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can't get above 26/30!! How to get into the a* boundary for edexcel govpol??

At the moment I am very much stagnant in my marks for the 30 mark questions and cannot seem to get over 26/30 every time I write an essay. Firstly does anyone know how many marks out of 30 I actually need for an a*, and also how do I get there. I know I have some time but my mocks for predicted grades are only a term away and I am really hoping for an a* in pol lol. Thanks.
Original post by caeciliusinhortz
At the moment I am very much stagnant in my marks for the 30 mark questions and cannot seem to get over 26/30 every time I write an essay. Firstly does anyone know how many marks out of 30 I actually need for an a*, and also how do I get there. I know I have some time but my mocks for predicted grades are only a term away and I am really hoping for an a* in pol lol. Thanks.

I think colleges may have different grading boundaries but at mine 90% is an A* so 27 marks. I'm in 2nd year and my predicted grade is A* , id deffo say fill it with as many recent relevant examples , you need to show you go beyond the textbook information to get top marks. Also, clear exam structure thats constant throughout. But A is still amazing especially in first year and they say your predicted grade is a grade above your first year grade , so you'll deffo get there :smile:
Original post by caeciliusinhortz
At the moment I am very much stagnant in my marks for the 30 mark questions and cannot seem to get over 26/30 every time I write an essay. Firstly does anyone know how many marks out of 30 I actually need for an a*, and also how do I get there. I know I have some time but my mocks for predicted grades are only a term away and I am really hoping for an a* in pol lol. Thanks.

My teacher actually went over this the other day; apparently it is extremely rare for students to get over 26/30 on the 30 markers simply due to how the mark scheme is structured, and even more impossible to get 28 or 29, let alone 30. You could write the most excellent essay ever but it needs to specifically fit a bunch of crap in the mark scheme that’s very subjective to the examiner, there’s no real clear way to do it, etc. So the main thing differentiating 26-30 marks is whether you’re lucky enough to get an examiner who agrees with the most minute nuances of your essay technique. It’s a tiny little bit ridiculously annoying. I think an A* is like 80% average in Politics i.e. 24 marks, which as I’m sure you know first hand is certainly attainable. If you want to get well above 80% overall for a stronger A* though I guess the only way is to get near-perfect scores in every other question, but for the 30s it’s not as plausible. Doesn’t say anything about your ability - just the ridiculous infrastructure in place from the exam. You probably do deserve 30 marks if you’re consistently getting 26, but Edexcel’s deranged approach is throttling it.

It’s quite irritating. The same issue doesn’t exist in my other essay subjects at all (econ & business). Politics specification & marking is just really overcomplicated and irritating IMO and it’s unfortunate that all that logistical headache translates into people’s grades. Could be a really enjoyable and engaging subject but you spend 99% of your time studying things that have like a 5% chance of appearing on the test or figuring out the very calculated techniques you need to use. It’s a real shame.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by mrkrabs19
I think colleges may have different grading boundaries but at mine 90% is an A* so 27 marks. I'm in 2nd year and my predicted grade is A* , id deffo say fill it with as many recent relevant examples , you need to show you go beyond the textbook information to get top marks. Also, clear exam structure thats constant throughout. But A is still amazing especially in first year and they say your predicted grade is a grade above your first year grade , so you'll deffo get there :smile:

Thank you so much!!
Original post by econmitch
My teacher actually went over this the other day; apparently it is extremely rare for students to get over 26/30 on the 30 markers simply due to how the mark scheme is structured, and even more impossible to get 28 or 29, let alone 30. You could write the most excellent essay ever but it needs to specifically fit a bunch of crap in the mark scheme that’s very subjective to the examiner, there’s no real clear way to do it, etc. So the main thing differentiating 26-30 marks is whether you’re lucky enough to get an examiner who agrees with the most minute nuances of your essay technique. It’s a tiny little bit ridiculously annoying. I think an A* is like 80% average in Politics i.e. 24 marks, which as I’m sure you know first hand is certainly attainable. If you want to get well above 80% overall for a stronger A* though I guess the only way is to get near-perfect scores in every other question, but for the 30s it’s not as plausible. Doesn’t say anything about your ability - just the ridiculous infrastructure in place from the exam. You probably do deserve 30 marks if you’re consistently getting 26, but Edexcel’s deranged approach is throttling it.

