Tips from a Private Irvine History Tutor
All students out there will be taking US history and many of you will be taking one of the AP history courses such as AP Euro, AP World or AP US. History is an important subject because it help us understand the world around us (get the grades you’re capable of with the help of one of our Orange County history tutors), it helps us know where we came from and it helps us learn about the struggles and sacrifices that our ancestors made in order for us to have a better life in the 21st History also helps us learn about the struggles that people are still going through and how we can contribute to our future. It is also a primary subject and it would be a good idea for students to get an A grade in this subject (READ: “A Student’s Guide to Study Breaks“).
Take a look at these tips to help you on your way to success as a history student
1. Skim through the entire unit once it is assigned. Don’t simply look at one chapter here and there because all of history is connected in one way or another.
2. Look for cause and effect in all of the battles and wars that took place during the time span that you are learning about. Note which ‘wins’ and ‘losses’ led to an additional battle or the end of a war (READ: “How accurate are multiple choice tests?“).
3. US history students should make a list of accomplishments from every president that they are expected to know about. Write down why each president was inspired to make a change or provide a particular service or thing to US citizens. Also, write down a list of shortcomings that each president had. Think about why a particular president made a mistake or what circumstances led to such shortcomings.
4. Make a timeline (use the one provided in your textbook to help get you started). Make a note of all the important dates, events and people involved during that time period. Make sure that you have a different time line for each history class and a different timeline for each country. Try getting some poster paper so that your time line can be big enough that you can leave plenty of blank space and add to it as the semester goes on.
5. Color code. If you are taking world history, assign a different color to each country, this makes things visually clear and helps determine cause and effect. It can also help students understand how different countries relate to each other during wars as well as during times of peace.
6. Take notes. Students should be writing a 5-7 sentence summary of each chapter and a second summary for each unit. This will take you about 15 minutes now but it will save you hours later on and will also serve as a study guide when it comes time to get ready for the midterm and final exams.
7. Annotate your notes. Once you have down some basic notes, annotate them. Underline, highlight, circle or square any crucial information that you might want to remember later on.
8. If you are in an AP class, get the test prep book early on. Just because you will be taking the test in May, doesn’t mean that you should wait until March to order that test prep book. Order it now and use it as a giant study guide (READ: “Building Vocabulary: Test Prep Edition“).
9. Join a study group. Get together with a few of your friends and/or classmates and meet once a week at a coffee shop (or any suitable place) and discuss the basic events that will be on the next exam. If you are not able to meet in person try forming a history Circle on Google Hangouts where you can all study together remotely.
10. Think critically. In order to truly understand history, it is important to understand the ‘why’ in the WWWWWH (Who What When Where Why How). Answer questions like: Why where women excluded from the vote? Why did the world allow slavery to happen? Why did people endure indentured servitude? Why did people fight in the Crusades? Why did people in urban areas die from the plague faster than people in rural areas? Answers such as ‘…because women were not thought of as equals’ or ‘…because people thought religion was important’ is not going far enough. Dig deeper to fully comprehend these events (CLICK: “Great History Website for Kids“).
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