Lit2010
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Hey Everyone,
I'm doing AQA Psychology A, Unit 3 very soon and I've made a list of points which may help when writing practice essays. I hope they can help in some way, sorry if I'm telling you something you already know, but I find the list really helpful to refer to, so hopefully you will to!

A good psychology essay...

Be Selective In the exam you will only have 30 minutes per essay so you won't be able to write the same amount you do at home, therefore it is important to make a few points and evaluate them well (possibly by using opposing points) rather than make loads of points and rush the evaluation. You do not have to mention everything in the book in order to get a good mark, it's all about quality, so just make sure that if you say something, it is relevant and well said.

Use Evidence If you make a point, it is useful to have evidence from studies/experiments to back it up. You don't have to go crazy with the methodology of these studies (but a little won't hurt) but the most important thing is to state how the research supports/ does not support the theory in question. It may feel like you're stating the obvious, but this is what gains marks.

Use Issues and Debates Determinism, Reductionism, Gender Bias (Alpha and Beta), Culture Bias, Socially Sensitive Research/Theory, Reliability and Validity, just to name a few! They aren't too difficult to work into your essay, but it is important you explain what each one means and how it relates to the theory in question. You won't gain many marks if you list them without explaining them thoroughly.

Be Synoptic This is really important. Could an idea could be better explained by another approach? Has research in this area lead to any practical applications? (such as treatments for psychological disorders) This will show your understanding of psychology in greater detail, and how it is important in real life.

Look at the Bigger Picture Does this theory/research raise or lower the reputation of psychology as a science? Eg: does it rely on scientific testing or is it speculative? Have other studies produced similar findings or do other studies tend to contradict its findings?

Don't be completely negative! Make some positive evaluations too, and when you criticise studies, you can always suggest ways in which they could be improved. You are expected to show a holistic view of psychology, and that means appreciating that there are both strengths and weaknesses to studies and theories.

Look at your watch Remember, you don't have much time to write your essays in the real exam, so try to stick to 30 minutes per essay. You'll lose more marks by spending too long on one essay and not enough on another, than by writing all essays, but leaving a few points out.

When Revising... I find writing detailed essay plans helps, including notes on how I would evaluate. These would be far easier to memorise than whole essays, although writing practice essays may be beneficial too as it gets you used to timed conditions. If you feel yourself getting stressed, or you are having a mental block, take a break- it is a sign you're working too hard! The best thing for this is to get a drink (definitely keep fluid levels up!) get a little bit of fresh air, and take some time to clear your mind. Even if it feels like your revision isn't getting you anywhere, it will be, so don't panic too much!

Reality is a painful thing It's more than likely that you won't be able to remember every minute detail, or remember everything you want to say in the exam, but don't let this worry you too much- just make sure the points you do make are really really really well explained.



I hope this has been able to help some of you who are as stressed as I am! I'm a terrible worrier, and I'm really panicking about the exam, but I'm just going to do my best- I've worked hard, and that's all I can really do.
Best of luck everyone
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az1992
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(Original post by Lit2010)

I hope this has been able to help some of you who are as stressed as I am! I'm a terrible worrier, and I'm really panicking about the exam, but I'm just going to do my best- I've worked hard, and that's all I can really do.
Best of luck everyone
you geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Lit2010
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(Original post by az1992)
you geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
What?
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az1992
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(Original post by Lit2010)
What?
as in thank you very much, i see your not familiar with the ghetto lingo that we speak in the suburbs of London.
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Lit2010
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(Original post by az1992)
as in thank you very much, i see your not familiar with the ghetto lingo that we speak in the suburbs of London.
Ohh right, no I'm not But I'm glad to have helped!
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az1992
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(Original post by Lit2010)
Ohh right, no I'm not But I'm glad to have helped!
neither am i but anywayys
thanks very much you seem to know your stuff,

are you doing aqa a?
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Lit2010
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(Original post by az1992)
neither am i but anywayys
thanks very much you seem to know your stuff,

are you doing aqa a?
Yeah, but did aqa b last year; we're now doing our A2 psychology through a different school so had to chance specs. It's taken so long to get used to the differences because the way to evaluate is different.

What do you find to be the most effective way to revise? I've written loads of practice essays but will never be able to memorise them, so I'm just writing essay plans now. I'm still bricking it for the exam!
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az1992
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flash cards, having done memory last year i use some of the methods such as loci ( associateing points of complicated theories and concepts with different rooms of your house and visualluy walking through them) making notes is the obvious one but that isnt for everyone, id stick with flash cards for the studies. What specfic topics are you doing?
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Lit2010
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(Original post by az1992)
flash cards, having done memory last year i use some of the methods such as loci ( associateing points of complicated theories and concepts with different rooms of your house and visualluy walking through them) making notes is the obvious one but that isnt for everyone, id stick with flash cards for the studies. What specfic topics are you doing?
Aggression, Eating Behaviour and Sleep and biological rhythms.

I find aggression by far the easiest, and I'm dreading the questions on eating behaviour and sleep. Which topics are you doing?
I think I may make my essay plans into posters and stick them around the house... That way the whole family can learn psychology- everyone wins!
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GodspeedGehenna
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Great, now can you help me with one of my essays
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Orange92
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Thanks alot

I always mess up on the twelve markers when I did my mock (I got an A overall but only got 3/12 on the final question, so I'm hoping this will pay off lol
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Lit2010
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(Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
Great, now can you help me with one of my essays
Glad I've been able to help!
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Lit2010
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(Original post by Orange92)
Thanks alot

I always mess up on the twelve markers when I did my mock (I got an A overall but only got 3/12 on the final question, so I'm hoping this will pay off lol
Glad I've helped! Good luck in your exam
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zohaib01
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(Original post by Lit2010)
Glad I've helped! Good luck in your exam
acee tipss poss rep comingg up
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ACDC
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cheers mate. do you have any revision notes for the topics of gender, eating behaviour and relationships?
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Anewor
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Thanks so much for this. I always seem to know my stuff (or at least know enough to make it seem like I know my stuff) but I never seem to be able to get those last few marks on the essay style questions (and this year, it's ALL essay style questions -_-). So thankyou muchly
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08123
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hey do u hav any notes on stress...the case studies in particular.... erm im on AQA A spec!
these are the case studies that i think i have to learn...are they right? :
KRANTZ ET AL - the relationship between stres and cardiovascular disorders
KIECOLT - GLASTER ET AL - the relationship between stress and the immune system
COHE ET AL ?
LIFE CHANGES:

RAHE ET AL - life changes as a source of stress
DeLONGIS?
MARMOT ET AL - the workplace as a source of stress
is there one on personality...and does personality come under individual differences?

pleasee help mee!!
andd do u know where i can get hold of last years paper...pya2 2009?
thankyouu x
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CluelessAcademic
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(Original post by az1992)
you geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Hi

Can you help with developmental psychology?
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