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These notes are for the Modern History HSC Course, and were used in 2017 by myself (Ben Hines) with the result being a score of 97 and a State Ranking. The content covers the Core component of the course (WWI), a Personality Study (Albert Speer), a National Study (Weimar Germany), and International Studies in Peace and Conflict (Conflict in Europe). The notes themselves have been split into 4 different sections based upon said components for ease of access; the content and structure is as follows:
This generally provides the reader with an overview of some more general skills or concepts pertinent to the entire exam. This includes how to answer questions, an outline of key verbs, and some generic essay tips to help maximise marks in every section.
Being the Core component, WWI is the one section that every Modern student will be doing. However, this section being a source based study means that what is important is not a vast array of content, but rather skills. Therefore, the notes for this section begin with brief outlines of how to answer the questions in a manner that can get full marks, and then a structure for the major mini-essay at the end.
That being said, content is still critical for this section, as littering own-knowledge throughout helps maximise marks. This has been summarised into a concise yet thorough set of notes that is more than enough to cover the entire syllabus yet not waste the time of the student.
As every school has the capacity to do different personalities, the questions are always broad. This means the focus is very much on knowing the life of the personality and the debate surrounding them in detail. This is perhaps the section with the least actual content, but the one where the student needs to formulate their own viewpoint on their personality (i.e. Albert Speer was complicit in the Nazi regime’s horrors, and only achieved success through sycophancy). The notes begin with a detailed timeline of Speer’s life from birth to death. Following this, section A of this component in the exam is always narrative based, so the notes then proceed to take the events of Speer’s life and place them into plans based on syllabus headings (note: historian quotes not required for part A.) Subsequently there are two generic “part B” plans that go through Speer’s life, but add the relevant historiography (quotes etc.) required for this section. The notes then conclude with solely historiography in the form of areas of debate and historian viewpoints.
The national study is the most content heavy area of the course, and as such if one attempted to just learnt content straight out in note form it would not only be a very shallow knowledge base, but very unlikely to yield quality results. Therefore, these notes take the syllabus, extracts the areas of the course and creates a comprehensive list of essay questions that could be asked. The chances the essays listed come up is very high, and at worst there will be one with slight variance. As such the plans provide paragraph by paragraph outlines on how to answer every question, including historian quotes and lines of argument, which not only covers all the content of the course, but places the student in the position to know what is relevant when questions arise. There are also full essays throughout to demonstrate how to write the plans out in full.
Conflict in Europe:
This section is structured very similarly to the National Study in that it takes all the content for the Conflict in Europe and separates it into essay plans. This is truly all that is required as it covers all content and focuses it to enable achievement of the highest marks. Every syllabus point is covered so there is no concern that the student would be left blank for any question.
Basically, all the content of the course is covered in these notes, however the structure for each section directly correlates to the style of the exam and what is required. Not only does this make study more efficient, but maximises output in the exam and thus marks.
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