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leop911

How to approach revision?

Hello Everyone,

First of all, thanks for this forums... they have helped a lot in these past two years of IB.

I have finally gotten to the last step, in less than a month I will be sitting my IB exams and thus my revision is getting intense.

At the moment, with History, I am feeling lost on how to revise effectively. I bought the Oxford Study Courses guides for Paper 1 and for Paper 2 (the one about single party states). And I have been reading through them highlighting important stuff (whoa its a lot). My problem so far is that I find it almost impossible to remember all the evidence that I would need to write a 5/6 essay. I have no problems structuring the essays, my problem is remembering the evidence :)

I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions on how to facilitate all this as so to get a good grade. I was for example thinking of concentrating just on single party states and the causes of the cold war (question 21), as I believe this would allow me to write my essays and at the same time avoid knowing too much. It would be risky but if I know my stuff I do not see why not do it! I take Higher Level history though, and I do not see how I can implement this method (is it a bad method?) to my Paper 3 :)

Bottom line...

I need help!

THANKS in advance to all those that will try and give suggestions,

Leo

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Hey!

Im more or less the same as you im really goos at structuring the essays but im really bad at remembering all the evidence.. what i did and i hope it works is look at the history HL syllabus, form there you will see that if you know 3 or 4 topics, for example cold war, russia (from tsarist russia to right after the revolution), WWI, Inter War years and WWII, and totalitarian states (Stalin, Mussolini, Castro, Hitler) you would be covering like 4 or 5 of the main topics for paper 2, two of the topics for paper 1, and lots of subjects for paper 3 (if you are doing Europe as an option). Once you have chosen those topics they all kind of link together and it is easier to learn the evidences, and you avoid excess information..

Hope i helped..

Mariana

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For me its the same problem, I'm finding it hard to revise, the only thing I'm really doing is re-writing my notes over and over again, because I can't learn by just looking over it...

I've decided to scrap the Cold War, Brezhnev, Khrushchev etc. because I have been through the past 8 years of paper 3s and have found that I can usually answer 4-5 questions, mainly on Alexander II/III, Nicholas II, the Russian revolutions, Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin, factors leading to the defeat of Germany/Austria during WWI, Hitler, and Mussolini. Plus various comparisons.

I'll be okay right? Without the cold war and those old fat Russian men? :S I hope..

But as for memorising facts, I don't think there is any way around it. I'm writing out essay plans for each of the past essay questions that have come up that I would do, then I check my plan according to the markscheme or example essays, then modify.

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hey guys...i just joined today..

three weeks...

well the way that i study for history is i first of all have a quick read to get a general idea. i then ask myself possible essay questions that might come up..e.g for lenin i would probably go for his successes and failures and rise to power. id make bullet points of an essay structue on those and then implement some quotes aswell. i also have a historian for each leader e.g. i have michael lynch fo mao, robert service for lenin and stalin....p1 is the easiest...only a few things to learn...what are yu guys gonna study....im gonna do the whole of russia till stalin lenin and mao and the world wars do you think it will be enough

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When reviewing for History its best to review leaders, major events, and movements. As Kittysweet said, you should lay out possible essay topics and then outline, write, or jot down ideas that would allow you to review. When studying try to make connections between events and people. This will speed up the process of making connections in the exam if you go in with possible links already established.

Hope that was helpfull.

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Here is my few cents concerning the revision of history (HL).

Paper 1 you can't really review that much, but still it is important to have some own knowledge for the mini-essay (the last question is always asking for the use of sources PLUS your own knowledge). So read something about the topics you have chosen. If you are that lucky as we are, and you have basicly the same topics (Stalin and Cold War) in both Paper 1 and Paper 2, you don't need to worry about Paper 1 that much. :)

For Paper 2 we are doing the rise and rule of single-party states and the Cold War, and our teacher gave us links to Youtube and Google-video documents, which are in fact quite useful. Remember to keep your notebooks close and make notes for the videos. Also keep the syllabus close, 'cause all the questions come from that. Here are some of those documentaries:

- Stalin : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ1Hv3TaN_0

- Hitler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAV0asyMiAE

- Mao: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7ZXEEI6B6g...861&index=0 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujYSTyxjte0...2FA&index=0 (These ones are very long, but detailed)

- Fidel Castro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1GsV9PC1yk

- Cold War: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cU1CRPiZt0 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwz7YAQj-r0 , http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3...ld+war+series+1 (This one is also very long, 24 episodes appr. 45 minutes per each episode, but again even our teacher said it is very well done)

For Paper 3 we have the European 19th century history. For that I just prefer reading the book we have (Years of Ambition) and making notes like hell. So far I've read only 5 chapters from the book, but I have almost 30 pages of notes. Especially I aim to concentrate on the detailed information (since the Paper 3 is the detailed study of the chosen topic) and I make separate list for all the policies and actions for each country and ruler. Furthermore, remember to have the information to include (what we call it) "the twist" in you essay. With this I mean the different point of view for the question, which goes against you main essay or looks the issue from totally different direction. This "twist" allows you to show your critical thinking and that is one of the issues the IB is looking for in the Paper 3.

I know this may sound like a cliche, but make notes. Seriously, make notes with your own wording and remember to make connections between the topics.

Hopefully this will help someone in their revision. :)

Edit. And yeah, I also advice you to make outlines for old exam questions and if possible compare them to the old mark schemes (ask you teacher for the mark schemes). And maybe have a meeting with other history students, where you discuss some old questions and/or topics you have for the exams.

