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AQA AS Philosophy (new 2014 onwards spec) Thread! Watch

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    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd make this thread for anyone currently studying for AQA AS Philosophy.

    Note that this is the course that is one 3 hour exam and studies Epistemology (perception, knowledge etc) and Philosophy of Religion (attributes of God, arguments for his existence etc).

    2017 UPDATE:
    I'm back to revive this thread! This year's AS exam date: Thurs 18th May PM
    Yes, I did terribly last year, no, I didn't decide to drop Philosophy to A2, and yes I am torturing myself by retaking this exam. :congrats:
    Back to work, kids.


    Feel free to discuss anything about it!! I'm certainly looking for people to go over things with ....

    Thanks
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    Hi there,
    Just wondering if the last years AS had the same exam style (2,5,9,15 marker) as we will sit or did they do the older exam style. If so does anyone know the questions they had or a way to find the paper, can't find it myself.
    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Revision.)
    Hi there,
    Just wondering if the last years AS had the same exam style (2,5,9,15 marker) as we will sit or did they do the older exam style. If so does anyone know the questions they had or a way to find the paper, can't find it myself.
    Thanks.

    Last year was the first time the new AS exam was taken, so there should be a past paper for that year but I don't think that it is available online :unimpressed:

    There is however the specimen paper (like the example paper). It's the only thing that's available because the spec is so new :mad:

    Paper: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...5-AS-W-SQP.PDF
    MS: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...5-AS-W-SMS.PDF
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    (Original post by 221Breezeblocks)
    Last year was the first time the new AS exam was taken, so there should be a past paper for that year but I don't think that it is available online :unimpressed:

    There is however the specimen paper (like the example paper). It's the only thing that's available because the spec is so new :mad:

    Paper: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...5-AS-W-SQP.PDF
    MS: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...5-AS-W-SMS.PDF
    i did it last year and it was absolutely dreadful, and i would advise start revising for next year now, as it only gets worse/harder
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    I took the exam last year and be warned GET REVISING! I, resisting as I was predicted an A* and got a C last year the marking is harsh. Your 9-markers are extremely important you have to be able to answer in detail but you cannot say anything irrelevant. The exam is negatively marked so if you just through stuff in that doesn't really answer the question you will inevitably lose marks. Ultimately just practice I'd recommend learning your topics in forms of logical arguments. I can't remember all the questions from last year but the 9-markers for religion were Eschatological verification and the free will defence, with a five marker on paradox of the stone. I remember the 15 being very vague so easy to answer. For epistemology there was a 9 on berkeleys rejection of the primary and secondary quality distinction but I can't remember anything else. Good luck, you'll need it.
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    (Original post by LIZZIES22)
    I took the exam last year and be warned GET REVISING! I, resisting as I was predicted an A* and got a C last year the marking is harsh. Your 9-markers are extremely important you have to be able to answer in detail but you cannot say anything irrelevant. The exam is negatively marked so if you just through stuff in that doesn't really answer the question you will inevitably lose marks. Ultimately just practice I'd recommend learning your topics in forms of logical arguments. I can't remember all the questions from last year but the 9-markers for religion were Eschatological verification and the free will defence, with a five marker on paradox of the stone. I remember the 15 being very vague so easy to answer. For epistemology there was a 9 on berkeleys rejection of the primary and secondary quality distinction but I can't remember anything else. Good luck, you'll need it.
    Also remember they can only ask what's on the spec so just learn that perfectly I also recommend Lacewings textbook
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    So glad there is a thread for this! 17 days to go guys! According to my teacher, he said that he had students who got A's last year. Now they only need a C in the A2 to get an A overall. He was an examiner last year, and said that it's difficult to know what will be on the markschemes until after the exam. So, it's best to really push for this exam!
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    Hi everyone,
    These are last year's AS paper questions, so this year's questions are kind of guaranteed not to be the same as these...?

