greenteascratchy
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Hello there, so it's exam season and I was just wondering whether anyone who has received a high grade in History A Level (I'm personally doing AQA Tudors/Revolution and Stalinism in Russia but I think the skills are transferrable for most exam boards and topics) has a transcript or a scan of their paper?

Or if not, any tips for achieving a high grade for History A Level? E.g. how to structure, what to look out for in a question etc. Any help would be so so appreciated! Thanks so much!
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lokidokie
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Not relevant to your question, but i'm planning to do History at A-Level. How is it? I've heard very mixed reactions to it and i've seen people describe it as '3 A-levels in one.' I really love History- but is the work load really that extreme? Sorry if this is a bother.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by greenteascratchy)
Hello there, so it's exam season and I was just wondering whether anyone who has received a high grade in History A Level (I'm personally doing AQA Tudors/Revolution and Stalinism in Russia but I think the skills are transferrable for most exam boards and topics) has a transcript or a scan of their paper?

Or if not, any tips for achieving a high grade for History A Level? E.g. how to structure, what to look out for in a question etc. Any help would be so so appreciated! Thanks so much!
Source Qs
- Introduction is not necessary.
- Start with outlining the view of the difference sources in relation to the question
- COPRU (Context, Origin, Purpose, Reliability and Useful) + typicality of the source, i.e. is it written by someone who has a vested interest in something?
- Brief conclusion in the end sumarising the view of the different sources + link back to the question

General Essay Qs, i.e To what extent/Assess/ xxx How far do you agree? etc.
- Introduction should set out your line of argument in relation to the question
- Main paragraphs should focus on the themes/factors you've outlined in your line of argument + link back to the question at the end of each paragraph
- Conclusion should reference back to the themes/factors you've outlined in your line of argument + answer the question

Thematic Qs
There's not really a set structure to follow for this ...
- Introduction should set out your line of argument in relation to the question. Consider different themes/factors + should you need to define anything do it in the introduction
- Main paragraphs should consistently refer back to the line of argument and synthesis should be used, i.e. contrasts and comparisons across the whole period for the factor(s)/theme(s) you're talking about
- Conclusion should reference back to the theme(s)/factor(s) you've outlined in your line of argument + answer the question

I hope this is useful.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by lokidokie)
Not relevant to your question, but i'm planning to do History at A-Level. How is it? I've heard very mixed reactions to it and i've seen people describe it as '3 A-levels in one.' I really love History- but is the work load really that extreme? Sorry if this is a bother.
A-Level history = '3 A-Levels in one' is an over-exaggeration. I currently do A-Level history on the OCR spec and the work load isn't as bad as perceived by others. Although, it's a lot different from GCSE because you need to do reading in your own time/private study time and get set regular essays to complete. However, if you manage your time properly, it's won't feel as overwhelming and I personally enjoy taking history at A-Level (I'm a bit biased as I'm planning to study history and politics in September).
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greenteascratchy
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(Original post by lokidokie)
Not relevant to your question, but i'm planning to do History at A-Level. How is it? I've heard very mixed reactions to it and i've seen people describe it as '3 A-levels in one.' I really love History- but is the work load really that extreme? Sorry if this is a bother.
No bother at all! I love talking about stuff like this. History A Level is tough, you're in for a long ride regardless of what exam board you do but in my opinion it was definitely worth it because I love History and it gives you very good 'uni' skills e.g. writing long essays and having to speak in a very formal tone etc.

It really helped with my other subjects in terms of writing (I also took English, Geog and Physics but unfortunately it didn't help Physics as you can imagine), even with writing letters and personal statements you have more experience than other students which sounds useless now, but you would be grateful for it in the future.

The only problems would be how much writing is invovled for example, it is a lot of stuff to memorise and is very hit-or-miss in an exam, as because you only get asked a 'few' questions (as essays) if you misinterpret a question you lose a large portion of your A Level which is tragic. You also unfortunately risk growing to hate the topics you study, for example, I love the Tudors, but mainly the things about society (like Tudor medicine, or your average smelly peasant, or the lives of high ranking Tudors) but you have to also learn things about the economy, government etc. So make sure you are very passionate about the subject to override this. Another issue would be that its difficult to practice questions as it takes a long time to do a practice essay, a long time for a teacher to mark it as you can't really mark essays yourself, in comparison to the sciences or maths where you can do a few questions and mark them yourself.

