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How to get A* in a level ocr religous studies

hiya, so my teacher has been absent for majority of my academic year which has lead to gaps in my eduction, especially in philosophy. i was wodnerign what are the best revision materiasl and techniques i can use to get an A*. my actual exams r in 99 days, so please help me out xx

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Hey, I’m wishing you all the best for your exams. I’m sorry that there has been so much disruption!

At this stage, I’d recommend focusing on the top I said you really don’t understand I’m making sure you can maximise your Marks as best as possible!

I’d also recommend doing practice papers. This helps you get on the way of doing it for the exam and also you can have a look at Mark schemes to see what you might’ve missed.

I hope this helps. Good luck
Reply 2
Original post by AHS102
hiya, so my teacher has been absent for majority of my academic year which has lead to gaps in my eduction, especially in philosophy. i was wodnerign what are the best revision materiasl and techniques i can use to get an A*. my actual exams r in 99 days, so please help me out xx

So sorry to hear that! It's a big question. Are there particular topics you struggle with? And have you downloaded the specification from the OCR website?

But I offer some free resources on my TES shop, including a free resource on how to write an A* essay.

I've been tutoring OCR RS for fourteen years.
Reply 3
Original post by jimbleby
So sorry to hear that! It's a big question. Are there particular topics you struggle with? And have you downloaded the specification from the OCR website?
But I offer some free resources on my TES shop, including a free resource on how to write an A* essay.
I've been tutoring OCR RS for fourteen years.
Hiya jimbleby, first I would like to say thank you for your reply, I have been struggling with philosophy in all the topics which I’ll list below:
Dualist views on mind/body/soul (struggling especially with my AO2)
Materialist views on mind/body/soul
Plato and Aristotle (understand the AO1 but none for AO2)
Cosmological and ontological argument about gods existence more specially in my AO2 understand a tiny bit of AO1 so I just have to revise more
NONE for problem of evil and religious experience (had NO lesson at all on this as she had missed two months worth of lesson)
Attributes of god and religious language I understand the most in terms of AO1 but struggle in the most in AO2

For ethics I don’t understand at all meta ethics and sexual ethics and conscience. In conscience I don’t understand in terms of AO2 which is my weakness for majority and meta ethics I had like only one lesson but then she began missing classes again and sexual ethics the new teacher is uncomrtable to teach it which is stupid and he just skims throguh it without acc teaching,

Buddhism I am alright with I think I just need to revise more and am already getting grade A on certain topics but my philosophy is the one that brings my grade down to a D which is freaking me out.
Reply 4
Original post by ebyrne2036
Hey, I’m wishing you all the best for your exams. I’m sorry that there has been so much disruption!
At this stage, I’d recommend focusing on the top I said you really don’t understand I’m making sure you can maximise your Marks as best as possible!
I’d also recommend doing practice papers. This helps you get on the way of doing it for the exam and also you can have a look at Mark schemes to see what you might’ve missed.
I hope this helps. Good luck
Thank you ebyrne2036
At this point I’m just going to need prayers and YouTube videos to help me
Reply 5
Original post by AHS102
Hiya jimbleby, first I would like to say thank you for your reply, I have been struggling with philosophy in all the topics which I’ll list below:
Dualist views on mind/body/soul (struggling especially with my AO2)
Materialist views on mind/body/soul
Plato and Aristotle (understand the AO1 but none for AO2)
Cosmological and ontological argument about gods existence more specially in my AO2 understand a tiny bit of AO1 so I just have to revise more
NONE for problem of evil and religious experience (had NO lesson at all on this as she had missed two months worth of lesson)
Attributes of god and religious language I understand the most in terms of AO1 but struggle in the most in AO2
For ethics I don’t understand at all meta ethics and sexual ethics and conscience. In conscience I don’t understand in terms of AO2 which is my weakness for majority and meta ethics I had like only one lesson but then she began missing classes again and sexual ethics the new teacher is uncomrtable to teach it which is stupid and he just skims throguh it without acc teaching,
Buddhism I am alright with I think I just need to revise more and am already getting grade A on certain topics but my philosophy is the one that brings my grade down to a D which is freaking me out.
You're in luck - there are free notes on my TES for Plato and Aristotle (lots of A grade essay plans) and also some notes on meta-ethics and the soul.
Original post by AHS102
hiya, so my teacher has been absent for majority of my academic year which has lead to gaps in my eduction, especially in philosophy. i was wodnerign what are the best revision materiasl and techniques i can use to get an A*. my actual exams r in 99 days, so please help me out xx


