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The key to getting a 7 in History

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Getting a 7 in History seems so difficult. Does anyone have any tips on how to get a 7?

I know many former IB students who got 7 on all their mocks, but finally ended up with 6.

Edited by ephika

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I know many former IB students who got 7 on all their mocks, but finally ended up with 6.

This has nothing to do with their actual 'skill', then, but rather the evaluation skill of your teacher.

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I think the argumentative segment is very important because you may know all your key events and everything about "history", if you can't justify your points or make your points significant, they'll mark you down.

I would say hardcore mugging + practice, keep submitting your work to your teachers and never miss a hand-up session :)

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Only for exams 2009

Mm, I'm going to do my last IB retake ever in May 2009. My experience of the IB history (SL) is to cover only a few topics. As silly as it may seem, 90% or more of the history you learn in IB will not be assessed during the exams. Instead you should focus on analyzing and understanding contexts and become more critical about sources. Make use of TOK, history is the one subject where TOK can be applied a lot. But remember that you should always only be critical in your conclusion.

Paper 1. Focus on one or two of the options and learn everything you possibly can about them and practice making 500-750 word essays on your chosen topic/s. Also study a lot of the past papers in order to find patterns and to improve your "information collecting" skills. Become a master at analyzing all kinds of sources (this will also help you with IA).

Paper 2. First you get your hand on as many past papers as you can. Then you have to pick two topics. Compare your chosen topics with the topics of other past papers and then find common ground. Now study and learn everything about the two topics, make use of the common ground (there is always topics about league of nations and peace treaties/committees, Stalin and other dictators).

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Before starting your answer in paper 2 I recommend to you to make an outline structuring your answer. Take your time in writing a good introduction. You must answer the question in the introduction and expand it with concerte examples in the body :P . Good Luck. Juampi

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Only for exams 2009

Mm, I'm going to do my last IB retake ever in May 2009. My experience of the IB history (SL) is to cover only a few topics. As silly as it may seem, 90% or more of the history you learn in IB will not be assessed during the exams. Instead you should focus on analyzing and understanding contexts and become more critical about sources. Make use of TOK, history is the one subject where TOK can be applied a lot. But remember that you should always only be critical in your conclusion.

Paper 1. Focus on one or two of the options and learn everything you possibly can about them and practice making 500-750 word essays on your chosen topic/s. Also study a lot of the past papers in order to find patterns and to improve your "information collecting" skills. Become a master at analyzing all kinds of sources (this will also help you with IA).

Paper 2. First you get your hand on as many past papers as you can. Then you have to pick two topics. Compare your chosen topics with the topics of other past papers and then find common ground. Now study and learn everything about the two topics, make use of the common ground (there is always topics about league of nations and peace treaties/committees, Stalin and other dictators).

Very helpful, and truthful advice.

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Instead of always just cramming the information, start thinking in a critical and freely manner. Here's the thing about history; every event and happening has been executed by some bloke, a cause or even both. By using common sense and imagining being at the same time and place you can actually know all the motives for a war. One perfect example is the Balkan Wars. Why would the Balkans wage war against the Ottoman Empire? Well, being ruled by another country does not sound all too pleasant. Hence nationalism is a key element.

I received a 7 on the latest paper, without ever touching the two heavy books we were given at the start of IB. It's not too hard, really, it isn't. But that is probably just the advantage of holistic learning, I guess.

Best of luck, though.

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Basically the one thing you have to do in order to get a good mark in History is analyzing EVERY aspect of any event: causes, implications, its importance and impact/ consequences (on both international and national issues of any country involved), any contrasting views on it, etc. As you can see, stuffing in dates and names and so on is not THAT important: that is just support material. IB evaluates your ability to come to a conclusion based on questioning a determined aspect. For example: To what extent was Berlin the main source of conflict during Cold War? (we did some essay based on this yesterday) So you have to come up with arguments and counterarguments (why would it be considered the main source? why wouldn't it?) and then conclude something ( Berlin was /wasn't the main source because...). I also find studying strategically very useful. For H of the Americas, for example, I ALWAYS study Cold War for finals/mocks, as it works for paper 1, 2 and 3. Read some historiography (it works when you're stuck at some point and need arguments, and you can even contrast authors). Get used to the style of the questions. Do learn some (I repeat, SOME) specific and important dates (only the ones that are essential and a couple more to make your answers more solid). For your IA (yes, it's also important) WORK HARD. Really. You can end up with a 6 even if your exams are perfect, when you don't work on your investigation (and it helps you prepare for the exams as well).

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I think it is very important to be able to analyse and evaluate events as they happened.

It is not enough enough to just state them, but if you are able to link all the action up and give reasons then you will be a long way.

