The AQA recently released its advanced information for the June 2022 A-level Exams, and for A-level Sociology this means telling students what the big essay questions are going to be on in each of the three main papers
- (Paper 1 Education, 30 mark essay): Education policies – including policies of selection, privatisation, marketisation, improvement of outcome or equality of opportunity AND globalisation (few!)
- (Paper 2 Families Topics, 20 mark essay): The family and social change, in relation to the economy and state policies
- (Paper 2: Beliefs in Society, 20 mark essay): Ideology, science and religion
- (Paper 3): Crime with Theory and Methods. 30 mark crime essay): Crime, deviance, social order and social control
- (Paper 3, 20 mark theory or methods essay): Consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories.
NB These are ONLY the essays, the shorter (4/6/10 mark) questions can be on anything, and there is NO advance guidance on Methods in Context.
In short, the AQA are telling you content for about HALF of exams over all, so by all means spend a bit more time revising the above topics but you still need to revise EVERYTHING!
What should your revision strategy be given this advanced information?
This isn’t a typical year, now that you’ve been gifted the topics for the questions in advance, as this means many students will change their revision practices to focus on these ‘five known topics’.
This means that it’s advisable to spend proportionately more time on these topics to make sure you’re at the same level.
HOWEVER, I would personally (and humbly) suggest that you should also be practicing essay technique – focussing on how to USE the knowledge in these chosen sub-topics to answer specific questions precisely – this is what’s going to give you the edge.
Think about it – EVERYONE is going to know these topics better than in the typical year, so the standard student will be going into the exam ready to splurge all that knowledge down on paper – but if that’s all they do, they’ll get no more than a C grade (even though they’ll walk out thinking they’ve earned an ‘A’.
The mark schemes only give around half the marks in those essays for knowledge, the rest of the marks are for analysis and evaluation, actually using that knowledge to answer the question.
So make sure to practice those higher order skills too.
ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT POINT….
When I say spend more time revising the topics above, I mean like spend about another 5-10% of the time on them – DO NOT sacrifice revising the other topics – collectively everything else is still worth half the marks, you simply have to devote almost as much time to these as well, because it’s still the case that anything else can come up in those shorter questions.
So personally I’d spend a fraction more time revising the above topics, but don’t shift ore than 10% away from all the other topics, and focus a lot on exam technique.
In short, don’t change much and do mostly what you’d usually do anyway!