Organising your revision

Factual-description questions


In the first paper, you know that you will meet three kinds of question:


Basic factual recall (‘describe’)


Interpretations (‘Do you agree’ with an interpretation)


‘Either-Or?’ (Which of two options is the most important?)

What you probably do not realise is that you can get 30% by knowing only the facts. In addition to the four marks available for the 'describe' question, there are two marks available for facts in the 'Either-Or' question.

In particular, you can prepare totally for the factual/description question, because the syllabus lists the events/facts that you might be quizzed about.  


Make sure, therefore, that you could give a detailed answer if you are asked about any of the following:





Origins of the First World War

Development of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente

Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Weltpolitik

The Moroccan Crises of 1905 and 1911 and their effects on the alliances

The Bosnian Crisis 1908–1909 and its effect on the alliances

The arms race (including the Anglo-German Naval Race)

The Black Hand

The assassination at Sarajevo

The events leading to war

The Schlieffen Plan


Peacemaking 1918–1919 and the League of Nations

The Paris Peace Conference

Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau – their views and motives 

The main terms of the Treaty of Versailles

League of Nations Membership 1919–1939

League of Nations Organisation, powers and peace keeping role

The Manchurian Crisis 1931–1933

The Abyssinian Crisis, 1935-1936

The reasons for the collapse of the League


Hitler’s foreign policy and the origins of the Second World War

Hitler’s aims in foreign policy

The return of the Saar, 1935

Rearmament in Germany, including the Pact with Poland 1934 and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement 1935

The remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1936

The Anschluss with Austria 1938.


The Sudeten Crisis and Munich Agreement, 1938

The collapse of Czechoslovakia March, 1939

The Nazi-Soviet Pact


The Origins of the Cold War 1945–1955

Ideological differences and their effects

The Yalta Conference

The Potsdam Conference

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Soviet expansion in East Europe

The Truman Doctrine

The Marshall Plan

The Berlin Blockade and Airlift


The nuclear arms race

The Korean War, 1950–1953

Khrushchev’s policy of peaceful co-existence

The Warsaw Pact


Crises of the Cold War 1955–1970

Hungary, 1956

The space race

The U2 Crisis 1960

The Berlin Wall

The Cuban Missile Crisis,1962 (including Castro’s seizure of power and the Bay of Pigs)

Czechoslovakia, 1968

The Brezhnev Doctrine


Failure of Détente and the collapse of communism 1970–1991


AfghanistanReagan and the renewal of the Cold War

Solidarity in Poland

Glasnost and Perestroika

The end of the Cold War

The end of Soviet control in Eastern Europe

The end of the Berlin Wall

The collapse of the USSR