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SAT Subject Tests: History

  • Read, Read, Read. Read your notes, read your textbook, handouts-whatever you can. By reading, you can get familiar with the historical period that you're studying. If you know that your teacher gives you a lot of questions directly from a text book then study that. If most of the questions on previous tests have come from lectures, then study your notes. If your teacher likes to give very conceptual tests, then study the main issues of the historical period you're studying. In other words, narrow down what to look at before you begin to study. It is extremely overwhelming not knowing what to start with, so use the kind of test your teacher gives as the criteria for choosing where to start.
  • If you have to write an essay on a history test, you should use the same essay tips as I gave above in the English section. Always make sure that you give historical evidence that backs up your assertions. If you say, "The Aztecs were an advanced civilization" give at least three examples that support that statement.
  • Discuss some issues that are integral to the time period that the test is on with a friend or in a study group. This way you can share your ideas and enlighten yourself to those of others. These discussions usually bring up some good essay topics, too.
  • If you have dates to learn, make sure that you learn them well. Start memorizing them at least a couple of days before the test so that you won't be rushed. It will help if you use the same memorization technique as I outlined for learning vocabulary, just put the date on one side and the description of what happened on that date on the other.
  • Make a study sheet to look at right before the test. You can use notes or even make a separate sheet. Whatever you do make sure that you can get those dates and names in your head one last time before the test starts.

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