The Student Room Group

Feedback on the HAT (History Admissions Test) for a 2023 Applicant

Hi, I am sitting my HAT next week and would like some feedback regarding my answer to the 2014 past paper. This was sat under timed conditions and it is difficult to work out how I am doing so any feedback would be much appreciated.
The link to the paper can be found here...
https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/files/hatpaper2014editedpdf
https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/files/cdadmissionshatmarkingscheme2014pdf

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This extract is centered around a trial record of an interrogation of a beggar boy. Schweyer's testimony reveals that Augsburg society had some beggar families experiencing long-term struggle and they were faced with not only public disapproval and oppositon from the state, but also some level of sympathy from the public. Moreover, in addition to beggars in Augsburg society having an established system of begging, the legal system also had an established system in dealing with beggars. This extract is a legal document, which somewhat is somewhat limiting as it is written from a third person perspective and probably by the court official. As a result, it is not confirmed that these answers were in reality exactly what Schweyer responded with, however, one can still make inferences into society at the time from the content of this extract through the assumptions of the author.

Firstly, many families in Augsburg society in the 16th century faced long-term struggle and had to resort to begging. This is implied near the beginning of the source where Schweyer claims that he has lived in Augsburg for 'seven winters or so'. Having to beg for seven years demonstrates that families face poverty and so have to resort to beginning perhaps seasonally not for a limited period of time, but instead are caught in a regular and long-term poverty trap. Moreover, this point is further reinforced by the fact that Schweyer carries on returning to beg after being removed from the city 'seven times'. This suggests that beggar families have often to choice but to beg and that it is their last resort, otherwise they would not risk corporal punishment when returning again and again. Additionally, this long term struggle also could result in the separation of families with the defendant's father and brother being in Oberhausen, which suggests that beggar families may be separated as a result of the struggle that they face. The causes of this long-term struggle is also implied within this extract, with the author stating that the parents have 'no trade other than begging', while the mother claims to have epilepsy and the father also claiming to have a 'bad back'. Although the truths of these claims cannot be verified by the source, the fact that these explanations are given suggests that this is a plausible reality for many families. As a result, many families in Augsburg face long-term struggle and separation by being caught in a poverty trap, perhaps due to lacking skills or trade or injury.

Secondly, the long-term struggle that is faced by beggar families in Augsburg is accompanied by some level of official disaproval but also some level of public support. This is demonstrated by the fact that the court official asks some leading questions when interrogating Schweyer. He suggests that his family 'squanders' what they beg for and 'claims' to be injured. As a result, this emotive tone demonstrates that many percieve that the blame for their poverty rests on the beggar families themselves, as they are irresponsible with their money. Moreover, it also provides insight into the fact that many beleive that the beggars are faking their injury's in an attempt to raise sympathy and not work. Moreover, this point is further reinfored by the fact that instead of the court officials being sympathetic to the child, they banish or 'put them out' of the city. However, it is implied that there is some level of public support, as begging does seem to be somewhat effective. This is demonstrated by the fact that families has made some money of beginning, otherwise, there would be no reason to stay at 'Werrtach Bridge' and keep returning to Augusburg. As a result, in addition to official opposition to begging by many who percieve them as wasteful and irresponsible, there is some public sympathy for beggars in Augsburg in the 16th century.

Additionally, this official opposition by the legal system to beggars may have caused them to establish some level of a system among themselves. This is demonstrated by the fact that Schweyer refuses to name any person that aided him with his begging such as the 'bathers' or the 'peasants he stayed with'. This is information that he would have probably have known, as he had lived with them in close proximity. The fact that he refuses to denunciate people sympathetic to beggars suggests that there is a system of rules which govern beggars behaviour, such as not telling authorities some information.Moreover, this is reinforced by the fact that some beggars gather on 'Wertach Bridge'. This implies that begging is organised at some degree in some places in Augsburg, which further reinforces the idea of some level of an established system of behaviour amongst the beggars of Augsburg.

