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    I couldn't find a thread for these exams so I thought I'd start one. Are there many other people taking one of these exams for a short or long course RE GCSE? I've think the papers seem pretty easy but when practicing timings seem an issue since the mark schemes are very unclear of the detail required from an answer (they simply describe a certain amount of marks for an answer requiring it to be 'detailed'). Has anybody's teachers gone through any sort of technique/ guidelines for answering these questions? Some of the exams for this course are coming up pretty quick.
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    I'm in year 11 doing the long course and I'm sitting Unit 3 (religion and morality) on the 21st of May. Last year I did Unit 2 (religion and life issues) and got A* 100 UMS.

    My teacher has trained us to write waaaay more than is necessary for our answers. Like, waaaay more. Like, 2 sides of A4 for a 6-mark question. As much as this ensures we get the marks in the real exam, it's frustrating when it comes to timings... I sometimes feel that this RE course is more of a physical exam than a mental one because my hand aches so badly afterwards since I've been writing so quickly!

    Obviously, however, it isn't always possible to write as much as my teacher likes us to in the exam. Therefore, I divide up the time and work out how long I can spend on each question, and just try to write as much as I can within that time limit.

    A little tip, by the way, is to give examples of everything... It's a quick way to get a 'development' mark.

    What unit are you doing and what year are you in?
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    Ah, I'm doing both unit 2 and unit 3 this year and I'm in year 11. Very well done on your full UMS

    How many points do you roughly make for six markers and how do you structure it out? Similarly, how do you do so for the four markers that ask for teachings and beliefs (I do two religions for them with a deveoped point each)?

    I agree that really the exam should be longer and I think it is unfair since I imagine plenty of very able candidates do not finish the paper desite having good religious studies ability.
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    (Original post by Last Theorem)
    Ah, I'm doing both unit 2 and unit 3 this year and I'm in year 11. Very well done on your full UMS

    How many points do you roughly make for six markers and how do you structure it out? Similarly, how do you do so for the four markers that ask for teachings and beliefs (I do two religions for them with a deveoped point each)?

    I agree that really the exam should be longer and I think it is unfair since I imagine plenty of very able candidates do not finish the paper desite having good religious studies ability.
    For 6-markers, in the exam, I usually start with my opinion (paragraph 1) and support it with one or two simple moral reasons. Then, for each side of the argument (paragraphs 2 and 3), I usually have 1 or 2 developed moral reasons followed by at least 2 developed religious reasons. If I have more time I will include more points than this, but that is the basic structure I use for my answers.

    For 4-markers, I tend to include 3-4 developed points, depending on how confident I feel about my points.

    As I said in my previous post, I probably write more than is needed to get the marks... But I guess this helps me to secure the marks. For the 4-markers, I'd say that 2 developed points is exactly what is needed, but I always doubt whether I've explained my points deeply enough for it to be classed as 'developed' and I therefore like to include more. For the 6-markers, I'd say that a supported opinion and then 1 developed moral reason and 2 developed religions reasons for each side of the argument would get you all the marks... Perhaps even less than this!

    Another tip I've learnt that pretty much guarantees you the 'devlopment' mark is to use words like 'therefore' and 'consequently'. They instantly show the examiner that you've linked and explained your point well, making it easier for them to justify giving you the extra mark.
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    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    For 6-markers, in the exam, I usually start with my opinion (paragraph 1) and support it with one or two simple moral reasons. Then, for each side of the argument (paragraphs 2 and 3), I usually have 1 or 2 developed moral reasons followed by at least 2 developed religious reasons. If I have more time I will include more points than this, but that is the basic structure I use for my answers.

    For 4-markers, I tend to include 3-4 developed points, depending on how confident I feel about my points.

    As I said in my previous post, I probably write more than is needed to get the marks... But I guess this helps me to secure the marks. For the 4-markers, I'd say that 2 developed points is exactly what is needed, but I always doubt whether I've explained my points deeply enough for it to be classed as 'developed' and I therefore like to include more. For the 6-markers, I'd say that a supported opinion and then 1 developed moral reason and 2 developed religions reasons for each side of the argument would get you all the marks... Perhaps even less than this!

