Although ESS is only available at the standard level, it can often be tricky to get your head around (especially as higher-level subjects start to demand more and more of your time). That being said, once you get the hang of it, ESS can become a really fun subject that helps you understand the world […]
For subjects like geography, history, and psychology there are a lot of statistics and dates to remember during exams. Memorising this information can be very tricky. However, without this information it is almost impossible to score high marks on essays. Here we’ll take you through our top tips and tricks for remembering general statistics during exams.
Tip 1: Figure out the purpose of using the general statistics
When you’re deep in revision, it can be hard to see why you have to learn all this information. Seeing all the dates and names can be overwhelming. However, I promise there is a purpose to learning them all!
For most of the humanities subjects, remembering general statistics enables you to back up your arguments in essays. Having the specific dates of events, research studies, and the number of people impacted by an event means that you can provide evidence for wider arguments. This is key getting into those top mark bands on essays.
Tip 2: Utilise apps to help you work smarter not harder on remembering general statistics
For most subjects you will need to do a certain amount of rote memorisation of dates, case studies, and research papers. Unfortunately this is unavoidable. However, there are ways to do this so that you can work smarter, not harder.
Anki is an app favoured by medical students around the world for helping you memorise lots of information. It uses spaced repetition and active recall. This ensures that you learn everything that you need to know.
Spaced repetition is a technique for learning information based on how our brains retain information. Basically, our brains work best when we review a concept multiple times over a longer period of time. As we review it more times, we increase the time between revisions.
These timings will vary depending on when you need to know the information by. Anki takes care of figuring out when you should review each piece of information you add to it. It’s based on a flashcard system and is highly customisable. This means that you can choose to type in your answers to each prompt which increases the level of active recall. Active recall is key to making sure that you actually learn the information.
Other apps like Quizlet are similar, but don’t have the same options for customising how you use them. The key with all these flashcard apps is to make the flashcards yourself!
Tip 3: Use context
Remembering general statistics when they’re just numbers on a page is challenging. To make it easier, put them into context! By building a storyline of how dates are related you will make it much easier to remember all the dates in History.
For geography, you can avoid remembering specific numbers if you can put them into context with other events. For example, you might remember that maternal mortality rates in Columbia in 2019 were approximately double that of Costa Rica which has 20 deaths per 100,000 live births. This technique means that you can still back up your arguments with evidence while avoiding adding numbers to what you are memorising.
By putting general statistics into context you will make it easier to remember them while also decreasing the amount of numbers that you need to learn.
If you’re looking for more study tips for the humanities, check out this post on Geography and this post on Psychology. If you’d like to speak with one of our expert tutors on how to best revise for a specific topic, check out our online private tutoring here.