How to guides

Handy guides to help you to know what to expect of the A-level history exam and how to revise effectively to achieve your best.

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  • Analysing Portraits

    Article

    See an image of the Rainbow portrait (on display at Hatfield House) (Wikimedia Commons) This portrait was clearly commissioned by either Elizabeth herself or an advisor. The majesty and symbolism in this portrait is designed to dazzle, inspire and intimidate various audiences. This is also a 'secondary' image. There is no...

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  • Essay Writing

    Article

    History is not just about writing lots of essays! It is also about discussion, debate and evidence. However, there will be, as with many other subjects at A-Level, some essays to write - but it is not as tough as it looks. Essay writing is a skill that you will...

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  • International Baccalaureate

    Multipage Article

    Students taking the International Baccalaureate have to study subjects from six groups, including maths, literature, science and a foreign language.  Three subjects are taken at Standard Level (SL) and three at Higher Level (HL).   There are two exam sessions a year - in November for the southern hemisphere and May...

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  • Reading at A-Level

    Article

    Reading at A-Level: Q: How much am I expected to read? At A-Level, in most subjects there is an expectation that you will read. History is no exception. This does not mean you have to go down to the library and get out 30 different books on Henry VIII and...

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  • Taking Notes at A-Level History

    Article

    Taking notes at A-Level History: How do I make sure that my notes will help me to revise? A-Level History is not just about taking notes - but as with any subject you study at A-Level, there are some notes to keep. Here are some general common sense reminders about...

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  • The Personal Study Dealing With Significance

    Article

    The Personal Study Dealing With Significance. History courses at A-Level contain a personal study that ranges from 2,500- 4,000 words in length, depending upon the exam board. Many of these deal with the theme of significance. Here are some tips for your personal study as recommended by the National Archives: Choose...

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  • Using Historical Sources

    Article

    How Do I Use Sources? The sources that you are likely to come across at A-Level will be either images or written sources and are usually primary (written or made at the time of study.) You will need to simply remember the skills that you have been developing since year...

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  • What is a Synoptic Essay and How Do I Write One?

    Article

    What is a synoptic essay and how do I write one? Writing the synoptic essay. Part of the A-Level History course now involves a synoptic element. This involves examining change and reasons for change over a fixed period of time. This is usually around 100 years. If you are writing...

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