The best way to prepare for an exam is almost certainly to do all of the assigned readings when they’re assigned. But that doesn't always happen. Luckily, we've got Netflix. Here are some films and series available online for your viewing pleasure that may (or may not) help you prepare for midterm essays and exams. 

Watch The Untold History of the United States (2012) to study for an American History or Poli–Sci exam

This series, directed by Oliver Stone, delves into American history from the First World War through Barack Obama’s presidency. The show, however, is not for the uber–patriotic. It details the dark side of the U.S.’s involvement in conflicts such as World War II, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. The Untold History of the United States could be helpful for courses that focus on American history or politics, especially foreign policy.

Watch CNN’s The Sixties (2014), The Seventies (2015) and The Eighties (2016) to study for an American History or Communications exam

These three series, which originally aired on CNN, detail American culture, politics and media in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Predictably, the shows could be beneficial to those taking American history classes, as they make it easy to focus on a single decade at a time. Additionally, they could help in some communications classes, as mass media and popular culture are discussed in the contexts of each decade. 

Watch Religulous (2008) to study for a Religious Studies exam 

Directed by Larry Charles, this film follows comedian and atheist Bill Maher as he interacts with members of various religious groups. While clearly critical of the beliefs investigated, the film is likely to inspire reflection that could be beneficial in a religious studies course.

Watch To Be a Miss (2016) to study for a Gender Studies or Communications exam 

This documentary, directed by Edward Ellis and Flor Salcedo, follows three women as they work to obtain a spot in the prestigious Miss Venezuela competition. Through these women’s stories, the film depicts the impact of the competition’s popularity on Venezuelan culture, particularly on Venezuelan women. The film may spur conversation about plastic surgery, dieting and body image, which is beneficial to those taking a gender studies course. The film also takes a look at Venezuelan mass media, which might make it applicable to a communications course. 

Watch The Square (2013) to study for a Poli–Sci or IR exam 

This film, directed by Jehane Noujaim, follows the Egyptian Crisis from its beginnings in 2011 through 2013. The film is presented in Arabic with English subtitles and depicts individual experiences with the conflict, beginning with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, The Square won the Audience Award for World Cinema in the documentary category. This film may help students taking political science or international relations courses. 

Watch My Transgender Kid (2015) to prepare for a Gender Studies exam 

This film, directed by Emma Young and Nick Sweeney, follows two British families and their experience raising a young transgender child. The film depicts the families as being just like any other, while they deal with the challenges that come with having a child who is transgender. In giving a peek at the difficulties these people face, this film provides insight that may be helpful to those taking a gender studies class. 


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