Go to alevelphilosophyandreligion.com !!! They do A star summaries of concepts
Reply 7
Original post by mcinnamon
Go to alevelphilosophyandreligion.com !!! They do A star summaries of concepts

Thanks mcinnamon i will deffo check it out xx
Original post by AHS102
hiya, so my teacher has been absent for majority of my academic year which has lead to gaps in my eduction, especially in philosophy. i was wodnerign what are the best revision materiasl and techniques i can use to get an A*. my actual exams r in 99 days, so please help me out xx

Hi I'm sorry to hear that, I got an A in my RS OCR A Level and an A* on 2 of the papers so if you need any notes or essay I'm willing to sell them for a fiver in total, please email me [email protected]
Original post by AHS102
hiya, so my teacher has been absent for majority of my academic year which has lead to gaps in my eduction, especially in philosophy. i was wodnerign what are the best revision materiasl and techniques i can use to get an A*. my actual exams r in 99 days, so please help me out xx

Hi mate, I was in a similar position last year when I sat my a levels. I found concentrating my revision into essay plans based on the mark schemes really helped. If your sitting OCR for philosophy and Ethics get in touch with me on my insta aj.s04 as I have essay plans for all topics on philosophy, ethics and development in christian thought which got me an A* and id be happy to help you out.
Reply 10
Original post by simrankc26
Hi I'm sorry to hear that, I got an A in my RS OCR A Level and an A* on 2 of the papers so if you need any notes or essay I'm willing to sell them for a fiver in total, please email me [email protected]

Hiya simrankc26,

I’ll email you soon about the notes for philosophy and ethics

Many thanks for the help

From AHS
Reply 11
Original post by simrankc26
Hi I'm sorry to hear that, I got an A in my RS OCR A Level and an A* on 2 of the papers so if you need any notes or essay I'm willing to sell them for a fiver in total, please email me [email protected]
What papers did you get the A* on x
Reply 12
Hi I sit these exam boards is there anyway I’d be able to buy these notes?
Original post by st4r
Hi I sit these exam boards is there anyway I’d be able to buy these notes?
Hi if you send me a PM I can let you know how you can buy my notes
Original post by st4r
What papers did you get the A* on x

Ethics and DCT - should’ve got an A* overall and still have 40/40 essays for all 3 papers just the philosophy paper for 2022 (when I sat my a levels was a bit of a tough one so I only managed an A)
Original post by simrankc26
Ethics and DCT - should’ve got an A* overall and still have 40/40 essays for all 3 papers just the philosophy paper for 2022 (when I sat my a levels was a bit of a tough one so I only managed an A)

I was marking the philosophy paper that year and it was an insane paper - probably the hardest I've ever seen.

The Anselm question was bad enough - but then to also include the 5th way is really tough because I think most people would lack sufficient knowledge about both of them - but have to choose one!

I've made some revision summary notes you can find here (in addition to full-topic notes):
https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/ocr-religious-studies/
Would anybody be willing to read my essay. I've gotten so much conflicting advice and atp I'm just utterly done ☹️ I feel like I'm ging to miss my grade :frown:
(edited 3 days ago)
Original post by Bellahadid12
Would anybody be willing to read my essay. I've gotten so much conflicting advice and atp I'm just utterly done ☹️ I feel like I'm ging to miss my grade :frown:

Yeah go ahead and post it here and I'll look at it. I've been an examiner for OCR in the past so I should be able to help!
Original post by Joe312
Yeah go ahead and post it here and I'll look at it. I've been an examiner for OCR in the past so I should be able to help!
Boethius gives a fully satisfactory account of Gods timelessness and free will

The existence of God being within or outside of time is highly debated, with Boethius taking the stance that God exists outside of time, he is eternal. This is due to God’s divine omniscience, which can only be true omniscience, if he is acutely aware of all the actions, past, present and future. However, this raises questions such as “can we have free will, if God exists eternally and is aware of a future action” to occur. Supporters of Boethius approach are Oregon, Augustine and Sidwick, whereas Calvin would disagree with his stance. I strongly agree with the latter approach as I do not believe how God, who is acutely aware of all actions ,good or bad, can at the same time allow us to have free will, these two concepts seem entirely contradictory.

