How to revise for History A-Level

Many of you have been asking:

How do I revise for my History exams? How can I revise for History? What methods should I use for revision?

Well, here are five tips and ideas for revising for a History examination at IGCSE, AS-Level or A-Level (or really any curriculum).


  1. Make a timeline with all the key dates you need to remember.

For your reference, I have timelines available for China & Japan, events in Africa, the emergence of the USA as a world power, Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.

  1. Make or listen to a Podcast!

I have found that reading facts and arguments out loud helps, and so does listening back! It’s your choice… you can make your own Podcast or find one you like! I personally recommend my podcast, History: From One Student to Another :)

  1. Past Papers

Past papers are really helpful in preparing you for exams. I wouldn’t recommend spending loads of time writing loads and loads of past papers, especially if you’re short on time, but you could find a past paper question, and plan out an essay plan consisting of an introduction, and two arguments for either side and a conclusion. Also, check out techniques you can use when approaching your exam questions and structuring your answers. (See the menu on the left for "IGCSE: Exam Techniques or A-Level: Exam Techniques")

  1. It may be tempting to just read through your textbook or a set of notes you have. But please don’t do this!

I would recommend that you utilise a variety of sources for revision. Of course, use your notes, but also read through your textbook and highlight any additional information that you might not have in your notes. After writing up your essay plans and looking at past papers, if you find that you are lacking arguments or facts in certain areas, search through your textbook, my website (or of course other websites) to supplement your knowledge and fill in the blank spaces.

  1. Break up your revision!

If you have other subjects which you’re studying for, then by all means include them in your revision plan and organise them to break up your revision. Don’t just focus on the same topic all the time. Within your history revision, try to split up your schedule with the different topics. For example, if you’re studying Stalin’s Russia, Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, spend one hour studying Stalin, go for a 15-minute walk, then spend an hour studying Mussolini, go for a walk, and finally spend an hour studying Hitler. Then by this time, it might be time for a meal. Don’t skip meals and don’t stay sitting down all day. Make sure you get out of the house for at least a few short walks!