Preparing for Your History Exams

History Home Tuition Singapore

History is an important part of the curriculum that is there to help individuals become knowledgeable of the past and to make them appreciate the efforts of our ancestors. However, the subject itself is quite a dreaded one due to the amount of information needed to be remembered.

Preparing for the History exam requires a lot of effort from an individual if they want to score high for the exam. And while there is no guaranteed way to get a high mark on an exam, there will be ways to improve the chances of getting a high score in History exams.

This article will walk you through the ways one can prepare for their History exams in order to get a high score. And if you want to learn how, then continue reading the article.

What makes History difficult

History is often considered a difficult subject by a lot of individuals. The reasons as to why they find the subject difficult can vary from individual to individual; however, there are a few key reasons as to why. Listed below are a few common reasons why History is considered a difficult subject.

1. There is a lot to remember

The first and most obvious reason is the fact that studying History entails a lot of memorization of dates, persons, places, and events. The sheer amount of information included in every topic of History can be really overwhelming for the regular student. This is why History is often regarded as a difficult subject.

2. Details can differ from source to source

It is often not a good practice to solely rely on one source for the entirety of the whole topic. This is why some students tend to look for other reference material to help them gain more information while studying History. However, the problem arises when the information from other sources differs from the one used.

The information we are referring to is not the dates of the events or the people involved, but how the events transpired. There is no definite way to determine what has truly happened in the past and the only way we can get a vague idea is by historical records written by scholars.

However, there will be times when the translation of these writing can differ which leads to inconsistencies in the information of various source material. This is another factor that can greatly increase the difficulty of History.

3. Lack of pattern

Patterns are everywhere. They are in the petals of blooming flowers, in the shape of buildings, or even in the color of a dog’s fur. Patterns are also found in academics to help students progress faster. However, when the only pattern of a subject is discussion, study, exam, and repeat, then it barely does anything to help ith progress.

The lack of patterns in History can really put students in a tight spot as they have to memorize new information every time they proceed to a new topic. Unlike English that strongly relies on subject-verb agreement, or mathematics that repeatedly utilizes the law of integers in all of the topics, History has barely any repeating patterns. This is another factor that can really make History such a difficult subject.

How to score well for your History exam

There isn’t a magic trick that will instantly make one get a perfect score on their History exam. In order for one to gain high marks on their History exam, one must put in a lot of time and effort to achieve the feat. The long and steady road will always beat the short but unfamiliar path. Here are ways one can work on to get higher scores for their History exams:

1. Study ahead

Nothing actually prepares one for an exam than good, old-fashioned studying. However, the kind of studying we are referring to is not the “night before the exam cramming session”, but the kind of study that is done in regular intervals over the course of a few days. It is no secret that History exams take up a lot of brain storage, which is why one needs to take the time to fill up that storage with the information they can easily retain.

Studying ahead will allow one to store more concise and numerous information that will be in the exams. It would be advisable to start studying at least a week before the exams so that there will be enough time to prepare and build stronger neural connections to help one get a higher score in their History exam.

2. Make flashcards of key terms, people, and dates

Unlike subjects that require formulae to be answered, History does not have a definite pattern to answer all the questions in the exams. Instead, History exams often include a lot of dates, people, places, and events that happened in the past. All of these can be really difficult to remember due to the sheer amount of information there is, which is why we would recommend making flashcards and using them while you prepare for the History exam.

Creating flashcards will allow for a smoother study session as the important details are condensed into a few lines in the flashcards to avoid any confusion due to long explanatory sentences. The simple act of making flashcards can also serve as a way to prepare for exams as well as one is essentially making a summary of the topics that will appear in the exam and splitting them into bite-sized pieces of information.

3. Make a summary

If flashcards aren’t your thing, then you can always opt for the good old-fashioned summary making to make sure your study sessions go as smooth as possible. Summaries can often come in a lot of forms depending on the person who created it. It can come in simple bullet form, complete sentences, or even as a graphic organizer. What is important is that the contents of the summary are accurate, precise, and useful for the person studying.

 Just like flashcard making, the act of creating a summary can greatly increase memory retention and mastery of the topics that will come out in the History exams. This is due to the fact that an individual has to carefully hand-pick the important and relevant information from a whole garden of words in the source material.

4. Utilize mnemonic techniques

History exams require an individual to have a good memory in order for him/her to score high. And while one might think that good memory is an inborn talent, there are certain ways to improve an individual’s memory through a series of activities known as mnemonic techniques.

Incorporating abbreviations to long terms, using rhymes to help remember information better, or even making a song about a topic are all examples of mnemonic techniques. These techniques will enable an individual to remember information better as they will incorporate the important parts of the topic into something the human brain can easily remember such as rhymes and song lyrics. So, the next time you conduct a study session for your History exam, make sure to add mnemonic techniques to the routine.

5. Create a timeline

Remembering events and dates in History can be a real pain and hassle especially when it is laid in plain text, with no illustrations to add interest to the topic. This is why one should take the weight into their own shoulder and create their own timeline of the events discussed in the topic.

Timelines are a great way to make a visual representation of the events that transpired in the topics that will appear in the exam. This can make the events flow smoother and will help the individual understand the progression of the events. Simply understanding the flow of the events can greatly increase the chances of an individual getting high marks on their History exam.

6. Take a practice test

Practice exams are a great way to gauge the level of understanding one has on the topic at hand. One can be able to determine which parts of the topic they are weak in and which parts need less attention. This will be really helpful, especially when one is not confident with their current level of knowledge.

Determining which parts of the topic one is weak in is very important when one wants to score high in the coming History exam. One can spend more time working up on the parts they are weak in and not waste time on the parts they are already good at.

Practice exams can be done alone or with the help of your friends or family. There are a lot of online mock exam websites you can use for your practice exams. Or you can opt to have someone make a mock exam questioner for you to answer. The important thing is that the results will be able to give you an idea of where you need to study more.

7. Hire a tutor

A single human cannot accomplish any great feat without the help of others. Even Olympic gold medalists have personal trainers that monitor their progress and performance. This is why it would be a good idea to ask for some help with your History exams. And if you have no one to ask for help, you can always hire a tutor.

And what better place to look for a capable tutor to help you prepare for the History exam than at FamilyTutor, a leading home tuition in Singapore. We offer quality private tuition on a variety of subjects including History. All it takes is a few clicks and you can expect to see results in the score you will get in your History exam.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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