    1. What is a priori knowledge 2
    2. Outline the 'argument from illusion' against direct realism 5
    3. Explain berkeley's attack on the primary/secondary property distinction 9
    4. Explain locke's argument against innatism 9
    5. Is knowledge justified true belief? 15
    6. What does it mean to claim that God is everlasting? 2
    7. Outline the paradox of the stone 5
    8. Explain how the Free Will Defence responds to the problem of evil 9
    9. Outline the verification principle and explain Hick's claim that religious statements are verifiable eschatologically 9
    10. Does the cosmological argument prove that God exists? 15
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    Hellooo I am retaking this exam from last year after getting a B, I hope ontological argument comes up in some way, shape or form, if not I will cry. My absolute top tip for anyone taking this exam is to articulate your arguments for the 15 marker, don't just plan your answers, construct every single word otherwise you will run out of time just thinking like I did. I hope the fifteen markers are any of the perceptions or the empiricism tbh anything other than the ones that came up I will be content also learn everything on the specimen including God's attributes and you will be okay !
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    According to the grade boundaries and my teacher, last year you could afford to drop up to 23 marks, and still get an A. (57/80) The grade boundaries do not seem to fluctuate too much over the years in the other specifications of Philosophy (adding a few / dropping a few marks). So don't stress out too much guys! Just remember, precision is key. There is no room for redundancy. Good Luck!
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    My teacher thinks I can get an A but I'm so worried something like religious language or origin of concepts which are kinda my weak ones will be the high mark questions in the exam or I will find it hard to explain something on the paper. Anyone have some revision tips I could try out that have worked for you
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    (Original post by Rilind99)
    My teacher thinks I can get an A but I'm so worried something like religious language or origin of concepts which are kinda my weak ones will be the high mark questions in the exam or I will find it hard to explain something on the paper. Anyone have some revision tips I could try out that have worked for you
    I agree, they are pretty difficult topics! My revision tops are to summarise all the theories into small chunks, and practice, practice, practice exam questions. Unfortunately repetition seems to be the most useful method in this subject. Remember that some of the religious language questions are very unlikely to come up again, as if they did, it would seem very unprofessional of AQA. This doesn't mean disregard them, it just means focus more on detail on the other ones. I find flashcards really useful for learning key concepts! Make sure you know the distinction between concept empiricism and knowledge empiricism too, otherwise you will end up with a lot of redundancy (like I did in my mocks). Good luck!
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    (Original post by clucky_chick)
    I agree, they are pretty difficult topics! My revision tops are to summarise all the theories into small chunks, and practice, practice, practice exam questions. Unfortunately repetition seems to be the most useful method in this subject. Remember that some of the religious language questions are very unlikely to come up again, as if they did, it would seem very unprofessional of AQA. This doesn't mean disregard them, it just means focus more on detail on the other ones. I find flashcards really useful for learning key concepts! Make sure you know the distinction between concept empiricism and knowledge empiricism too, otherwise you will end up with a lot of redundancy (like I did in my mocks). Good luck!


    Thank you, I've made a whole set of flashcards on the blue AQA book, so I usually read them and by making charts such as flow maps, Good luck to you too
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    Has anyone done a proper mock for Philosophy in class yet? If so, what were the results your class tended to get

    (I've already done one btw so if you wanna ask anything ye go ahead)
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Has anyone done a proper mock for Philosophy in class yet? If so, what were the results your class tended to get

    (I've already done one btw so if you wanna ask anything ye go ahead)

    We did one in January and I personally got a C oops:p:E Basically it was because I hadn't revised enough (spent the Xmas writing a 3,000 drama essay) and so I couldn't answer some of the questions at all ... I left a 5 marker blank and wrote about half a side for a 15 marker

    What I learnt from that is that to do remotely well you just need to LEARN IT ALLLL! It's a bit **** that it comes down to that but it is really just learning the textbook....

    As a class there's always quite a divide: some really high (90%), most got As, but then a couple Cs like me and few other people... It really just depends how much work you put into it - that's all it comes down to.

    Anyway less than two weeks till the 19th and it's going to be grim... Still aiming for a high A... I'm planning on doing another mock next weekend though
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    (Original post by 221Breezeblocks)
    We did one in January and I personally got a C oops:p:E Basically it was because I hadn't revised enough (spent the Xmas writing a 3,000 drama essay) and so I couldn't answer some of the questions at all ... I left a 5 marker blank and wrote about half a side for a 15 marker

    What I learnt from that is that to do remotely well you just need to LEARN IT ALLLL! It's a bit **** that it comes down to that but it is really just learning the textbook....

    As a class there's always quite a divide: some really high (90%), most got As, but then a couple Cs like me and few other people... It really just depends how much work you put into it - that's all it comes down to.

    Anyway less than two weeks till the 19th and it's going to be grim... Still aiming for a high A... I'm planning on doing another mock next weekend though
    Yeah you have to know absolutely everything to be able to succeed in the philosophy exam which is so much more difficult as you need to be precise consistently .

