Taking and revising A level history

I think, the thing about taking any subject such as history is that, you have to be dedicated to putting in the time and effort… like, really, really dedicated.

The work load is genuinely unreal, and there generally isn’t a great deal of time to do it in, which, is understandable given the amount of time given to learn the entirety of the exam specifications, but that still doesn’t make it any better.

For example being set 25 questions on the Russian civil war on Monday, and handing them in on Wednesday, isn’t fun.

So anyways, I study modern history, Britain and Russia. Britain is a breadth paper and Russia is depth, and so with Russia we cover things in a lot more detail, whereas Britain we look at more events in less detail.

How I revise British and Russian history

I feel like because there is so much information to take in, and so many dates, places and people to remember, that personally I wouldn’t be able to take all of that in, and memorise and understand it well enough to write an essay on it by just having pages and pages of writing.

For both papers, I definitely rely on revision cards, flash cards, cue cards, whatever you want to call them.. you get the gist, to actually learn the content. Now, for GCSE that’s great, and it can all end there, but with A level, you need to learn how to adapt your knowledge, and manipulate it to fit in with different aspects of a question.

After I have learnt the information from the cue cards, I’ll write the name of the topic, or a feature of it in the middle of a piece of paper, and just brainstorm or mind map every single thing I know about it. Once I’ve done this, I’ll look back through my notes and see if there is anything I’ve missed, which most likely is the case for the first few attempts, after finding something I have missed out, I’ll add it on in a different coloured pen so that I know it is something I have to focus on.

I’ll keep drawing the same mind map, but shortening each piece of information until eventually I can write one or two words and remember everything I need to know.


Past paper questions/essay practice

Practice questions are such an important part of revision, especially for essay based subjects, as timing is key.

In the booklets I get given by my teachers, there will always be a few practice essay questions to try, and some short answer questions that I will use for revision when looking through my notes.

So, once I have made my mind maps, and I’m sure that I know all the content well enough, I’ll move on to answering an essay question, making sure to time myself in writing my answer. If I don’t finish before the timer goes off, I will still carry on until I have finished writing, however I will bare in mind that I still need to work on my timing, and condensing of information so that I can get things written down more efficiently.


That’s really all I do when revising, obviously people find it easier to revise in different ways, and many people have their own unique style. But for me, I just find that repeatedly writing something and then answering questions on it works best.

Good luck revising!



A very quick and chatty introduction to life at college – and starting a revision feature?

I guess I’ll start this post by telling you a bit about the subjects that I’m currently doing and the environment that I’m doing them in

So I’m doing four AS levels, history, psychology, sociology and English language at a Sixth form college- obviously I’m not going to tell you where I’m studying haha! The great thing about sixth-form colleges is that there is so much support, and such a tight knit community between yourself and all of your classmates and even the teachers, usually! It isn’t quite the unscheduled hectic mess (so I’m told) of a regular college, yet it isn’t the strict school-like environment of a sixth-form, as I’ve heard from my school friends.

The great thing about A-levels is that you look at everything in more depth, I guess, at school you look at what happened, you rarely need to know why, what caused it, what happened five years before, or five years after, maybe this is just the history student in me, but it is truly intriguing to know so much about a person, a time or an event, a culture a subculture, an age or an era.  And yes, definitely definitely yes, it is stressful there is so much to do and the workload and the expectations of oneself from both teachers and peers increases dramatically, but it is so worth it.

I was planning to discuss each subject, how I revise for each topic, and perhaps even my thoughts on the classes and teachers, but I think I’ll do that in a separate post, yes.

Also, as you’ve probably read in the title, I was thinking of whether to start a section on this blog with my tips and inspirations for revision, how and when I revise, my methods for revision , and other little helpful pieces of advice. I feel like this would’ve been so helpful if I had found something like this whilst I was doing my GCSEs, and I hope I’d now be able to offer some form of this for you lot! 🙂  – Let me know if you’d be interested in something like this!