GCSE History (Edexcel) Unit 3a Questions

The following 5 cards will show you exactly what each question demands on the source-based exam paper.

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Question 1


This is a 6 mark question.

It will ask you to say what a source tells you about something.

The key here is to make TWO supported inferences.

An inference can be any of the following:

  • What is the source suggesting?
  • What message(s) does it give?
  • What is its attitude or tone? Is the writer sarcastic, sad, pleased, angry, happy, supportive etc?
  • What evidence in the source supports this attitude, tone, or message?

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Question 2

PURPOSE of a source

This is an 8 mark question.

You will need to explain the message and the purpose of a source.

For top marks you will need to:

  • Make inferences about the source. What is it suggesting about the person or event? What message is it trying to get across?
  • What evidence from the source supports this?
  • What is its purpose? Why is it trying to put across this message? What is it trying to make you think or do?
  • Use evidence from the source and your contextual knowledge of the event, person and/or who produced the source to fully explain its purpose.
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Question 3


This is a 10 mark question.You will need to compare THREE sources and say how far they agree with each other on something.

Cross referencing means comparing what the sources suggest. When cross referencing or comparing sources you should look for:

• Support between the sources - how far do they agree in what they suggest?

• Challenge – how far do they differ in what they suggest?

You also have to cross-reference or compare the sources for reliability and typicality.

• In other words what support or challenge is there in who produced the source and why (purpose). For example two sources may support each other in what they suggest but have very different purposes.

• Typicality means comparing to what extent the sources reflect a typical or popular view of the time.

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Question 4


This is another 10 mark question.

This question will ask you to evaluate either the utility or the reliability of two sources.

What is meant by utility and reliability?

Students often confuse utility and reliability…

• Utility – this is asking whether the source is useful – what value it has.

• Reliability – this is asking whether the source can be trusted.

Reliability can be brought into utility - the reliability of a source is important in making a judgement on its utility.

 However, utility is not part of reliability.

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Question 5


This is the 16 mark question - nearly a third of the whole paper so don't leave it till the last minute! You will be given a statement and you have to say how far the sources support that statement.

How to answer the hypothesis question

1. You need to decide which of all the five sources:

• Agree with the view

 • Disagree with the view

Remember that some sources might be used to agree and disagree with the view!

2. Make a judgement on the reliability of each source in supporting or disagreeing with the view. You must bring in your own contextual knowledge in making this judgement.

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Thankyou this is really helpful:) **



this is really good buh

is this for the britain exam aswell?



nyc ;)



What came up in your paper?

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