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How to go from an A grade essay to an A* essay in edexcel politics?

Currently under exam conditions I have never gotten higher than 22 marks in an essay. I have spoken to my teacher and she has said that my knowledge is good but my arguments are just not convincing enough. I was wondering if anyone that consistently gets high marks in their essays could tell me what they do that makes them just that little bit better. For GCSEs i could easily just look up some youtubers and know what the examiners are looking for. For A-levels its not that easy.
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.

I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by LVTC005
Currently under exam conditions I have never gotten higher than 22 marks in an essay. I have spoken to my teacher and she has said that my knowledge is good but my arguments are just not convincing enough. I was wondering if anyone that consistently gets high marks in their essays could tell me what they do that makes them just that little bit better. For GCSEs i could easily just look up some youtubers and know what the examiners are looking for. For A-levels its not that easy.

@erin11 perhaps you could help?
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.


Hello, would it be possible to also get them sent? Thank you !!!
Reply 4
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.

This is very helpful, thank you! I would love those essay plans if it's not too much trouble.
Original post by LVTC005
Currently under exam conditions I have never gotten higher than 22 marks in an essay. I have spoken to my teacher and she has said that my knowledge is good but my arguments are just not convincing enough. I was wondering if anyone that consistently gets high marks in their essays could tell me what they do that makes them just that little bit better. For GCSEs i could easily just look up some youtubers and know what the examiners are looking for. For A-levels its not that easy.

100% agree with cephalothin, I would also say that having a very good bank of examples will help you make your essays that little bit better - try and pick out examples from the news/current events rather than relying only on the textbook as everyone else will be using textbook examples too
Reply 6
Original post by LVTC005
Currently under exam conditions I have never gotten higher than 22 marks in an essay. I have spoken to my teacher and she has said that my knowledge is good but my arguments are just not convincing enough. I was wondering if anyone that consistently gets high marks in their essays could tell me what they do that makes them just that little bit better. For GCSEs i could easily just look up some youtubers and know what the examiners are looking for. For A-levels its not that easy.

I'm in the exact same position! Currently in Year 12 and I've been consistently getting As but my teacher has said the same thing about my arguments sometimes not being very convincing. I'm hoping to push up my grades for mocks and focus on making essay plans as I've heard that some A* politics students found that planning your essays out helps you see whether they are logical, coherent and convincing enough to get into the top band of marks. I'm so relieved to see that someone else is going through the same thing. I'm waiting on essay feedback from my last exam and hopefully, planning it out was enough for me to secure an A*.
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.

I am also having the same problem if it's not too much trouble could I also have a look at your essay plans? Thank you!
Reply 8
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.

Hello, could I also borrow your essay plans? Thanks!!!!
Original post by LVTC005
Currently under exam conditions I have never gotten higher than 22 marks in an essay. I have spoken to my teacher and she has said that my knowledge is good but my arguments are just not convincing enough. I was wondering if anyone that consistently gets high marks in their essays could tell me what they do that makes them just that little bit better. For GCSEs i could easily just look up some youtubers and know what the examiners are looking for. For A-levels its not that easy.
Completely honestly, what I have found has made a difference between A and A* grade is passion of your argument, once you have all the knowledge you need to pick a side you thoroughly get behind, this will then help form more solid analysis.
Make sure you have a good set of examples, especially for things like Supreme Court cases (cases like Abu Qatada appear to be too old for examiners now so watch out for that). Have a mini conclusion at the end of every argument (eg. in this way, it can be seen that referendums increase participation) to sum up if the point of the counterpoint is stronger. Ensure that you tell the examiner what you are arguing in the introduction and stick to that throughout the essay and in the conclusion. Have a clear essay plan, especially for the 30 markers (the 24 markers are a bit different).

Good luck - I'm sure you'll ace it!
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.

I too would love those essay plans pleaseeee
Original post by cephalothin
it mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe i still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for a-level politics that were graded a*; i could send them over if you'd like.

could i have them too pls!!!!!
Reply 13
Original post by cephalothin
It mostly comes down to your analysis; you really have to weigh up the arguments you've made and recognise any weaknesses, particular strengths or the implications of what you've written. It helps, of course, to analyse the current affairs example you've used as well.
I believe I still have quite a lot of my old essay plans for A-Level Politics that were graded A*; I could send them over if you'd like.


Please can I have them too.

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