In this post I consider a ‘lower middle mark band’ student response (4/10 marks) to this question and the examiner commentary (both are provided by the AQA here) before considering what a ‘top band’ answer might look like.
The Question (with the item!)
The Mark Scheme:
Examiner Commentary: (4/10 marks)
This is taken straight from the AQA’s own specimen (2016) material. NB I think the commentary actually misses out the most significant thing the candidate does not do, see below for my commentary on the commentary…
What the candidate does well
- Two reasonable suggestions are offered
- There is no problem that they are “opposites” in that both situations may occur in different families.
- The response provides a competent explanation of each change, explaining how and why older people may impact on female members of the generation beneath them (unfortunately, this is not what the question has asked for).
What the candidate does not do well
- The response fails to fully answer the question because it does not explicitly connect the change in the position of women to family structures – implicit links to roles are as far as the response gets.
- This answer does not have a strong knowledge base and concepts are limited
- The second paragraph could do more to explain how/why the ageing population will lead to more grandparents who are able to provide the suggested role.
- Both knowledge and application to family structures could be much stronger in this response however there is enough material of partial relevance to access the middle band.
- This answer is a little too brief, given that around 15 minutes of an examination should be allocated to a 10 mark question.
How you might improve on this response to move up to the top band….
This is my input:
NB – WHAT THE EXAMINERS RESPONSE DOES NOT SAY IS THAT THE POINTS MADE DO NOT SEEM TO COME EXPLICITLY FROM THE ITEM…. IF THE CANDIDATE WAS USING THE ITEM, THEY WOULD HAVE ONE POINT ABOUT ‘INCREASING LIFE EXPECTANCY’ AND ONE POINT ABOUT ‘DECLINING BIRTH RATES’ AND THEN LINK THESE TO CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURES.
TO MY MIND THE RESPONSE ABOVE IS BASICALLY ‘THE MIDDLE BITS’ – WHAT’S MISSING IS CLEAR REFERENCE TO THE ITEM (THE BEGINNING BITS OF BOTH POINTS) AND ESPECIALLY THE END BITS, ON FAMILY STRUCTURE!
Anyway, if you’d like to submit an improved answer in the comments which takes on board the above feedback, I might even mark it!
A Level Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle
If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my A Level Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle which contains the following:
- 50 pages of revision notes covering all of the sub-topics within families and households
- mind maps in pdf and png format – 9 in total, covering perspectives on the family
- short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers – 3 examples of the 10 mark, ‘outline and explain’ question.
- 9 essays/ essay plans spanning all the topics within the families and households topic.
*Price will vary with dollar exchange rate