A Level and IB History Revision

Random Quiz Generator

Mini Quiz Game Generator

Last year Adam Boxer shared a simple but highly effective spreadsheet to randomly generate short quizzes (which include questions from the current topic being studied as well as questions from previous topics) from a list of pre-set questions. The link to his original ‘Retrieval Roulette’ post is here, and is well worth a read.

With his permission I’ve taken his original spreadsheet and added templates that create boards for games of Battleships, Blockbusters and Connect Four.

You can download a copy of the Quiz Creator here. The ‘Questions’ tab is currently filled with questions for the IGCSE course I teach (interwar politics, Cold War and a Germany 1918-1945 depth study) but you can replace them with your own questions in the order in which you cover them through the course.

To create quizzes:

  1. Add questions and answers to the list on the ‘Questions’ tab.
  2. Set up your question range:
    • Enter the question number you have covered up to in cell F1
    • Enter the first question number of your current topic in cell F2
    • Enter the last question number of your current topic in cell F3
  3. Click the tab name (e.g. Battleships 6×6) for the questions to be randomly populated into the template grid
  4. Press F9 on any tab to refresh with a new random set of questions. There are occasional repeats within the same grid – I’m currently trying to work out a way to stop this, but my students actually quite like it.
  5. When you go to print the template you will get two A4 sheets – one with the questions and one with the answers. The printed template will also feature a random Quiz ID so that you can match the questions and answers in case you produce numerous quizzes.

 

Using a macro to create and print multiple random quizzes

You can use a macro to automatically create and print a certain number of random quizzes. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up and allows you to produce unlimited random quizzes quickly and easily:

  1. Load the spreadsheet and go to the VBA editor (press alt-F11)
  2. Insert a new Module (menu Insert, select Module)
  3. Copy and paste the code below (substitute the text-like variable called number_of_desired_copies with the actual number of copies you want to produce):

Sub print_random()

For i = 1 To number_of_desired_copies

Application.Calculate

ActiveSheet.PrintOut

Next i

End Sub

Now just press the ‘play’ button to run the macro and hey presto 🙂

exam tips

CIE AS History 9389 – exam advice for Paper 2 Part (a) questions

This podcast has been created specifically for students studying the CIE AS History course (syllabus code 9389).  My advice comes from reading the examiner’s report, which is written by the chief examiner – that’s the person in charge of marking all your exam papers – in which they explain what students do well in the exam and what needs to be improved.

The podcast provides an overview of the paper, how to make the most of the time in the exam, and goes on to discuss the way to approach Part (a) questions on Paper 2.  It suggests a generic essay structure that you may find helpful, and gives other general tips on how to ensure your answer meets the marking criteria.  Tips and warnings drawn from common mistakes that students make in the exam are also provided.

          

exam tips

CIE AS History 9389 – exam advice for Paper 2 Part (b) questions

This podcast has been created specifically for students studying the CIE AS History course (syllabus code 9389).  My advice comes from reading the examiner’s report, which is written by the chief examiner – that’s the person in charge of marking all your exam papers – in which they explain what students do well in the exam and what needs to be improved.

The podcast focuses on how to approach Part (b) questions on Paper 2 of the exam.  Beginning with a discussion of the mark scheme, it goes on to suggest a generic essay structure that aims to help you provide a ‘sustained judgement’ throughout your essay.  It also gives other general tips on how to ensure your answer meets the marking criteria.  Tips and warnings drawn from common mistakes that students make in the exam are also provided.

          

Example CIE AS History Paper 1: Liberalism & Nationalism in Italy and Germany

Due to CIE changing their AS and A Level courses from the old specification (9697) to the shiny new 9389, there is a lack of past papers for students to use as part of their revision.  While it is relatively easy to transfer essay questions to the new mark scheme, the source paper focus (AS Level Component 1) has changed from the Causes of World War One to Liberalism and Nationalism in Italy and Germany, 1848–1871.

I have created an example CIE AS Paper 1 for this topic, which you can download using the link below.

Example CIE AS Paper 1 (European topic)

The paper can be marked using the generic CIE markscheme available for the Specimen Paper 1 from the CIE website here.

3 estates cartoon

The Origins of the French Revolution

This revision podcast presents the background to the French Revolution.  Beginning with the impact of the Enlightenment on 18th Century Europe, it goes on to examine a variety of factors that led to the Revolution.  Long-term issues that are covered include the Estates System, the emergence of the bourgeoisie and the changing economy, taxation and financial problems, and the effect of the population increase.  Shorter term causes that are explained include the impact of King Louis XVI, the Assembly of the Notables, the Estates General, and the Tennis Court Oath.  Factors are explained thematically to make it easier to organise ideas during revision, and it’s hoped that this will in turn help you create a well-structured answer.

          

 

What was life like in pre-Revolutionary France?

First-hand accounts from 18th Century writer Arthur Young, who travelled through France in the years before the revolution.  Excellent overview of the inequality of life between the French peasantry compared to that of the nobility.  Extract from Curriculum Bites.

France 18th Century

France in the late 18th Century

The French economy under Louis XVI

Tennis Court Oath

The Estates General, Tennis Court Oath and National Assembly

Tennis Court Oath

The Tennis Court Oath – 20th June 1789

On the 20th June 1789 at Versailles in France, the National Assembly swore the Tennis Court Oath in which they vowed not to separate until a written constitution had been established for the country.

Faced with enormous financial difficulties, Louis XVI had called a meeting of the Estates General that first convened in early May. This involved representatives of the three Estates – the clergy, the nobility and the non-privileged common people known as the Third Estate – meeting with the king at Versailles in an attempt to solve the economic crisis. However, the allocation of votes was unfair so the representatives of the Third Estate separated themselves from the main group and met separately. On the 13th June, by which time they had been joined by some nobles and the majority of the clergy, they declared themselves the National Assembly.

However, when the king ordered their usual meeting room to be closed and guarded by soldiers, the National Assembly feared that the king was about to force them to disband. The National Assembly instead relocated to a nearby building used for playing jeu de paume, a forerunner of modern tennis, where they swore the oath. The Tennis Court Oath therefore didn’t really happen in a tennis court, but the name has stuck.

The Oath was significant for being a collective action by French citizens against their king. Faced with such opposition Louis finally relented and, on June 27th, he ordered the remaining nobles to join the National Assembly and ended the Estates General.