The notion that God exists eternally was first held by Origen and Augustine however, was popularised mainly due to Boethius. Here he posits that Gods timeless nature does not interfere with human free will. He exemplified his view on God and time using the example of a peaky loft. Like when standing on a peaky loft, a person can see all the movement of the people down below prior and future, similarly God can envision a persons past present and future simultaneously occurring in his eternal present. I would value this stance problematic as it immediately calls to question the validity of human free will since God is aware of all our actions, perhaps even before they have came into fruition. The way that God experiences time is very distinct to the way that humans do, we experience a time linearly whereas God experiences all three stages of time simultaneously. This could be deemed as convincing as it corresponds with traditional Christian theology and with God’s omniscience, as he is aware of events which are still unknown to us. This view is significant because it highlights how even though the future is known to God, it is still a mystery to humans, and therefore does not deprive us of our free will, and we can still ultimately be punished/awarded for a behaviour. He then further his stance on the compatibility of gods timelessness and human free will be introducing simple unconditional necessity. To exemplify if I see you walking you have to be walking necessarily however this necessity is dependent on your choice to go on a walk in the first place, your condition, these additions of successfully articulated well as it amalgamates how even with God, being aware of our future actions, we can still possessed free will as our choices are based on our conditional choices.

However, I find British as argument to be quite flawed and unsuccessful, especially around the idea of God being eternal and aware of our future actions. This could suggest that our future actions are set in stone. They cannot be changed as they have already covered necessarily to God, which implies that humans have no free will. John Calvin further demonstrates this point and expands, since God is aware of our actions, and since there is no way to surprise God and switch up and choose a different option that is unknown to him that we possess no free will. This view directly attacks Boethius stance that Gods timeless nature and free will are compatible because it demonstrates that since we have no opportunity to choose new choices that we truly do not have free will and further highlights how Boethius gives an unsatisfactory account.

The antithesis argument was opposed by Sedwick, who seemingly agrees with Boethius. He proposes that God being aware of a future action does not make us unable to have choices and argues that we still possess free will. His views can be exemplified using a restaurant. Just because you are familiar and aware that your partner will always choose to have chocolate cake does not suddenly stop them from being able to choose strawberry cake. This seems like an intelligible argument and seemingly does corroborate with Boethius views on Gods timeless and free will, because it exemplifies how choices can be made despite God’s foreknowledge. Like the partner who is most likely aware of the partners choice in cake, God is aware and knowing of a future action as for him they have occurred in his eternal present. However, this does not mean that this suddenly disables us to make choices. This strengthens Boethius views’ and further posits that free will and Gods timeless nature are compatible.

Upon reflection, I feel as though am important distinction should be made here is that Sidwick implies there’s always an air of doubt around the partners choice in cake. This is disparingly different from the Boethius views. For Boethius due to God’s omniscience there can be no air of doubt about the future, as everything has already occurred necessarily for God. So instead of Sidwick, seemingly strengthening Boethius views I would argue that it badly damages it, as it emphasises how unrealistic it is for this unwavering knowledge of the future to exist while simultaneously trying to keep hold of the notion of freewill. In light of Sidwicks, more realistic assertion, Boethius views on reconciling free will with Gods timeless nature falls short as it does not seem fathomable to see how free will and choice to make decisions can exist if nothing you do can ever “surprise "God or stray away from his predetermined destiny for individuals whereas with Sidwicks view this would be possible and therefore reconciles free will and gods timelessness to a much better degree.

