A2 OCR Government and Politics F855 & F853 - US Politics and US/UK Comparative.

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sophiehx
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I'm in my last year of sixth form and to meet my first choice university offer I need to get an A in politics. (I'm on a high A after AS - I taught myself the course).

I'm really struggling at the moment because we have a terrible teacher at my school who doesn't really teach the course properly - we seem to go off on a pointless tangent every lesson!

I was wondering if someone had any advice about these two exams - especially F855. How are you preparing for the comparative exam? Do you know of any good books or resources that I can use? If you've already done this course how did you find it?

This has been really stressing me out and I just don't know what to do! I desperately need that A but at the moment I just can't see myself getting it!

Many thanks in advance!
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LuxVeritatis
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I think the best thing to do is look at the specification, and for each individual requirement - so for example consitutions, or judiciaries - make notes on the US, the UK, the EU and two other countries in how they deal with that issue.

So for example, on the judiciaries specification point:
- The US have their Supreme Court. Justices nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Life term. Nine justices - no power of enforcement. Actively overturns legislation and is an active judiciary.
- The UK have the Supreme Court since 2009. 12 justices, selected by commission, obliged to retire aged 70. UK doesn't have full judicial review as Parliament is sovereign, so the court is not as active as the US. Previously the House of Lords was the final court, showing lack of separation of powers.
- The EU have the European Court of Justice. 28 justices (one from each member state) in addition to nine advocates-general appointed by common agreement. Interprets EU law. Not as active as the European Court of Human Rights which ISN'T AN EU BODY.

Then pick your two extra countries, say France and South Africa:
- In France, three separate courts of final appeal - the Court of Cassation for criminal law, the Council of State for administrative cases, and the Constitutional Council for appeals against statute based on constitutional grounds. The Constitutional Court is made up of former Presidents, and nine other representatives who sit for nine years - three appointed by the National Assembly, three by the Senate, three by the President.
- In South Africa, the Supreme Court of Appeal exists. 22 judges, appointed by the President on advice of a commission. Et cetera.

If you do this for each point of the specification and take into account all the smaller strands, you'll have a broad base of AO1 knowledge to use. You've then just got to furnish it with examples and discussion points for AO2, which I get by reading Wikipedia, or by reading articles on the internet (especially for the UK, US and EU contexts).

You'll do absolutely superbly at A2, don't worry. Good luck!
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gdaaaay123
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(Original post by sophiehx)
I'm in my last year of sixth form and to meet my first choice university offer I need to get an A in politics. (I'm on a high A after AS - I taught myself the course).

I'm really struggling at the moment because we have a terrible teacher at my school who doesn't really teach the course properly - we seem to go off on a pointless tangent every lesson!

I was wondering if someone had any advice about these two exams - especially F855. How are you preparing for the comparative exam? Do you know of any good books or resources that I can use? If you've already done this course how did you find it?

This has been really stressing me out and I just don't know what to do! I desperately need that A but at the moment I just can't see myself getting it!

Many thanks in advance!


Hey, hope your exam went well- was wondering if you made notes on the synoptic part of the paper, im really struggling with it? Thanks
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