Edited by Aldarion
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I've heard from a lot of guys who've done history that the key to it is linking all the events together like one big chain. Like this was a result of this and contributed to that and so on, and all that all events are interconnected and related, but it just takes a while to see that. That and some good writing skills is my advice for a history exam.

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Well, what I've been doing is reading my history textbook and writing outlines from scratch about major topics I know will be covered in paper 2. For example, I wrote a huge outline on Stalin's rise, consolidation of power, and rule. It really helped because I read the book, and I wrote it down, so I was studying in two ways. The outlines are really time consuming, though (3-4 hours each) and I'm not sure how much time you have to revise.

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What I am doing is to extract information online or from textbooks on the possible topics and fill the events with these information. I am doing Chinese history (1840-1900) and Hitler; the topics which are highly predictable will include something like the self-strengthening movement, 1898 movement, Sino-Japanese war etc, and rise to power, consolidation of power. Therefore just to fill these events with concrete facts, statistics and perspectives of different interpretations. For example, if you outline these events, you can structure your possible beforehand.

However, I find myself bad at structuring my arguments and made adequate analysis in contrast to my good knowledge of evidence needed for P2/P3. For example, on the topic of "analyse Hitler's rise to power", I can retell the story events by events; however, i don't know what exactly to write and structure the answer. Need some help here.

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I am in my full revision period, I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your VERY helpful replies!

Good luck with everything!

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However, I find myself bad at structuring my arguments and made adequate analysis in contrast to my good knowledge of evidence needed for P2/P3. For example, on the topic of "analyse Hitler's rise to power", I can retell the story events by events; however, i don't know what exactly to write and structure the answer. Need some help here.

Here's my advice and hopefully it will help you a bit.

In the introduction restate the question and give the main points of your essays. In the case where question asks to "Analyse Hitler's rise to power" you could talk about, eg. his methods and the situation in Germany at that time. If the question asks to give an opinion ("To what extent did Hitler rise to power due to his personal charisma?") state your stance in the introduction.

In every paragraph follow this kind of structure (I use it, because our teacher taught it to us):

- Topic statement: state the point of view you're going to address in the paragraph. For example, "One important factor to Hitler's rise to power was that the Weimar Republic was unpopular and had little support in Germany."

- Then give an example of the issue. "For example, the Weimar Republic was accused of signing the Treaty of Versailles and therefore betraying the people of Germany."

- Now explain how the given example contributes to the topic. This is the analysis of your paragraph. "One of the main aims of Nazi ideology and Hitler was overturning the Treaty of Versailles. By proclaiming to the people that he would restore Germany's military might and get the country out of its straightjacket, he was able to gain popular support, which then enabled him to take power in Germany."

- To have a good paragraph, you can give further examples. "Furthermore, the Weimar Republic was thought to be inefficient and it was accused of the economic crisis in late 1920s."

- And of course with further example, comes further analysis. "By addressing these issues in his speeches and campaigns he started to seem preferable option compared to Weimar Republic. This strengthened his position in politics and in public, allowing him to make his way to the office of Chancellor."

So the basic pattern is this. 1) Topic statement 2) Example 3) Analysis of the example 4) Further example 5) Further analysis. Sometimes 4) and 5) are not needed and in comparison questions give example of some other ruler or whatever the question asks you to compare.

Remember to direct all your examples and analysis towards the topic statement of your paragraph in a way that it also supports your central idea, ie. your stance about the topic. And also include the "twist" somewhere there. In a questions "Analyse Hitler's rise to power" it isn't that easy, but in "To what extent"-questions go against your main thesis or give another point of view.

In your conclusion wrap all your analysis and important events and/or cause to support your thesis, but also remember to include the "twist" here also.

So here's my way of doing it and so far it has been very successful format and I hope this helped you. :)

Edited by Aldarion
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Thanks Aldarion for posting that, I've always known sort of how to write history essays but I've never gotten top marks and always ended up losing out on the examples/analysis part. Hopefully the exam tomorrow will go better than previously.

And we also watched those China videos you posted in class, my teacher has the whole video but I never knew they had them on Youtube.

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Thanks Aldarion for posting that, I've always known sort of how to write history essays but I've never gotten top marks and always ended up losing out on the examples/analysis part. Hopefully the exam tomorrow will go better than previously.

And we also watched those China videos you posted in class, my teacher has the whole video but I never knew they had them on Youtube.

No problem at all. I'm always glad to help. :)

Good luck to you all history students for tomorrow's and Wednesday's (in case you're HL) exams!

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So, how did it go? :)

At least I feel great about every Paper and in Paper 3 I wrote my best essays I've ever written in history. :P

EDIT: Noticed the Exam-section. It was too much down there. :)

Edited by Aldarion

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This might be kind of a lame suggestion, but if you have a friend in your class, try discussing the events with him/her and maybe have a debate on what you think was good and bad, and why you think the event was significant. This helps me remember facts that could also help you during your exam.

Sorry! I hope this helps...

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This might be kind of a lame suggestion, but if you have a friend in your class, try discussing the events with him/her and maybe have a debate on what you think was good and bad, and why you think the event was significant. This helps me remember facts that could also help you during your exam.

Sorry! I hope this helps...

That actually does help. We had few such meetings with only us history students and we discussed different events. Pros and cons and stuff that supported or opposed some point of view etc. It's useful, for example, when discussing the rise and rule of single-party states-section. Of course you can discuss anything else as well.

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