Tips To Prepare For History Board Exams

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

In a country like India, medical and engineering are taken to be the only 'serious’ professions. Thus from a very young age a scientific temperament is instilled in children and they are made to fall in love with subjects like Mathematics and Science (sometimes even Computer Science). This leads to papers of social sciences being neglected and ignored. In fact the kids of today are so busy with solving numerical problems that they dislike anything that has theory in it. This leads to a lot of students hating the field of history. This is something that must not happen. Particularly in the case of history, it is all about stories from the bygone era. As human beings, all of us love listening to story. Thus if children of today’s generation say that do not like history we must take the cue and understand that there is something seriously wrong with our education system and not with the child himself.


It is indeed sad to note that most of the students who hate history are actually very bright young minds that do not put in sufficient efforts to get to know the subject before complaining about the same. Thus to stop such students from developing a fear of history ahead of their board exams, here is a list of tips that they can follow to make sure that they retain what they learn while enjoying the process of reading this subject.

1. Make Flashcards Of Key Terms, People And Dates

By preparing flash cards you will be more inclined to have a look at them more often than what you normally would. This would obviously result in you retaining the concepts better. Hence make it a point to make a note of the all the key dates in flashcards. If you are the creative sort, you can also consider making it colourful. However, make sure that you do not put in too much of an effort into preparation of the flashcard as that will leave you with lesser time to study.

2. Read Out Loud As You Read The Text

2. Read Out Loud As You Read The Text

By reading out loud, you are activating multiple senses on your part to receiving the same concept. That way the possibility of retention increases manifold. Moreover if you are sleepy, it is a good practice to read out aloud as that will make you feel much more attentive.

3. Prepare Your Own Notes

By studying from your own notes (and not that given by your college or tuition teacher), you ensure that the highlight is on the concepts that you are not so strong at. That way you can ensure that equally well versed with all the topics that are there in your syllabus and that you score well. Another advantage of preparing your own notes is the fact that in the process of preparing you actually end up studying the topic once.

4. Use Mnemonics To Memorize Facts

Every individual has a unique way of remembering things. Things that are important to you may not be so to someone else and vice versa. That is why it is a good practice to come up with your own mnemonics when it comes to memorizing facts. A very important aspect of answering the history question paper is to answer in correct chronology. By using mnemonics you will ensure that the data is recalled in the correct order.

5. Connect Details To A Map Or Timeline To Find A Relation Between The Facts

We understand that the subject of history has a lot of facts and figures and it is evident that you will get confused with the facts and figures once in a while. To avoid that from happening, try to connect all the details that you learn in a particular chapter or unit to a map or timeline.

6. Be Familiar With The Format Of Examination

By going through the last three to four years' question papers you will know what to expect in yours. That way you will not waste precious time in the exam hall deciding how to go about with answering the questions. By practicing the previous year's question papers you will be armoured to deal with yours with apparent ease.

7. Take Practice Tests

In history board exams what is often seen is the fact that students are unable to complete the exam and they claim that the paper was ‘too lengthy'. Usually that is not the case. The reason most people find it difficult to complete the history papers is because they have poor time management skills. To tackle this problem makes sure that you take a lot of practice tests. That way you will not have to leave questions (whose answers you are well aware of) unanswered.

8. Do Not Beat Around The Bush

Many people are of the opinion that history is all about beating around the bush. This is far from being true. While checking your answer sheets what the examiners look for is the fact whether you have the key points in your answer. If you miss that and go about beating the bush about everything else, chances are that you will not be allotted any marks.

9. Use The Unit’s Main Idea To Prepare For The Long Questions

Any history question paper is bound to have some long descriptive type questions in it. The advantage of this type of questions is that they are often repetitive in nature. Thus if you can go through the previous years' questions and prepare on a certain number of broad questions using the unit's main idea to convey that you have read through the entire lesson, chances are that you will score very good marks in the history exam.

10. Make Guesses

Since this is the board exam, it will not have negative marking. Thus for the section on multiple choice questions you can try making guesses even if you do not know the correct answer. You do not really have too much to lose even if your answer is incorrect. However, if by the stroke of luck your answer is correct you will fetch yourself some extra marks.

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