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Sociology - AS - Culture & Identity / Education & Research - predictions and tips

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by chris.livesey, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Hi Becky,
    I'm afraid I'm not a great fan of trying to second guess the examiners (you can get too fixated on a question "you know" is going to come up and either not prepare properly for the exam or try to write the answer you've prepared to a question that isn't asked) so I can't really help you on the first two questions (there is a general way to get a broad idea of what may be asked by looking at past exam papers in something like a 7 year cycle because, over time and a relatively limited range of topics you are likely to get questions that cover the whole of the Spec.). However, if you're going to spend time looking at past papers a better use of that time is to get a feel for the question format - what are the examiners generally asking you to do in a question - rather than search for predictable trends.
    With something like names and dates the general rule is that if you know them then that's going to be to your advantage, but you aren't going to "lose marks" if you don't. Dates, especially at AS, aren't particularly important and certainly not obligatory. Names are helpful because they act like a kind of shorthand - if you mention a named study in the right context you don't have to waste time explaining it.
    You also have to remember that AS-level is not particularly theory-heavy, by which I mean you only need a very broad knowledge and understanding of different theoretical traditions. Questions are going to be very broad in the knowledge they require to answer them - partly because so many of the marks are gained through skills like interpretation, analysis and, especially, evaluation. Where students tend to fall down at this level is to concentrate on knowledge to the detriment of using these skills (any copy of the mark scheme will show you where the marks for questions are gained). If there's one thing you should remember, therefore, is to continually evaluate the knowledge you use. This can be explicitly sociological - writer X argues this, but writer Y says something different - or merely evaluative in the sense of coming up with a counter argument to something someone has argued.

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