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History A2 AQA - technique help!

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    Hey, guys,

    I would really like an A/A* in History overall. But, haven't got beyond 30 (out of 45) all year - which is about an A/B if you consider the grade boundaries. A* is normally about 35 I think - correct me if I'm wrong please. Essentially stuck in the Level 4 band and I think the thing letting me down is my 'synoptic links'. Not awful at it, as I said, Level 4. I just would like to aim for Level 5 . I get very stuck with how to link my points together sometimes, because they seem so distant and unrelated or there's no causal chain! This is probably me, and as such need help!

    It's a hard thing to advise on, but any help?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Joey15)
    Hey, guys,

    I would really like an A/A* in History overall. But, haven't got beyond 30 (out of 45) all year - which is about an A/B if you consider the grade boundaries. A* is normally about 35 I think - correct me if I'm wrong please. Essentially stuck in the Level 4 band and I think the thing letting me down is my 'synoptic links'. Not awful at it, as I said, Level 4. I just would like to aim for Level 5 . I get very stuck with how to link my points together sometimes, because they seem so distant and unrelated or there's no causal chain! This is probably me, and as such need help!

    It's a hard thing to advise on, but any help?

    Thanks!
    hi there,

    im also doing hisotry aqa a2, the international relations/cold war unit.

    as far as essays, my teacher stresses that we should bring in historical debatge as far as just different interpretations. i think synoptic links means like referring to the whoole time period of the question and referencing that back to the question.

    which unit are you doing?

    can i also ask how you are revising for this, other than past papers because im aware that since its a new specification there are only two years worth of papers available so im trying to save them for later lol.

    thanks,
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    Which unit are you doing?
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    (Original post by navarre)
    Which unit are you doing?
    International Relations 1945-2004 (the Cold War unit)
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    (Original post by ugk4life)
    hi there,

    im also doing hisotry aqa a2, the international relations/cold war unit.

    as far as essays, my teacher stresses that we should bring in historical debatge as far as just different interpretations. i think synoptic links means like referring to the whoole time period of the question and referencing that back to the question.

    which unit are you doing?

    can i also ask how you are revising for this, other than past papers because im aware that since its a new specification there are only two years worth of papers available so im trying to save them for later lol.

    thanks,
    Hi, yeah, I'm doing the same unit. I can use historiography and a variety of it, and understand what 'synoptic' means, it's just I can't apply it!

    And, revision:

    -Bullet pointing events, going through the text book (best for me );
    - Teacher has given us a load of possible questions. She's pretty good at giving us them, and really knows her stuff. I can give you them if you like?
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    (Original post by Joey15)
    Hi, yeah, I'm doing the same unit. I can use historiography and a variety of it, and understand what 'synoptic' means, it's just I can't apply it!

    And, revision:

    -Bullet pointing events, going through the text book (best for me );
    - Teacher has given us a load of possible questions. She's pretty good at giving us them, and really knows her stuff. I can give you them if you like?
    good to see someone else doing the same course!

    yeah i know what u mean its hard to link it together. personally, im going to avoid the synoptic question and go for the other two which focus on a smaller time period.

    yeah revision wise im just going through the book atm, done notes up to section so far lol the book is pretty big acutally.

    yeah i would love to see some of the possible questions please. we havent finished the course yet, still gotta do the stuff after yugoslavia break up so revision hasnt really kickstarted in school as of yet in lessons.

    thanks a lot!
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    I did Russia, but the biggest thing for me was to link change and continuity. My history question when I did A2 was roughly:

    did the condition of the Russian peasantry change between *the period*?

    So I linked the standard social/economic/political standards of the peasantry throughout the period, saying how they were pretty much similar at the end as the beginning, padding it out of course, whilst saying throughout the period things were periodically better/worse. For example, during Lenin's policies they typically benefited, whilst suffered under Stalin.

    That way you're looking at the whole period and picking out individual events to explain that.

    I got full marks for the exam, so I guess it worked.
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    (Original post by CUFCDan)
    I did Russia, but the biggest thing for me was to link change and continuity. My history question when I did A2 was roughly:

    did the condition of the Russian peasantry change between *the period*?

