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GCSE History

There is a lot of information to learn in GCSE History but I find it relatively easy to revise that knowledge, it is answering the questions I struggle with. Any top tips for structuring answers?
Reply 1
Hey! I'm on the Edexcel board, if you are too could you tell me which topics you're doing? I can help if they're the same as mine, since my teacher tells us how to structure answers.
Hi! I am also on the Edexcel board and I am doing medicine through time, normans, Cold War and USA relationships. If you have the same I would seriously appreciate any advice but don’t worry if not!
Reply 3
Original post by MargotHaworth
Hi! I am also on the Edexcel board and I am doing medicine through time, normans, Cold War and USA relationships. If you have the same I would seriously appreciate any advice but don’t worry if not!

Yeah, it's no worries! So, for medicine through time:

Question one is just either a 'Similar' or a 'different' comparison. If it's a similar, name two things that are similar about medicine from either the cause/prevention/treatment (depending on the question) from both the time periods.

Here's a tip - if it's cause I'd recommend using Miasma, since that can be reworked to suit modern times if needed (dirty smells = germs, germ theory). So, as a template:

Period 1: context + example:
e.g. in medieval times they believed religious reasons, such as God caused disease, as they were unaware of the existence of bacteria. This is largely in part due to the church's influence in spreading the belief of sin as the origin of illness.

Period 2: context + example:
e.g. In the renaissance the belief of God causing illness still held true, as the church still held a large amount of power over a majorly Christian society, in spite of its diminishing influence.

Question two is a 12 mark essay. This is just three paragraphs about three different topics.
Explain WHY, not WHAT. So explain WHY xyz caused change, not what it was.
Each paragraph should ideally have 3 clear facts to go along with the main point, and I'd highly recommend adding in outside influences (e.g. church, government, etc.)

Question three is a 16 mark essay, with 4 marks for SPAG. So, make sure you capitalise names and stuff. If you're unsure, just write a last name. The exam board is fine with that, according to my teacher.

This NEEDS to be a two-sided argument. You should ideally learn about 5-6 things before about it, as this helps you argue both sides, for/against the statement. Also, pick a side. Don't sit on the fence, as that limits your marks.
Write an introduction with an opinion 'I agree/disagree with the statement xyz because...' and in the conclusion just reiterates your point, 'In summary, I believe xyz about statement due to the facts presented in the above essay.'

So, Medicine through time! It's a nice paper, seriously. Don't worry about it. They give you two facts for the essays, and you need to add at least one of your own- although you don't have to use the ones they give you. I find them to be useful to brainstorm with, though.

Anglo-Saxon and Norman England is another nice paper. Question 2 and 3 are the same as Medicine through time - two essay questions, 3 being argumentative and 2 being an explain why xyz caused this.

Question one on Normans is easy, though. All you need to do is state two features of XYZ, even if they word it differently. So, state one feature and explain what it meant, and state a different feature and what it meant.

Yeah! They're both nice papers. I can't explain it brilliantly, so if you need me to elaborate further I really don't mind. Also, if you need any help or tips on any of the overlap on our courses I don't mind helping! I'm getting a grade 9 and predicted a grade 9, so any help you need I'm more than happy to give. :smile:

Edit: I forgot the western front!! I'm so sorry. Okay, so:

Western front is pretty alright, you just need to know how to word source analysis.

Question 1 is a 'describe two features'. The same as the Normans - name something and describe what it was/how it links.

Question 2a is a source study. Here, you need to comment on a few things:


Why the source is useful (it's ALWAYS useful, never say a source isn't useful.)


Comment on who created it (e.g. stretcher-bearer, captain etc)


Comment on where it was produced it (e.g. official logs, diary, letter home, commissioned painting)


Comment on when it was produced (e.g. produced 1915 during the battle of the somme)


Comment on the content of the source (what it says and why this makes it useful to the question)

These should be able to get you the marks. Just repeat it for the second source.

2b is the easiest question, arguably. It's a clear structure:


Use a direct quote from the source - just copy whatever you think links to the question asked.


ask a relevant question


Use a specific source! Don't be vague, go into detail (e.g. diary of an officer serving on the frontlines during the third battle of Ypres.)


Link this back to the question (using my prior example, saying the question I chose was did the conditions effect the warfare, I could say 'It would show what a man fighting in the actual battle was thinking whilst fighting, showing if the weather impacted how they fought.'

It seems intimidating, but it's not! It's an easy four marks.

I'll give an example of one I sat in an assessment (a 4/4 answer)

Question: How could you follow up on source A to find out more about the work of the stretcher-bearers on the western front?


Detail in source A that I would follow up:
'At 5am the first batch of wounded began coming down the communication trench'


Question I would ask:
Would stretcher-bearers usually work at all hours?


What type of source I could use:
Medical records from Regimental Aid Posts of what times casualties were brought to them.
(yes, I did make it that specific. Better to be cautious.)


How this might help answer my question:
It would show when people were brought to medical attention, showing if they worked all hours or not.

(edited 1 month ago)

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