a subject based on the succession of events so having the correct order is key to success. It may seem a simple, even trivial point but it is important none the less. It is essential, therefore, to ensure that your notes follow a chronological order. You should split your study notes by topic, then by years, decades and centuries.
Books and notes often cover events in a lot of detail. In most cases, it’s not necessary to memorise a large catalogue of notes on a topic. Instead, it’s best to establish a connection between the facts. The events should follow a logical order to help you understand and memorise them, so the use of mind maps can be quite helpful when visualising all this information at a glance and whenever you’re recapping for an exam.
Once you have built your Mind Map, it may be a good idea to develop these ideas into Notes. With our tools you can automatically generate a Note from a Mind Map you’ve created. Then you can add extra info to your Note as you wish. One technique which could prove quite beneficial would be to divide each of the events you are studying into Causes, Events and Consequences.
2. How to Study History: Key Data Retention
Many history exams include specific questions relating to key dates and names. This means that some memorisation skills are required and should be part of your learning process when studying history. Flashcards are a great tool in such cases as they allow you to quickly test you levels of retention and quickly recap. Here’s a quick lesson on European history:
3. How to Study History: Movies
Another method that can be very effective when studying history may be a surprising one; watch movies! There are fantastic films and documentaries available which depict historical events. The great thing about these is that they are entertaining (usually!), while at the same time educational. Before you sit down with a bowl of popcorn in hand though, make sure that the film is true to historical fact. Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood goes a little mental and takes liberties with history. Bad news: Braveheart isn’t historically correct.
4. How to Study History: Get a New Perspective
Since studying History involves memorising a lot of information, it is necessary that you test your knowledge before facing the real exam. Bearing this in mind, multiple choice tests are a simple yet effective way to check if you have memorised specific info correctly. Ask your friends and classmates to share their quizzes with you and this way you’ll benefit from their perspective too.
5. How to Study History: Online Tools
We hope that the tips provided will be useful and help you succeed in your History exams. Remember that GoConqr allows you to create study resources such as Mind Maps, Flashcards, Online Notes and Quizzes, each of which will help you along the road as you prepare for your exams. So why not start using GoConqr now? It’s free!
Is something missing from this list? Share your techniques for studying History with us in the comments below!