How can I study for a social studies test in two days? 

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lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is entirely possible to do.  The strategy I would use is outlining.  When I was in law school, there was only one exam for each course, the final exam, and I had to study 16 weeks of material in a few days, for five courses a term.  If I could do this, you can, too!

The idea is to first make an outline of all the content you are expected to know. This might include materials from your textbook, handouts you have been given, and notes from class lectures.  I don't know if this is a history, civics, or geography course, so it is difficult to tell you exactly how to organize the outline. If this is history, then I would organize by eras if possible. If this is a geography course, then organizing by continents and countries would work. For a civics course, perhaps organizing by government branches would be good.  Put the proper content in the appropriate categories. Don't worry about how long the outline turns out to be. Get in as much as you can. 

Now, let's suppose you have a ten-page outline when you are done. Your next task is to boil that down to about a five-page outline.  This is called distillation. In the act of boiling this down, believe it or not, you will retain most of what was in the longer outline. 

Finally, get those five pages down to one page. This is the paper you will go over at least a few times before your exam.  As you go over this paper, magically, you will remember what was in the ten-page outline. Each point that you have on that piece of paper represents a great deal more content, and in the act of distillation, you have been studying, whether you realize it or not. 

This worked for me for three years, and it is the absolute best method I know of to study.  However, if you do not get a good night's sleep and do not eat a good breakfast, your outline studying will not be as useful to you.  Set yourself up to succeed! 

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vnessawong21's profile pic

vnessawong21 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

First, you must find out what the main topic of your Social Studies class is learning. It may sound embarrassing, but asking your teacher what the test will be on is an efficient way to start. Your teachers are there to teach, not to judge you so do not worry. Write down what you will need to study, and get a broad idea of what your topic is. After, research into it.

For example, if you are learning about World War 2, get a broad idea of the war. Understand who were the key figures within the war, and then go deeper into the topic. Why did this war start, who were involved in it, when did it happen, what was the main reason for the war, and where did it take place. 

This is just my way of learning quickly, but writing down notes is always extremely helpful rather than trying to memorize. Good luck studying for your Social Studies test, and I wish the best for you. 

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