How should I study for a history exam?
IB exams are coming up and I'm really worried about my history exam. I'm not sure how to study for so much in so little time.
I spent the entire spring break on my mediocre math skills, and now my next priority is history. The subject is european/20th centuary history.
I suppose as a history major I have a little experience with this. My suggestion is to rely on repetitious reading. If you have notes on the subject, read them from beginning to end at least five times. Then go through your textbook and skim it, starting with the large events (section headings and what not), and then eventually taking the time to pinpoint certain areas of major importance (D-Day, or the Nuremberg trials, for instance).
Honestly with history it is all about memorization, and the most effective tool for memorization is repetition. Read, read, read, and read some more. Break events into lists of chronological order and memorize dates, names, places, etc. Then read, read, read again.
It also helps to try to associate the names of famous men and women with photos of them, if you can find any.
I guess that's about all I can offer. A lot depends on your own abilities and what works for you. Some people benefit from study groups, while some people need to study alone. Good luck!
Often it depends on your professor and depends on how you process information. I would try not to focus on memorizing names and places without understanding the context first. Start with the general picture and work your way down. Make a timeline and understand the major events and what caused them. Situation A caused situation B to occur, which caused C to happen. When you completely understand what happened, names and dates will be easier. This sounds crazy, but it is very difficult to study history if you don't already know it. It's also hard to understand the context of 20th Century European history without delving into 19th Century and as far back as at least 16th Century history. Understanding the whole picture makes it more interesting. And interesting things are easier to study and memorize. Odds are your professor's conclusions are wrong anyway, but that won't help you on your test unfortunately.
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