Edexcel Unit 2 (Retake), Unit 3 and Coursework/Unit 4!

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Covington4
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Hello, I am hoping to get some helpful tips on how to excel at Edexcel History A-Level. I got an AS grade of a C, which was really quite disappointing to me, I had hoped for atleast a B but unit 2 let me down, which is why I am retaking it!

For Unit 2 I am doing Britain and the Nationalist Challenge in India, I got a D in the exam, unfortunately I didn't get my paper back so I don't know what I did wrong, but I gather it was the way I structured my answers as it is a source based exam. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how to structure my answers as sources are not my favourite!

For Unit 3 I am doing Superpower relations. I haven't been told how to structure these answers for the exam, but I do know that there is a 30 mark question (pure essay) and a 40 mark question which requires source evaluation. Does anyone have any tips on how to do well at this unit? I am pretty okay at learning the content but I believe my writing style is completely off and rigid, it is not fluent at all. I have no idea how to make my writing more fluent, I guess I just don't have the natural "nack" to write a well articulated essay.

For Unit 4 / The Coursework, I have no idea how to structure my Part A. Do I have to say the short-term significance of my chosen event and pick around 3/4 factors on why this event was significant? I know I have to use around 4-6 contemporary sources but what does contemporary actually mean? Does an autobiography count as a contemporary source or just a secondary source?

Thanks for any help in advance, I would really like to try and achieve an A this year, it seems like a long shot but I am determined!
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Covington4
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mina892070
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Hey! I did the same exam in May 2015 and Igot 92/100 UMS. I never really understood what was being asked of me until Isat down and just spent my time looking at the 20 and 40mks for the India paper.

If you’re retaking then my advice would be:
20Mark Q: ONLY look at the sources.
- Your intro should be about thesources generally
– which ones agree with the Q AND with each other?
- Annotate your sources and tryto find links between them.
- Pick a link that you have foundin 2 or more sources and write about it in relation to the Q
– what does yourpoint say, what does it have to do with the Q
- Carry on like this – the whole exam is about CROSS REFERENCING
- Don’t forget to give yourpoints ‘weight’ – ‘greatly impacts’ ‘limited impact’ ‘large significance’ etc.


40 Mark Q: your own knowledge is worth morethan you realise.
- Again, look at the biggerpicture before ‘zooming in’
– your intro should be general but also show theexaminer you understand the Q and sources
- My advice would be DO NOTseparate your own knowledge from the source.
- If you have a knowledge point,then pair it up with a cross referencing point between two or more sources.
- When you have finished writingabout ‘cross reference point + own knowledge’ you can add in any extraknowledge that has nothing to do with the sources if it is relevant to your Q

This year, I’m doing America Boom, Bust andRecover 1917-1954 and Arab-Israeli conflict as my coursework. From what I have learned so far – DETAIL IS KEY!

Aside from that, the ‘sources’ one is morelike historiography – so looking at a certain period of time and seeing HOW people have written about that event depending on social and ideological positions. I cannot stress how important planning is.
If you don’t plan then your whole essay will go down the drain. My plans are sodetailed they’re like a mini essay on their own (when I’m practicing). I jot down my points and even how I will start the paragraph; will it be e.g. “Themotor manufacturing industry had the greatest impact on US economy during the1920s” etc.

For the coursework, I think it’s vital not to limit yourself to written sources – look for documentaries, look at onlinesources – e.g. I ‘m doing the Arab- Israeli conflict so I can use publicdocuments on the Israeli government’s website if need be to use as a source fora point. Contemporary means belonging to that time.We are still learning so before you think about WHAT to write, learn the content so you know the bigger picture before focusing on an event.


I hope I was helpful
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Covington4
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(Original post by mina892070)
Hey! I did the same exam in May 2015 and Igot 92/100 UMS. I never really understood what was being asked of me until Isat down and just spent my time looking at the 20 and 40mks for the India paper.

If you’re retaking then my advice would be:
20Mark Q: ONLY look at the sources.
- Your intro should be about thesources generally
– which ones agree with the Q AND with each other?
- Annotate your sources and tryto find links between them.
- Pick a link that you have foundin 2 or more sources and write about it in relation to the Q
– what does yourpoint say, what does it have to do with the Q
- Carry on like this – the whole exam is about CROSS REFERENCING
- Don’t forget to give yourpoints ‘weight’ – ‘greatly impacts’ ‘limited impact’ ‘large significance’ etc.


