How do I distinguish myself as a good historian in the HAT test, and more generally in A level/IB/GCSE?

Having passed the HAT and now in my second year of History and Economics in Oxford, I am in a position to comment on what tutors are looking for in a good examination script. 

The crucial point to make, is that in the HAT test as well as in history and economics essays at Oxford, tutors are interested primarily in the argument made, and not in how much the student knows, in terms of information. A successful candidate will strive to think creatively about the big picture the question is asking him or her to consider, will plan an answer that contains several key and interrelated arguments, and then proceed to insert facts that support these essential arguments into the essay. 

A less successful candidate, however, often focusses too much on displaying what he knows (facts, dates, names) at the expense of providing a logical and coherent answer. 

This is easier said than done, and requires practice in thinking creatively of key arguments that can be made and how these relate to opposing arguments. It often helps to think in terms of categories when thinking about causation in history, for instance, exploring political, social, bottom-up, top-down, structural and individual perspectives, for instance. 

Through my tutoring of both the HAT test as well as of History, Economics A level, International Baccalaureate, and GCSE, I will help students to learn to see the big picture and plan a coherent and argument-driven essays. This will involve the use of certain tried and tested methods such as mind-mapping, drastically improve essays if employed in the right way. 

Ashkaan G. A Level German tutor, A Level History tutor, A Level Econo...

1 year ago

Answered by Ashkaan, who tutored Uni Admissions Test .HAT. with MyTutor

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Alex F.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Christ Church University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Sociology+ 2 more

English Literature

“I am in my final year of studying History at Oxford University and enjoy teaching History and other relatable subjects such as English, Politics and Sociology. Having previous tutoring experience I am a firm believer in interctive lea...”

£30 /hr

Nermeen H.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Balliol College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Music+ 4 more

-Oxbridge Preparation-

“About me Hi, I’m Nermeen – I am a History student at Oxford University. I love all things ‘history’ in all its gory glory!Passion is key to success and I hope to instil my passion for history, as well as learning more generally, in y...”

£28 /hr

Sophia C.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Hertford College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., Religious Studies+ 5 more

Religious Studies
Classical Civilisation
-Personal Statements-
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“I am an Oxford University graduate. I am very passionate about my subjects and getting the best out of every student.”

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£25 /hr

Ashkaan G.

Degree: History and Economics (Bachelors) - Oxford, Balliol College University

Subjects offered:.HAT., History+ 2 more


“I am a second year student in History and Economics at Oxford University with substantial experience in tutoring students ranging in age from 11 to 18. My teaching is highly focussed on technique and method, with a view to the student...”

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