I have always wanted to be a licensed battlefield guide and admittedly I do not know enough about the battle in order to pass the exam. So recently started to explore what it would take and what kind of books, websites, research, etc I would need to read and what types of research would be involved to get enough money to pass the test.
I started to go through my collection of books and I came across one that I forgot that I had and I wanted to give a quick review of it. The book is called The Gettysburg Campaign Study Guide is by my good friend Rea Andrew Redd who is actually the librarian at Waynesburg College where I got my masters degree.
This book is full of information about the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide process and is really good if you want to ever take the test. To start the book talks a little all about how you take the test, what kind of questions are on the guide test and how guides are selected. The Guide Association only accepts a certain number of guides each year so the process to become a guide is difficult. First, you study for the test and then every couple of years they offer a written test and from that written test you have to score a certain percentage become to be selected to the next level. If you get selected, you go to class and they teach you how to give an audio tour and then from there you have to give an audio tour with a couple of current Licensed Battlefield Guides and maybe a park rangers. You have to be able to convince them that you’re able to be a guide. If you pass both those things then you can become a certified guide which is really cool.
So one day my goal is to know enough to be able to to get to the point where I would be asked to do the driving tour. In order to do that I have a start studying somewhere. Rea’s book is chock full of information to help me study for the test. It starts off with a ton of statistics and a lot of figures, information on unit strength and size and where they were from and their commanders.
I plan on using some of the information for some math lessons because there are some statistics about how fast guys march and things like that so look for a blog post on that pretty soon. The idea here is that you can use this book either as part of a study guide in your classroom or for your own learning. I plan on using it as my handy quick-reference guide.
I’m trying to work out in regards to the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Test is how do you go about taking volumes and volumes of information and narrowing it down important facts that you might need to know in order to take a test without it being simply rapid recall or memorization? How do you internalize it so that you retain it for a long time in the event that you do become a guide you get a dumb question you have to recall? So it’s this last thing that I have to work on so I’m probably going to start taking notes and categorizing information.
What it comes down is not so much what do you study, but how do you study for an exam of this caliber? How do you take a topic that spans multiple years and contains important minute details that may be needed on a test or during a tour? I don’t have the answers to that yet but I know where I’m going to start: with the Gettysburg Campaign Study Guide. I highly recommend this book by Rea.