(Wow I really went off on one I'm so sorry) In terms of work load I won't deny it's tough but in my opinion every A Level has its content and learning. History is a lot of memory recall but also understanding, so the easier you find grasping topics and understanding the general timeline/consequences, the less you'll have to sit and try to understand. That's probably why there is so much mixed reaction about workload. It is more content to memorise than other subjects, o self-discipline and a natural understanding/own knowledge helps reduce the work load.

It's a huge jump in terms of skill from GCSE to A Level, but I definitely did not regret choosing History. It's a lot of time though, so stay on top of everything and read around the subject. I probably said loads of things you've heard before, but I hope it helps! Happy to answer any other questions
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greenteascratchy
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#6
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(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
Source Qs
- Introduction is not necessary.
- Start with outlining the view of the difference sources in relation to the question
- COPRU (Context, Origin, Purpose, Reliability and Useful) + typicality of the source, i.e. is it written by someone who has a vested interest in something?
- Brief conclusion in the end sumarising the view of the different sources + link back to the question

General Essay Qs, i.e To what extent/Assess/ xxx How far do you agree? etc.
- Introduction should set out your line of argument in relation to the question
- Main paragraphs should focus on the themes/factors you've outlined in your line of argument + link back to the question at the end of each paragraph
- Conclusion should reference back to the themes/factors you've outlined in your line of argument + answer the question

Thematic Qs
There's not really a set structure to follow for this ...
- Introduction should set out your line of argument in relation to the question. Consider different themes/factors + should you need to define anything do it in the introduction
- Main paragraphs should consistently refer back to the line of argument and synthesis should be used, i.e. contrasts and comparisons across the whole period for the factor(s)/theme(s) you're talking about
- Conclusion should reference back to the theme(s)/factor(s) you've outlined in your line of argument + answer the question

I hope this is useful.
Bless you so much, especially on the source questions which I needed. ((Need all the help I can get at this point.)) Thanks so much for spending the time and answering me!!! Good luck for your exam btw!
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lokidokie
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Thank you so much for both of your replies! It's nice to know things prior so i'm not walking in completely blind. I really enjoy History at GCSE (hopefully my grades this August reflect this lol) so I hope i'll continue to do so at a higher level. Nice talking to you both and thanks again!!
(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
A-Level history = '3 A-Levels in one' is an over-exaggeration. I currently do A-Level history on the OCR spec and the work load isn't as bad as perceived by others. Although, it's a lot different from GCSE because you need to do reading in your own time/private study time and get set regular essays to complete. However, if you manage your time properly, it's won't feel as overwhelming and I personally enjoy taking history at A-Level (I'm a bit biased as I'm planning to study history and politics in September).
(Original post by greenteascratchy)
No bother at all! I love talking about stuff like this. History A Level is tough, you're in for a long ride regardless of what exam board you do but in my opinion it was definitely worth it because I love History and it gives you very good 'uni' skills e.g. writing long essays and having to speak in a very formal tone etc.

It really helped with my other subjects in terms of writing (I also took English, Geog and Physics but unfortunately it didn't help Physics as you can imagine), even with writing letters and personal statements you have more experience than other students which sounds useless now, but you would be grateful for it in the future.

The only problems would be how much writing is invovled for example, it is a lot of stuff to memorise and is very hit-or-miss in an exam, as because you only get asked a 'few' questions (as essays) if you misinterpret a question you lose a large portion of your A Level which is tragic. You also unfortunately risk growing to hate the topics you study, for example, I love the Tudors, but mainly the things about society (like Tudor medicine, or your average smelly peasant, or the lives of high ranking Tudors) but you have to also learn things about the economy, government etc. So make sure you are very passionate about the subject to override this. Another issue would be that its difficult to practice questions as it takes a long time to do a practice essay, a long time for a teacher to mark it as you can't really mark essays yourself, in comparison to the sciences or maths where you can do a few questions and mark them yourself.

(Wow I really went off on one I'm so sorry) In terms of work load I won't deny it's tough but in my opinion every A Level has its content and learning. History is a lot of memory recall but also understanding, so the easier you find grasping topics and understanding the general timeline/consequences, the less you'll have to sit and try to understand. That's probably why there is so much mixed reaction about workload. It is more content to memorise than other subjects, o self-discipline and a natural understanding/own knowledge helps reduce the work load.