    Another tip I've learnt that pretty much guarantees you the 'devlopment' mark is to use words like 'therefore' and 'consequently'. They instantly show the examiner that you've linked and explained your point well, making it easier for them to justify giving you the extra mark.
    For six mark questions, I can never find I have time to write that much. I could easily make several developed statements but I'm runing out of time after writing a very developed religious view for either side followed by my own justified opinion. Do you tend to start with your own view and then go onto argueing between religious views?

    For example, this was one paragraph I wrote within a practice question for the summer 2011 paper. This was question three, the six marker ("There is nothing wrong with positive descrimination ")

    "On the other hand, many Buddhists may feel that positive discrimination is acceptable because they feel that it is compassionate, in some cases, to help those or rescind the sufferings of those who have been descriminated against in the past. For example, in the case of giving wheelchair users front row seats at the cinema out of practicality and as a gesture for discrimination they may have suffered due to their disability, a Buddhst may follow the ideas of right intention from the eightfold path. This means that it would be correct to allow positive discrimination because it is what the person feels is the most compassionate and caring act to take. An act such as offering wheelchair users front row seats may be believed to engender good karma since it is a kind act that follows the teachings of Buddhism"

    Any comments? Not exactly DaVinci-esque but it gives a view with development and the use of a teaching that can be related back to the question. What kind of detail do you go into in your points? I'm concerned because I'm generally a reasonable writer but my points certainly don't seem excessive in length so I don't see why I seem to write nowhere near what my peers do. Are there any examples of your work that you could put up?

    Thank you for your advice, I'm certainly going to consider my connectives when making points in order to ensure that there is little discrepancy as to the development of my answers.
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    (Original post by Last Theorem)
    For six mark questions, I can never find I have time to write that much. I could easily make several developed statements but I'm runing out of time after writing a very developed religious view for either side followed by my own justified opinion. Do you tend to start with your own view and then go onto argueing between religious views?

    For example, this was one paragraph I wrote within a practice question for the summer 2011 paper. This was question three, the six marker ("There is nothing wrong with positive descrimination ")

    "On the other hand, many Buddhists may feel that positive discrimination is acceptable because they feel that it is compassionate, in some cases, to help those or rescind the sufferings of those who have been descriminated against in the past. For example, in the case of giving wheelchair users front row seats at the cinema out of practicality and as a gesture for discrimination they may have suffered due to their disability, a Buddhst may follow the ideas of right intention from the eightfold path. This means that it would be correct to allow positive discrimination because it is what the person feels is the most compassionate and caring act to take. An act such as offering wheelchair users front row seats may be believed to engender good karma since it is a kind act that follows the teachings of Buddhism"

    Any comments? Not exactly DaVinci-esque but it gives a view with development and the use of a teaching that can be related back to the question. What kind of detail do you go into in your points? I'm concerned because I'm generally a reasonable writer but my points certainly don't seem excessive in length so I don't see why I seem to write nowhere near what my peers do. Are there any examples of your work that you could put up?

    Thank you for your advice, I'm certainly going to consider my connectives when making points in order to ensure that there is little discrepancy as to the development of my answers.
    I tend to give my opinion first because I find it is a nice introductory way to start my answer. However, occasionally I wait to give my opinion at the end of my answer where it effectively acts as a conclusion. But it really doesn't matter where you place your opinion, as long as it's there somewhere!

    For that paragraph you've written there, I would award 2 or 3 marks because it contains sound knowledge of religion with ample development. Along with perhaps one simple moral reason (not developed), that would be enough (in my opinion) for that side of the argument.

    Always ensure that the sides of the argument are (more or less) equal in number of points, because otherwise it's not a 'balanced' argument. However, if you are struggling for points (or don't have enough time to write quite as much detail) for one side, therefore creating a significant difference in weighting of the sides of the argument, you can still reach 4-5 out of 6, so don't worry too much about that

    I'll post some exerts from my practice answers tomorrow because my book is currently at school
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    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    I tend to give my opinion first because I find it is a nice introductory way to start my answer. However, occasionally I wait to give my opinion at the end of my answer where it effectively acts as a conclusion. But it really doesn't matter where you place your opinion, as long as it's there somewhere!

    For that paragraph you've written there, I would award 2 or 3 marks because it contains sound knowledge of religion with ample development. Along with perhaps one simple moral reason (not developed), that would be enough (in my opinion) for that side of the argument.