    So I linked the standard social/economic/political standards of the peasantry throughout the period, saying how they were pretty much similar at the end as the beginning, padding it out of course, whilst saying throughout the period things were periodically better/worse. For example, during Lenin's policies they typically benefited, whilst suffered under Stalin.

    That way you're looking at the whole period and picking out individual events to explain that.

    I got full marks for the exam, so I guess it worked.
    That's great, thank you. However, as you know, that can really only work for questions that specifically ask about change/continuity. I don't know if you were doing AQA? A part of the assessment is to do with synoptic links in the top band - and it seems quite general, and not specific to the 'synoptic' question.

    How would I find synoptic links in the question ''The Cuban Missile Crisis was a triumph for the Soviet Union' Discuss.'

    Perhaps I'll go and ask my teacher again. Many thanks however. It's a good method to integrate synoptic recognition.
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    (Original post by ugk4life)
    good to see someone else doing the same course!

    yeah i know what u mean its hard to link it together. personally, im going to avoid the synoptic question and go for the other two which focus on a smaller time period.

    yeah revision wise im just going through the book atm, done notes up to section so far lol the book is pretty big acutally.

    yeah i would love to see some of the possible questions please. we havent finished the course yet, still gotta do the stuff after yugoslavia break up so revision hasnt really kickstarted in school as of yet in lessons.

    thanks a lot!
    Don't stress, there are plenty she has given us. I'll try and scan them.
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    (Original post by Joey15)
    Don't stress, there are plenty she has given us. I'll try and scan them.
    Cool thanks a lot. It's good cos we still have quite a good amount of time to revise effectively.
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    (Original post by Joey15)
    That's great, thank you. However, as you know, that can really only work for questions that specifically ask about change/continuity. I don't know if you were doing AQA? A part of the assessment is to do with synoptic links in the top band - and it seems quite general, and not specific to the 'synoptic' question.

    How would I find synoptic links in the question ''The Cuban Missile Crisis was a triumph for the Soviet Union' Discuss.'

    Perhaps I'll go and ask my teacher again. Many thanks however. It's a good method to integrate synoptic recognition.
    Sure.

    What's your period?

    You could argue about the ambiguity of the word 'success'. To me, I would define it as achieving aims or objectives. You could argue that the Cuban Missile Crisis was initially a victory for the USSR because it had effectively made the USA back down, damaging their ideology and post-WW2 hegemony. However, over time, you could also argue that it was not so much a success of the USSR, but more Cuba's success, or indeed a success for the USA as they did get the USSR to back down too over their missile bases in Cuba.

    The principle idea for me in that question would be to document over a period of time what 'success' meant for the three countries involved. You could argue it was not a victory for anyone, or that it was a victory for everyone. In this exam, it doesn't particularly matter which one you go for, as long as you're synoptic and back it up with facts.

    I remember one girl who argued there was absolutely no turning points in a hundred years of Russia, past 3 revolutions, a completely new regime and way of life. She got full marks because she argued it so well - even though it is almost entirely wrong.
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    (Original post by CUFCDan)
    Sure.

    What's your period?

    You could argue about the ambiguity of the word 'success'. To me, I would define it as achieving aims or objectives. You could argue that the Cuban Missile Crisis was initially a victory for the USSR because it had effectively made the USA back down, damaging their ideology and post-WW2 hegemony. However, over time, you could also argue that it was not so much a success of the USSR, but more Cuba's success, or indeed a success for the USA as they did get the USSR to back down too over their missile bases in Cuba.

    The principle idea for me in that question would be to document over a period of time what 'success' meant for the three countries involved. You could argue it was not a victory for anyone, or that it was a victory for everyone. In this exam, it doesn't particularly matter which one you go for, as long as you're synoptic and back it up with facts.

    I remember one girl who argued there was absolutely no turning points in a hundred years of Russia, past 3 revolutions, a completely new regime and way of life. She got full marks because she argued it so well - even though it is almost entirely wrong.
    I understand 'synoptic' to mean the bigger picture; almost the entire course actually. But this is wrong. What, in terms of an assessment factor, does 'synoptic links' mean to you? In relation to that question, what would a synoptic link be?

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Updated: April 23, 2012
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