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How do I prepare for history?

Discuss the history and heritage of the US Army and its Officer and Warrant Officer Corps.
Relevant
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How do I prepare for history?

Postby Relevant Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:59 am

Hello all,

I've heard a lot about how hard history is and how high the failure rate is.

What topics are there? Is it all the way from the Revolutionary War to the present? How detailed does it go?

I'd like to study up a bit before I go to get a jump on it. I've heard some people say you can't prepare for it, but that can't be true, can it?

Thanks!
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ncmilano
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby ncmilano Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:11 am

I had the same fears when I was headed to OCS. You can't really prepare ahead of time as the lessons and exams are based on the lectures. It is not as bad as it seems. My advice is to load up on coffee, take good notes, and study hard at night. They want you to pass and no one is out to fail you. You will be fine.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby Relevant Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:02 pm

Thanks so much.

Maybe I'll understand more what you mean when I'm actually there. I just figure if it's things like dates of battles, etc, that should be something I'd be able to learn about ahead of time.

Sounds like, from your phrasing, is that it's not something I should go into worrying about failing, but also not something I should take lightly and think I'll just breeze through. I'll be sure to use my study time wisely!

Thanks again.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby PhantomWarrior Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:12 pm

History may be the hardest classroom test at OCS. Hence its dreaded reputation. But that really isn't saying much.* Since it is lecture based buying a history text book and trying to cram ahead of time won't help. It wouldn't have the same focus and you'd waste most of your time. Follow ncmilano's advice when you get there and you will be fine.

*Bonus: Look up Son of the Raven's sig block for my assessment of History's relative difficulty.
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ordnance88
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby ordnance88 Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 pm

We just finished land nav and history was last week. There is nothing you can do before the class starts to help prepare. Dr.Cambell does a good job of picking apart certain parts of battles and events that are different in each class. My notes would look foreign to the notes you take just one cycle apart.
With that being said it is doable, but it's definitely one of the more difficult things I've done since classing up. The history majors did well without much stress but for the majority of us without much knowledge...let's just say we had some long nights.
Take good notes in class, STAY AWAKE, and study the lesson that was taught that day every night and you'll be fine. If you have leadership that week it'll be tough but still doable.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby Relevant Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:51 pm

Awesome, thanks all!

PhantomWarrior, that makes a lot of sense about wasting a lot of time. Like if I went and learned everything there is to know about different wars, that would take years and probably wouldn't even help that much :lol:
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bushleaguer
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby bushleaguer Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:08 am

How to prepare for history exams:

1) pay attention to red text on Dr. Campbell’s slides.
2) memorize generals and what wars they fought. A number of test questions confuse generals with wrong wars and wrong sides.
3) the slides used to be on AKO files. Worth a look.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby camclif31 Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 pm

Bushleaguer,

Any idea where the files are located on AKO or what they are called? Thanks.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby Rld85 Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:35 pm

I have a bit of a different opinion on the OCS history exam.. Studying beforehand is a terrible idea. Having a general basis of history knowledge is good, but being a history buff will only hurt you. For example, I consider myself a history buff. During the practice essays I would add a little extra information in my essays not taught in the class that I knew were factual and/or add some of my insight. Points were taken off my essays for adding it in. This isn't college where the more information the better and the professor wants to see your critical thinking/effort. It's merely a test of comprehension of what you were taught in his words and if you can do it in the exact format that they want.

He seemed to just care what HE taught you and his insight into it. If you can memorize how he worded everything on his slides and use his format you will get close to a perfect score. It took me 2 practice essays, but once I figured that out I did extremely well the first time on the test.

Besides that my advice for the test: 1) Ditch the text book, no need to ever open it up 2) Stay awake in class 3) Go over the slides several times 4) The "review" is usually what's going to be on the test, copy what he says word for word rapidly and study it. 5) Study with your buddies.

We had about 50% fail the first time, then 20% fail the second to recycle. I know during graduation they were talking about making it easier, not sure if that has happened over the last 2 years.
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Re: How do I prepare for history?

Postby PhantomWarrior Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:54 pm

The fact that "stay awake" has to be repeated, or even said once, is appalling.

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