A level sociology - How to revise

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Nora_M
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I have my tests coming up and i have heard making essay plans is a good way to revise but i don't really get how you make essay plans if anyone could provide an example it would be greatly appreciated as well as give me some effective revision techniques.
Last edited by Nora_M; 6 months ago
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University of Sussex Official Reps
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(Original post by Nora_M)
I have my tests coming up and i have heard making essay plans is a good way to revise but i don't really get how you make essay plans if anyone could provide an example it would be greatly appreciated as well as give me some effective revision techniques.
Hello, thank you for your question.

Myself, I am currently an undergraduate university student, studying Medical Neuroscience. However, I have previously completed an A Level in Sociology, securing the grade that I have aimed for.

Making an effective essay plan is definitely a great way to revise! Especially, since questions do repeat from year to year to some extent. Plus, it will help you to process the information deeply, improving your recall, as well as, allow you to make the connections between the different concepts, theories and ideas. My tips for making an effective essay plan/writing the best response would be to:

1. Carefully read the question; underlining the key words. Indeed, most of the time, students lose marks for not including the most relevant information, or missing out the crucial information; rather than including the incorrect information. So, figuring out what the question is really asking is arguably the most important step. I would avoid rushing too much - spending few minutes figuring out what the answer should include helps to avoid mis-interpreting the question and makes the writing process more efficient.
2. Figure out the best structure for the essay; in terms of how many paragraphs you would want to write and in what order. Divide your plan accordingly into for instance: the introduction (1 paragraph), the main section (4 paragraphs) and conclusion (1 paragraph). Perhaps, think about the heading for each paragraph or the main point that it would address and write it down.
3. Brain storm the essay content; using any resources that you need to help you. You could for example use a mind map to do this. Then allocate the points into the correct sections of the plan.
3. Keep the plan concise and well-structured (no longer than 1 page). Always try to bullet point your answer; ensuring that the points are in the order that you would use them in the actual answer. Remember that the plan is supposed to act as a cue to help you to recall the information, rather than to include all the details that you actually wish to write.

With regard to the most effective revision techniques, I always found it useful to use revision cards (either in paper format or digital ones), which included a question on 1 side and an answer on the other. That way you could easily test your recall of the key theories and the knowledge of the key studies, dates, persons, etc. You could ask someone else to test you or alternatively you could do this by yourself, too.
Secondly, recording voice notes, where you just talk yourself through the main findings of the studies and then listening back to them could be a good idea. You could also do this for example with any previous essay answers that you have written; and wish to memorise the content of.
As a general rule, the more you repeat going over the content, the easier it will be to recall it during the exam.
Furthermore, I would advise making use of the diagrams, flow charts and timelines, when it comes to organising your revision content in a most logical manner. For example, timelines could be useful for organising research studies; so that you can work out how the understanding of a given concept/theory has evolved over time.
Moreover, it is always good to think critically about the content and evaluate the findings, as well as, make the comparisons and connections between the different studies and theories. Tables could be useful for this - where you focus on the most important differences and similarities between studies and theories.
Lastly, teaching someone else about what you have learned may help you to consolidate your understanding.

Overall, no matter what revision technique you use, I would always try to ensure you process the content deeply. This means it is best to avoid just re-reading the information, since despite giving the impression of improving your familiarity with the content; is actually associated with shallow processing and poor recall. Regularly, testing yourself on your knowledge of the key information will help you to evaluate your progress and to see whether you need to make any changes in your revision methods.

I hope this helps - let me know if you have any questions.

Best Wishes,
Kasia (4th Year Medical Neuroscience Student, MSci with a Year Abroad)
Last edited by University of Sussex Official Reps; 6 months ago
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username5129378
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#3
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watch one of Ibz Mo's vids on yt!
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Nora_M
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Report Thread starter 5 months ago
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(Original post by University of Sussex Official Reps)
Hello, thank you for your question.

Myself, I am currently an undergraduate university student, studying Medical Neuroscience. However, I have previously completed an A Level in Sociology, securing the grade that I have aimed for.

