How to revise for humanities examinations

When I was in Secondary School, humanities subjects were the bane of my existence. I found studying for the humanities subjects to be incredibly tedious and boring due to large amounts of content I had to memorise. This coupled with the insane amount of skills I had to pick up made me dread the humanities such as O level Geography and O level History.
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However, I later found out that I was revising for the humanities subjects the wrong way. When done right, studying can be both fun and rewarding. 


Start as early as possible


One of the biggest mistakes I have made when revising for the humanities such as O level Geography and O level History has been starting too late and not being able to finish the syllabus. For my preliminary examinations, I took my pure Geography paper after revising only two-thirds of the ‘O’ level Geography syllabus. Not surprisingly I underperformed terribly for it. 


You should give yourself ample time to revise and re-revise the content tested for the humanities subjects as unfortunately content is a must-have. The best method to revise for the humanities would be to master small portions of the syllabus over the year rather than cramming it all in one go. 


By breaking up the syllabus of the humanities such as O level Geography and O level History into more manageable chunks, students will also not feel overwhelmed when tackling large amounts of content as that of the ‘O’ level Geography syllabus or the ‘O’ level History syllabus.


Make your notes


Making your own notes is a must to do well. Don’t get me wrong there are some fantastic resources available for students that will definitely help. One great source is the sgexams website which hosts a collection of free notes, such as ‘O’ level History notes or ‘O’ level SS notes, that are available to everyone preparing for the humanities subjects. 


The top tuition centres in Singapore, also provide outstanding notes for the humanities. Illum.e ‘O’ level History notes, for example, cover every aspect of the ‘O’ level History syllabus. These notes are not only comprehensive but would also provide students with apt illustrations to get their point across. 


However, notes for humanities subjects tend to be one size fits all. They would not be tailored to the student’s personal writing style and requirements. Hence, they may spend too much space talking about concepts the you are already familiar with. Or worse, gloss over key concepts in the humanities subjects that you may struggle with. 


The only way to avoid such issues would be to make your own notes by drawing inspiration from all the resources available to you. 


Practice key skills


The humanities subjects are incredibly demanding in that they not only require students to have all the content but also have key skills. This means that students should know the Social Studies SBQ format, History SBQ format and the Geography DRQ formats like the back of their hands. By becoming familiar with the formats and what they expect, you would be able to tackle them well in the ‘O’ level paper. 


For example, for the Social studies SBQ, each question requires students to tap on a specific skill and requires students to phrase their answers in a specific way. Students can only master these skills through practice. The top tuition centres in Singapore, also give students ample opportunities to practice these skills through drill sessions of past year Social Studies exam papers. Such tuition centres also strive to provide immediate feedback to students allowing them to correct their mistakes and thus see large improvements. 


Seek help when required


The humanities subjects require a great deal of understanding that does not come intuitively. For example, half of the ‘O’ level Geography syllabus is focused on physical Geography which requires quite a bit of technical understanding. When in doubt, approaching your teachers is the best way to do well as technical concepts cannot be self-taught easily.


The top tuition centres in Singapore, are always available for help with 24/7 consults. With smaller class sizes and ever available tutors, such tuitions are able to provide students with the help they need for the humanities subjects. Hence setting them up for success. 


Joining one of the top tuition centres in Singapore would set you up for success in the humanities subjects as we would ensure that you are equipped with the right skills. However, even for students who do not take up tuition, these tips are applicable. By just following the advice in this article, students can do exceedingly well for the humanities such as O level Geography and O level History