Exam Skills

exam tips

Exam skills – quick revision links

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Content description

Succeeding at Sourcework

Tips and tricks to answer GCSE and IGCSE History sourcework questions accurately. Many of the hints are good practice with for any sourcework paper. The guide covers sourcework questions on: Comprehension, Comprehension in Context, Reliability/Usefulness/Value, Source Comparisons, Interpretation.

IGCSE History Paper 2

Guidance and advice for answering questions on CIE IGCSE History Paper 2 (the source paper) by looking at how marks are awarded, and comments from the examiner's report.

IGCSE History Paper 4

Advice for students answering questions on Paper 4 of the CIE IGCSE History exam (alternative to coursework) which focuses on your chosen Depth Study.
IGCSE and GCSE History source skills tips revision

Succeeding at Sourcework exam tips

This History revision podcast focuses on how to answer different types of source questions.  Many of the hints are good practice with for any sourcework paper, but if you would like specific advice for the CIE exams then check out my revision podcasts for IGCSE Paper 2 and IGCSE Paper 4.

This specific episode presents tips on a range source question types including:

  • Comprehension
  • Comprehension in Context
  • Reliability/Usefulness/Value
  • Source Comparisons
  • Interpretation

     

Paper 2 exam advice

IGCSE History Paper 2 exam tips

The summer 2017 exam will include a Paper 2 exam on the Peace Treaties of 1919-1923. There are revision materials on this topic in the IGCSE/GCSE history revision menu.

This video (also available to download as a podcast) has been created specifically for students studying the CIE IGCSE History 0470 course, but a lot of the advice contained in it is appropriate for all source questions.  My advice comes from reading the examiner’s report, which is written by the chief examiner – that’s the person in charge of marking all your exam papers – in which they explain what students do well in the exam and what needs to be improved.

This episode provides general tips on how to improve the quality of source answers, drawn from common mistakes that students make in the CIE IGCSE History 0470 exam.  Specific advice is given on how the answer the final 12 mark question, which is always asks how far the collection sources agree (or disagree) with a particular point of view.

If you want more general guidance on answering source papers, download my other podcast called on Succeeding at Sourcework.  Although it’s not designed specifically for the CIE Paper 2, it still contains lots of good tips that you might find helpful.

     

Argument words

‘Argument words’ vocabulary mat by @Snoopycmf

Students can sometimes find it difficult to reach a conclusion on the importance or significance of a particular factor. This handy ‘Argument words’ mat by @Snoopycmf is a great starting point to help develop this vocabulary.

Download hi-res version here.

exam tips

IGCSE History 0470 Paper 4 exam tips

This revision podcast relates specifically to the CIE IGCSE History Paper 4 examination. IGCSE History 0470 Paper 4 is the Depth Study paper, and consequently the content material differs depending on what Depth Study you studied at your school. It doesn’t matter which one you focused on as the layout of the exam and the requirements of the mark scheme are the same. Consequently this podcast aims to be as broad as possible.

As with my revision podcast for IGCSE Paper 2, this episode is built around the notes from the examiner’s report combined with my own practical tips and tricks for using your knowledge and skills in the right ways in order to gain the number of marks you deserve.

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exam tips

IGCSE History Paper 4 exam tips – last exam 2014

Please see CIE History Paper 4 from 2015 onwards for the current version of this podcast, which addresses the ‘new’ syllabus from June 2015 onwards.

As with my revision podcast for IGCSE Paper 2, this episode is built around the notes from the examiner’s report combined with my own practical tips and tricks for using your knowledge and skills in the right ways in order to gain the number of marks you deserve.

IGCSE History Paper 4 is the Depth Study paper, and consequently the content material differs depending on what Depth Study you studied at your school. It doesn’t matter which one you focused on as the layout of the exam and the requirements of the mark scheme are the same  Consequently this podcast aims to be as broad as possible.

The podcast explains techniques for each question in both Section A (the source questions) and Section B (the ‘knowledge’ questions).

How successful were the League of Nations’ attempts at disarmament in the 1920s?

This short video is designed to help GCSE and IGCSE students write a balanced answer to explain how successful the League of Nations’ attempts at disarmament were in the 1920s.  The video shows how a 1-10 scale can be used to give a point ‘score’ to the League’s overall attempts, which can then be translated into words.  It concludes with a skeleton essay structure, which helps to structure a balanced answer.

For a more detailed video on how to answer a question about the broader factors affecting the success of the League of Nations in the 1920s, check out this video and this podcast about the League of Nations in the 1920s.

You can access all my videos at www.youtube.com/mrallsop

How successful was the League of Nations in the 1920s?

This video explains the technique to answer a ‘how far’ type question at GCSE/IGCSE.

This particular example focuses on the question ‘how successful was the League of Nations in the 1920s’, but the format can be applied to other questions of this type.  You should check out this podcast about the League of Nations in the 1920s prior to watching this video.

Writing a balanced answer, in which you recognise both sides of the argument, is a simple yet important skill to develop.  I also explain how you can use the ‘Point, Evidence, Explanation’ paragraph format to structure your answer.

For a video focusing specifically on how to assess the success of the League’s attempts at disarmement in the 1920s, check out this post.

You can access all my videos at www.youtube.com/mrallsop

GCSE History source comprehension

I/GCSE History source paper revision – how to answer comprehension questions

These are often the early question on a paper, and usually have lower marks than some of the questions that require more detailed analysis. While there’s no ‘easy’ questions on a History exam, comprehension source questions are arguably the easiest that you’ll come across.

History revision comprehension in context

I/GCSE History source paper revision – comprehension in context questions

You’ve probably never called them this, but you will have seen them before. These are the types of questions that need you to understand what a source tells you about a person or situation and then link it to your own knowledge of the period.