Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Hitler - A Level HistoryAs you’ll no doubt know by now, studying history at A level is very different to what you did at GCSE. Not only do you focus on periods and themes in much more detail (requiring you to memorize more information), but you also need to think in a much more analytical way. To do this successfully, you need to know the main areas of debate surrounding the topic you are studying.

These guides are designed to help you as you prepare for your A Level history exams. Rather than giving you yet another account of the periods you are studying (if anything, by now you probably feel you have too much information rather than not enough!), they are focused on pinpointing both the relevant information and the analysis that you will need for different A Level history topics. The idea is that these guides will help you focus more clearly on what you need to know as you go through the notes you have taken at home and in class whilst you have been studying. They will help you to see exactly what events, people, organizations and policies you need to know thoroughly for each subject and, every bit as importantly, why you need to know about them.

The guides are divided into four main sections. Each one begins with a section entitled The Big Questions, which provides a concise summary of the main debates and questions related to the topic. Keep these in mind at all times when you revise, as the questions that you will need to answer in your exams will relate closely to one or more of these. The guide then provides you with the key contextual information that you need for this topic area in a section called Important Background Knowledge, to help you better understand it and answer questions on it. In general this section covers events relating to immediately before the period in question. This section helps to give you a better idea why the key questions relating to the topic are of such importance. The next section is a breakdown of The Main Areas of Focus of the historical theme or period (both factual information and related analysis). This section is split into between three and five smaller sub-sections, so that the material is easier for you to digest. Making use of these subsections when you revise, almost like mental pigeonholes, will make it easier for you to organize all of the information that you need to answer questions on it. Be aware, however, that these different sub-sections overlap with each other, and many questions that you answer in the exam will relate to more than one of them. The guides finish with example questions to help give you a better idea of what you may encounter in the exam. As you look at these questions, try to identify which parts of the previous sections are most relevant for answering them.