How to revise A Level History Guide – Advice and revision tips from an expert A-Level History Tutor to help you revise History and improve student grades | AQA & OCR A Level History Revision techniques & flashcards study resource for the History exam

In the past, it has rarely had anything to do with a student’s work ethic, motivation, or intelligence when they underperform and get exam results that are significantly below what is expected.
In the following few words, I want to try to avoid a major blunder that can cause bright, diligent, and disciplined students to suffer and badly harm their work.
Facts don’t matter here…
Some students think they can simply regurgitate facts, dates, and other information into an examination booklet and write enough “stuff” to satisfy the examiner if they consume enough raw data (facts, dates, events, and the like). They disregard the reality that the examiner isn’t genuinely interested in what they know but rather what they think, debate, and interpret. The examiner already knows what they know much better than at A level and will never know it.
In history, the examiner is more concerned with the applicant’s opinions than their knowledge.
Examiners are curious about things like how students respond to essays, and whether they can formulate a coherent argument relating to the question. Ironically, the way examiners want students to respond to questions is a normal feature of human communication and language that everyone does without thinking all day.
Here is an example to illustrate the point. Consider anything you enjoy and are knowledgeable about, preferably something unrelated to academic work, such as football, music, movies, or novels. How far can it be argued that my favourite movie, book, football team, or band is truly excellent? The thought that follows should be a judgement, and it will almost definitely be a “because” thinking (such as “I enjoyed the movie Rogue One because… “).
Do you realise what you just did? It wasn’t difficult at all to develop an argument based on evidence. It’s still a wonder to me why this innate propensity to convey an opinion based on evidence is abandoned during exam time in favour of narrative storytelling and the dumping of knowledge on a helpless examiner, but it happens every year.
Ask a buddy to ask you the question above, and then just mention every fact you can think of and barrage them with knowledge for a minute to demonstrate what an examiner feels when they receive a knowledge dump essay.
See how their overall will to live changes. Next, flip the situation around and pay attention to what your friend has to say. Now, how do you feel? Bored? Frustrated? Totally unresponsive? If you multiply it by 150, you may roughly approximate how an examiner feels after marking inferior essays for a fortnight. Let’s consider ways to restructure revision so that it is centred on argument rather than knowledge (this is not to say that precise and accurate subject knowledge isn’t important; it certainly is, but it serves to support the argument rather than to replace it).

Do you know how to revise? | How many hours should you revise per day?

Knowing how to structure your revision is key to completing it on time and effectively. You can use various methods in your revision plan, such as revision cards to help you learn your answers better. Use past papers, flashcards, get help from your teacher, join a study group; really, there are number fo ways you can revise, but only when it’s done in a structured manner will you be able to make headway.

Exam season is extremely stressful for students. They are forever looking at their peers whilst coming across stories of superhuman feats of revision, like all-nighters, 12 hours of revision, notes upon notes; the list is endless and not to mention useless. But we won’t recommend you to revise like that. Every person is different, and as such, utilising the above methods may cause burnout well before your revision is complete, or worse, the night before your exam. Plan well ahead, and stick to it. Break down your syllabus in sections that are easier to handle, and most importantly, set realistic standards for yourself. You cannot possibly revise and cram three chapters worth of information in three hours.

Ideally, your ideal revision time should be between 15 and 20 hours. Sounds a lot doesn’t it? But break it down, and take the weekends. It amounts to three hours per day! sounds manageable right? Revise when there is no commotion around you, in a place that is solely dedicated to revision. It could be the library, your roo, even your garage if your house is too noisy. Three hours per day is easy to manage.

How to Revise A Level History Edexcel | A-Level History Revision (Edexcel)

The best way to revise Edexcel A level history is to utilise informative online resources designed specifically with Edexcel history course and exam structure in kind. While you can make your own timetable and structure it as you please, revision becomes easier and fun with online interactive resources. Visit our curated list of resources that you can use whilst revising history.

1. Mr. Allsop History:

Developed by a renowned history teacher, the site provides A Level students with educational podcasts and films. For those researching the French Revolution, the website is really helpful. From the French Revolution’s beginnings to the Reign of Terror and Napoleon’s surrender, Mr. Allsop thoroughly covers every subject with his students.

‍2. Revision World

A complete list of resources and revision advice for every A Level History topic. This website provides lists of important details for every historical era, whether you’re studying Communism in Russia or British politics in the 20th century.

‍3. The revision website, S-cool

An excellent resource for A-Level students studying the Tudors. The histories of significant individuals including Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, and the Duke of Norfolk are told by S-cool. Each page describes their ascent to power and subsequent collapse, with significant dates, relatives, and vital information. Additionally, they offer opportunities for additional reading on every page!

‍4. History Learning:

This website is an incredible source of information on a wide variety of historical subjects, from mediaeval England to the Vietnam War. There is a lengthy list outlining all the pertinent details and timings for each topic.
In honour of the dedicated history teacher Chris Trueman, who founded the website, it still offers students excellent historical content.

