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I'm really struggling to see the point in Past Papers Watch

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    Everyone goes on about how Past Papers are important and I can understand how they would be in Maths/Science subjects where it's far less knowledge-based and more application. But for essay-style subjects e.g. Politics, History etc. surely you are much better off dedicating your time to learning the content thoroughly and as long as you know how to structure your answers that should get you a good grade.

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    (Original post by closeenemies)
    as long as you know how to structure your answers that should get you a good grade.

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    Past papers do exactly that, teach you how the examiners want you to structure the answers.

    You could know everything perfectly, but if your essay craft is non-existant you wont get anything.

    It's very good practice to go through past papers, approach them as if the real thing, and then mark them according to the mark scheme - you'll find that the first few you'll probably bark up one or two wrong trees.

    Past papers for essay style subjects are imo much more important to do due to ambiguities between interpretations, so you can see how much scope you can play with.

    maths/science papers are purely regurgitating facts and formula with established methods, not interpretating/actually studying a new piece of material to write about.
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    (Original post by closeenemies)
    Everyone goes on about how Past Papers are important and I can understand how they would be in Maths/Science subjects where it's far less knowledge-based and more application. But for essay-style subjects e.g. Politics, History etc. surely you are much better off dedicating your time to learning the content thoroughly and as long as you know how to structure your answers that should get you a good grade.

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    By doing past paper essay questions you get a feel about what the examiner wants from the essays and how they are set out, if you solely just learn the content you wont know how to administer it - as long as you do the odd past paper every now and then for referencing how you are doing your revision i believe you should do fine
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    It is equally important to know your content. You need to know what to write, but also HOW to write it. Past papers are incredibly important. They let you get a "feel" of how long you have to do the exam, so you don't run out of time in the end. Back in my essay-writing subject days, I always found it difficult to keep within the time allocated, and past papers really helped me. Doing past papers, and looking up "perfect examples" and the answers will give you an idea of how you need to write the essay to get the best grade possible. For example, my philosophy paper went something like: [Arguments for + 2 quotes, arguments against +2 quotes, conclusion and perhaps your idea]. You only recognise the format different subjects want for higher marks if you complete past papers.
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    I personally found past papers to be one of the best forms of revision. If you are prepared for the type of questions which could be asked, you're probably going to do better than someone who isn't. That said, there are other forms of revision which are really effective too.
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    (Original post by closeenemies)
    Everyone goes on about how Past Papers are important and I can understand how they would be in Maths/Science subjects where it's far less knowledge-based and more application. But for essay-style subjects e.g. Politics, History etc. surely you are much better off dedicating your time to learning the content thoroughly and as long as you know how to structure your answers that should get you a good grade.

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    I do Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Economics and English Literature. Personally I find that English Lit and Economics are more application whereas the exams for maths and further maths are pretty straight forward. Physics is a bit more application based in the exams but also requires you to remember definitions and certain bits of the content.
 
 
 
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