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Dr. Thomas Mach

Professor of History


Study Suggestions

There is no substitute for hard work when it comes to studying for quizzes or examinations in History courses. If you are given a study sheet by the professor, start with that resource. Make sure you know the material on it inside and out. When you are given a resource like that, you can be sure that the professor is going to hold you to a higher standard than if there was no insight given regarding what might be on the exam. Be sure to know what types of questions will be asked. For example, you will need to study differently for a multiple-choice exam than you will for an essay exam. For multiple choice examinations, I recommend studying terms. Be sure you know what the main terms are for the unit or units that are included on the exam. Know what the terms are, but also know why they are significant. Where do they fit into the big picture or the story you are studying. Are they factors leading to some event? Are they the results of some major event? Don't just know the "what;" know the "why." I recommend asking the following questions for each term you study: who, what, when, where, and why is it significant? When studying for essays, I recommend that you boil your note material down into outlines. It is much easier to remember an outline of main points than to remember two pages of an essay answer written out in sentence and paragraph form. If you have a study sheet, study the questions provided. If not, create questions that would encompass the material you are responsible for studying. If you have been coming to class each day, taking good notes, keeping up on the reading, and reviewing your notes each week, you should be able to develop the main points of your outlines without memorizing an answer word for word. This method will allow for better retention of the material during and after the course and eliminate the need for night-before-the-exam cramming!

If tutors or Academic Peer Coaches are provided for the course, make good use of them. Attend their study sessions and soak in every opportunity to gain a better understanding of the material. Test yourself by taking online practice quizzes provided by the textbook. Get together with a classmate and take turns identifying terms or answering essay questions. If you can talk through an answer, you know it. If you are stumbling through it, you know you need more study. Check your notes with a friend to be sure you are picking up on all that is being said in the lecture. And always be willing to ask the professor for help.

  • Study Helps