IGCSE History Paper 2 exam tips

exam tips

This podcast has been created specifically for students studying the CIE IGCSE History 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.

The podcast provides general tips on how to improve the quality of source answers, drawn from common mistakes that students make in the 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.

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26 Responses to IGCSE History Paper 2 exam tips

  1. ANonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this podcast. I hope it proves helpful in my mock paper tomorrow.

  2. zaituni says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Allsop; this has helped me alot

  3. curie dang says:

    On the 12 marker do you get credit for grouping the cartoons as well? Some of the mark schemes say do not count these so I am a bit confused.

    • Mr Allsop says:

      I’m not really sure what you mean by ‘grouping the cartoons’. In the 12 mark question, every source can be used to argue either for or against the question statement. You get marks for using a range of sources – (which can be both images, or text, or both) – to support each side of the argument.

  4. Ismail says:

    Thankyou very much. As a teacher of History, your material helped me alot.

  5. Oyin says:

    So helpful. I am more confident about my paper 2 history.

  6. anon says:

    Hey, I’ve listened to the podcast multiple of times and I kind of have a brief idea on how to do each question, but is it okay if you tell me them in a written form to make it easier for me to understand? Please don’t hate me! I have my history mock exam tomorrow which is based on the peace treaties

    • Mr Allsop says:

      Thanks for your message. I am currently in the process of creating and uploading written transcripts for all my podcasts and hope to have these completed before the summer 2015 exams.

  7. anonymous says:


  8. Aisha says:

    Thanks alot all these tips make us learn deeply about our exams

  9. richard Tjazapi says:

    I really find this material very useful and it helped me alot in explaining paper 2 to my grade 12 at Putuavanga Secondary School . I used it mostly during the spring school that we recently held in August 2014.

    Please continue to post more of this type to make the teaching of Source papers much easier in our Namibian Schools.

  10. Isla says:

    Hi. These podcast lessons are great! I cannot say thank you enough!

  11. Tartil Nadir says:

    thank that was helpful i understood my exam in details

  12. A star says:

    wow! that was a great help.

  13. Rainha says:

    Your podcast was godsend! I’m going in for a Paper 2 test tomorrow and I feel prepared already!

  14. Isabelle says:

    Thank you very much for these great podcasts and resources. My history teacher is great and has covered everything, but it’s really been helping my revision to listen to the podcasts and remember the key facts I had forgotten :)

  15. Sandy says:

    This podcast has been of great help for my exam tomorrow

  16. Eta Katundu says:

    Absolutely love your podcast on Paper 2. It will be a great help to my students. Thanks!

  17. oscar says:

    Hi! I’m a bit stuck on how to structure the final 12 mark question :s Could you help me?

    • mrallsop says:

      I discuss this in the podcast. As with any ‘how far’ question the key thign to do on the final question of CIE IGCSE History Paper 2 is to present a balanced argument. Begin by presenting one side of the argument (e.g. “In some ways the sources do agree with the statement…”) and go on to give examples from a range of sources, and explain why they support the statement. Then do the same for the other side of the argument. You should include reference to at least two sources for each side of the argument. Then you need to write a conclusion in which you say ‘how far’ you agree with the question statement. This format will score you up to 10 marks. To gain the additional two marks you need to analyse the sources as well, such as discussing how reliable they are and why.

  18. Chloe says:

    Thank you for doing this pod-cast. I really struggle with history and now I think I will do okay. Thanks again :)

  19. alex says:

    This website is amazing for IGCSE History revision and prep. Thanks so much!

  20. Magdeline says:

    Dnt complain I luv this

  21. oliver says:

    i am teaching igcse history in zimbabwe. your podcasts have really proved to be of great help and i do not know how to express my sincere thanks.keep up the good work.

    • mrallsop says:

      Hi Oliver. Thank you for your message! Leaving such a nice message is thanks enough – I’m glad you find the podcasts helpful :)

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