    Always ensure that the sides of the argument are (more or less) equal in number of points, because otherwise it's not a 'balanced' argument. However, if you are struggling for points (or don't have enough time to write quite as much detail) for one side, therefore creating a significant difference in weighting of the sides of the argument, you can still reach 4-5 out of 6, so don't worry too much about that

    I'll post some exerts from my practice answers tomorrow because my book is currently at school
    I might try a few practices by starting with my opinion then and see how I find it.

    Yes, in the marking descrption the difference between 4, 5 and 6 seems to be levels of balance or detail. I'm not too concerned about getting five or even four because I know on this paper there arw very few other places to drop marks, and I'm working on a total of 63 giving me amost certainly a A star. I really dislike this exam generally but I may as well try my best considering an list of good grades followed by a poor one in RE would just look like I didn't care. I look forward to seeing your practices, thank you for your commens.
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    I 've learnt most key words but I don't know how to approach revising and remembering beliefs ad teachings!
    ANY HELP ?????
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    (Original post by Last Theorem)
    I might try a few practices by starting with my opinion then and see how I find it.

    Yes, in the marking descrption the difference between 4, 5 and 6 seems to be levels of balance or detail. I'm not too concerned about getting five or even four because I know on this paper there arw very few other places to drop marks, and I'm working on a total of 63 giving me amost certainly a A star. I really dislike this exam generally but I may as well try my best considering an list of good grades followed by a poor one in RE would just look like I didn't care. I look forward to seeing your practices, thank you for your commens.
    This was my answer to a 4-mark question about attitudes towards drinking alcohol:

    "In Islam, alcohol is haram and khamr and prevents you from carrying out Allah’s will. Therefore, Muslims would not drink and some wouldn't even allow it in their house as even this would show great disrespect. Allah also will not hear your prays for 40 days after consumption and, since they pray 5 times daily, this is a huge punishment for Muslim's, further deterring them from dealing with alcohol. In addition, Christians say that the ‘body is a temple’ and it should not be harmed by alcohol as it would demonstrate a great disrespect for God's creations. The teaching ‘do not get drunk… it will ruin you’ also supports the idea that alcohol is acceptable but only in moderation.. Moreover, life is a gift from God and should not be destroyed through alcohol, and drunkenness will only make you ‘loud and foolish’ which is irresponsible because those who are drunk may unwillingly continue to commit adultery and murder people, both of which break commandments. Also, St Paul told timothy to take some alcohol to aid his digestion, implying alcohol is not to be avoided entirely. This is also supported by Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine — if Jesus thought it was fine, surely all Christians may drink it."

    I'm not sure if I developed my points as much as I could have, but the quantity of points I included compensated for any instances in which my development was not complete. For this reason, I got 4 out of 4 marks for this answer. In hindsight, I would say that I could even include a few less points and STILL get 4 out of 4, but as I've said before, it's usually better to write too much (if time allows it) than to write too little.
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    (Original post by n_a_b_a_z)
    I 've learnt most key words but I don't know how to approach revising and remembering beliefs ad teachings!
    ANY HELP ?????
    Past papers, past papers, past papers!

    You could also try doing a 'topic review sheet' for the each topic... For example, i've summarised all the content onto 4 sides of A4 (1 side of A4 for each of the 4 topics I've studied for my exam... drug abuse, matters of life, crime and punishment, and finally the elderly and death). I find that summarising each topic in this way has helped me gain some perspective on the knowledge that I need to know for the exam whilst also aiding the memorisation process since everything is condensed into concise statements.

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    (Original post by n_a_b_a_z)
    I 've learnt most key words but I don't know how to approach revising and remembering beliefs ad teachings!
    ANY HELP ?????
    The best advice I can give for learning quotations in learning generalised quotations for two different religions that can be applied to a variety of topic. Easy ones to remember are the eight fold path, fist precept, Samsara and ahimsa in Buddhism. In Christianity the Dominion quote from Genesis ("and then we will create human beings....they will have power over the birds, fish, animals-large and small"), love your neighbour stuff (good Samaritan story too), basic ten commandments, 'you cannot serve both God and money"(Matthew). Knowing this small range of quotes (plus a few more) will get you through the majority of answers.
    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    This was my answer to a 4-mark question about attitudes towards drinking alcohol:



