AQA GCSE Questions

Maximising Your Marks


You cannot, of course, know the exact questions which will come up, but you CAN have a more-or-less exact idea of the KIND of questions which you are likely to meet.

They have followed more-or-less the same form of wording for the last few years.


You can use this knowledge to give yourself an advantage...



Maximizing your Marks


I Know Nothing

Three kinds of questions do not require you to know ANYTHING AT ALL - you can get full marks simply by answering properly using the sources:

     Simple extraction

     'Explain' extraction and

     Difference of content

Together, these account for 23 (out of a total of 150 marks in the whole exam) - i.e. almost one-sixth of the marks.   Thus it is almost possible to pass the exam doing nothing else than telling the examiner information that you have been given in the sources.



Provenance-based Answers

Four kinds of question require you to analyze provenance (origin and purpose) and content and come up with answers relevant to the question.   Here you will need to have SOME general knowledge about the issue, but you can still get most of your answer by thinking intelligently about the information you have been provided with; you can get full marks without knowing vast amounts of factual detail.

     The 'why do two sources differ' question

     The 'why was this source produced?' question

     Reliability/accuracy questions

     The 'Do you agree with an interpretation' question

     Utility questions

Taken as a whole, these questions total 53 marks (out of 150).   Theoretically, therefore, if you learned how to do all these questions really well, you could get a C on these and the extraction questions alone - i.e. on questions where the examiner has provided you with the information, and all you have to do is handle it in a specific way to answer the question asked.



I need to Revise Facts for...

By contrast, the questions where you need to know loads of factual stuff only carry 42% of the marks.  


Of course, you must get your head around these questions too if you want a good grades:

     The 'describe' questions

(where you regurgitate factual knowledge) account for 17/150 marks.

And the ever-so-difficult 'explain' questions, which require you to remember facts AND use them in an explained answer:

     The 'which-was-most-important' either-or questions on Paper 1

     The 'explain' questions in Paper 2:

          The 'explain' questions in Paper 2 question 1,

          The 'explain using a source' question and

          The 'explain using your own knowledge' Paper 2, question 2

carry just 57/150 marks.  





Paper One - international relations

a. Extraction from a source

b. Accuracy/reliability of a source

c. Description

d. Either-or .

Also - on Britain in World War Two.

a. Extraction from a source question
b. Why was this source produced?
c. Usefulness
of a source
d. 'Do you agree with interpretation?'


Paper Two

Question 1 has five parts, viz.:

a. 'Explain what you can learn'

b. 'How do two sources differ'

c. 'Why do two sources differ'

d. Usefulness of a source

e. Explain

Question 2 has four parts, viz.:

a. Extraction from a source
b. Description
c. Explain using a source
d. Explain using your own knowledge