How to Prepare for a History Degree
If you’re an offer holder, you might be thinking about preparation for uni a bit earlier than you otherwise would have. If you are, here’s a few things that you could do that I think would be useful.
These are quite fun and chilled suggestions because I don’t think you can really prepare for any module content as you don’t know what you’ll be doing yet.
If you’re not feeling it, don’t worry! There’s still a while to go, and it’s totally understandable if you don’t feel like doing anything academic at the moment.
I think watching History documentaries about topics that you’re interested in, or are interested in potentially learning more about at uni, would be a good place to start.
There’s also some really good History podcasts – I listen to The History of England, History Extra Podcast, and You’re Dead To Me. They range in seriousness and topics, but I find all of them really interesting!
Practice speed reading
There’s (unsurprisingly) a lot of independent study in History. I learned pretty early on in Term 1 that I needed to be able to speed read. I would recommend reading a chapter of anything as fast as you can (it doesn’t need to be an academic book) and then try to recall the main things that you think you need to know about it to practice.
My experience of my modules this year is that they move very quickly, thematically and chronologically, so it might be useful to have a sense of how all the events relate to each other.
I studied quite a large timespan at school, but there were definitely gaps in my mental timeline. A lot of my friends at uni have said a similar thing. If you feel like you know of events happening but not exactly when they happened in relation to events you do know about, I’d say it’s worth having a look at a timeline.
I know these are quite small things, but I think they will help to prepare for studying history at university. I hope you find them useful!