    "In Islam, alcohol is haram and khamr and prevents you from carrying out Allah’s will. Therefore, Muslims would not drink and some wouldn't even allow it in their house as even this would show great disrespect. Allah also will not hear your prays for 40 days after consumption and, since they pray 5 times daily, this is a huge punishment for Muslim's, further deterring them from dealing with alcohol. In addition, Christians say that the ‘body is a temple’ and it should not be harmed by alcohol as it would demonstrate a great disrespect for God's creations. The teaching ‘do not get drunk… it will ruin you’ also supports the idea that alcohol is acceptable but only in moderation.. Moreover, life is a gift from God and should not be destroyed through alcohol, and drunkenness will only make you ‘loud and foolish’ which is irresponsible because those who are drunk may unwillingly continue to commit adultery and murder people, both of which break commandments. Also, St Paul told timothy to take some alcohol to aid his digestion, implying alcohol is not to be avoided entirely. This is also supported by Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine — if Jesus thought it was fine, surely all Christians may drink it."



    I'm not sure if I developed my points as much as I could have, but the quantity of points I included compensated for any instances in which my development was not complete. For this reason, I got 4 out of 4 marks for this answer. In hindsight, I would say that I could even include a few less points and STILL get 4 out of 4, but as I've said before, it's usually better to write too much (if time allows it) than to write too little.


    I think that answer is definitely four marks. You've got several points and thee is an element of 'analysis' to it. All I would say is to break up your points into distinct paragraphs which makes it easier for an examiner to see the detail at which you have written and also make sure all the teachings have references. Whilst I've been told it isn't necessary to add these, it does show that you really know your content and also allows an examiner to check that you are actually using a legitimate quotation. I'm rather impressed at the amount of very alcohol specific teachings you know, I'd have probably just applied more general ones since I know few specific teachings. thank you for putting up your answer
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    (Original post by Last Theorem)
    The best advice I can give for learning quotations in learning generalised quotations for two different religions that can be applied to a variety of topic. Easy ones to remember are the eight fold path, fist precept, Samsara and ahimsa in Buddhism. In Christianity the Dominion quote from Genesis ("and then we will create human beings....they will have power over the birds, fish, animals-large and small"), love your neighbour stuff (good Samaritan story too), basic ten commandments, 'you cannot serve both God and money"(Matthew). Knowing this small range of quotes (plus a few more) will get you through the majority of answers.



    I think that answer is definitely four marks. You've got several points and thee is an element of 'analysis' to it. All I would say is to break up your points into distinct paragraphs which makes it easier for an examiner to see the detail at which you have written and also make sure all the teachings have references. Whilst I've been told it isn't necessary to add these, it does show that you really know your content and also allows an examiner to check that you are actually using a legitimate quotation. I'm rather impressed at the amount of very alcohol specific teachings you know, I'd have probably just applied more general ones since I know few specific teachings. thank you for putting up your answer
    Thanks for the advice! I think this religious studies exam and my english literature exam are the ones I'm least looking forward to. But I think this is more due to the fact that my teachers for these subjects put so much pressure on us, rather than lack of ability. I need more confidence and optimism! :P
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    Does anybody know if we will be punished for using the same teaching/belief twice in one question? As in using it for 01 and then 02. Is there are ruling on this?
    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    Thanks for the advice! I think this religious studies exam and my english literature exam are the ones I'm least looking forward to. But I think this is more due to the fact that my teachers for these subjects put so much pressure on us, rather than lack of ability. I need more confidence and optimism! :P
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    Last Theorem I'm fairly sure you can use the same teaching twice in a question but I think a lot of the time they structure it so that the different subsections of each question focus on different areas within the topic anyway
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    (Original post by whydoesithappen)
    Last Theorem I'm fairly sure you can use the same teaching twice in a question but I think a lot of the time they structure it so that the different subsections of each question focus on different areas within the topic anyway
    Ah thank you very much. For earth and animal sections I tend to repeat teachings since they are very general. I noticed too how they tend to run around the whole topic a bit rather than theme the questions, which is strange for a GCSE paper but good I suppose.
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    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    Thanks for the advice! I think this religious studies exam and my english literature exam are the ones I'm least looking forward to. But I think this is more due to the fact that my teachers for these subjects put so much pressure on us, rather than lack of ability. I need more confidence and optimism! :P
    I'm also doing this exam. Do you have any more tips? And could you post one of your 6 mark questions? Thank you very much.
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    My advice would be to learn a few quotes that you can apply to each topic and then learn the exam technique because when you've cracked that the paper becomes much easier to do well in. For six-markers, I usually give my opinion and then details from a religion that support it, then give details from an opposing religion in the next paragraph and finally conclude it by repeating my opinion and giving a short reason in summary.

