Great Wall Cartoon.jpg
World History Fall Exam Guide
December 2015

Our fall semester exam will take place on Wednesday, December 16, beginning promptly at 8:15 am, in room 314 Main. Plan to arrive early, prepared to spend up to two hours working hard! Please use the bathroom and take care of any other necessary business prior to the start of the exam. Once the exam has begun, you will not be permitted to leave the room until you are ready to turn in your work.

The exam will cover our entire semester of work, including both South Africa and China. It will be divided into three sections, as described below.

Begin your preparations soon. We will use the 9th and 10th for review. Come prepared with questions. Good luck!

Section I: Multiple Choice / Fill in the Blank (100 points). This section will cover anything from specific details to broad themes we have covered in our reading, lectures, class discussions, presentations, and films. To prepare for this section, I would highly recommend careful review of your notes and, especially, your previous quizzes and tests.

Section II: Identifications (100 points). Below are listed 16 possible identification topics. 10 of these 16 will appear on the exam; you will choose 8 of the 10 to describe as fully as possible. Each identification should include a brief but specific description of the item and a thoughtful explanation of why the topic is significant. Be prepared to write your answers in grammatically correct complete sentences. Thorough and accurate responses will earn the maximum points. The List:

The Battle of Blood River
Black Consciousness
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Freedom Charter
Mark Mathabane's Kaffir Boy
F.W. de Klerk

The Century of Humiliation
The Taiping Rebellion
Empress Dowager Cixi
The Three Principles of the People
The Northern Expedition
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Deng Xiaoping and Tiananmen Square, 1989

Sample Identification:


Dingane became the leader of the Zulu after participating in the murder of his half-brother, Shaka. His biggest challenge was maintaining control of Zulu land as the Boers made their way eastward during the Great Trek. Dingane used deceit at first to thwart the Boers. Pretending to arrange an agreement with Piet Retief, he instead had the whole party of Boers and their servants brutally murdered. The Boers got their revenge, however, when they slaughtered Zulu forces at the Battle of Blood River. Though Dingane led some 10,000 Zulu warriors against 500 Boers, the Boers emerged victorious, with only three men wounded. The Zulu lost 3,000 men that day. After that battle, Dingane and the Zulu suffered a steady decline.

Section III: Short Essays (100 points). This section will require two short essays. One essay will involve no choice; the second essay will permit you a choice between two or three options. Your essays should begin with a topic sentence (a generalization that answers the question) followed by supporting arguments citing specific details. [Too often, one or more of my students write only one essay. Know going in that you will be writing TWO essays for this fall exam!]

Here are the specific instructions that will precede the essay questions you will answer:

This section will ask you to write two essays, each at least two to three full paragraphs long, each worth 50 points. Everyone must write the Essay A. For Essay B, you have a choice of two essays. Be sure your paragraphs are packed with information (three or four sentences will not be sufficient). Remember, each essay should begin with a topic sentence followed by supporting arguments citing specific details. Each essay should end with a brief concluding statement. Your essays will be graded for both style and content, so be specific, use details, but also pay attention to proper grammar and sentence structures. Especially avoid run-on sentences or sentence fragments.

Your exam grade will represent 20% to 25% of your final grade for the semester. If your exam grade is lower than the grade you’ve earned on your work during the semester, the exam will represent 20% of your final grade. If your exam grade is higher, the exam will represent 25% of your final grade.

Exam Review Resources:
World Jeopardy 1
World Jeopardy II