Saturday, 27 July 2013

Studying Subjects: Social Studies! :)

What war was fought, when, where & why? Where are different types of vegetation or wildlife found? How is the government formed? How are banks run?

Well, to answer all of the above questions and more, we need to study Social Studies (SS). To be more specific, History, Geography, Civics/Democratic Politics & Economics. I'm done with SS for the rest of my life but had to study it for the past 7 years (and I got good grades in it too!) So, let me tell you a few ways how! (if you don't know what this series is, click here!)

General study tips:
  • Read a LOT: Honestly, the more you read, the better you know the subject! Now, understanding the subject is much much better than memorizing it but you do kind of have to memorize a lot anyways!

  • Highlight! I used 3 different colours to highlight (pictured above) - Blue (important terms), green (definitions) & yellow (general points). The colour really does strike you while studying (hence making it a little less boring for those of you who find it so). It also helps you revise quicker because you find certain points easier with just a glance!  
  • Number points: (pictured above) If you have subjective exams especially with essay type questions, this will help you in framing points without making separate notes, hence saving time! For us, a 3 mark question meant you needed to write 3 or 6 points whereas a 5 mark question meant writing 5-10 points! Numbering the points did really help me!

Specific study tips:

1. History:
  • Make timelines: When it comes to history, timelines are your best friend! You can type/write one and either summarize events and/or describe what happened during any particular time periods. 
  • Storytime?! If you don't want to make a timeline, just know the basic sequence of events & learn it like a story!
  • Flash cards: Remembering particular dates/names in History is usually pretty important! Learn them through flash cards or timelines! 
2. Geography:
  • Visualize: Directions come into play quite a bit in Geography! Suppose you're reading about physical features - River A flows in through the Northern states, river B flows through the Southern states, Mountain range C is on the Western side of the country, etc. You could even draw it roughly! 
  • Maps: Depending on the number of places you have to locate, maps can be tough! The best tip I can give you is practice marking the places again and again!
3. Civics/Political science:
  • Relate events: This is the most helpful tip I can give you! Relate the material that you're studying to current/recent events! For example, if you are learning about elections and elections are going on, make sure you read the newspaper to understand better! Usually, this subject also has a lot of laws/amendments to learn about which may be related to bills or the constitution so reading the newspaper will help a lot!
4. Economics:
  • Create examples: I've studied economics for only 2 years (while I've studied the above topics for 7) and this is what helps me the most! I've found quite a few situations (example: violation of rights, going to court, loans, etc) where making up an example will help in understanding the subject a lot better! After all, it's always easier to understand with examples!  
That's it! Thanks a TON for reading! I hope these tips helped you! Feel free to leave a comment below -whether it's requests, more tips or anything! Also, I would love to know what is your favourite topic out of the 4 that I've mentioned in this post! While you're at it, please go ahead and subscribe so you know when I post next! Thanks!

-Kavya :)
 "If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday". - Pearl Buck

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