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History 130 sounds like it could be a daunting task. A class that you will never go to, fall asleep in, and listen to the professor drone on and on about something you probably don’t care about. While that may be true, here are some tips to help you succeed in History 130 at Chico State

1. Go to class

While to some this may seem like the most obvious and useless tip, but it cannot be emphasized enough on how true this is. Many professors are known to throw in “cocktail party knowledge” which will only be talked about in class and is often thrown in quizzes and tests as extra credit questions. On top of this, when the professor sees your face and knows you attend class they are often more lenient on due dates as well as more willing to help you when you have questions regarding tests or homework. Besides all of that, the other main reason to attend class is that you will be gaining a more holistic¬†understanding of the material.¬† While the professor can pull test quizzes from anywhere, it is the easiest to pull from what was talked about in class.

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2. Take notes

Again, this may seem like the most obvious thing to state, but it is so important. While many students feel they will know and remember everything to professor talks about, it is important to remember that this history class specifically jams a lot of knowledge into a short period of time. Native Americans pre-contact with Europeans all the way to the end of the twentieth century is a lot of knowledge to learn in one semester. One useful strategy is to keep your notes online (using a program such as Microsoft word or Google docs) and organizing them based on tests. For example, only keep the notes for the first test in one folder, and keep the notes after that in a different folder. This will help you not to feel overwhelmed when rereading your notes for a test, because you won’t have to look through hundreds and hundreds of words.

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3. Review the study guide

While not all professors are so forthcoming with what will be on the test, if the professor offers a study guide, do not hesitate to read it. At the very least you’ll be aware if you are about to fail an exam, but since you are now taking notes (as mentioned previously) you’ll be able to know what the professor expects of you.

4. Review your notes

With study guide in hand, it becomes extremely¬†easy to review what you need to know from the notes. Since it is a history class, you’ll be dealing with only facts, there are no interpretations or “what are your thoughts”, the test will only contain questions that can be answered with factual knowledge. At the very least, re-reading all the notes you took will help you be somewhat prepared. Looking at only the notes you’ll be using on the test you are about to take will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and helpless. It will also be overall easier to find anything in your notes that your professor may have been talking about in your study guide.

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5. Talk to the professor

Again, this seems like something that would be so obvious, but many students don’t utilize their resources. When you have any questions or are unsure of something that your professor put on the study guide, just go into office hours and ask your professor. Again, this will show your professor that you are interested in the subject, as well as someone who cares about their grade. Professors get bored in their office hours. Go talk to them.

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History 130 sounds horrible, and for some, it is. But hopefully with these tips and tricks, anyone will be able to succeed. They may sound like brainless information that anyone should know, but you would be surprised how many people fail by simply not going to class.


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Randy Richard

I am an English Studies Major at CSU Chico, I hope to minor in creative writing as well.


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