This is what I am working on since we have our exams in May ;)

Capa

Edited by Capa

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I used to be horrible in History around freshman year, but now I'm in IB1 and it's coming more easily for me. Once you understand WHY things happen and not simply what happens History becomes pathetically easy.

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hi the greatest advice i can give you when it comes to history is to first right notes on every lesson you take and make sure that at the same time you are memorising these notes. next, you should review the notes you take every weeked for an hour or two atleast. Last, continuously review your notes. Therefore, when it comes time for the exam all you'll need to do is more questions on the topics.

I hope my advice will help you in the future.

bye.

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One of the most important things when writing the essay is to ensure that your essay remains analytical and not narrative. Ensure that your essay does not simply describe the events that occurred but actually analyses the 'why' or the 'to what extent' by giving clear arguments, which you'll find that in most cases can be linked to political, economic, military, or social reasons.

For Paper 2 and 3, it helps to answer the question in the introduction and clearly state your arguments. Then in the conclusion you critically assess your arguments to end up with your final answer (e.g. "... despite Mussolini's moderate successes in foreign policy in the 1920s, his political and economic failures in the 1930s led to the failure of his foreign policy as evidenced by his incapability of preparing Italy for the Second World War..."). Without a critical analysis it is very difficult to get a 7.

Study what you need to study. Don't study things that you know you'll never answer. For example, in the case of the Cold War for Paper 2, there is almost always a question on the origins of the Cold War. I have so far only seen 2 past papers (out of around 15 papers) that did not have a question on the origins of the Cold War. Therefore, at least for Paper 2, as long as you know the origins of the Cold War perfectly, you can be almost 100% certain that you'll already have one question to answer. You don't need to study anything more about it (unless of course you're in HL where the other parts of the Cold War tend to come up in Paper 3).

Historiography is key. It is not an obligation to know quotes by specific historians, but I can assure you that it will be a lot more difficult getting a 7 if you don't have any quotes at all. You cannot get a 7 if your essay does not include anything on historiography. For example, you can't expect to get a 7 in a Cold War essay without reference to the orthodox, revisionist, post-revisionist or post-1991 view. You cannot expect to get a 7 in a World War One or Two essay without reference to the views of the different schools of thought. The same goes for almost any essay on any topic. If you include a quote, make sure you know the name of the historian who said it. If you were to include quotes by historians, the examiner will not be impressed unless you embed the quote into your argument. As in, make the quote and historiography support your argument. Don't make historiography be your argument.

I hope this helps.

Edited by Redstar
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Well I dont know what you all think but in my history class, getting a 7 is all about detail and giving the whole account (from differing points of view).

BTW im the only one in my hist class so get lots of atention and 7s!!!!

divided.

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Know lots of quotes from lots of different WELL KNOWN hisotians. Also have a bunch of primary evidence you can chuck in.

Make a quote bank for each topic and memorise as many as possible so you can make sure you've got it all covered.

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History is a good class for me and to really get a good grade, you need to read over your notes and your textbook. I'm not saying hours upon hours each night but if you're in class learning about the American Revolution, at home take 20 minutes to read over your notes or textbook so when exams come round you won't need to cram the night before. And, for your internal assessments and if you're doing your EE in History, look in the IB syllabus and choose a topic that you will study in class. My teacher said this is the smartest strategy because on the exams you will be an expert on let's say, Stalin if you did your IA or EE on him.

Also, when doing papers, use academic, credible sources that you could find on JSTOR or Google Scholar. It shows that you are serious and not shy of tackling challenging, academic information.

Good Luck!!!

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My advice is simple.

If you read the mark scheme, the way to get 18-20 is to do one of

  • well developed historiography
  • a high level of conceptual ability
  • a successful challange to the asumptions in the questions

The historiography is quite easy. For paper one, we're doing Rise and Rule and Cause Practice and effects of war, so I'm inventing three questions for each and writing down the views of various historians on them. Causes of WWI nearly always comes up in mock papers, so that's a big one (and an easy one: Taylor argued that it was inevitable, other's didn't). If the question you've prepared comes up: out comes the historiography. 18-20 marks is awarded.

Conceputal ability confuses me: I have no idea what it means so I'm ignoring it until the new term.

The assumptions is easy. Nearly every question has an assumption in it. For example, "in what ways was WW2 a total war?" the assumption was that it was a total war. And it was. However, a good challange to the assumption would be something like: "it can be argued that WW2 was not a total war. Consider the French involvment...." That's your 2nd paragraph, and that'll put you in 18-20.

Good luck.

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Great advice everyone! Have my end of year exams tomorrow and trying to practice for paper 2 exam technique as I always start well but run out of time.

Therefore i would add in addition to all the advice noted above to practice your timekeeping and practice essays at home in timed conditions, because that's the only way you'll know if you can get the marks. Many good essays have been ruined by hasty conclusions or poor endings (I know, mine have! :P )

So other than that....

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