AQA A-level sociology exam advice 2018: how to answer 4 and 6 mark ‘outline questions’ (education with theory and methods

Examples of actual student responses marked by the AQA, showing you the standards expected to get certain marks!

Last Updated on May 21, 2018 by Karl Thompson

Below is an example of an actual marked response to a 6 mark ‘outline question’, marked by AQA examiners.

The example is taken from the 2017 Education with Theory and Methods Paper (paper and mark schemes available from the AQA website) and the specific question is ‘ outline three in-school factors which may affect gender differences in subject choice (6).

While this example is taken from 6 mark outline question from the education paper, the general advice below on how to answer such questions applies equally both the 4 and 6 mark outline questions on both A level sociology papers 1 and 3.

For general advice on how to answer 4 and 6 mark outline questions please see this post here.

Marked exemplar of a 6 mark question:

AQA sociology marked example outline question.png

KT’s commentary

The above is an excellent example of just how specific you need to be to get the marks:

  • For the first point, it may look like the candidate has got 1+1, but they haven’t because they haven’t really explained a specific effect of GIST… the explanation is too vague!
  • The second point, about the national curriculum clearly gets the marks because it has a very specific explaining sentence tagged on
  • the last point about labelling clearly has no explanation.

NB – this is a good example of how you should ‘present’ your answer… separate the three points clearly, and say ‘one way’, ‘another way’ – even better, add in three bullet points for the three points.

Question: What would you do to get the two ‘missing’ + 1s? Comments below please!


Feedback on the Examinations
Student responses and commentaries: Paper 1 7192/1 Education with Theory and Methods
Published: Autumn 2017

NB – this document is NOT available on the AQA website, but any teacher should have access to it via eaqa. I’m sharing it here in order to make the exam standards more accessible, and to support the AQA in their equality and meritocratic agendas, because there will be some poor students somewhere whose teachers aren’t organised enough to access this material for them. 


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