How To Answer Questions On AQA History Papers 1&2

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Paper 1: International Relations

Paper 1: International Relations

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Question 1: Describe (4 marks)

For question 1, you will get a question which asks you something like:

Describe the main features of the Alliance System which existed in Europe in 1914.

• You get one mark for a 'basic description'.
• You get up to three more marks by adding details of different aspects

Note that the markscheme says you need to give ‘at least two’ specific details to earn full marks so try to give three just to make sure you get all the marks.

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Question 2: Interpretations (6 marks)

For question 2 you will have a question which gives you a source and then asks you whether you agree with it - e.g.: 
Source A suggests that the Stalin wanted control over Berlin.  Do you agree that the Berlin Blockade was an attempt to conquer West Berlin?
  
To earn full marks you need to address two issues:
• How true is the content of the source
• How reliable is the provenance of the source

The number of marks you get depends on how fully you explain your ideas, and prove them with facts

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Question 3 (10 marks)

You will be given two possible answers to a question, and then asked to judge which is the better answer - e.g.: 

Which was the more important reason for Great Britain joining the First World War in 1914:

• the Naval Race with Germany 1906-1914

• the Schlieffen Plan?  
  To earn full marks you need to do three things for each altenative:
• Describe what happened
Explain how it [was the most important reason for Britain jioning the first world war]

• Asses how important it was in doing so

A final paragraph will then compare the importance of the two alternatives and come to a judgement, giving a reason.

The number of marks you get depends on how fully you explain your ideas, and prove them with facts.

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Paper 2: Depth Study

Paper 2: Depth Study

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Question 1: Inference (4 marks)

For the inference question, you'll be asked something like:

What does this source suggest about the government of Nicholas II in Russia?

• You get up to two marks by extracting surface statements explicit in the source.
• You get up to two more marks by identifying inferences in the source

Note that the question specifies a topic (in this case 'about the government of Nicholas II); if you give facts or inferences about things that aren't to do with Nicholas II's government - even if they are true in the source - you will not be credited.

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Question 2: Explain (6 marks)

You will get a question which asks you something like:

Explain why the Bolsheviks grew in popularity between March and November 1917.’

To get full marks you will need to:

• Refer to two or three reasons for the stated result
Explain (with relevant facts) how the reason produced the result.

Note that you must make sure that you know what result you are trying to explain

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Question 3: Usefulness Of A Source (10 marks)

Question 3 will ask you something like:

How useful is Source B for studying the success of Red Army in the Russian Civil War?

To get full marks you will need to evaluate the usefulness of the source addressing:
• How useful is the content?
• How useful is the provenance?

Note that the number of marks you get depends on how fully you explain your ideas, and prove them with facts

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Question 4: Description Using A Source (8 marks)

For this one you will get a question which gives you a source and then asks something like:

Use Source G and your knowledge to describe Stalin’s Great Terror

To get full marks you need to:

•  Give your ‘description’ of the source, worth one or two marks
•  You can get up to six more marks for a ‘detailed description of several aspects

Note that 'detailed' means facts, dates, names and specialised terms

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Question 5: Analysis And Explanation (12 marks)

You will get a question which asks you something like:

‘Life got better for people after the October Revolution .’ Do you agree? Explain your answer.

You get:
• Up to three marks for basic description/factual knowledge.
• You can gain three more marks for identifying and describing relevant points, for or against the suggestion.
• You can earn another four marks if you explain how the points you are making are for or against the case.
• And finally, you will score full marks if you organise your explained points into a ‘for-against-judgement’ argument.

Note that this essay uses decscribe and explain so do that! 

Basically, you need to write one paragraph agreeing with the question, one paragraph disagreeing with the question and one paragraph concluding (saying whether you agree or disagree)

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