How to Ace the People in History Question
This section can be seen as one of the most difficult areas, not only within the subject of history, but of the whole Junior Certificate to study for. The simple reason for this is due to how many different people in history’s may appear on your paper, so it is very challenging to revise all the possibilities strongly.
The people in history (essay) question itself is question 4 on the paper and it involves you completing two separate people in history’s. You will be given three options in each of the two parts to question 4. The overall question is worth 40 marks (each people in history is worth 20 marks). When answering, you should divide the people in history into four paragraphs, trying to get five strong points in each paragraph.
When you are studying history, I advise to just be learning content from every chapter and, slowly but surely, the information and facts you need to get into your people in history will be ingrained into your brain. You should be writing your own shortened version of history notes, as well as regularly reading chapters and definitions within the chapters.
You must write your own plan for all the possible people in history’s that may come up in your Junior Certificate, but this process has to begin by at least before the mocks, if you have not begun already. This ‘plan’ should include four separate paragraphs which focus on four separate areas of your people in history answer. For example, if you were doing a plan on Leonardo da Vinci, you would have a paragraph on his early life, his inventions, paintings, any other interest and his later life. Within each section of this plan, you should develop at least five strong points (facts) which are significant and relevant.
If you have created these plans on all the possible people in history’s, you can glance over the paragraphs and their respective points, and before you know it you will have comfortably learned enough facts on the person/topic to achieve full marks in this question. After a while, you should test yourself to simply look at the four areas within the people in history, and then recite all the points in each of those areas.
One of the most vital pieces of advice you will need to study for this section is to only develop and learn plans for the people in history’s you need to, in order to save you valuable time. For example, the exam will never ask you to write a people in history on Christopher Columbus, it will always say ‘Write a people in history on a named explorer of your choice during the Age of Exploration’. This means you would only need to create and study plans for Christopher Columbus for that specific question, and not for other explorers during the Age of Exploration, such as Ferdinand Magellan.
This intelligent piece of helpful advice for the people in history question can be used for many other areas of the course, like for reformers, artists inside Italy, conquistadores, plantations, revolutionaries in a specific country etc. You must remember you still have many people in history’s to learn, but this advice can help you by decreasing the intimidating number.
You cannot fall into the trap of not learning enough for the rest of the exam if you do follow the above advice. For example, if you only learn one reformer (Martin Luther) for the people in history, but then you are asked to write an account or to answer questions on another one of the reformers/reformations in either the short questions, picture questions or especially the question 5 or 6 on the paper, then you will face problems. That is why you must study the whole course, to be prepared for anything, as the history test as a whole involves a lot of writing, which of course means you need to have a lot of knowledge on it.
Last but not least a good way to study for the people in history section (and prepare for all the exams in general) is to sign up to our online study aid www.jclearn.ie. JC-Learn is a new facility which simplifies the Junior Certificate for students and provides many resources. On our site there are notes, A-grade exam answers, study tips, forums and a ‘message an admin’ service, who replies to you personally. JC-Learn offers exactly what any student needs in order to achieve high marks in the people in history (essay) question on the history paper.
This modern way of studying is the way forward and can drastically increase your chances of getting the grade you want. This website will show you many sample people in history’s, all the information you need to study for them and the history exam as a whole, and many years of A-grade past exam answers to the Junior Certificate history exams. This extremely cheap website really does have everything you need to not only tackle the dreaded people in history section, but to tackle the whole Junior Certificate.