To conclude, I do not agree that Boethius gives a satisfactory account of Gods timeless and free will as personally they are categorically incompatible. I would argue he sacrifices Gods other attributes such as love to force a relationship between his notion of Gods timeless nature and free will.
Original post by Bellahadid12
Boethius gives a fully satisfactory account of Gods timelessness and free will
The existence of God being within or outside of time is highly debated, with Boethius taking the stance that God exists outside of time, he is eternal. This is due to God’s divine omniscience, which can only be true omniscience, if he is acutely aware of all the actions, past, present and future. However, this raises questions such as “can we have free will, if God exists eternally and is aware of a future action” to occur. Supporters of Boethius approach are Oregon, Augustine and Sidwick, whereas Calvin would disagree with his stance. I strongly agree with the latter approach as I do not believe how God, who is acutely aware of all actions ,good or bad, can at the same time allow us to have free will, these two concepts seem entirely contradictory.
The notion that God exists eternally was first held by Origen and Augustine however, was popularised mainly due to Boethius. Here he posits that Gods timeless nature does not interfere with human free will. He exemplified his view on God and time using the example of a peaky loft. Like when standing on a peaky loft, a person can see all the movement of the people down below prior and future, similarly God can envision a persons past present and future simultaneously occurring in his eternal present. I would value this stance problematic as it immediately calls to question the validity of human free will since God is aware of all our actions, perhaps even before they have came into fruition. The way that God experiences time is very distinct to the way that humans do, we experience a time linearly whereas God experiences all three stages of time simultaneously. This could be deemed as convincing as it corresponds with traditional Christian theology and with God’s omniscience, as he is aware of events which are still unknown to us. This view is significant because it highlights how even though the future is known to God, it is still a mystery to humans, and therefore does not deprive us of our free will, and we can still ultimately be punished/awarded for a behaviour. He then further his stance on the compatibility of gods timelessness and human free will be introducing simple unconditional necessity. To exemplify if I see you walking you have to be walking necessarily however this necessity is dependent on your choice to go on a walk in the first place, your condition, these additions of successfully articulated well as it amalgamates how even with God, being aware of our future actions, we can still possessed free will as our choices are based on our conditional choices.
However, I find British as argument to be quite flawed and unsuccessful, especially around the idea of God being eternal and aware of our future actions. This could suggest that our future actions are set in stone. They cannot be changed as they have already covered necessarily to God, which implies that humans have no free will. John Calvin further demonstrates this point and expands, since God is aware of our actions, and since there is no way to surprise God and switch up and choose a different option that is unknown to him that we possess no free will. This view directly attacks Boethius stance that Gods timeless nature and free will are compatible because it demonstrates that since we have no opportunity to choose new choices that we truly do not have free will and further highlights how Boethius gives an unsatisfactory account.
The antithesis argument was opposed by Sedwick, who seemingly agrees with Boethius. He proposes that God being aware of a future action does not make us unable to have choices and argues that we still possess free will. His views can be exemplified using a restaurant. Just because you are familiar and aware that your partner will always choose to have chocolate cake does not suddenly stop them from being able to choose strawberry cake. This seems like an intelligible argument and seemingly does corroborate with Boethius views on Gods timeless and free will, because it exemplifies how choices can be made despite God’s foreknowledge. Like the partner who is most likely aware of the partners choice in cake, God is aware and knowing of a future action as for him they have occurred in his eternal present. However, this does not mean that this suddenly disables us to make choices. This strengthens Boethius views’ and further posits that free will and Gods timeless nature are compatible.
Upon reflection, I feel as though am important distinction should be made here is that Sidwick implies there’s always an air of doubt around the partners choice in cake. This is disparingly different from the Boethius views. For Boethius due to God’s omniscience there can be no air of doubt about the future, as everything has already occurred necessarily for God. So instead of Sidwick, seemingly strengthening Boethius views I would argue that it badly damages it, as it emphasises how unrealistic it is for this unwavering knowledge of the future to exist while simultaneously trying to keep hold of the notion of freewill. In light of Sidwicks, more realistic assertion, Boethius views on reconciling free will with Gods timeless nature falls short as it does not seem fathomable to see how free will and choice to make decisions can exist if nothing you do can ever “surprise "God or stray away from his predetermined destiny for individuals whereas with Sidwicks view this would be possible and therefore reconciles free will and gods timelessness to a much better degree.
To conclude, I do not agree that Boethius gives a satisfactory account of Gods timeless and free will as personally they are categorically incompatible. I would argue he sacrifices Gods other attributes such as love to force a relationship between his notion of Gods timeless nature and free will.

