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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:43 am 
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Anyone got any advice? My son is finding History the most challenging GCSE. He takes it next summer so I know they will do past papers, but I'm hoping he can have a think about where he tends to go wrong in History exams (it was his weakest subject in his summer report). Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:02 am 
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I'm not particularly up on history, but I would say lots of past papers and get the mark schemes, this will show him where he is going wrong. Others may have more specific advice.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:10 am 
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Hi I think someone will probably come along with a much more intelligent answer but my DS has done surprisingly well in his history end of year exam despite historic difficulties with writing coherently. I think where he did well was being taught to make sure he has clearly written in the facts they want ie for a 3 mark question writing 3 clear points of information. Have you spoken to your son's teachers (it may be a bit late if they have already broken up) but the teacher should be able to help you and your son locate areas he is struggling with. I think it is about exam technique and not waffling as they can end up writing reams of information with very little of it relevant to what is being asked.

My son did not do so well in two subjects and this summer (he is dreading it) we will be going over past papers and looking at the mark schemes so that he is aware where he is not quite giving them the information they require. Like you I want him to be in a position to be doing well come next summer.

Hope this helps a bit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Location: Herts
Ask your ds if he knows that P E E L means. That should be the backbone of all his essays. Is he good at English? There is a very strong link between the two. I did English and History at Uni and both my dd's best subjects are History and English in that order. My Y9 dd only dropped one mark in History all year and none at all in the English end of year. If he knows how to write English essays then he should be able to do well in History ones. He lalso needs to know how to use source material. He needs to do each past paper over and over again until he gets it right. Is he doing Edexcel? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Mark schemes and examiners reports are very helpful.

Sometimes you can find exemplar answers and marked questions.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
P- Point - make your basic point
E- Explain your point in further detail
E- Example, give an example of your point
L- Link, link it back to the question

For those who weren't sure.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Thanks very much all. I'm not sure which board he is doing, will ask him when gets home from a trip away. All very good advice. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:43 am 
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Would suggest starting with a plan for each answer (bullet points or whatever way is used to ) and once that is secure then move on to writing full answers. It is more important to get the facts than how the answer is written so get that right first.
It should also help with avoiding waffle that doesn't add to the answer.

If they are still struggling then worth getting them to give you the answer verbally to check of they actually understand the material - much of GCSE History is about grasping concepts rather than memorising dates.

Another idea is to check revision notes - are they clear and concise and listing the main events/causes etc for each topic?


Technique will improve as they do past papers during year 11 so try to reassure as well!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Thank you!
My son tells me he is doing AQA.
Thanks for great advice YM


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:33 pm 
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AQA have two different GCSE courses

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history#bm-GCSE

The KS4 course booklet should tell you which one is being studied. It will be 'new' version of A or B.


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