40 Mark Q: your own knowledge is worth morethan you realise.
- Again, look at the biggerpicture before ‘zooming in’
– your intro should be general but also show theexaminer you understand the Q and sources
- My advice would be DO NOTseparate your own knowledge from the source.
- If you have a knowledge point,then pair it up with a cross referencing point between two or more sources.
- When you have finished writingabout ‘cross reference point + own knowledge’ you can add in any extraknowledge that has nothing to do with the sources if it is relevant to your Q

This year, I’m doing America Boom, Bust andRecover 1917-1954 and Arab-Israeli conflict as my coursework. From what I have learned so far – DETAIL IS KEY!

Aside from that, the ‘sources’ one is morelike historiography – so looking at a certain period of time and seeing HOW people have written about that event depending on social and ideological positions. I cannot stress how important planning is.
If you don’t plan then your whole essay will go down the drain. My plans are sodetailed they’re like a mini essay on their own (when I’m practicing). I jot down my points and even how I will start the paragraph; will it be e.g. “Themotor manufacturing industry had the greatest impact on US economy during the1920s” etc.

For the coursework, I think it’s vital not to limit yourself to written sources – look for documentaries, look at onlinesources – e.g. I ‘m doing the Arab- Israeli conflict so I can use publicdocuments on the Israeli government’s website if need be to use as a source fora point. Contemporary means belonging to that time.We are still learning so before you think about WHAT to write, learn the content so you know the bigger picture before focusing on an event.


I hope I was helpful
Wow congratulations on your brilliant mark! I wish I got that

Thank you for the help, I will definitely try to use the structure you stated, it seems like a good way to answer both 40 mark and 20 mark questions. I made around a 15 page summary of notes for the India topic, do you think this is sufficient to revise from? Or should I make detailed notes from the textbook? I just don't want to take time away from Unit 3 and my other subjects for retakes.

Where you said Unit 3 is more about historiography, does this mean I should remember quotes from historians about the topics, and possibly use these quotes in the exam to back up my point? Or is this too complex? I rarely plan, which is probably my downfall, but if I do its far from detailed. I struggle with timing in the exams because I am a slow writer, it is something that I have struggled with since GCSE, I guess I just need to practice more to build up my confidence in writing.

For my coursework we have been taught a general overview of our topic, and now I am trying to find sources based on my question, and hopefully some contemporary ones.

Thank you so much for your help, are you hoping for an A this year? Whatever your hoping for I am sure you will achieve it, you seem very knowledgeable
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mina892070
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(Original post by Ben4)
Wow congratulations on your brilliant mark! I wish I got that

Thank you for the help, I will definitely try to use the structure you stated, it seems like a good way to answer both 40 mark and 20 mark questions. I made around a 15 page summary of notes for the India topic, do you think this is sufficient to revise from? Or should I make detailed notes from the textbook? I just don't want to take time away from Unit 3 and my other subjects for retakes.

Where you said Unit 3 is more about historiography, does this mean I should remember quotes from historians about the topics, and possibly use these quotes in the exam to back up my point? Or is this too complex? I rarely plan, which is probably my downfall, but if I do its far from detailed. I struggle with timing in the exams because I am a slow writer, it is something that I have struggled with since GCSE, I guess I just need to practice more to build up my confidence in writing.

For my coursework we have been taught a general overview of our topic, and now I am trying to find sources based on my question, and hopefully some contemporary ones.

Thank you so much for your help, are you hoping for an A this year? Whatever your hoping for I am sure you will achieve it, you seem very knowledgeable

I would say do what you feel more comfortable with. I made textbook notes and then went over those notes and shortened them so I had a detailed and an overview version in case I needed more information.

In terms of Unit 3, I am still a little unsure but from what I understand they will give you sources and you will have to write an essay (I guess it's like a mini 40 mark essay).

If you find that you write slow then my best advice would be to work on your sentence structure..? Like try finding ways of condensing your writing or time to see how long it takes you to write a good and decent paragraph so you know what you can aim for in the exam? (Just a suggestion)

I really am hoping for an A this year *fingers crossed* and good luck to you too!!
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