My comments are below, added in bold.

I think you'd get around 30/40 for this - so on the boundary between A and B.

This is one of the top 3 hardest topics! I think you haven't fully understood Boethius' concept of conditional necessity - which is vital for AO1 and AO2 marks.

Your use of Calvin represents an important mistake - it never works to just throw a scholar's contrasting theory at another scholar - that's not evaluation - evaluation is when you give us a reason to think one is right! You can't just say Calvin thinks Boethius is wrong, therefore Boethius is wrong. Why is calvin right...?

The Sidwick stuff is ok but it's going to be hard to get really good marks using that. You're basically saying Sidwick seems to back up Boethius but he doesn't really so Boethius is wrong. That's not massively convincing - Boethius can't be wrong just because someone who seemed to back him up doesn't really back him up!

Have a look at my Anselm (as a development of Boethius) & Kenny (critic of the 'eternal' view) stuff - that would get better marks to include that:
https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/ocr-religious-studies/ocr-philosophy/the-nature-or-attributes-of-god/the-nature-or-attributes-of-god-summary-notes/

Personally I would conclude that Boethius made a good start on the theory of God's eternity but only Anselm's development made it really coherent.




Boethius gives a fully satisfactory account of Gods timelessness and free will

I assume this is a ‘discuss’ question? The existence of God being within or outside of time is highly debated, with Boethius taking the stance that God exists outside of time, he is eternal. This is due to God’s divine omniscience, which can only be true omniscience, if he is acutely aware of all the actions, past, present and future. However, this raises questions such as “can we have free will, if God exists eternally and is aware of a future action” to occur. Supporters of Boethius approach are Oregon, Augustine and Sidwick, whereas Calvin would disagree with his stance. I strongly agree with the latter approach as I do not believe how God, who is acutely aware of all actions ,good or bad, can at the same time allow us to have free will, these two concepts seem entirely contradictory.
Good clear intro clearly states intent/thesis/conclusion
The notion that God exists eternally was first held by Origen and Augustine however, was popularised mainly due to Boethius.

You mention Origen and Augustine but you wouldn’t really get ‘scholar’ marks because you’re just name-dropping them. Perhaps say one sentence about why they thought God was eternal?

Here he posits that Gods timeless nature does not interfere with human free will. He exemplified his view on God and time using the example of a peaky loft (lofty peak!). Like when standing on a peaky loft, a person can see all the movement of the people down below prior and future, similarly God can envision a persons past present and future simultaneously occurring in his eternal present. I would value this stance problematic as it immediately calls to question the validity of human free will since God is aware of all our actions, perhaps even before they have came into fruition. The way that God experiences time is very distinct to the way that humans do, we experience a time linearly whereas God experiences all three stages of time simultaneously. This could be deemed as convincing as it corresponds with traditional Christian theology and with God’s omniscience, as he is aware of events which are still unknown to us. This view is significant because it highlights how even though the future is known to God, it is still a mystery to humans, and therefore does not deprive us of our free will, and we can still ultimately be punished/awarded for a behaviour. He then further his stance on the compatibility of gods timelessness and human free will be introducing simple unconditional necessity (simple and conditional!). To exemplify if I see you walking you have to be walking necessarily however this necessity is dependent on your choice to go on a walk in the first place, your condition, these additions of successfully articulated well as it amalgamates how even with God, being aware of our future actions, we can still possessed free will as our choices are based on our conditional choices.
This is not clearly enough explained:
God knows what we are going to do next through eternally apprehending the results of our future free choices. This might make our future choices seem fixed and necessary. Yet, God only sees us making those future actions on the condition that we chose them. This means God knowing our future choices does make them necessary, but conditionally necessary, conditional on our having chosen them. So, God’s knowledge of our future actions does not undermine free will, in fact it is dependent on our having free will.
However, I find British as argument to be quite flawed and unsuccessful, especially around the idea of God being eternal and aware of our future actions. This could suggest that our future actions are set in stone. They cannot be changed as they have already covered necessarily to God, which implies that humans have no free will.
I don’t like this counter because the whole simple vs conditional necessity argument from Boethius was meant to address this issue! So put this issue before explaining the simple/conditional necessity point which is a response.

