The History ‘Aptitude’ Test

razorbladeinthecandyfloss

I have been marking some History Aptitude Tests (HATs) recently.  The University of Oxford would like to maintain the fiction that you can’t help students prepare for these tests but, honestly, that claim has about as much credibility as the idea that Mark Zuckerberg just wants ‘to bring the world closer together’.  Students who have read widely and had the opportunity to reflect on and discuss their reading will do better than those who have done neither of these things. I would say that my job is to direct students to the ‘right’ books and articles (ones which are appropriately intellectual) and make sure that the conversations we have about them are robust and challenging.  The guidance for students on question 3 of the 2017 HAT suggests that I am not only wasting my time but potentially disadvantaging my pupils.  For this question, students are given an extract from A…

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