11:07 PM // It’s looking like an all-nighter tonight.
How I Make History Flashcards
Label index cards before starting. Label the key term on the top left corner of the red line in one color, and the unit number on the top right in another.
Keep all your resources available: textbooks, Quizlets, lecture notes, powerpoints off the teacher’s website, and any other study materials. As I am studying for AP US History, I have my Barron’s review book handy (for those of you who aren’t in the States, Barron’s is a test preparation company that publishes in-depth review books with practice tests for AP subjects).
Read through your review book (or textbook) and highlight important details. When you come across a term you need to define, mark it with an asterisk and find the respective index card.
I generally use a color-code system when it comes to history. If you are interested in doing this, I advise you to keep the system consistent throughout the unit. Write down main points in one color. Use arrows for details.
When another term that is important or you simply aren’t familiar with shows up, write it in another color. If that term is not significant enough to need its own index card, give space somewhere on the card to use the bullet system to draw out its main points. Then use that term’s special color to draw a bracket around its bullet points, and draw an arrow from that bracket back to the term.
If there are multiple points involving the key term, try to form a question out of it and write that in a contrasting color, and answer it below with bullets. For example, instead of having a bullet for “Decline of the Federalist Party” and listing its details out under it with asterisks or arrows, you would write “What led to the decline of the Federalist Party?” and bullet the answers below. This is a system I adopted from universityandme that helps you to quiz yourself when reviewing your notes. It also helps me to better understand the content because it forces me to read the text so that I can come up with a proper phrasing for the question, so thank you Iris.
Subjects like APUSH are all about knowing why an event or a term is significant, so with a small post-it note, list out whatever the significance of that term is and stick it on the top right of the card. My review book was not so handy when it came down to identifying the importance of the key terms, so this is when you could resort to looking it up on Google/Quizlet (I would avoid doing this as much as possible, unless you are not easily distracted by the Internet). If you don’t have post-its, just write the points on the card like normal and highlight it with a bright color.
If you’re a visual learner or you fancy graphic organizers, draw your pictures and notes out on the blank side of the index card. You could also just do so on a different colored post-it and stick it in the front, or place your illustration on the bottom of the card if there is room to do so.
Use your additional resources for extra details. If there’s no room for additional details on the index card, use a slim post-it to fit them in.
This is a new method of note-taking and studying I’ve been using that comes in handy because the question-answer thing forces me to understand what it is I’m reading so that I can phrase a question to ask. By reading my review book for details, I’m soaking in the material rather than simply looking up terms on Quizlet and copying everything I see. By isolating the reasons the terms are significant, I can distinguish in my mind the more important details regarding the key term. Feel free to send me an ask if you need help or need me to post a picture specific to one of the steps; I feel as though my explanations are a bit hard to follow.
If you want to try this out, I highly recommend doing it the weekend before your exam, because a single card generally takes me personally about 5-10 minutes.
You open the test booklet. The first page is formulas. The second page is formulas. They’re all formulas. You can’t find the questions. Everyone around you is diligently working. You flip through the booklet but all of it is formulas. They consume you.
“Close your booklet and stop working.” Pencils sound as they hit the desk. Time is called. Time doesn’t answer. Where is it? It is lost. You are all lost.
You are told to seal the multiple choice question booklet. The white labels don’t fit properly in the designated sections. None of this fits. You may never discuss these questions. They no longer exist. They never existed. Ryan tried to fight back. They drag him away. Ryan never existed either.
The test references AP students in it. Haha. The test is very funny. Laugh. College Board wants you to laugh. College Board just wants to be friends. College Board is very friendly. College Board beckons you closer. Closer. They are very funny. L A U G H
You may only use black or blue ink. Your pen breaks. The ink spills everywhere. Milky black liquid falls over everything you knew and loved. The College Board confiscates it. “How can we accurately assess your skills without gathering all your materials?” They smile. You never noticed they had so many teeth before.
The proctor reads the instructions and you begin writing. The proctors circle you. They lean over your test and make disapproving noises. They are hunting. They pick out the weak. You will be next.
Tried reading my whole APUSH book and writing down notes 2 days before the actual test. I obviously didn’t finish nor do I think that actually worked lol. The test was easier compared to what I thought, but the type of essay that we got was the only one we never did in class so we’ll see how that goes. I just wanna burn all my AP stuff already. 2 down, 2 more to go! I also have the SAT tomorrow. Why must it be on the same week as AP exams. Just why.