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 1. Make your own revision notes. I used Microsoft Word Document to create the majority of my history notes. I made the era I was studying (for example, "The USA 1719-45") into the header of the page and then I made subheaders. After that, I simply filled in the necessary information relating to those headers in bullet-point form beneath the header. This method really worked because it meant when I was revising for exams later on, I could easily find the information I wanted and test myself on it.

2. Write lots and lots of past papers and have them marked. Sometimes you can learn more writing past papers than you do throughout reading your entire textbook. You also learn the format and layout of the papers so that they are at least somewhat familiar to you when you write your actual exam. Finally, writing past papers also teaches you to draw on the knowledge stored in your brain and to write essays that answer the questions asked.

You can mark your history papers yourself, but then you must undertake to be utterly ruthless because it is likely that you will not be as strict as an examiner would be. You could also give the papers to your parents to mark, but I don't recommend it because they are biased towards you. Contact a service that specializes in essay writing, for example website. It is often best to get a tutor or teacher to mark your papers as they are the closest you will get to an examiner.

Take care to also read the mark schemes of the history papers you write. That way you will learn the way examiners like to see answers written and what points you are expected to pick out.

I recommend using Oh My Essay to get some past papers.  I got all of mine from there. 

 3. Make date-to-event flashcards. Basically, you write the date on one side of the card and the event that occurred on that date on the other side of the card (for example, "1706" on one side and "War of the Spanish Succession: French troops defeated at the Battles of Ramilies and Turin." on the other side). You can use these to test yourself and create a timeline in your brain of the events in the period of history that you are studying.

4. Watch historically relevant movies. And no, that does not mean Avatar or Twilight. Movies such as Valkryie or Thirteen Days which are relevant and accurate portrayals of actual historical events can be vital in giving you context, quotes and bringing to life the piece of history you are studying. This applies especially if you are a visual learner, like myself. And, besides, it is a way to have fun with your schoolwork. Take a look at our Historical Movies page on the navigation bar for ideas.

 5. Read historically relevant books. When I say "historically relevant", I don't mean more textbooks, but rather fictional, historically-originated novels. These books are pleasurable and entertaining to read, so they can actually take the place of your pleasure reading. Like watching certain movies, reading historical fiction can bring text, additional knowledge and connection to your historical studies. Take a look at our Historical Books page on the navigation bar for ideas.

6. Watch historical documentaries. This is like watching movies, just better because documentaries are factual and not based on dramatized stories like movies often are. Again, documentaries are often very helpful to visual learners as it gives them pictures or scenes that they can link information to. This is useful because in an exam situation, all they have to do is recall a picture and they should be able to remember most of the information attached to it. Look out for documentaries on TV channels like BBC Knowledge, Discovery Channel and The History Channel. 


7. If you can, teach what you are learning to someone else. Of course, this is not always possible (especially if you are not homeschooled), but even if it means teaching a friend who has been unable to attend class, or your younger siblings, or even the teddies on the end of your bed, I am sure you can come up with something. Teaching someone else what you have learnt cements the facts in your brain, making it easier and faster for you to access and recall them in an exam situation.