The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) for social studies is a challenging test, but students who are well prepared will meet the challenge. The test covers a wide variety of social studies topics and requires in-depth understanding of those topics. A good performance on the OGT social studies test is very important. Public and private school students must pass it and four other OGT tests to receive a diploma in Ohio.
A few facts about the OGT social studies test:
The social studies test consists of multiple choice, short-answer and extended-response questions. Students will be expected to write answers in addition to bubbling the correct answer to multiple choice questions.
Questions are drawn from seven academic content standards: history; geography; people in societies; economics; government; citizenship rights and responsibilities; and social studies skills and methods.
Students have a maximum of 2 ½ hours to complete the test. Most students will finish much sooner.
There is no need to memorize dates for the OGT. But students will be well served if they understand the basic time line of the following events: Plessy v. Ferguson, Spanish-American War, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II and post war events, the Korean War, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and the Vietnam War. Students should know approximately when each of these important events occurred to help them understand the course of 20th Century history.
A review of basic social studies vocabulary is a good place to start. Students should be able to identify or explain the following: progressivism, populism, nationalism, imperialism, colony, militarism, Knights of Labor, AFL/CIO, United Farm Workers, Dust Bowl, Pearl Harbor, Cold War, democracy, parliamentary democracy, presidential democracy, monarchy, constitutional monarchy, absolute monarchy, theocracy, dictatorship, Jim Crow laws, NAACP, globalization, urbanization, traditional economy, market economy, command economy, mixed economy, laissez-faire economic policy, primary source, secondary source, genocide, propaganda, libel, slander, clear and present danger, precedent, due process, civil disobedience, the Federal Reserve System.
More in depth knowledge is needed as well. Using the vocabulary words and their understanding of each event, students should be able to tell the causes and results of the Spanish-American War, World War I (including new methods of warfare), the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War
Students will be asked to explain the impact that other events and trends have had on American society, including the Industrial Revolution, the union movement, the Russian Revolution, the New Deal, the Enlightenment (how ideas influenced the Founding Fathers’ design of US government), women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and immigration.
Basic economic concepts such as the relationship among supply, demand, and price, and trade (including protectionism and tariffs) must also be explained.
Finally, a few specific court cases and constitutional amendments may appear on the OGT. Students must know the details of these amendments to the Constitution – 1st (religion, press, speech, assembly, petition),19th (women’s right to vote), 24th (poll taxes eliminated), 26th (lowered voting age to 18), Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
Resources are available to help learn all this content. The first link below is to the Ohio Department of Education website that offers practice questions. The second link is to flashcards that help students prepare for the social studies test. Written for parents to help their children study at home, the flashcards are also in use in hundreds of Ohio high schools.
Finally, skill practice is needed also. Students should practice reading tables, charts, and graphs, which are on four of the five sections of the OGT. They should read the title first, read any data labels, and then read the data. Maps may also appear on the OGT social studies test
Students should arrange sessions with teachers to review any content they don’t understand and take advantage of OGT tutoring sessions offered by the school
And, last but certainly not least, students should go to bed early the night before the test. Their performance on the test will be greatly influenced by how awake and alert they are on test day.