5. Brainscape

Flashcards and digital study aids in one convenient location! These sets of online flashcards were produced by acknowledged educators and subject specialists to aid in the efficient review and the quick acquisition of important historical information.
For instance, a variety of flashcards on British political history are available, nicely divided into topics like “Race and Immigration” and “Thatcher’s Economics.”

How to Revise A Level History AQA | A-Level History Revision (AQA)

On revision, there is no undeniably right response. Every learner revises and learns in their own unique way. To excel in a History exam, I would advise all students to break down what is true for all students when it comes to A-Level and even undergraduate studies in history.
Your best bet to revise for your AQA history revision would be to get the specific AQA guidebooks. Crammed with past papers, MCQs, and much more, the AQA guidebook can be a standalone solution to your revision woes.

How to revise A-Level History OCR | A-Level History Revision (OCR)

You want to feel as though you’ve given yourself the best chance to succeed when you open your exam paper. Here are some preparation suggestions for your exams:
  • One of the finest ways to review is to test yourself with previous exams. Additionally, you can view mark systems and examiners’ reports using our past paper finder.
  • Make a plan for editing. This is a fantastic place to begin. Don’t keep going over the same themes in your review sessions; instead, try to diversify the topics and confine the sessions to no more than 30 minutes each. You should only study for a maximum of seven hours every day.
  • Know who you are. Create revising exercises that are effective for you, whether they involve flashcards, mind maps, revision apps, or video viewing. However, keep it going!
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well, get adequate rest, take regular breaks, and exercise when you can. You can maintain your attention and calm by practising meditation and breathing techniques.
  • revision space The best place to rewrite is a calm, clean space, but you can also try other locations like a library, kitchen table, or park to change things up.
  • Get support. Ask your parents or other family members to quiz you on your new knowledge. Ask your teacher to provide comments as you form a review group with peers.

The best way to revise history A level | – Using Content to Revise For A Level History –

Revision, how boring! Relearning the past six months’ worth of work, or in the future, the past two years’ worth of work, might seem like the most tedious of chores in addition to filling us with dread and anxiety. But revision doesn’t have to be boring if you want to be ready to respond appropriately in your exam. Here are some helpful revision tips that will assist you in revising successfully.

1. Past Papers are Essential for Perfecting Your GCSE History Exam Revision Technique

As useful a resource as any, past papers will be especially helpful to you as you revise for your GCSE in history. Both your writing structure and subject expertise will benefit from them.
Your teacher should demonstrate to you how to format the vast range of questions that will be asked of you in the exam throughout your GCSE History course. As you learn the material, maybe they will provide you practise questions.
You must, however, complete more than just the questions your teacher assigns in class. You should acquire as much practise answering exam questions as you can because, contrary to popular belief, how you respond to different question types affects your mark.
You may want to compose your responses (under timed conditions) with the information in front of you if you want to use past exams to practise test methodology because this will allow you to work on one skill at a time. However, after you have learned the fundamental patterns for each sort of inquiry, it is crucial that you cease doing this.
You can discover areas of your content knowledge that need improvement by consulting previous papers, which will also help you solidify how to arrange your responses. When there is such a large amount of material to study, this can help you prioritise the areas you need to review more.

2. Using Mind Maps Will Help You Visualise Your A-Level History Revision Notes

To organise your thoughts, come up with fresh ideas, and increase creativity, make a mind map. This manual will teach you how to make a fantastic mind map that meets all of your requirements.

1. Start with the core idea.

Write down the main goal of your mind map after first determining it. Your main thought will become the centre theme of the diagram since mind maps begin from the inside and work their way outward. Your central idea might be:
  • A challenge you’re attempting to solve

  • The idea you’re coming up with

  • A challenging idea you’re attempting to grasp

2. Expand the basic idea with sub-concepts

Add branches to your mind map that will outline the most fundamental subtopics now that you have determined the main goal of the diagram. You should be able to start organising the data with the help of the branches. Don’t worry about giving numerous specifics; just keywords and brief phrases will suffice.

3. Expand subject matter by including more branches

Add more shapes until you run out of pertinent material after identifying the key topics within your theme. Make sure to keep your material organised such that the most crucial aspects are farthest from the core notion and the less vital ones are closer to it.

4. Include graphics and colour

Use standardised colours for the various levels of thought in your diagram to maintain organisation.

3. Get An History Revision Study Guide To Revise Every Topic | A Level History Revision Guides and Workbooks

AQA Guidebooks:

As one of the major A Level and GCSE test boards, AQA produces a large number of history revision books on its own, with the assistance of Oxford and Cambridge University Presses.
The AQA A Level courses cover a variety of subjects from the religious uprising in the sixteenth century to revolution and civil war in the seventeenth, and the board offers courses starting in the eleventh century and continuing through the current day.
They are written in a way that makes them interesting, and they are frequently jam-packed with illustrations, homework assignments, and primary source exercises. Because of this, reading them is a little more engaging than it is with most other textbooks. Additionally, you’ll be able to tell that you’re on the right route if the exam boards approve of you.

