How to do a knowledge-based history exam

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© History Skills

Knowledge exams are perhaps the simplest form assessment for any student. This form of assessment usually assesses your knowledge of key people, places, times and events from the time period you have been investigating.


To successfully prepare for these kinds of tasks, your first strategy would be to continually revise the notes taken in class. Since this is the information provided to you by your teacher, it is typically the only information they will test you on.


However, this kind of exam will often ask you to answer questions based upon the Historical Knowledge Skills. So make sure you practice each of these skills and can answer questions about each of them.


On some exams, you may also be required to write an Extended Response, so ensure you are familiar with the requirements of this kind of question.


Best piece of advice:

When you are writing your answers during an exam, please try to write neatly and legibly. Your exam cannot be marked if it cannot be read.

Time Management

Managing the use of your time in an exam is crucial to doing well. One of the first things you should do when you open your exam paper is find out how many questions you have to answer within the time limit. Then, divide the time you have been given for the exam to make sure you have enough to spend on each question. However, make sure you give yourself time at the end to go back over all of your answers and check them.


For example:

If you have three short-answer questions to answer in a 60 minute exam, give yourself 15 minutes to answer each question, which leaves you 15 minutes left to go back over your answers.


Whatever time frame you give yourself, make sure you stick to it. Questions in history exams are designed to test specific skills, so if you do not answer some questions because you ran out of time, it is difficult to get good marks.


Need an exam revision worksheet?

Historical Knowledge Exam Revision Worksheet
A worksheet specifically designed to help student compile all of the necessary information to successfully prepare for the Historical Knowledge component of exams. It has sections where students demonstrate significant people, places, terms, ... (Read More)