It's a huge jump in terms of skill from GCSE to A Level, but I definitely did not regret choosing History. It's a lot of time though, so stay on top of everything and read around the subject. I probably said loads of things you've heard before, but I hope it helps! Happy to answer any other questions
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by greenteascratchy)
Bless you so much, especially on the source questions which I needed. ((Need all the help I can get at this point.)) Thanks so much for spending the time and answering me!!! Good luck for your exam btw!
No worries and thanks for the kind words. Good luck to you as well!

I somehow missed out interpretations (oops) - afaik other exam boards do have interpretations Qs

Interpretations
- Introduction should simply state the view of the different passages in relation to the question.
- For each interpretation you should literally tear the passages apart and set what you think is valid or not valid and explain why using evidence from the passage and your own knowledge.
- Conclusion should briefly summarise the view of the passages and answer the question - what passage/interpretation is more convincing and why.

I can send an example I did via DM.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by lokidokie)
Thank you so much for both of your replies! It's nice to know things prior so i'm not walking in completely blind. I really enjoy History at GCSE (hopefully my grades this August reflect this lol) so I hope i'll continue to do so at a higher level. Nice talking to you both and thanks again!!
No worries at all! Good luck with your exams. Mine start soon, i.e. Monday ... eek.
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lokidokie
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Thank you and good luck!
(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
No worries at all! Good luck with your exams. Mine start soon, i.e. Monday ... eek.
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greenteascratchy
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I
(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
No worries and thanks for the kind words. Good luck to you as well!

I somehow missed out interpretations (oops) - afaik other exam boards do have interpretations Qs

Interpretations
- Introduction should simply state the view of the different passages in relation to the question.
- For each interpretation you should literally tear the passages apart and set what you think is valid or not valid and explain why using evidence from the passage and your own knowledge.
- Conclusion should briefly summarise the view of the passages and answer the question - what passage/interpretation is more convincing and why.

I can send an example I did via DM.
If you wouldn't mind, I would love to have a look at your example!
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BHSC
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(Original post by lokidokie)
Not relevant to your question, but i'm planning to do History at A-Level. How is it? I've heard very mixed reactions to it and i've seen people describe it as '3 A-levels in one.' I really love History- but is the work load really that extreme? Sorry if this is a bother.
Possibly a bit late to the party but...3 a levels in one is a bit extreme! Yes, there is a lot of content but at the end of the day, every a level has a lot of content + long exams + is generally harder than GCSE! Personally, I don't think history is any harder than any other subject and I do a whole range of subjects! As long as you keep up with notes and revise as you go along, you'll be fine. if it makes you feel better, i have just self-studied history year 13 on top of three other subjects- bio, chem and spanish- and I managed it! Go for it, it's a great subject!
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emilou232
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I usually treat the source questions almost like English language; make the point, give a connotation and then move on. For the essay you have to make four different points as factors in my exam so it’s just a case of remaining focus on the question, it obviously depends what question but most of the time the factors can be broken down into smaller problems that contributes to the reason for something in the question.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by greenteascratchy)
I


If you wouldn't mind, I would love to have a look at your example!
Just DM me your email and I'll send it rn whilst I'm taking a break from revision. Feeling nervous about tomorrow's exam - I need 60% + for a B in economics as the grade boundaries hasn't changed much since 2017 (1st cohort).
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slibsliber
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Hey, I did the edexcel paper in 2017 and got an A*. The papers I did were Tudors, Russia 1917-91 and the German Democratic Republic. I got full marks in the Russia paper and 2 marks off full marks in the Tudors paper. I'd be happy to e-mail you my exact transcript.
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greenteascratchy
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(Original post by slibsliber)
Hey, I did the edexcel paper in 2017 and got an A*. The papers I did were Tudors, Russia 1917-91 and the German Democratic Republic. I got full marks in the Russia paper and 2 marks off full marks in the Tudors paper. I'd be happy to e-mail you my exact transcript.
Hiya, I know that I'm doing a different exam board to you but I would super appreciate if I could have a look at your work and see your writing style!
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slibsliber
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(Original post by greenteascratchy)
Hiya, I know that I'm doing a different exam board to you but I would super appreciate if I could have a look at your work and see your writing style!
Haha, yep that's cool. Just pm me your e-mail
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