AQA AS Sociology: Past paper questions with tips for Unit's 1, 2 and 3.

Hope they are helpful - I found once I'd compiled them it was useful having them all in one place!! - There's also some tips my teacher gave me on answers the questions!


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  • Created on: 29-04-09 15:48
Preview of AQA AS Sociology: Past paper questions with tips for Unit's 1, 2 and 3.

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The questions are set out as follows:
(a) Explain a concept (in the item)
(2 marks)
Write 1 or 2 sentences using an example if it helps.
(b) Identify/describe/give 2 reasons (refers to item)
(4 marks)
Give 2 bullet points 1 or 2 sentences for each.
(c) Identify/suggest 3 reasons (refers to item)
(6 marks)
Give 3 bullet points 1 or 2 sentences for each.
(d) Identify and explain 2 criticisms/reasons (refers to item)
(8 marks)
Write 2 paragraphs each paragraph about 3 or 4 sentences.
(e) Examine the evidence/arguments (NO reference to the item)
(20 marks)
Make a very brief plan e.g. mind map of main points, perspectives,studies and
You will probably manage to write about 2 sides. Make sure you have a concluding
(f) Using the item assess (refers to the items and material from elsewhere)
(20 marks)
As in (e) but remember to make a direct reference to some part of the item.
Past Paper Questions
Unit 1
The (a) question (2 marks)
You should recognise most of the concepts but remember, even if you do not know it
you can guess from the context in the item.

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Page 2

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June 2007 Explain what is meant by 'ascribed status'
January 2007 Explain what is meant by 'segregated conjugal roles'
June 2006 Explain what is meant by the 'patriarchal' family.
January 2006 Explain what is meant by 'serial monogamy'
June 2005 Explain what is meant by a "household"
January 2005 Explain what is meant by a "reconstituted" family.
June 2004 Explain what is meant by the "gender division of labour" in the
January 2004 Explain briefly what is meant by an "expressive" role.…read more

Page 3

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Note when it says this make sure that you do not repeat what is in the item as you
will not get any marks!
June 2001 Suggest two reasons why the information from the studies in Item B
might not give an accurate picture of couple relationships in Britain today.
January 2001 Explain the difference between infant mortality rate and the birth rate.
Note It is important here to also fully explain what is meant by "rate" in comparison
with basic numbers.…read more

Page 4

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January 2007 Identify and briefly explain two reasons why there are more loneparent
families now than in 1971.
June 2006 Identify and briefly explain two reasons for 'the rise of the nuclear family'
January 2006 Identify and briefly explain two reasons for the increase in the divorce
rate apart from changes in the divorce laws.
June 2005 Identify and explain two reasons why "family and household forms are
becoming increasingly diverse".…read more

Page 5

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Never say "I think"!!
Opinion is not evidence so use the third person e.g "it could be argued" or "feminists
like Oakley suggest". When concluding you can say "most of the research indicates"
Never say "this proves" as there are always contrasting theories/evidence and you
can never fully prove in the social sciences!
In an examination if you are trying to remember the information:
Think perspectives and contrast them
Think how Society is stratified i.e. divided by Social Class/ Gender/ Ethnicity.…read more

Page 6

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Using material from item () and elsewhere
June 2007 assess the functionalist contribution to our understanding of the family.
January 2007 assess sociological views of the relationship between the family and
June 2006 assess sociological explanations of the increase in the number of
divorces since the 1960s.
January 2006 assess the view that 'the extended family remains as important now as
it was in the past'
June 2005 assess the view that marriage remains a patriachal institution.…read more

Page 7

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Page 8

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Unit 2
The (a) question (2 marks)
explain what is meant by
June 2007 'social solidarity'
January 2007 'deferred gratification'
June 2006 'universalistic norms'
January 2006 'cultural capital'
June 2005 "streaming"
June 2004 "selffulfilling prophecy"
January 2004 "reproduction of class inequality"
June 2003 "hidden curriculum"
January 2003 "hidden curriculum"
June 2002 "value consensus"
January 2002 "deferred gratification"
June 2001 "meritocracy"
January 2001 "stereotypical views"
The (b) question (4 marks)
Answer with two bullet points. Each 1 or 2 sentences.…read more

Page 9

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January 2002 two "classlinked material factors external to the school" that may
affect pupils' attainment levels.
June 2001 two ways in which interactions between pupils and teachers may affect
attainment and/or behaviour.
January 2001 two educational reforms which might reduce "classbased differences
in educational achievement"
The (c) question (6 marks)
Answer by giving three bullet points. Each one or two sentences.
All the questions begin with:
suggest three
June 2007 ways in which school prepares pupils for work.…read more

Page 10

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January 2007 two reasons which might explain why boys 'tend to do less well than
girls' in school.
June 2006 two reasons for ethnic differences in educational achievement, apart from
marketisation policies.
January 2006 two ways in which schooling in capitalist society may mirror the world
of work.
June 2005 2 factors that may account for the educational underachievement of boys.
June 2004 2 cultural differences between the classes that may explain class
differences in achievement.…read more


Manal Z

hey is there a mark scheme for this ?

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