Edexcel guidebooks:

For Edexcel, another significant UK examination board, the majority of the texts are provided by the educational publisher Pearson. As we all know, simple text alone may be pretty dry, they are excellent for pictorial analysis and for representations of the events that you are studying. But this series is made much more readable by the photographs, the accurate chronology, and the brief but memorable commentaries.
Similar to the AQA series, Edexcel covers a vast amount of historical ground, including both modern civil rights movements and mediaeval history. Each module includes a unique textbook, which is created under the direction of university professors.

OCR Guidebooks:

Whichever modular programme you are studying for—Explaining the Modern World or the Schools History Project—Hodder Education offers the materials you’ll need for an OCR history GCSE.
These writings provide you a wide range of thoughts and ideas and are incredibly readable while also drawing on significant quotations and insights from historians. They supply you with just the knowledge you need to know for your examinations and excel at conceptual clarity and explanation.

4. Make History Flashcards – Don’t Just Copy Question Tips from Videos

Flashcards are a very helpful study tool for any topic, but they are particularly helpful for GCSE History. You must be able to organise the vast amount of material you need to acquire into manageable, remembering portions.
Making flashcards from the beginning of your course is good since it will help you to reinforce your learning as you go through the material. This provides you with the most opportunity to evaluate your understanding using your flashcards.
However, effective revision involves more than just using flashcards for self-testing. You will benefit significantly from creating the flashcards, especially when determining where your history knowledge is lacking. Consequently, it is crucial that you create your own flashcards! Here is a helpful article on how to create effective flashcards if you are unclear of how to go.
You must take extra care to ensure that you are accurately summarising the material you need to understand for GCSE History in as few words as you can. Because you want to memorise the material thoroughly for the exam, there is a strong desire to write as much information as you can on your flashcards. This will make making your flashcards much more time-consuming, and it will make it harder for you to study because you can’t memorise everything word for word.

5. Rest between Revision Sessions | Learn your optimum time to revise A Level History

The requirement for a very high level of information retention from the student makes GCSE History a particularly special subject. No other GCSE subject requires as much memorization as GCSE History does when it comes to revision.
This is precisely why you shouldn’t cram when you are studying for your history GCSE exams. Cramming never works when a student wants to not only recall information but also comprehend it so they can apply it to a substantive long exam response.
It is not sufficient to merely recall times, people, or locations. You must be able to experiment with the knowledge you have learned for your GCSE course and use it in your writing in a creative and developed manner. So instead of cramming, take regular, little pauses throughout your revising sessions. There are numerous ways to do this, but many students choose to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Pomodoro approach, which you can learn more about here.

6. Vary Your GCSE Revision Techniques – Get lots of revision tips and knowledge from an expert history tutor who can explain the best way to approach each exam question

There ought to be a structured schedule for revision and also year-round study. Because you know what you’ll do at each time slot, and have a guide to show you the way, a schedule helps you stay motivated. A specialist a level history tutor can ensure you cover all the topics and understand the materials. You will develop better study habits and ultimately improve your grades if you work with an online tutor. 
Sone good study support ideas are
  • YouTube videos and timelines.
  • You could find that using flashcards will assist you recall specific dates or times in history.
  • Making connections between events, their causes and effects, or the effects of specific significant people may be facilitated through mind maps.
  • The key take away from this is that you shouldn’t only use one strategy for every piece of information. The aforementioned may not be how you want to use the various sorts of revision. If the GCSE History revision strategies provided here haven’t motivated you, check out this helpful post on GCSE and A-Level revision strategies, which should provide you with further information on how to revise in general.

7. Know Your Exam Board GCSE History Specification Extremely Well | AQA | OCR | EDEXCEL – each has a website with student info on it

The Exam Board’s Specification is the simplest approach to become familiar with what you need to learn, regardless of what you are studying. History is no different.
The topics are divided into bullet points in the GCSE History Specifications, which outline the material you must master. This will make it easier for you to choose which sections of your textbook are necessary and which are extras that you can utilise in your exam responses to prove to the examiner that you are truly an expert in the subject.
When you are summarising the material you need to memorise, employing the Specification to revise saves you time You must, however, be careful not to limit your knowledge to the Specification, as it does not specify the facts you will need for your exam. The best way to the Specification is to have it available to you when you choose your materials for revision. This will make sure that you don’t miss any crucial information and will help you stay on schedule and organised with your revision.

8. Ensure That You Choose The Best Time To Start Your Revision

You should give yourself at least four to five weeks to prepare for an exam. This gives you about a month before your test, giving you plenty of time to effectively prepare. Of course, this is only the bare minimum of your time commitment. To get the best results, add a few extra weeks to that timeline.
This brings the total time left until your first exam to about seven weeks. In order to avoid making mistakes and getting bad grades, this should hopefully give you enough time to review everything you need. For example: Your revision period will begin around the middle of March if your exam is at the beginning of May.
Work as best as you can to stay on schedule. Make revision a consistent part of your day. Plan a time when you will just go over what you have learned. You should choose this time carefully so that you can stick to it every day without interruption. Your ability to develop a strong motivation to revise every day will be hindered if your schedule contains breaks or obstacles. One day you’ll revise properly, but the next day you’ll become unmotivated.

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