A level History 25 mark question help!

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patatasfritas007
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Hi, I'm in Yr 12 and I do AQA history. I have my Yr 12 History exam coming up and I urgently need top band exemplar essays (25 marker) for The Tudors: England 1485-1603 and Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953. I still have not figured out how to get the top band marks or effectively write an essay with my highest score this year being 17/25. It would mean so much if anyone who is doing or has done these topics for A level History AQA could send me any essays they have done
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ElzGeek02
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Hey there! I have just seen your message on my book recommendations thread, and thought I’d come here to help! Unfortunately, I have thrown all my work away (stupid, I know), and my essays themselves are in college with my teacher to be marked, so I can’t send you an example essay. However, I do have a picture of the exam structures we used, and this was the most useful thing we used in our class. I will attach a photo of the structure for you.
Some advice to go alongside this: when making a point, drop in phrases such as “[point]…however, as is commonly debated by historians, [counter arguement]”. Some others include “it can’t be denied the significance of [event/individual etc]”, “historians often debate over how significant this [factor] was in determining the outcome of [event]”.
My teacher got us to do lots of wider reading, to help us drop in extra nuggets of information, which will really help you push for a higher level. Some of these recommendations can be found on my original thread. Since you’re in year 12, you’ll have only just covered the beginning of the revolution, won’t you? If so, Lenin on the Train would be a good one to help build a good picture of the details of his return to Russia/ steps towards the April Thesis etc.
Another tip that’s just come to me: back up each point with 3 pieces of evidence, but always ensure you explain. I often made the mistake of jumping in to my answers and throwing out as much facts as I knew, which isn’t good and meant I didn’t get as many marks. You need to explain your arguments thoroughly and explain how each of your evidences support or challenge it (I know it may sound obvious, but when you’re in the stressful exam conditions it is easy to panic and want to just prove how much you know of the subject).
Be careful around the term “bias”. You can use it, however it is more of a vague GCSE term, so unless you can’t think of any other way argument, try to go into more depth.
Do you use the TAPP structure for your source questions? If not, this may help you in finding points to support your arguments. Time, Author, Audience, Provenence, Purpose (and tone). This last one will nearly always feature in your answers- the tone is such a key- yet overlooked- factor to take into consideration when understanding the source: is the speaker angry, bitter, critical? Why do they have this tone? How does this impact on the value of the source?
Don’t be afraid to really pick apart your arguments. You don’t have to split them into paragraphs- one for the value and one for the challenge. It looks really good if you can argue your FOR point and then in the next sentence go “on the other hand…” to challenge it. This really shows you have the confidence to balance your arguments- try keeping a mindset of there is rarely a strict black-and-white explanation in history- it is all grey areas.
If I think of any more tips I will reply them in this chat, is there any particular AO that you struggle with? Again, I don’t have any example essays to send you, but I can try my best to give you tips on what I found the most helpful.
Good luck with your upcoming tests, have confidence in yourself and remember to breath
PS is your Revolution/Dictatorship paper 1 or 2? Ie is it your breadth or depth study?Name:  784D0DD9-7928-4EE6-94CB-FEFCD5DD5B4E.jpg
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ElzGeek02
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(Original post by patatasfritas007)
I still have not figured out how to get the top band marks or effectively write an essay with my highest score this year being 17/25.
Also, I have just reread your post to make sure I haven’t missed anything out. It is great to see how you are wanting to try your best to get into those higher bands, its a good mindset to have! Go easy on yourself, though- you still have a year to practice your exam skills, so if you are really worried about getting into that top band (and I was like this as well) and it’s really stressing you out, try to think of it instead as an opportunity to see what is going well/ what needs improving in your answers. That makes no sense I know, what I’m trying to say is try not to put too much pressure on yourself This is not your final grade!!
At the end of year 12, I was at a C grade, and over summer I spent time making Flashcards and revising/ practicing, and so I managed to get an A in my progression exam at the start of y13. Before handing in my work, I looked back at my first essays in year 12 compared to my latest in y13, and it was interesting to see how my argument structures developed over time, after adopting the tips I mentioned above. Im sure that this will be the same for you- it just happens naturally over time, with the more practice you have at answering questions.
Again, I’m rlly sorry I can’t send over an example essay, but hopefully somebody else on TSR will have something to add!
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patatasfritas007
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THANK YOU SO MUCH ElzGeek02 especially for taking the time to give me all these tips!
Russian is the depth study for me
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