The aim of this research is to find out which historical themes and subjects the students have difficulty in understanding and learning and to define the reasons for them. In the research, the survey prepared by researchers who have taken students' essays, the education program of history lesson and experts' opinions as basis is used as instruments of the data collection and also focus group interview is conducted with participants. The research has been implemented with 131 students in twelfth grade of public high schools, which are affiliated to the Ministry of National Education, in Aksaray and Ankara. In conclusion, it is determined that the students find such historical themes and subjects as migration, natural disasters, daily life (or people's way of life), antiquity civilisations, the rise of Ottoman empire easy to learn. However, they have difficulty in understanding and learning such subjects as regional history, peace treaties, World and European history, Turkish and World history after 1938. (c) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.