Making an effective essay plan is definitely a great way to revise! Especially, since questions do repeat from year to year to some extent. Plus, it will help you to process the information deeply, improving your recall, as well as, allow you to make the connections between the different concepts, theories and ideas. My tips for making an effective essay plan/writing the best response would be to:

1. Carefully read the question; underlining the key words. Indeed, most of the time, students lose marks for not including the most relevant information, or missing out the crucial information; rather than including the incorrect information. So, figuring out what the question is really asking is arguably the most important step. I would avoid rushing too much - spending few minutes figuring out what the answer should include helps to avoid mis-interpreting the question and makes the writing process more efficient.
2. Figure out the best structure for the essay; in terms of how many paragraphs you would want to write and in what order. Divide your plan accordingly into for instance: the introduction (1 paragraph), the main section (4 paragraphs) and conclusion (1 paragraph). Perhaps, think about the heading for each paragraph or the main point that it would address and write it down.
3. Brain storm the essay content; using any resources that you need to help you. You could for example use a mind map to do this. Then allocate the points into the correct sections of the plan.
3. Keep the plan concise and well-structured (no longer than 1 page). Always try to bullet point your answer; ensuring that the points are in the order that you would use them in the actual answer. Remember that the plan is supposed to act as a cue to help you to recall the information, rather than to include all the details that you actually wish to write.

With regard to the most effective revision techniques, I always found it useful to use revision cards (either in paper format or digital ones), which included a question on 1 side and an answer on the other. That way you could easily test your recall of the key theories and the knowledge of the key studies, dates, persons, etc. You could ask someone else to test you or alternatively you could do this by yourself, too.
Secondly, recording voice notes, where you just talk yourself through the main findings of the studies and then listening back to them could be a good idea. You could also do this for example with any previous essay answers that you have written; and wish to memorise the content of.
As a general rule, the more you repeat going over the content, the easier it will be to recall it during the exam.
Furthermore, I would advise making use of the diagrams, flow charts and timelines, when it comes to organising your revision content in a most logical manner. For example, timelines could be useful for organising research studies; so that you can work out how the understanding of a given concept/theory has evolved over time.
Moreover, it is always good to think critically about the content and evaluate the findings, as well as, make the comparisons and connections between the different studies and theories. Tables could be useful for this - where you focus on the most important differences and similarities between studies and theories.
Lastly, teaching someone else about what you have learned may help you to consolidate your understanding.

Overall, no matter what revision technique you use, I would always try to ensure you process the content deeply. This means it is best to avoid just re-reading the information, since despite giving the impression of improving your familiarity with the content; is actually associated with shallow processing and poor recall. Regularly, testing yourself on your knowledge of the key information will help you to evaluate your progress and to see whether you need to make any changes in your revision methods.

I hope this helps - let me know if you have any questions.

Best Wishes,
Kasia (4th Year Medical Neuroscience Student, MSci with a Year Abroad)
Thank you so much, i'm definitely going to incorporate these techniques into my revision.
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Nora_M
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Hazzz01)
watch one of Ibz Mo's vids on yt!
I have watched him before his videos weren't really my vibe thank you though.
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University of Sussex Official Reps
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(Original post by Nora_M)
Thank you so much, i'm definitely going to incorporate these techniques into my revision.
You are most welcome! Best of luck with everything!

Best Wishes,
Kasia
Last edited by University of Sussex Official Reps; 5 months ago
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X.243llie
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is a level sociology much harder then gcse?
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Nora_M
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(Original post by X.243llie)
is a level sociology much harder then gcse?
I didn't do it at GCSE but my friends who did haven't had any issues with it but have said there is a-lot more content so i would advise to keep on top of your revision. If you truly like the subject pick it because you will be more inclined to revise it etc and will enjoy learning about it
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(Original post by X.243llie)
is a level sociology much harder then gcse?
Hello, thank you for your question.