It’s quite irritating. The same issue doesn’t exist in my other essay subjects at all (econ & business). Politics specification & marking is just really overcomplicated and irritating IMO and it’s unfortunate that all that logistical headache translates into people’s grades. Could be a really enjoyable and engaging subject but you spend 99% of your time studying things that have like a 5% chance of appearing on the test or figuring out the very calculated techniques you need to use. It’s a real shame.

which board do you do? Our exams only consist of each paper with two 30 markers and then one 24 marker so theres not much space to gain marks on the other questions haha
Original post by caeciliusinhortz
which board do you do? Our exams only consist of each paper with two 30 markers and then one 24 marker so theres not much space to gain marks on the other questions haha

I do Edexcel as well aha. That’s the correct exam layout for UK politics, but there’s also 12-markers for the comparative politics part once you get to Year 2 US Politics; I think the US Paper is 2 12 markers and 2 30 markers. You are right though haha it’s still not much space to rack up marks.

Politics is just kinda dodgy. I get 100% avg in econ and business then barely scrape by an A* in politics and I wouldn’t say I’m especially better in them than politics, it’s just a really crappy setup for it by Edexcel. I mean we’re still gonna be examined on EU law this year, and we’re not even in the EU anymore.. might as well study the Nigerian political system too while we’re at it. It’s just a bit of a mess haha I hope they give it a proper overhaul after this year.
(edited 3 years ago)
Original post by Mayataylor
Yeah my other subjects are the more ‘traditional academic’ ones - history, English lit- but even tho politics content is easy it’s the only one I can’t get into the top boundary for. That’s so annoying with the EU law lolll and the textbooks are so outdated it’s frustrating

Yeah I haven’t used the textbooks since like Week 1 of Year 12 lol they were garbage. It’s so strange cause a lot of people take politics and yet it’s one of the most underwhelming/annoying subjects.

I’m the same my other subjects are defo harder, personally I don’t think there’s much hard about A Level Politics at all it’s just memorisation and technique. And yet I have to spend the most time on politics trying to find my own resources to revise the excessively extensive content, just to get lower grades due to some bs marking system it has. Would defo never recommend it after my experience with it unless Edexcel did some serious reform.
Reply 7
Did your school tell you to use that chunky 40 quid Edexcel politics textbook? I find it somewhat helpful, except for the fact it is massively outdated and I am constantly having to do research to find relevant examples. Also, I'm stuck at 24/30 marks rn in source questions. It sucks.
update: I got my first 28/30 today!!!
Original post by caeciliusinhortz
update: I got my first 28/30 today!!!

Can you share your essay structure/format?
Original post by bluesun86
Can you share your essay structure/format?


Sure, I find 3 points supporting the view in the question and three counter-arguments from the source or ok depending on the qu. So I lay it out as:
Lay out argument and define key terms
Point 1
Evidence (from source or ok)
Recent examples to back up
Counter Point 1
Evidence (from source or ok)
Recent examples to back up
Mini conclusion

Repeat
thank you!! Im really struggling with politics essays
Original post by econmitch
I do Edexcel as well aha. That’s the correct exam layout for UK politics, but there’s also 12-markers for the comparative politics part once you get to Year 2 US Politics; I think the US Paper is 2 12 markers and 2 30 markers. You are right though haha it’s still not much space to rack up marks.

Politics is just kinda dodgy. I get 100% avg in econ and business then barely scrape by an A* in politics and I wouldn’t say I’m especially better in them than politics, it’s just a really crappy setup for it by Edexcel. I mean we’re still gonna be examined on EU law this year, and we’re not even in the EU anymore.. might as well study the Nigerian political system too while we’re at it. It’s just a bit of a mess haha I hope they give it a proper overhaul after this year.


Hey! Is it possible if I could look at some of your essays for reference? I’m kind of struggling with politics and would really appreciate if u could lmk!

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