How do I learn dates?
I hate them – and I’m useless at remembering them too.
you’d be surprised to learn how many of the dates given in your
textbooks are wrong.)
might you need to use dates? Let’s go back to the basics of what the
GCSE is about. You want to show the examiner:
you can DESCRIBE things in history:
do not need to know the date for every fact. Weasel
phrases (time connectives) such ‘then’ and ‘shortly
afterwards’ are usually quite good enough, and the most that you
will normally need is ‘In 1938…’. In these
stories, there is only the need to learn a date if it is
absolutely essential to the plot.
you can EXPLAIN things in history:
you will need to provide a bit of evidence as part of a ‘PEE
every paragraph’ approach – but again, the most you will
usually need here is a year.
you can ANALYSE SOURCES, using your own knowledge:
rarely will a specific date be essential to the argument.
do not to get too hung up on trying to remember lots of dates. You DO NEED
to know what is happening at a certain time, but you rarely need to know
the exact date that it was happening. There are other things (eg
lists of causes/ stories of key events) which are more important.
date has a day, a month and a year.
you tried to learn every date for every event in the course, there’d be
cannot learn every date, and...
cannot learn more dates than you can learn, therefore...
start the process of learning the dates you need to SELECT
WHICH DATES YOU NEED TO LEARN.
is one situation where dates are ESSENTIAL.
are times when examiners put dates in questions – and you can REALLY
foul up if you don’t know the dates then!!!:
you learn them will depend on your learning style.
am a lists
man – are you? I write things like that down in lists,
then I read/look away to put them into to my mind, then check if I
know them, covering up one side then the other to see if I can
people are postcards
people – date on one side, event on the other. You can go through
the cards whenever you have a moment (as you sit on the bus going
home) seeing if you can remember what is on the other side.
learners – dictate them onto a tape,
leaving short gaps in between. Play the tape to yourself
over headphones, trying to fill the gaps before the tape
does. Or recite them as a sing-song ‘poem’ (eg
‘Munich meeting: thirty-eight’).
learners – draw your dates onto timelines,
using bright colours and pictures. Design each timeline
differently, so that it has a different ‘hook’ for your visual
memory to hang it on.
learners – you must tie the different
dates to different places. Eg write date+event cards, and
blutack them to various places around the house (along the top of your
wardrobe/ the back of the toilet door). Start by actually
GOING TO those places to learn the dates, THEN try to imagine yourself
going to those places, and rehearse the dates in each
location. (Kinaestheic learners find the postcard approach
useful, because they are actually touching the dates).
Start by going through your topics and making lists of the dates you MUST
remember – ie all the dates in the vital key lists of the big stories,
plus dates which you think are essential within individual stories.
2. Prune your list to the number of dates you think you can remember –