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How to Revise for A-level History – Get A*

A-Level History is a challenging yet rewarding subject. Before 2020, less than 10% of students achieved the top grade of A*, a number that has slightly increased since then. Despite its difficulty, many students are drawn to A-Level History for its deep insights into our past and the critical thinking skills it develops. Is A-level history hard? Yes, but the skills and knowledge gained make the challenge worthwhile.


The only way to feel at ease when the exam time arrives, is to be fully prepared, and there is no better preparation than revision. This blogpost offers insights on how to plan and execute your revision process for A-level history.

Preparing for Revision 

  • When thinking about how to revise for A-Level History, it’s essential to first grasp the scope of the content. This course covers a wide array of historical periods and events, with specifics varying among different exam boards such as AQA, OCR, and Edexcel. Each board has its unique emphasis, ranging from British and European history to broader global contexts. It’s important to know what your specific exam board covers to tailor your revision effectively.
  • Another key aspect is understanding the syllabus and exam format. The syllabus is your roadmap; it outlines not only the topics you need to study but also the skills you’re expected to demonstrate.Make sure you have a copy of the syllabus from your exam board and go through it meticulously.
  • Familiarising yourself with the exam format – whether it includes source questions, extended essays, or multiple-choice sections – is vital. This knowledge allows you to align your revision with what the examiners are looking for, ensuring that you cover both the breadth and depth of the required material.

Effective Revision Techniques for A-level History

When it’s time to dive into the actual revision for A-Level History, adopting effective strategies is key. To efficiently revise for A-level History, you need to use active revision methods, which involve engaging with the material in a dynamic way rather than passively reading.

Using Revision Cards

One effective technique is the use of revision cards. These are especially useful for breaking down complex historical events into manageable snippets of information. You can categorise different aspects of your study material using colour coding – for example, blue for important dates, green for key figures, and red for significant events. This method not only aids in memorisation but also makes the revision process visually stimulating and easier to manage.

Test your Knowledge

Another aspect of revision is to frequently test your knowledge. This could involve self-quizzing or discussing topics with peers. Questions like “How do you memorise A-Level History?” often arise, and the answer lies in regular self-assessment. This technique ensures that you’re not only absorbing information but also retaining it.

Past Papers for best efficiency

The importance of A-Level History past papers cannot be overstated. They provide invaluable insights into the exam structure, types of questions, and the marking scheme. 

When approaching past papers, focus on the style of questions asked, especially the A-Level History source questions. Practice analysing sources not just for their content but also for their context, author’s perspective, and significance. This practice will enhance your ability to critically evaluate and interpret historical evidence, a skill crucial for the exam.

Additionally, past papers allow you to apply your knowledge in an exam-like setting. This is particularly beneficial when preparing for essay-based exams. Practicing with past papers answers questions like “How to write A-Level History essays?” by providing a real-life context for applying your skills in constructing arguments and writing persuasive essays.

Combining active revision methods with the strategic use of past papers can make your A-Level History revision more effective and manageable. These strategies provide a solid foundation for understanding the content and excel in the exams.

Cramming for A-Level History Exam

Cramming for exams, especially for a subject as extensive as A-Level History, can be challenging, so really understanding the importance of time-management is key. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many hours a day you should revise for A-level history, but the general rule is 3-4 hours of concentrated revision per day. 

When it comes to strategies for efficient studying and last-minute revision, prioritisation is key. Focus on the most important topics that are likely to appear in the exam. Review your syllabus and identify areas that carry more weight or have historically been a significant part of the exam.

Utilise summary sheets and mind maps for quick reviews. These tools are excellent for condensing large amounts of information into digestible bits, aiding in faster recall. If you’ve prepared revision cards, now is the time to use them extensively.

Practice with past papers should also be a part of your cramming strategy. Even in a limited time frame, attempting a few past paper questions can significantly improve your understanding of how to structure answers and manage your time during the exam.

In short, effective cramming for A-level history involves focused study sessions, prioritising key topics, and using summary tools for quick revision. Remember, even in the last minutes, strategic studying can make a substantial difference in your performance.

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Additional help

If at any point, you feel like you might benefit from some extra help, Edumentors A-level History tutors can offer knowledge and assistance that students, parents and schools trust. These student-teachers from UK’s top universities have gone through the same struggles you may be facing now, and can offer invaluable insights.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for A-Level History is undoubtedly demanding, yet with appropriate planning, effective methods, and sustained motivation, outstanding outcomes are within reach. Maintain your focus and enthusiasm, approach your studies with a composed mindset, and you are setting yourself up for success. Best of luck on your academic journey!


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