A2 Edexcel Unit 3 A World Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-90 discussion thread Watch

Man behind Nixon
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For those who will sit for it on the 10th of June and who sat it the last year.

I am doing the Superpower relations and have a few questions.

This is the first time I will be sitting for it and I really need to get a over 92/120 so I have been putting a lot of effort in it. It seemed to me that trying to expertise all the units is pointless as in Section B one question will be from the beginning so from Units 2 and 3 and the other will be from the ending thus units 8 and 9. I feel more comfortable with the ending so I am trying to know every detail in it. Yet I still fear that a challenging question from it would be hell for me as I dont feel that I am a good analyser.

For the section A I am studying for the Detente and the Nuclear weapons yet again there is the risk of the tow questions coming from the Thaw or the Sino Soviet. Who else uses this tactic? And, what were the questions in the last year? Any advice will be appreciated.
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SarahGrace92
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I sat the paper last year and I'm sitting it again this year (retake). You really need to practise exam technique.. Section A will require you to analyse a historical problem and come to a reasonable judgement; so you should really practise putting ideas and events into arguments that will help you answer the question.
Section B will give you 2/3 sources and you will be asked to give a judgement on the interpretation given. Again, practise your source use and go over how you can manipulate it into an answer.
I love history and the cold war in particular but I find this paper so hard. I think (please don't trust me too much on this one as it was a year a go) that Sino soviet relations and the thaw came up last year... but again it was a long time a go and I don't even remember what topic I answered.
I used that tatic last year and I was okay.. but a girl in the exam room ran out crying as soon we were allowed to look at our papers
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Man behind Nixon
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A girl running out crying? :O thats awful What did you take and what do you need to take this june?
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SarahGrace92
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I got a low B and I'm aiming for a mid-high A this year.
All my other modules are a's, it's just this exam that gets me!
Have you watched the CNN cold war series? That's really good for revision, Ive converted them into mp3 so I can listen on my iPod
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Man behind Nixon
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Maybe. I watched a few documentaries but dont know if they were the CNN's. Can you post here a link ? Thanks beforehand
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SarahGrace92
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1L-8Ehtk3Y

well thats the link for the first one, there's over twenty.

just type 'cnn cold war series' into youtube and they all come up.
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Man behind Nixon
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Thanks
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JK471993
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My tactic is to revise one controversy thoroughly (Origin for me) and two topics really well (Detente and Thaw) and one topic casually (Arms Race)
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ben05
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im doing the AQA one about international relations 1945-2004. Quite similar i think! has your exam board got any past questions someone can post? thanks
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byakushix
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I got 1 mark off a A*, i reckon thats alright,
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W.H.T
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(Original post by SarahGrace92)
I sat the paper last year and I'm sitting it again this year (retake). You really need to practise exam technique.. Section A will require you to analyse a historical problem and come to a reasonable judgement; so you should really practise putting ideas and events into arguments that will help you answer the question.
Section B will give you 2/3 sources and you will be asked to give a judgement on the interpretation given. Again, practise your source use and go over how you can manipulate it into an answer.
I love history and the cold war in particular but I find this paper so hard. I think (please don't trust me too much on this one as it was a year a go) that Sino soviet relations and the thaw came up last year... but again it was a long time a go and I don't even remember what topic I answered.
I used that tatic last year and I was okay.. but a girl in the exam room ran out crying as soon we were allowed to look at our papers
This tactic you and OP are talking about, what is it?

Am I right in thinking that its about revising like half of the whole textbook, and gambling on there being questions on the bits that you've revised?

If so, seems risky to me. I did this for unit 1 and 2, but only because there were a few papers around and from looking at them, it was pretty clear that revising only half the textbook was necessary. But for this exam, theres only ever been one past paper....
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W.H.T
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(Original post by JK471993)
My tactic is to revise one controversy thoroughly (Origin for me) and two topics really well (Detente and Thaw) and one topic casually (Arms Race)
Isn't this a bit risky, because there are four section B topics (unit 2,3,8,9). Its quite nice in a way that these controversy topics are places equally are either ends of the whole time period.

Personally, I'm focus on one of the ends of the time period (probably the end, so unit 8 and 9) for the next few days until the exam - still risky. But I want a second opinion on this, how sure are you that they won't have both question choices at one end of the time period?
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JK471993
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(Original post by W.H.T)
Isn't this a bit risky, because there are four section B topics (unit 2,3,8,9). Its quite nice in a way that these controversy topics are places equally are either ends of the whole time period.

Personally, I'm focus on one of the ends of the time period (probably the end, so unit 8 and 9) for the next few days until the exam - still risky. But I want a second opinion on this, how sure are you that they won't have both question choices at one end of the time period?
The two Units combine to make Origins and End of the Cold War.
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W.H.T
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(Original post by JK471993)
The two Units combine to make Origins and End of the Cold War.
So you're revising 2 and 3?
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JK471993
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(Original post by W.H.T)
So you're revising 2 and 3?
Yep and three other units. What about yourself?
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W.H.T
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(Original post by JK471993)
Yep and three other units. What about yourself?
For section B, I'm focusing on the end of the cold war, so units 8 and 9. I am slightly worried though, because there could be a question on issues in units 8 and 9 that may require knowledge and perhaps even explicit mentions of events or factors in units 2 and 3 (the beginning or the cold war). For example, there could be a question along the lines of this: How far do you agree that it was economic problems for the Soviet union which ended the cold war?

