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AS Government and Politics exam questions - how does one approach/answer these? watch

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    Hi all.

    My politics teacher never gives us mock questions/marks any of the mocks we've done, so I currently have no idea what I'm doing well, and what I'm doing badly; so essentially, have no idea what to write for a politics exam answer.

    For example, for the question “How representative is the House of Commons of the United Kingdom?” I don't know how I should write/how I should structure my essay...

    Could someone please provide me with some insight as of what on earth to do when faced with a question as such?

    Thank you in advance.

    Note: EdExcel is the examining board I'm on, but advice from anyone who is on/has been on any other exam board is definitely welcomed.
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    Bumping this post since I was about to ask exactly the same thing

    I'm one of only two people in my class predicted above a D grade and I think my teachers have basically given up teaching us to anything above a C :mad: I don't have a problem with the content but since we've barely done any practice questions we haven't had much feedback and I don't feel very confident about my exam technique.

    Any advice you guys could give would be more than appreciated!
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    Are you doing Edexcel?

    If you are I can give you some advice. I did AS last year got an A in Unit 1 and B (2marks off an A) in Unit 2 xx
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    (Original post by LeiXiao)
    Bumping this post since I was about to ask exactly the same thing

    I'm one of only two people in my class predicted above a D grade and I think my teachers have basically given up teaching us to anything above a C :mad: I don't have a problem with the content but since we've barely done any practice questions we haven't had much feedback and I don't feel very confident about my exam technique.

    Any advice you guys could give would be more than appreciated!
    I'm targeted an A, but pretty weary about a definitive writing style that I can use; I have one for other essay subjects such as English Literature/History, but Politics is just, ugh. :ahhhhh:

    (Original post by DairyFreeEvie)
    Are you doing Edexcel?

    If you are I can give you some advice. I did AS last year got an A in Unit 1 and B (2marks off an A) in Unit 2 xx
    Yes, I'm doing EdExcel. I'd love to hear your advice! Also, congratulations on those grades; they're excellent!
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    I can help if needed. I also got an A in Govt/Politics (albeit this was 1 1/2 years ago )
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    Ah, what a convenient thread. I am going to do a fast-track politics A-level in my gap year and require some knowledge on how to approach exam questions. From what I've seen on AQA past papers, there is a mix of mini essay questions and short explanations of specific terms (i.e. 'elections'). I am a diligent reader of political philosophy and advanced newspapers; would this mean I will have an aptitude for politics A-level?
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    I can help if needed. I also got an A in Govt/Politics (albeit this was 1 1/2 years ago )
    Certainly, please do! How do/did you construct your essay answers [specifically for Politics essays] and what do they examiners look for specifically for the A grade?
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    I can give you advice too - I got an A in Govt&Pol last year but I was on OCR.
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    (Original post by Mr Inquisitive)

    Yes, I'm doing EdExcel. I'd love to hear your advice! Also, congratulations on those grades; they're excellent!
    Thanks!

    Learn the Edexcel marking schemes for each unit! Seriousy!
    Edexcel don't use teachers etc to mark the papers, they get anyone, in other words they don't need to know anything about the topic.
    The exameners have a sort of tick box, which is what they want to find in your exam, more ticks you get the better. Because the people marking your paper don't really know in a great detail about our topic if you put down whats in the mark scheme and add on to it youll more than likely get better marks. Hope that makes sense.

    Do loads and loads of mocks!

    I set my notes out in bullet points for AS. Like advantages/disadvantages of HoL, HoC... the different electoral systems. Just make it really clear to yourself what everything means, all the definitions of everything and what is good or bad about everything.

    In class we also did a lot of pop quizes and discussions. We made speaches and played political hangman.
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    (Original post by Muffinz)
    I can give you advice too - I got an A in Govt&Pol last year but I was on OCR.
    Hopefully the syllabus content isn't too different, but how would you go about structuring an A grade answer for a question such as this?

    “How representative is the House of Commons of the United Kingdom?”

    Are examples needed in your points, for evidence? And is there anything specifically that places you in A grade territory?

    Sorry for the abundance of questions, I just desperately need really high marks.
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    (Original post by The Muffin Man_)
    Hi all.

    My politics teacher never gives us mock questions/marks any of the mocks we've done, so I currently have no idea what I'm doing well, and what I'm doing badly; so essentially, have no idea what to write for a politics exam answer.

    For example, for the question “How representative is the House of Commons of the United Kingdom?” I don't know how I should write/how I should structure my essay...
    How many marks?