    Good luck for anyone doing unit 2 tomorrow!
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    This is some advice from Hazwaz7, above poster who got full marks in Unit 2, I thought it might help someone else:

    (Original post by Hazwaz7)
    Tips for an A*:

    - develop everything.
    - ensure you explain how any teachings/quotes you include apply to the question.
    - don't be afraid to re-use the same teaching/quote in lots of different questions — as long as you've explained how it relates to each specific question, it's fine.
    - for the love of god, keep an eye on the time and spend it wisely!
    - if no explanation is required (e.g. If the question asks you to 'give 2 reasons why...'), then DO NOT bother explaining or developing anything. It's entirely not necessary and will just waste time!
    - full sentences are always required, except for 'give...' questions (one-word bullet-pointed answers are acceptable for those).
    - it's important to show empathy in 6-markers and an easy way to do this is by showing the examiner that you can put yourself in other peoples' shoes. Try to use phrases such as 'although I do not share their opinion, I do understand why many Christians would agree with the statement. For example....'

    My most important tip for you would be to STAY CALM. You probably know pleeeenty of religious beliefs, and the rest is really common sense! There is absolutely no need for you to be panicking.

    Length of Questions:

    Well, I think it's not about the number of quotes you know, but rather about the way to relate them to the question. I know someone who literally used just 3 generic simple quotes for the entire exam, and got an A. Many quotes and teachings can be applied to many exam questions
    I don't know how many I know, to be honest. I haven't made an effort to memorise any, I've just sort of 'picked them up' during class

    I'd say that around two thirds of a side of A4 is okay for a 6-mark question, and maybe one third of a side for a 4-marker. But, this obviously depends on the size of your handwriting... Mine's fairly smallish. Just write as much as you feel is appropriate, and come back to it at the end and add more if there is time to!
    Thanks. I mean I know the information but I'm not sure on how to answer the questions- I either write too much or too little.


    Structure of Questions:

    A 1 or 2 marks question often is first. It is usually looking for a brief statement, or sometimes a couple of bullet points. 1 statement/point = 1 mark. No development needed.

    After that, there may be a 3 mark question. For this, you may be given a statement and be asked 'what do you think'? Here, you need to make a developed point by explaining what you think about the statement, as well as a simple point and reason but with little development. You can have a two-sided answer, but it's not required. For these, I often end up doing two-sides of the argument because it gives me more choice as to which points to include, but I suppose if you keep it single-sided it is much easier to develop your answer

    For a 4-marker, 2 developed points are enough. However, I often end up writing 3 or 4 developed points to ensure I get the marks, but this is reaaally unnecessary is a waste of my time to be honest

    There may be a 4 or 5 mark question asking you to 'explain Relgious teachings and beliefs'. For questions like this, 3 developed points should get you the marks. Try to include more than one religion on these questions so you can show your breadth of knowledge.

    For a 6-marker, a two-sided argument including an opinion and reference to religion is all that is necessary. A conclusion is not required, but can help to give the answer more structure. Try to write 2 developed points on each side of the argument, including a Relgious point.
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    We did it today. They definitely changed the format a lot
    Q1. List 2 things (2 marks)
    Q2. Explain Briefly (2 marks)
    Q3. Explain your opinion (3 marks)
    Q4. Discuss religious views on something (5 marks)
    Q5. What-do-you-think question (6 markes)
    (SPaG: 4marks)
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    The SPaG was a bit funny though because I read the front and it said that they mark each of your 6-markers out of 4 and then choose the best one as your final SPaG mark. The whole paper was out of 76: 4*18 for each question and then just 4 more for SPaG
 
 
 
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