self teaching A2 US politics edexcel please help with advice!

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shhc97
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#1
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#1
Hey guys long story short, i am on a gap year and i am self teaching myself US government and politics. I feel like i have context down however when i start doing papers i am so clueless as to what they are asking or how to do a 45 marker. I really need at least a B in Gov and Pol. Does anyone have any advice with how to tackle exam papers but also any resources for recent examples? THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!!
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calmer410
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(Original post by shhc97)
Hey guys long story short, i am on a gap year and i am self teaching myself US government and politics. I feel like i have context down however when i start doing papers i am so clueless as to what they are asking or how to do a 45 marker. I really need at least a B in Gov and Pol. Does anyone have any advice with how to tackle exam papers but also any resources for recent examples? THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!!
Go through the mark schemes, examiners' reports and formulate an essay plan. Also, watch the news daily and try realclearpolitics.com for election statistics and current reports.
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Audrey18
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(Original post by shhc97)
Hey guys long story short, i am on a gap year and i am self teaching myself US government and politics. I feel like i have context down however when i start doing papers i am so clueless as to what they are asking or how to do a 45 marker. I really need at least a B in Gov and Pol. Does anyone have any advice with how to tackle exam papers but also any resources for recent examples? THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!!
(Original post by calmer410)
Go through the mark schemes, examiners' reports and formulate an essay plan. Also, watch the news daily and try realclearpolitics.com for election statistics and current reports.
how was your AS grades? Did the exams turn out well for you? How are you guys finding A2 American option? do share more. thanks.
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honestly
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(Original post by shhc97)
Hey guys long story short, i am on a gap year and i am self teaching myself US government and politics. I feel like i have context down however when i start doing papers i am so clueless as to what they are asking or how to do a 45 marker. I really need at least a B in Gov and Pol. Does anyone have any advice with how to tackle exam papers but also any resources for recent examples? THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!!

Past papers along with their mark schemes will tell you what you need to know. its not a hard subject. If your a student who can get at least a B in history or english then politics is not hard, except with remembering a broad range of terminology.
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rushiwick
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For recent examples, you can find some amazing articles from The Washington Post, especially on the Primaries, 2016 election in general and the upcoming Supreme Court appointment. The New York Times has an amazing primary results log which I highly recommend. You need opinions too from people in politics so I basically bring in Bernie Sanders whenever I can. Make sure you use the other candidates too. And Obama is useful. Also BBC 2 are airing a series of documentaries on Obama's presidency with tonnes of examples on his success as a president. It's called Inside Obama's White House. I recommend that for examples too (my teachers think the success of his presidency might be a 45 mark this year).
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MissDobalina
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Hey there!

Fantastic course choice, by the way

(Original post by rushiwick)
BBC 2 are airing a series of documentaries on Obama's presidency with tonnes of examples on his success as a president. It's called Inside Obama's White House.
This has been a really good series, next episode is airing tonight, I'll definitely be watching.

(Original post by calmer410)
Go through the mark schemes, examiners' reports and formulate an essay plan. Also, watch the news daily and try realclearpolitics.com for election statistics and current reports.
I don't know realclearpolitics, but I'm sure it's fabulous! My college has a subscription to Pre Chewed Politics, and I honestly can't vouch for it enough - it has all the topics, with videos and worksheets for each, plus tons of regularly updated examples, and it makes finding them a breeze.

The White House website is pretty cool too, although there obviously won't be as much analysis as from news websites.

In terms of finding examples, I've ''adopted'' a Representative and a Senator, and I have google alerts on them, plus I've subscribed to their newsletters from their websites. I found out a bit about their background, what bills they've sponsored, and it makes things a bit easier to remember. I tried to choose two who weren't straight white men, and I have one Republican and one Democrat.

On a side note, I find the Constitution topic the hardest, and I found this the other day - it's the full constitution, searchable, with the clauses highlighted, then a ton of beautifully written explanations with historical context and modern usage and interpretation, it's pretty cool

As far as essay technique goes, here's my master list for the 45 markers:
Understand the question
Sounds stupid, but underline the key words, and work out what it is they're asking you to do. You won't get any marks if you don't answer the question

Define key terms
In your intro, explain what you're talking about. If it's a question on the modern presidency, state what the modern Presidency is - (i.e. since 2000? Obama? Since 2012?)

Plan your structure
Aim for about three to four sides (handwritten)
In your intro (half a side), define your terms, outline where the debate/ controversy is, briefly outline the examples you will go on to give, and you can give an indication of the conclusion you will come to
The write your four main points, half a side each, making sure to fit in with the PEEP structure:
Point - Your main argument
Example - Give a relevant, up to date example
Explain - What does your example signify about the question, how is it significant and/or typical?
oPinion - Answer the question

Link your points
Make sure your paragraphs follow on from each other well, and signify how important they are within your main argument

Keep arguments focused
End each paragraph by answering the question, and resist the temptation to write down everything you know - it needs to be relevant

Put down the other side of the argument
Acknowledge the other side of the debate, then explain how wrong it is

Fantastic conclusion
Answer the question in the first line, clearly and definitively
In the next five to eight lines, explain why you think so, referring to broad themes and the respective strength of your arguments

Hope this helps
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mayom
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#7
(Original post by shhc97)
Hey guys long story short, i am on a gap year and i am self teaching myself US government and politics. I feel like i have context down however when i start doing papers i am so clueless as to what they are asking or how to do a 45 marker. I really need at least a B in Gov and Pol. Does anyone have any advice with how to tackle exam papers but also any resources for recent examples? THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!!!