    There are five models/accounts of representation
    - The delegate model
    - Constituency representation
    - Resemblance
    - Trustee model
    - Party representation

    The easiest way to structure it is like other 'Arts' subjects
    - Introduction
    - For the argument
    - Against the argument
    - For the argument
    - Against the argument
    - Conclusion

    At the end of each paragraph you could give a short sentence explaining the limitation of the argument presented above. And then you can use this as the anchor to your next paragraph.

    What you are doing is weighing up two sides of the argument to give a conclusive answer.
    (Original post by LeiXiao)
    Any advice you guys could give would be more than appreciated!
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    (Original post by The Muffin Man_)
    Hopefully the syllabus content isn't too different, but how would you go about structuring an A grade answer for a question such as this?

    “How representative is the House of Commons of the United Kingdom?”

    Are examples needed in your points, for evidence? And is there anything specifically that places you in A grade territory?

    Sorry for the abundance of questions, I just desperately need really high marks.
    I think the question is referencing the sociological makeup of the Commons (i.e mostly middle aged, middle class, white men). I would reference statistics on these. You should give a number or a case study for each point in your answer. Look at the amount with degrees, particularly from Oxbridge, and also the numbers of people coming from professional or purely political backgrounds.

    The question is very vague and could be answered with a variety of ways - I mean, you could look at the representative vs delegate status of MPs, or at the elections themselves and how they relate to seats. How many marks is the question worth? I dunno hwo much you can really do on sociological stuffs.

    I would structure it with a brief thesis "The sociological makeup of the House of Commons is hardly reflective of that of the British population". Then look at different aspects, age, race, class etc and draw your conclusion.

    EDIT: I second the point on learning mark schemes.
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    In terms of the exam, with Edexcel, spend most the time on the longer essay question. In the actual exam for Unit 2 I did the essay first and then did the short questions.

    The short questions are easy. They basically want a definition and a bit of opinion. Is it good/bad? Depending on what the topic is.

    The long essay needs to be organised well. Intro. Good points. Bad points. Conc. About 3+ sides depending how you write. Your explanation needs to be clear cut and simple. And links between the advantage and disadvanges throughout.
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    Subscribing :ninja:

    Edit: aww this is AS
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    (Original post by ussumane)
    Subscribing :ninja:

    Edit: aww this is AS
    Are you doing A2? Edexcel?
    I'm finding it so much harder than AS
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    (Original post by Muffinz)
    I think the question is referencing the sociological makeup of the Commons (i.e mostly middle aged, middle class, white men). I would reference statistics on these. You should give a number or a case study for each point in your answer. Look at the amount with degrees, particularly from Oxbridge, and also the numbers of people coming from professional or purely political backgrounds.

    The question is very vague and could be answered with a variety of ways - I mean, you could look at the representative vs delegate status of MPs, or at the elections themselves and how they relate to seats. How many marks is the question worth? I dunno hwo much you can really do on sociological stuffs.

    I would structure it with a brief thesis "The sociological makeup of the House of Commons is hardly reflective of that of the British population". Then look at different aspects, age, race, class etc and draw your conclusion.

    EDIT: I second the point on learning mark schemes.

    (Original post by Stricof)
    How many marks?

    There are five models/accounts of representation
    - The delegate model
    - Constituency representation
    - Resemblance
    - Trustee model
    - Party representation

    The easiest way to structure it is like other 'Arts' subjects
    - Introduction
    - For the argument
    - Against the argument
    - For the argument
    - Against the argument
    - Conclusion

    At the end of each paragraph you could give a short sentence explaining the limitation of the argument presented above. And then you can use this as the anchor to your next paragraph.

    What you are doing is weighing up two sides of the argument to give a conclusive answer.
    Thank you for the advice; it was certainly helpful in both cases.

    The question mentioned is worth 25 marks, but I'm equally as worried about things such as 40 mark questions...

    Is it better to form an answer with an alternating structure of:

    For the argument
    Against the argument
    ... etc.

    Or for you to have a more structured, generic way:

    For the argument (x3)
    Against the argument (x3)
    Conclude/evaluate/decide on said points?
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    (Original post by DairyFreeEvie)
    Are you doing A2? Edexcel?
    I'm finding it so much harder than AS
    That doesn't sound too good.

    I'll probably just leave politics A2 and carry on with English, History, Economics, Mathematics A2's.
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    Is this AQA? I did that last year and got an A so I'd be happy to help
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    (Original post by DairyFreeEvie)
    Are you doing A2? Edexcel?
    I'm finding it so much harder than AS
    :sadnod:

    I'm struggling a bit, and I'm predicted an A :eek:

    Peak Times...
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    (Original post by The Muffin Man_)
    That doesn't sound too good.

    I'll probably just leave politics A2 and carry on with English, History, Economics, Mathematics A2's.
    It's really interesting but deffinately harder. There are a few different topics to choose from though.
 
 
 

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