Yes God’s awareness of our future actions makes those actions set in stone they are necessary. But they were only set in stone and made necessary by our free will. That’s how Boethius’ ‘conditional necessity’ argument works against this point.

John Calvin further demonstrates this point and expands, since God is aware of our actions, and since there is no way to surprise God and switch up and choose a different option that is unknown to him that we possess no free will. This view directly attacks Boethius stance that Gods timeless nature and free will are compatible because it demonstrates that since we have no opportunity to choose new choices that we truly do not have free will and further highlights how Boethius gives an unsatisfactory account.
Using Calvin is certainly valid he has a totally different approach to Boethius he denies that we have free will (of a libertarian variety at least) but doesn’t worry about this posing an issue for God’s omnibenevolence and justice in punishing us like Boethius does.

That’s really what you need to evaluate here does Calvin’s view of predestination show that it doesn’t matter that omniscience undermines free will, because free will is not required in Christian theology? Or is predestination actually immoral and against God’s omnibenevolence? That’s what you need to debate here.

At the moment you are just presenting Calvin’s alternative view saying he disagrees with Boethius and concluding that makes Boethius unsatisfactory..? No it just means Calvin has a different view! To say that makes Boethius unsatisfactory you need to give us a reason to think Calvin is right.
The antithesis argument was opposed by Sedwick, who seemingly agrees with Boethius. He proposes that God being aware of a future action does not make us unable to have choices and argues that we still possess free will. His views can be exemplified using a restaurant. Just because you are familiar and aware that your partner will always choose to have chocolate cake does not suddenly stop them from being able to choose strawberry cake. This seems like an intelligible argument and seemingly does corroborate with Boethius views on Gods timeless and free will, because it exemplifies how choices can be made despite God’s foreknowledge. Like the partner who is most likely aware of the partners choice in cake, God is aware and knowing of a future action as for him they have occurred in his eternal present. However, this does not mean that this suddenly disables us to make choices. This strengthens Boethius views’ and further posits that free will and Gods timeless nature are compatible. Upon reflection, I feel as though am important distinction should be made here is that Sidwick implies there’s always an air of doubt around the partners choice in cake. This is disparingly different from the Boethius views. For Boethius due to God’s omniscience there can be no air of doubt about the future, as everything has already occurred necessarily for God. So instead of Sidwick, seemingly strengthening Boethius views I would argue that it badly damages it, as it emphasises how unrealistic it is for this unwavering knowledge of the future to exist while simultaneously trying to keep hold of the notion of freewill. In light of Sidwicks, more realistic assertion, Boethius views on reconciling free will with Gods timeless nature falls short as it does not seem fathomable to see how free will and choice to make decisions can exist if nothing you do can ever “surprise "God or stray away from his predetermined destiny for individuals whereas with Sidwicks view this would be possible and therefore reconciles free will and gods timelessness to a much better degree.

This Sidwick stuff isn’t ideal. You are right that he doesn’t really back up Boethius because in the case of the partner there is at least some doubt about the future choice, whereas in God’s case there is no doubt.

But how does this make Boethius less convincing..? Just because Sidwick doesn’t actually end up backing him?

You are saying it’s hard to see how we could have free will if God knows what we are about to do but that’s what Boethius already dealt with in his discussion of conditional necessity! So you need to counter that this isn’t countering that so it’s not progressing the essay further. To conclude, I do not agree that Boethius gives a satisfactory account of Gods timeless and free will as personally they are categorically incompatible. I would argue he sacrifices Gods other attributes such as love to force a relationship between his notion of Gods timeless nature and free will.

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