Hey, I've got a blog that may help you www.politicshelp.org
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Pato1
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Do not do past questions, they very rarely repeat for usa
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PlAtYpUsBoi97
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(Original post by Pato1)
Do not do past questions, they very rarely repeat for usa
They rarely repeat themselves exactly but the key themes tend to be repeated, maybe asked in a slightly different way.

Here is a list of every question for Edexcel Unit 3C (Attached)

I will probably be making one for Unit 4C tomorrow.
Attached files
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Pato1
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#10
Fantastic document Jack, I feel really bad for last year's candidates. It was a relatively difficult exam. This year I am almost 100% certain we'll get a 45 congress as it didn't appear in the 45s last year.
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PlAtYpUsBoi97
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(Original post by Pato1)
Fantastic document Jack, I feel really bad for last year's candidates. It was a relatively difficult exam. This year I am almost 100% certain we'll get a 45 congress as it didn't appear in the 45s last year.
Cheers And i hope so, definitely one id be tempted by, dont really like pressure groups if im honest - i hated them at AS as well
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shhc97
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#12
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#12
Hey guys, thank you so much for taking the time out to reply. I was just wondering if you could give me the breakdown that you use for your exam structure? I have been looking at the mark sheme for edexcel and for the 15 markers i would say 3 points and three examples.... for the 45 markers i presume 3 points for and 3 against then a conclusion would one example per a point suffice? since that is what the mark scheme says. what do you think? I am aiming for a B/A. thanks again peeps
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GCSEgirl13
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(Original post by Pato1)
Fantastic document Jack, I feel really bad for last year's candidates. It was a relatively difficult exam. This year I am almost 100% certain we'll get a 45 congress as it didn't appear in the 45s last year.
Well i hope so too. Would you happen to know last years questions as i cant seem to find them :/
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Pato1
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(Original post by GCSEgirl13)
Well i hope so too. Would you happen to know last years questions as i cant seem to find them :/
https://drive.google.com/folderview?...jN1VGxGdzZXbFE
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zchilvers27
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#15
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#15
Hey guys!

i would really appreciate it if someone could message me their notes for unit 3 and unit 4 US AMERICAN POLITICS!

as i have been really ill, and missed lots of the corse.

Good luck revising everyone x
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GCSEgirl13
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#16
thanks
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GCSEgirl13
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(Original post by PlAtYpUsBoi97)
They rarely repeat themselves exactly but the key themes tend to be repeated, maybe asked in a slightly different way.

Here is a list of every question for Edexcel Unit 3C (Attached)

I will probably be making one for Unit 4C tomorrow.
sweet stuff Would you happen to have one for 4C ?
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PlAtYpUsBoi97
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#18
Sorry for the wait, here are both documents:
Attached files
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Sara Duro
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#19
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#19
I love you! Ahaha ! Thank you so much for this. Its amazingly helpful!! Can you share some of the essays from unit 3 from this site please? They seem great.


(Original post by MissDobalina)
Hey there!

Fantastic course choice, by the way



This has been a really good series, next episode is airing tonight, I'll definitely be watching.



I don't know realclearpolitics, but I'm sure it's fabulous! My college has a subscription to Pre Chewed Politics, and I honestly can't vouch for it enough - it has all the topics, with videos and worksheets for each, plus tons of regularly updated examples, and it makes finding them a breeze.

The White House website is pretty cool too, although there obviously won't be as much analysis as from news websites.

In terms of finding examples, I've ''adopted'' a Representative and a Senator, and I have google alerts on them, plus I've subscribed to their newsletters from their websites. I found out a bit about their background, what bills they've sponsored, and it makes things a bit easier to remember. I tried to choose two who weren't straight white men, and I have one Republican and one Democrat.

On a side note, I find the Constitution topic the hardest, and I found this the other day - it's the full constitution, searchable, with the clauses highlighted, then a ton of beautifully written explanations with historical context and modern usage and interpretation, it's pretty cool

As far as essay technique goes, here's my master list for the 45 markers:
Understand the question
Sounds stupid, but underline the key words, and work out what it is they're asking you to do. You won't get any marks if you don't answer the question

Define key terms
In your intro, explain what you're talking about. If it's a question on the modern presidency, state what the modern Presidency is - (i.e. since 2000? Obama? Since 2012?)

Plan your structure
Aim for about three to four sides (handwritten)
In your intro (half a side), define your terms, outline where the debate/ controversy is, briefly outline the examples you will go on to give, and you can give an indication of the conclusion you will come to
The write your four main points, half a side each, making sure to fit in with the PEEP structure:
Point - Your main argument
Example - Give a relevant, up to date example
Explain - What does your example signify about the question, how is it significant and/or typical?
oPinion - Answer the question

Link your points
Make sure your paragraphs follow on from each other well, and signify how important they are within your main argument

Keep arguments focused
End each paragraph by answering the question, and resist the temptation to write down everything you know - it needs to be relevant

Put down the other side of the argument
Acknowledge the other side of the debate, then explain how wrong it is

Fantastic conclusion
Answer the question in the first line, clearly and definitively
In the next five to eight lines, explain why you think so, referring to broad themes and the respective strength of your arguments

Hope this helps
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