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Grade 9 GCSE History Revision Guide

Edexcel GCSE History Hitlers Rise To Power

Preparing for your Edexcel GCSE history exam? We've got you covered with the best history revision notes and resources at Learndojo all for free to help you score top grades.

In this GCSE revision guide, we will break down all the content across all three exam papers which you will need to study and revise for. We've also created content that covers the most popular topics chosen by students such as Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 and Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (and more!)

Let's get started with our History GCSE revision tips:

Download the GCSE History specification for your exam board

The best way to revise GCSE history and start your revision sessions is by downloading the specification (also known as the syllabus). This gives you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to revise and what topics the exam questions will be focused on.

The syllabus is the most useful guide to GCSE History as it contains in detail the entire course and what you will be asked questions on. Simply confirm which exam board you are studying first as this will determine the content you are learning too.

Once you've downloaded your exam boards specification, you need to take a look at this as it gives you a detailed overview of all the exam papers, how many marks they are, and what you will be learning. This also tells you how long each exam is.

For example, Edexcel breaks down as follows for paper 1:

Edexcel GCSE History Specification

Based on the image above, we can see that Edexcel has its course broken down into 3 exam papers you need to learn with a total of 168 marks.

8 marks are also specifically for punctuation, spelling, grammar and the use of specialist terminology. We can also see that the exam will last 1 hour 15 minutes.

This text also shows us that we will answer questions on one of the four options which are:

  1. Crime and punishment in Britain
  2. Medicine in Britain
  3. Warfare and British society
  4. Migrants in Britain

The second exam paper covers the following:

edexcel gcse history paper 2

Therefore, you will answer questions on one of the following options:

  1. Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88
  2. The reigns of King Richard I and King John, 1189-1216
  3. Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509-40
  4. Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88

Students also take one of the following study options:

  1. Spain and the 'New World', c1490-c1555
  2. British America, 1713-83: empire and revolution
  3. The American West, c1835-c1895
  4. Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91
  5. Conflict in the Middle East, 1945-95

If we look at the third examination, we can see it covers the following list of topics for which we answer questions on one of them:

edexcel gcse history paper 3 overview
  1. Russia and the Soviet Union, 1917–41
  2. Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
  3. Mao’s China, 1945–76
  4. The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad

With a good concise overview of how the subject is broken down, we will now break each subject matter down and identify the individual elements you need to learn within them.

Breakdown your topics

Let's take a look at Weimar and Nazi germany as an example and how this might be broken down. The same technique can be used for the others too.

Within Weimar and Nazi Germany, this actually breaks down into four further sub-topics as follows (with each of them having further individual elements you need to learn):

The Weimar Republic 1918–29

Hitler’s rise to power, 1919–33

Nazi control and dictatorship, 1933–39

Life in Nazi Germany, 1933–39

You will notice each chapter keeps breaking down until you have the actual individual elements you need to learn within them. By identifying each individual content we need to learn, our revision becomes manageable as we then use history resources that cover each section specifically.

This is a great way of navigating through the entire course and then subsequently making a revision timetable and creating notes covering all the identified sections.

Download past papers

Downloading historical past papers and using them for practice questions is another excellent technique which can help you improve your understanding straight away.

Past papers can be downloaded from the exam board website and they are a fantastic tool which help you get into the mindset of answering questions with the right exam technique.

If you are unsure how to use them, we recommend you use them like a quiz by printing out the last 3-4 years worth of past papers as well as the mark schemes and attempt to answer questions within them. To check how you have then done, compare your answers to the mark scheme and what the examiner notes also state in terms of what is required to score in the top marks bracket.

Initially, this may seem tiresome and difficult but over time you should notice your knowledge and answers improving gradually. This technique can be used across all GCSEs and various different subjects too.

Create easy to digest flashcards and condense history revision notes

Another good piece of advice is to learn to "chunk" information onto flashcards. Flashcards can be used to condense large pieces of information into more concise bits of information with the thinking being that if you can remember the concise information, this can help trigger your memory to recall the additional detail that goes with it to expand your answer further.

Write down the key facts, definitions and ideas related to the topic you’re revising. This will allow you to focus on what matters most, so you don’t waste time memorising unnecessary details or waffle.

You would then write a question on the other side of the flashcard for the content you've just written and attempt to answer it, turning over the flashcard to see if you answered correctly. The goal is to cover as much of the information as possible on the opposite side and improve your recall of the topic.

Another benefit to using flashcards is they are more memorable than large walls of text such as revision notes. You can highlight key elements and break the information down concisely as well as colour code the headlines and key phrases to help you jog your memory and recall your learning too.

Download our detailed Edexcel gcse revision guides

Our resources are used by thousands of teachers and students across the UK. We've created our revision guides to make revising gcse history as easy as possible by focusing only on the key information you need to know for the examinations themselves.

You can revise the Edexcel GCSE history course here where we've begun creating free content as well as download revision resources geared to help students, teachers and parents in mastering this subject.

Have regular study revision sessions

Study sessions are a great way to prepare for an upcoming test or exam and consolidate your learning. They allow you to review the material you've been studying and better understand the concepts that you will be tested on. Revision sessions can also be beneficial in helping you identify any weak points in your understanding and correct these knowledge gaps.

When engaging in revision sessions, it’s important to start by breaking down all of the material into manageable sections and topics as we discussed previously. Working through each topic one at a time will help you identify any areas that need further exploration or clarification. Taking breaks throughout your study session is also essential since this allows your brain to rest and reset before diving back into the material with a fresh perspective.

Create a gcse history revision timetable

Leaving revision late is the worst thing you can do and it's why so many people often find themselves searching Google on how to revise for GCSEs in a single day. The truth is, this really isn't possible so what a revision timetable allows you to do is stay on track and motivated with your study.

To create a revision timetable, take a look at your upcoming workload and all the GCSEs you are studying and break down your available time. Your goal is then to allocate blocks of available time in your schedule for every subject and ensure you leave enough room for breaks too. This needs to also factor in homework, assignments and practice papers so it's important you set realistic targets. Also put in time that allows you to relax and do things you enjoy so you don't feel completely burnt out studying all the time.

Finally the goal should be to stick to this revision timetable and ensure it is comprehensive enough to cover everything you need to know so you have no knowledge gaps. Ensure your knowledge is also regularly tested too as simply reading information wont normally help you assimilate it without it being tested and explored.

We've included revision timetables on the back of our revision books which you can simply print and use too. Hopefully, this is all enough to get you started with your course, however if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment within our content and we'll try to get back to you!

Happy revising! 

:)

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