Lastly, Augsburg in the 16th century has an somewhat ineffective legal system based on torture, humiliation and violent practices. This is demonstrated by the range of torture methods and humilation methods given in the passage. The author assumes that the reader knows what the "Fools House" is and that torture is commonplace in Augsburg society demonstrated by that Schweyer 'testified without torture' which suggests that torture is not uncommmon. This legal system is somewhat ineffective, as demonstrated by the fact that Schweyer keeps returning even after he was 'put out of' the city after 7 times and that there are other beggars on 'Wertach Bridge'. However, we also have other cases where this legal system has been effective, such as Michael Schweyer leaving Augsburg for Oberhausen after repeated punishment in the Fools House.

In conclusion, Augsburg society holds many beggar families facing long term struggle, perhaps due to injury and deficiency in skills. Moreover, these beggar families face both some level of official disapproval but also some level of public sympathy. Lastly, not only do beggars have a system to govern their behaviour with a rejection of denunciations to officials but the legal system is only partially effective in dealing with begging in Augsburg in the 16th century.
Hello, I am doing the HAT tomorrow too and just did this past paper as well! I would share it with you, but I hand wrote it :P

Obviously I am not an expert, but from what I have gathered about how to answer the HAT, I think you have a really solid answer here and you write really well and with good clarity. You also came up with really interesting interpretations which I did not consider, such as how the beggar boy may be hiding the identities of those who aided him. You also managed to cover lots of points - I am awful with timing and only ever seem to be able to write 3 paragraphs maximum in the time given, sometimes not even that :P

I suppose the only thing I would suggest is to put discussions of the limitations in the conclusion or throughout the essay, rather than in the introduction. I don't think this much detail in the intro is needed, but it is also a really good intro.

Good luck for tomorrow! :biggrin:
G
Original post by sabrina19_
Hello, I am doing the HAT tomorrow too and just did this past paper as well! I would share it with you, but I hand wrote it :P

Obviously I am not an expert, but from what I have gathered about how to answer the HAT, I think you have a really solid answer here and you write really well and with good clarity. You also came up with really interesting interpretations which I did not consider, such as how the beggar boy may be hiding the identities of those who aided him. You also managed to cover lots of points - I am awful with timing and only ever seem to be able to write 3 paragraphs maximum in the time given, sometimes not even that :P

I suppose the only thing I would suggest is to put discussions of the limitations in the conclusion or throughout the essay, rather than in the introduction. I don't think this much detail in the intro is needed, but it is also a really good intro.

Good luck for tomorrow! :biggrin:



Thank you so much! Good luck!
Hiii just sat the hat...how did you guys find it omg
Original post by Random.gurl
Hiii just sat the hat...how did you guys find it omg

I found the question much nicer than previous years with its really large scope, but i’m scared i’ve missed something big. Wbu!
Original post by MrMonteCristo
I found the question much nicer than previous years with its really large scope, but i’m scared i’ve missed something big. Wbu!

same! I thought it was a pretty decent question and finding themes wasn't too difficult. However, I'm worried that my observations were too surface level :frown:
Original post by MrMonteCristo
I found the question much nicer than previous years with its really large scope, but i’m scared i’ve missed something big. Wbu!

Hii..I talked about gender expectations within the culture and the importance of food for the community...anyone else??
Hi, sorry for the late reply! I found the HAT ok, there were a lot of themes to cover which was good on one hand, but also I ran out of time in the middle of a paragraph. I think my points were decent though, I hope so anyways... I'm just happy it's over!

Hope your applications all go well :smile:
Original post by sabrina19_
Hi, sorry for the late reply! I found the HAT ok, there were a lot of themes to cover which was good on one hand, but also I ran out of time in the middle of a paragraph. I think my points were decent though, I hope so anyways... I'm just happy it's over!

Hope your applications all go well :smile:

Same for you!! Which college??
Original post by Random.gurl
Same for you!! Which college??


Jesus :P You?
Original post by Random.gurl
Hii..I talked about gender expectations within the culture and the importance of food for the community...anyone else??

I spoke about, education = the importance of education, liberal attitudes to women in education and how many of the scholars were educated in Bukhara and not in Qazaq which I found interesting but now I’m thinking about it I’m not crazy sure :smile:
I also spoke how religion and gender interacted/ expectations of women…
And then some other stuff

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