Exams, Essays and Short Answer Questions

This page provides the following information:

  • An overview of the three exam papers for AQA A-level sociology (paper 1: education with theory, paper 2: topics, and paper 3: crime with theory)
  • Links to posts offering specific advice on how to answer each of these papers, including the 2017 and 2018 sociology exams.
  • Links to dozens of exemplar answers for the five different types of question you’ll find across the three sociology papers.

An Overview of the Three Sociology Exam Papers

There are three exam papers for AQA A-level sociology.  All papers are two hours long, all papers have a total of 6 questions (the format of some of these repeat across papers), and all papers are marked out of a total of 80.

  • Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods – the education section has one 4 and one 6 mark ‘outline and explain question’, a 10 mark ‘item’ question and a 30 mark essay question. Then there is a 20 mark applying methods to education essay question, and a 10 mark (no item) theory or methods question.
  • Paper 2: Topics in Sociology (the main options are families and beliefs). You answer one section from part A and one from part B, so two sections in total. All sections have three questions: one 10 mark (with item) question, one 10 mark (no item) question and one 20 mark essay question.
  • Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods -the crime section has one 4 and one 6 mark ‘outline and explain question’, a 10 mark ‘item’ question and a 30 mark essay question. Then there is a and a 10 mark (no item) theory and/ or methods question, and finally a 20 mark theory and/ or methods essay question.

For more advice on each paper and examples of specific questions and answer, please scroll down! 

A Level Sociology Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods

This section provides links to specific questions and model answers which either have, or could appear on this paper. Please scroll down for papers 2 and 3!

General advice for answering questions on paper 1

10 mark ‘applying material from the item analyse questions’

20 mark Methods in context questions 

30 mark education essay questions 

10 mark theory and/ or methods outline and explain (no item) 10 mark questions

Remember that this type of question also appears at the end of paper 3!

A Level Sociology Paper 2: Topics 

Families and Households

General advice on all questions 

10 mark ‘outline and explain’ (no item) questions 

10 mark ‘applying material from the item analyse questions’

20 mark essay questions 

A Level Sociology Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

General advice on answering all questions

4 and 6 mark ‘outline and explain questions’

10 mark ‘applying material from the item analyse questions’

30 mark crime and deviance essays 

AS level sociology resources 

There are two 90 minute papers at the end of the AS year, and three two hour papers at the end of the A Level Year. Remember that if you do the AS qualification, your grades don’t count towards the A level, you are reassessed in a slightly different format on all of the first year material, along with all of the second year material as part of the A level exams at the end of the two years of study. 

You might find my cheesy exam guide for the AS sociology exam useful….

Related Posts

Exam Papers for AS and A Level Sociologythis link just takes you to the AQA web site’s assessment page – you should definitely check out the exam papers, and practice them!

Assessment Objectives in AS and A Level Sociology – It’s useful to know how the marks are distributed in the exam – there are complex question by question breakdowns on the specification, but to simplify it – Knowledge and Understanding (of concepts, theories, research) is worth about 50% of the marks in the exam, the other 50% are for Application, Analysis and Evaluation. 

Revision Resources for Sale…. 

Education Revision Bundle CoverIf you like this sort of thing, then you might like my A-level sociology revision bundles  – each of which contains the following:

  1. Revision notes
  2. mind maps in pdf and png format
  3. short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers
  4. model essay questions.

NB – it’s only the bundles which contain all four of the above resources, some of the resources available are sold separately.

I’ve taught sociology for nearly 20 years, and been an AQA examiner for 10 of those, so I know what I’m talking about. If you purchase, you’d also be helping me escape the man and regain my humanity.

 

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