    And ahh I see, it's good to see people achieving those As . Our class didn't do so well lmao, I believe I was the only one with an A then I think one person got a B and the rest got C and below with the majority getting around E level. Pretty much cause they clearly hadn't made a lot of effort.

    Gl with your aims haha. Those who got 90% are astonishing, my A was only at 80% but I know I could have done better if I had the knowledge as I dropped marks on such small areas like "define sense data" argh.
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Yeah you have to know absolutely everything to be able to succeed in the philosophy exam which is so much more difficult as you need to be precise consistently .

    And ahh I see, it's good to see people achieving those As . Our class didn't do so well lmao, I believe I was the only one with an A then I think one person got a B and the rest got C and below with the majority getting around E level. Pretty much cause they clearly hadn't made a lot of effort.

    Gl with your aims haha. Those who got 90% are astonishing, my A was only at 80% but I know I could have done better if I had the knowledge as I dropped marks on such small areas like "define sense data" argh.
    Ahh well done with your A Do you have any tips or things you always do for the 15 markers?
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    (Original post by 221Breezeblocks)
    Ahh well done with your A Do you have any tips or things you always do for the 15 markers?
    For 15 markers, I usually:

    i) try (if possible; usually only possible for some philosophy of religion questions) to pick out three reasons why a certian argument fails. E.g. for Ontological Argument I use a) incorrectly applies the term of existence, b) begs the question by making us assume a definition of God and c) incorrectly applies the term of necessary.

    ii) Make sure, if applying multiple criticisms, to start with smaller ones then build up to the most damaging criticism.

    iii) Make sure you briefly state the things you're going to argue in the introduction!!!!!!

    iv) Put a conclusion summarising everything you've shown and how you've [dis]proven said argument or whatever.

    v) Keep relating back to the introduction and to the criticism you're making. Don't go off on a tangent and really stick to the point you've said you're trying to argue.

    vi) Don't ever assume knowledge - if something seems complicated then define it for the sake of the reader

    vii) Plan answers to every possible essay q that could come up; will save you a lot of time in the exam.

    viii) I'm iterating V here - keep showing how the thing you're arguing is relevant to the question being asked.

    ix) oh also please balance - consider the criticisms and try to respond, don't ignore them. That's what lowered my mark a little on my most recent POR essay as well.
    --
    I got 14/15 on my last Epistemology essay and 13/15 on my last POR one (It would have been 14/15 but I didn't explain adequately why plantinga defined God as maximally great & didn't balance enough which put my mark down ahh).
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Has anyone done a proper mock for Philosophy in class yet? If so, what were the results your class tended to get

    (I've already done one btw so if you wanna ask anything ye go ahead)
    Yes, I took a mock for the epistemology section in January. I got a B (3 marks off an A, but I did have extenuating circumstances at the time which were not considered whilst the paper was being marked). My teacher spoke to us all in small groups of 2 or 3 to discuss our results. In my group, he told us that we had some of the best results in the class, and that he was worried about the majority of his class, as he felt that they may not pass the exam. So, it really was a mixed bag! Hopefully we'll all manage to pass next week!
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    For 15 markers, I usually:

    i) try (if possible; usually only possible for some philosophy of religion questions) to pick out three reasons why a certian argument fails. E.g. for Ontological Argument I use a) incorrectly applies the term of existence, b) begs the question by making us assume a definition of God and c) incorrectly applies the term of necessary.

    ii) Make sure, if applying multiple criticisms, to start with smaller ones then build up to the most damaging criticism.

    iii) Make sure you briefly state the things you're going to argue in the introduction!!!!!!

    iv) Put a conclusion summarising everything you've shown and how you've [dis]proven said argument or whatever.

    v) Keep relating back to the introduction and to the criticism you're making. Don't go off on a tangent and really stick to the point you've said you're trying to argue.

    vi) Don't ever assume knowledge - if something seems complicated then define it for the sake of the reader

    vii) Plan answers to every possible essay q that could come up; will save you a lot of time in the exam.

    viii) I'm iterating V here - keep showing how the thing you're arguing is relevant to the question being asked.

    ix) oh also please balance - consider the criticisms and try to respond, don't ignore them. That's what lowered my mark a little on my most recent POR essay as well.
    --
    I got 14/15 on my last Epistemology essay and 13/15 on my last POR one (It would have been 14/15 but I didn't explain adequately why plantinga defined God as maximally great & didn't balance enough which put my mark down ahh).
    Excellent points! An intermediate conclusion can be really helpful too, as it shows that you are on-track with the exam question.
 
 
 
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