Posted by Johnnie Bell on
We all know that junior cert history is a very difficult exam to encounter. The sheer amount of content you must study, along with the time restrictions in the exam itself makes this junior cert subject one of the hardest. However, JC-Learn are here to help you every step of the way.
1. Junior Cert History Study Tips
Ways to Study Junior Cert History:
The textbook for junior cert history is extremely bulky and a lot of the content is not exam focused. I strongly advise that you write your own notes using the material on this website to help you. This will make the course much easier and less time consuming to learn.
You can solely use the notes on JC-Learn, except i think writing them out is very beneficial. Constantly look over and answer questions on past exam papers to make sure that you know what kind of thing will come up on your exam and that you will be able to answer these questions.
It is important to understand the general concept of each chapter, this makes the content much easier and more interesting to learn. Constantly go over everything you have learned and test yourself.
Tips for Junior Cert history:
- For all the short questions don’t be afraid to write too much, write down everything you know to ensure you get full marks.
- The pictures that come up in Section 1 are random but look at the pictures in your book and past and exam papers to have an idea of what kind of images you may be given.
- Also, make sure to answer all 20 short questions, have a go at all them to increase your chances to get 10 of them right.
- For section 4, you need to know all the people in histories that can come up. Look at your exam papers to see which ones come up regularly and spend most time learning these ones.
- Make sure you learn all the accounts that can come up in section 5 and 6 extremely well, these carry the highest marks and examiners can take marks away from you very easily in these type of questions. Spend most your time studying the accounts that come up most often but make sure you have a decent knowledge of them all as sometimes you may not get a very good selection of accounts to choose from.
- Expect the unexpected, it is perfectly fine to thoroughly learn the accounts and people in histories that come up most often, but make sure you also know the other accounts and people in histories well as sometimes the exams can be unpredictable and vary from year to year and you might get caught out.
- Look at past history exam papers and see what comes more often than others. On JC-learn, we have created tables showing you exactly what chapters have come up in the questions 4, 5 and 6 and what years they come up in. This is especially useful for the ‘people in history’ question, and can even help you predict what may come up in your junior cert history exam paper.
- You might know some chapters better than others but you need to study all the chapters because in some parts of the exam there will be no choice whatsoever, for example, the Source and picture Questions.
Junior Cert History Timetable:
- The junior cert history course may seem very broad.
- However, I advise learning maybe a chapter a week after Christmas, constantly go over the chapters you have learned to make sure you don’t forget everything.
- After this, you should focus on the accounts and people in histories as you need to know these extremely well because they carry a lot of marks. You only need to have a basic knowledge of the rest of the course to answer the short questions etc.
- It is a great idea to set out a timetable on what you are planning on study for history every week.
2. Junior Cert History Exam Guidelines
Layout of the junior cert history exam paper:
- The exam paper is composed of 6 sections.
- Section 1 contains 3 different picture questions.
- Section 2 has two different document questions.
- Section 3 consists of 20 short answer questions; you have to answer at least 10.
- Section 4 has 2 different sections containing 3 different people in history’s each, you must do one different people in history from each section.
- Section 5 is a source question whereby you must answer several short questions and an account.
- Section 6 consists of 4 long questions, you have to answer at least 2.
Junior Cert History Marking Scheme:
- Section 1 – 15 marks (5 marks for each picture).
- Section 2 – 15 marks (8 marks for the first document and 6 for the second).
- Section 3 – 20 marks (Two for each question).
- Section 4 – 40 marks (20 marks for each section).
- Section 5 – 30 marks.
- Section 6 – 60 marks (30 for each section).
- The overall exam is marked out of 180 marks.
Order in which to do junior cert history:
I would advise starting off with the people in history questions, you should have studied all the people in history’s beforehand so you can write these down quickly at the start of the exam while they are fresh in your head. They shouldn’t take you long and hopefully, you will then know that you have some extra time to do the other parts of the exam.
You should then do your two long questions as these carry the highest marks, and will take a substantial amount of time. If you do these last you may not get them finished, and you cannot afford to let this happen.
After doing these two parts of the exam that are all the heavy stuff out of the way, you can then do the other parts of the exam in any order, it shouldn’t really make a difference. If you are stuck on any part of the exam, leave it and come back to it at the end if you have time. When finished, look over your exam, again and again, to avoid missing questions or making simple mistakes.
Junior Cert History Timing:
- Section 1, 2 & 3 – 10 minutes each.
- Section 4 – 20/25 minutes.
- Section 5 – 25/30 minutes.
- Section 6 – 1 hour.
- This leaves 10 minutes at the end of the exam for you to check over you work.
All in all, Junior Cert history is a tough exam paper to encounter and you really do need to be fully prepared. With the notes, exam answers and study advice we provide on history at JC-Learn you would be prepared perfectly to achieve your maximum potential in this subject.
One of the best ways you can prepare is to study a chapter, practice questions on Studyclix for that chapter and then check your answers against the marking scheme.
What's on the Junior certificate History course
- Age of Exploration
- Agricultural & Industrial Revolution
- Ancient & Early Christian Ireland
- Ancient Rome
- Document Q.s
- European Unity
- Middle Ages
- Modern Ireland (after 1948)
- Political Revolutions
- Reformation & Counter Reformation
- Social Change in 20th Century
- Towards a Republic (Ireland pre 1948)
- War in Europe
- African & Asian Nationalism
What's the Junior certificate History exam like?
The higher level exam is 2 hours and 30 minutes long and you must do 6 questions (There is a choice in question 6). You should spend about 25 minutes on each section which will leave you with 10 minutes to read over your answers at the end.
Q 1 is a pictures question where you answer questions on a given picture
Q2. is a documents question, where you answer questions on given documents
Q3. is 20 short-answer questions
Q4. is where you are given a choice of People in history to write about.
Q5. & Q6. Are long questions drawn from any part of the course.
Ordinary level is a shorter 90 minute exam with no Q5 or Q6.
Any tips for doing well in Junior certificate History ?
Make sure not to leave out parts of the course as the short questions usually cover almost all topics. Students often wonder how much they should write in their answers. It's a good idea to be guided by the mark allocations written on the exam paper. A good rule of thumb is to divide the number of marks by two and this represents the number of points you should make in your answer i.e. a 10 mark question should have 5 points in it.
Download the Junior certificate History Syllabus
Download the Junior cert History Chief examiner's report (2008)
Download the Junior cert History Guidelines for Teachers