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7 Useful Tips On How To Score A1 For O level History

To understand the present and be prepared for the future one needs to know the past. For some, history could be a very dry and dull subject but you need to study the subject to learn some essential life skills.

Knowing your history will help you answer all your questions related to the world today – What, Why, Who, When, and How.

It’s said history repeats itself. The problems and issues arising now would have been a cause of concern in the past as well.

Why waste time and resources to reinvent the wheel instead we should leverage the knowledge and experience of our ancestors to tackle the problem at hand. And this can be done only if we know our History.

Now that you know why history is an important part of our academics, let’s get into how you can excel in the same. It can be a very challenging and boring subject if you don’t give it equal importance as math and science.

Just mugging alone would not help you get an A1 in your history exam. Follow our simple and doable tips to master this beautiful subject.   


1. Study Plan

History is not a subject you can study in a day. Make sure it’s part of your weekly study plan and you have enough time for revisions before your exam.

Familiarize yourself with the syllabus and break it down into sections to incorporate it into your study plan. Make the sections in such a way that it helps you get the bigger picture and are in chronological order.

You will just be confusing yourself if you don’t follow a sequence when you are studying the subject for the first time.

You can prioritize the topics and concentrate on the ones you found difficult to understand when you start your revisions.


2. Weave a Story

History is nothing but a story of different life-changing events. As you read different topics, try and connect the dots so that you can relate to the events, and have a clear story in your mind.

There is a high chance that your grandparents or a relative might have been eye-witnesses to some of the events mentioned in your syllabus.

Discussing history with them might be a good way to get to know more on the topic and you might even get to know some of their personal experiences during that period. The personal touch would help you remember and weave the story better.


3. Graphical Representation

History is all about facts. Remembering the names of people, movements, and dates are so important to ace the subject.

To help you remember all these facts it’s advised to make a table or chart with all the important events in chronological order.

Graphical representation really helps in retaining and recalling what you have studied.

You can use online tools and apps to make learning resources like flashcards, quizzes, mind maps, and online notes. These resources would be a quick way to recap the topics while you prepare for your exams.


4. Know your exam format

It’s so important to know how and on what topics you would be tested in your exams to prepare for it. Knowing the exam format well would help you practice only that particular type of question like multiple-choice questions (MCQ), essay questions, or case studies.

You should also know the weightage given to each topic in terms of the number of questions and marks so that you can concentrate more on them.

Click here to know the 2020 O-level national examination syllabus and exam format in detail. This document would help you understand the assessment format, the way to answer the questions, and how the marking is done.     


5. Edutainment

To prepare for your history exam you definitely need to know your course books inside out but there is no harm in using additional resources to get a clearer and deeper understanding of the subject.

Leveraging different edutainment resources would make the learning experience fun too. You can watch movies, documentaries, podcasts, and online courses available on platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Udemy, Harvard University, and Coursera.

Reading biopics and autobiographies on the historical leaders would help you connect well to the historical events and their leadership styles and struggles.

Visiting museums and other historical places, whenever possible, would be a great way to reinstate what you have learned in your history class.


6. Mock tests

Quizzing yourself on what you have studied is a great way to gauge how much you have understood and retained. They would help you learn from your mistakes as well as boost your confidence.

Solving mock tests regularly would give a good understanding of the exam format as well as practice to answer the different types of questions. You would also get an idea of what topics you need to concentrate on for your final exams.  


7. Find a Tutor

If you still feel you are struggling with the subject, finding a good history tutor to get extra help is a good idea. A dedicated tutor can adjust his teaching style based on your learning needs.

Through their experience, they would be able to guide you on how to approach the topics you find difficult to understand. Also from the examination standpoint, the tutor will be able to help identify the key topics and advise you on how to structure your answers in your exams.

Make sure you make the most of their knowledge and get all your questions cleared as and when they arise in your mind.


To excel in history, the first step is to start studying the subject with an open mind. If you have a preconceived notion in your mind that the subject is boring and difficult you would never be able to conquer the subject.

Change your approach to the subject by following our 7 tips and you would for sure see a difference. It is not impossible to score A1 in history. Give it an equal amount of time and dedication as other subjects to ensure academic excellence.

All the best!

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.