I'm worried that for a question like that, there could be things I need to mention from units 2 and 3, perhaps about the very nature of the cold war at the beginning and how this has had a long term effect which contributed to the end of the cold war itself :dontknow:

Whats your view on this, if they ask a question about the ending of the cold war, do you think it could be necessary to mention something in the beginning? (units 2 and 3)

I guess the advantage of doing units 2 and 3, is that your gaureeteed in your question that you won't have to mention anything in the alternative units (8 and 9), because it'll be irrelevant to mention anything thats happened after the timeframe of units 2 and 3, because obviously they could not have had any effect on the issue in the question.

Oh yeah, for section A I'm doing units 5, 6, 7. So effectively I'm focusing on the second half of the textbook. It should be certain that I'll get at least one question choice on my three units - theres only one other section A unit.

BTw, which units do you think are particularly hard or easy? and is this the reason for your chosen units to focus on, or are you simply just more interested in them than the other units?
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JK471993
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(Original post by W.H.T)
For section B, I'm focusing on the end of the cold war, so units 8 and 9. I am slightly worried though, because there could be a question on issues in units 8 and 9 that may require knowledge and perhaps even explicit mentions of events or factors in units 2 and 3 (the beginning or the cold war). For example, there could be a question along the lines of this: How far do you agree that it was economic problems for the Soviet union which ended the cold war?

I'm worried that for a question like that, there could be things I need to mention from units 2 and 3, perhaps about the very nature of the cold war at the beginning and how this has had a long term effect which contributed to the end of the cold war itself :dontknow:

Whats your view on this, if they ask a question about the ending of the cold war, do you think it could be necessary to mention something in the beginning? (units 2 and 3)

I guess the advantage of doing units 2 and 3, is that your gaureeteed in your question that you won't have to mention anything in the alternative units (8 and 9), because it'll be irrelevant to mention anything thats happened after the timeframe of units 2 and 3, because obviously they could not have had any effect on the issue in the question.

Oh yeah, for section A I'm doing units 5, 6, 7. So effectively I'm focusing on the second half of the textbook. It should be certain that I'll get at least one question choice on my three units - theres only one other section A unit.

BTw, which units do you think are particularly hard or easy? and is this the reason for your chosen units to focus on, or are you simply just more interested in them than the other units?
In ever yquestion I've come acroos there have been time periods. I'm not mentioning pre-1945 conflict at all or anything after 1953. I've seen one question only looking for analysis of the years 1945-1946! Very narrow indeed.

I tend to remember the earlier period better which is strange. My best is the Thaw and Detente is okay, so is the Sino-Soviet Split. I really hate nuclear weapons because it seems like a spread-out and substanceless topic; far too general for my liking. I'm just gonna do units 2-7 revision-wise.
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W.H.T
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(Original post by JK471993)
In ever yquestion I've come acroos there have been time periods. I'm not mentioning pre-1945 conflict at all or anything after 1953. I've seen one question only looking for analysis of the years 1945-1946! Very narrow indeed.

I tend to remember the earlier period better which is strange. My best is the Thaw and Detente is okay, so is the Sino-Soviet Split. I really hate nuclear weapons because it seems like a spread-out and substanceless topic; far too general for my liking. I'm just gonna do units 2-7 revision-wise.
Well if they give you time periods then it shouldn't be an issue. But there was one question from last years paper (in section B) which didn't require you to keep within a time period:

How far do you agree with the view that the Cold War came to an end because of mounting economic pressure on the Soviet Union during the 1980s?Explain your answer, using Sources 10, 11 and 12 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy.


In that question, you don't necessarily have to keep to factors or events in the 1980s. It probably expects you to mention things way before 1980 to provide context etc. This worries me in particular because I'm focusing on the end of the cold war rather than the beginning, so I would've been forced to do that question.

Apart from that question, all the others had specific timeframe which you had to stick to.
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JK471993
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(Original post by W.H.T)
Well if they give you time periods then it shouldn't be an issue. But there was one question from last years paper (in section B) which didn't require you to keep within a time period:

How far do you agree with the view that the Cold War came to an end because of mounting economic pressure on the Soviet Union during the 1980s?Explain your answer, using Sources 10, 11 and 12 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy.


In that question, you don't necessarily have to keep to factors or events in the 1980s. It probably expects you to mention things way before 1980 to provide context etc. This worries me in particular because I'm focusing on the end of the cold war rather than the beginning, so I would've been forced to do that question.

Apart from that question, all the others had specific timeframe which you had to stick to.
To me that seems like an ambiguous question. I tcould perhaps either mean:

The factor is the economic pressure on the Soviet Union during the 1980s and there is no time scale.

Or, the factor is Soviet economic pressure and the years are 1980-1989?

Understand what I'm saying?

I love History but I hate the way it is graded. I never know what I need to do to get an A. I can't help but think it's good grammar and vocabulary to bluff the examiner. I always come out the exam not knowing how well I've done at all.
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W.H.T
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(Original post by JK471993)
To me that seems like an ambiguous question. I tcould perhaps either mean:

The factor is the economic pressure on the Soviet Union during the 1980s and there is no time scale.

Or, the factor is Soviet economic pressure and the years are 1980-1989?

Understand what I'm saying?

I love History but I hate the way it is graded. I never know what I need to do to get an A. I can't help but think it's good grammar and vocabulary to bluff the examiner. I always come out the exam not knowing how well I've done at all.
I think its asking you to compare the factor of economic pressure on the USSR during the 1980s, with other factors. I mean, economic pressure on the USSR is most associated with the 1980s, right? Surely they aren't refering to general economic pressure during the whole time period.

I'm going to check the mark scheme for that paper now...

Yeah and I share your thoughts about the whole subject. I don't mind reading history books - like reading a story , but the exam (along with most other essay subjects) is such a daunting experiece, and the amount of time they give you certainly doesn't help .
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