AQA Exam Paper 7191 (2): Research Methods with Families and Households

An overview of the AS Sociology paper 7191 (2), and a few quick hints and tips on how to answer each of the questions…

NB – Technically this paper is research methods with topics in sociology, but nearly everyone does the families and households topic. If you don’t do that topic, choose the topic you have studied!

You will be given a total of 90 minutes to answer this paper and is out of a total of 60 marks (this means 1.5 minutes per mark). There are a total of 6 questions, 5 on ‘pure education’ and 1 on ‘methods in context’.

For paper 2, you get a booklet with the questions, and then a separate booklet in which to write your answers. There are two sections – section A on research methods has 2 questions – one four mark outline question and one 16 mark essay question. Section B2 will be on families and households –

The general structure of the paper is as follows:

Section A

  • QO1: Outline two advantages/ limitations/ problems of using a research methods (4 marks )*
  • Q02:  Evaluate the strengths/ limitations of a research method (16 marks)*

Section B (Families and Households Option)

  • Question 08: Define the term… (2 marks)
  • Question 09: Using one example, briefly explain something (2 marks)
  • Question 10: Outline three ways/ factors/ criticisms (6 marks)
  • Question 11: Outline and explain two ways/ reasons/ criticisms (10 marks)
  • Question 12:  Applying material from Item B and your knowledge evaluate something to do with the family (20 marks)

General hints and tips

Question 1 and Question 10: Outline 2/3 reasons –  these are 2/3 lots of ‘1+1’ – make sure you explain HOW each point has an effect, or is affected by something. For example, if the question asks you to outline two practical problems with doing participant observation – state a problem and explain why it’s a problem!

Question 16: For any pure methods essay – follow the TPEN plan – evaluate using practical, ethical, theoretical factors, and do nature of topic. Top and tail with positivism vs interpretivism. Use examples to illustrate where you can!

Question 08: Define the concept and give an example. Even though it says define, it’s good practice to do this and then back it up with an example to show you understand it. NB – this could be any concept within families and households – sometimes they’re obscure, sometimes they’re easier – if it looks unfamiliar, don’t worry about it and just move onto the next questions.

Question 09: Explain something using an example – you need to do two things here – think of it as a ‘1+1’ mark question.

Question 11: It’s good practice to try and pick 2 very different answers – from different parts of the education module. Explain and develop using perspectives/ research evidence.

Question 12: You should be familiar with the essay structure – Intro – then PEEC – Overall evaluations, then conclusion. 4 points all internally evaluated. If in doubt, chuck the perspectives at it.

Finally, if it all goes really pear-shaped, have a look at my alternative careers guidance – you don’t even need A levels to pursue these options!

*these are typical questions which focus on a method, you might be asked about other things, such as sample, or practical, ethical, or theoretical problems in general, for example!

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This entry was posted in Exams and revision advice, Families and Households, Pot Luck and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to AQA Exam Paper 7191 (2): Research Methods with Families and Households

  1. Anisa says:

    Do you know what came up in last year’s AS family & households paper (AQA) or any possible predictions for the paper this year?

    • Karl Thompson says:

      Dangerous game to play, the prediction game, last year’s paper is available on the AQA’s web site, it has been for at least the last several weeks.

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