Myself, I have only studied sociology at A Level. However, generally with all A levels, you can expect a step-up from GCSE, in terms of the quantity and the complexity of the studied material. Nonetheless, doing GCSE sociology will already put you at an advantage (relative to students who have not studied this subject previously); and with the right level of support and determination, you can expect to achieve fantastic results! Furthermore, it is worth to remember that you will only study 3 subjects at A Level, whereas you cover around 10 subject at GCSE Level. This means that while A Levels are more challenging than GCSEs, they are definitely not out-of-reach; and indeed numerous students score better at this stage than they have done previously; due to being more interested and focussed on their chosen areas of study.

I hope this eases some of your concerns. Let me know if you have any further questions .

Best Wishes,
Kasia (4th Year Medical Neuroscience Student, MSci with a Year Abroad)
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X.243llie
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(Original post by Nora_M)
I didn't do it at GCSE but my friends who did haven't had any issues with it but have said there is a-lot more content so i would advise to keep on top of your revision. If you truly like the subject pick it because you will be more inclined to revise it etc and will enjoy learning about it
thankyou.i picked all the subjects i like i thinked i would like.ive heard its a 'easy' A level but idk what people mean by that. apparently its like gcse but idk
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X.243llie
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(Original post by University of Sussex Official Reps)
Hello, thank you for your question.

Myself, I have only studied sociology at A Level. However, generally with all A levels, you can expect a step-up from GCSE, in terms of the quantity and the complexity of the studied material. Nonetheless, doing GCSE sociology will already put you at an advantage (relative to students who have not studied this subject previously); and with the right level of support and determination, you can expect to achieve fantastic results! Furthermore, it is worth to remember that you will only study 3 subjects at A Level, whereas you cover around 10 subject at GCSE Level. This means that while A Levels are more challenging than GCSEs, they are definitely not out-of-reach; and indeed numerous students score better at this stage than they have done previously; due to being more interested and focussed on their chosen areas of study.

I hope this eases some of your concerns. Let me know if you have any further questions .

Best Wishes,
Kasia (4th Year Medical Neuroscience Student, MSci with a Year Abroad)
thankyou. i figured i just pick what i like and then i will want to study it amd do the work.im staying on at my school to do sixth form and i hope ill still get the same help if i requires it as i have at gcse.
do the teachers still help you at A level?
is there any like interventions or something if i do struggle? (i knkw this may vary on school but i think most schools are similar)
lastly what happens if you get bad grades?
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Nora_M
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(Original post by X.243llie)
thankyou.i picked all the subjects i like i thinked i would like.ive heard its a 'easy' A level but idk what people mean by that. apparently its like gcse but idk
Sorry for the late reply, but i feel like calling it an easy subject discredits it which i find loads of people do when they compare it to the sciences etc but it is veryyy content heavy but due to its enjoyability it kind of makes it easier in that sense. But we did cover some of the GCSE content in A level so you would have that advantage if you were to pick it
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(Original post by Nora_M)
Sorry for the late reply, but i feel like calling it an easy subject discredits it which i find loads of people do when they compare it to the sciences etc but it is veryyy content heavy but due to its enjoyability it kind of makes it easier in that sense. But we did cover some of the GCSE content in A level so you would have that advantage if you were to pick it
ive already picked. i like the subject a lot and i also chose psychology as i thought both would go hand in hand together and therefore make my knowledge better and understanding better
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(Original post by X.243llie)
ive already picked. i like the subject a lot and i also chose psychology as i thought both would go hand in hand together and therefore make my knowledge better and understanding better
Yeah they really do, I do both of those subjects for A level and there are definitely cross overs especially in research methods section so it really does help getting taught it twice (can be a bit boring though). But yeah they are two good subjects and you get to test them out for a bit I don't know if your school does it but for mine there was a window of time for people to change subjects they didn't like so yeah.
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Nora_M)
I have my tests coming up and i have heard making essay plans is a good way to revise but i don't really get how you make essay plans if anyone could provide an example it would be greatly appreciated as well as give me some effective revision techniques.
I've found using "study with me" videos really helpful, particularly when studying from home and not being around people in lockdown! Have made a few of my own but there's loads on youtube so would recommend trying that as a general revision tip
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