SY4 exam tips

Have some useful tips for doing well
Know the layout and expectations of the exam paper.
Don’t get stressed get prepared!!
 Exam is 2 hours
 You MUST answer question 1 parts a) and b)
 One question on Social Inequality (parts a) and b) frm
a choice of two questions.
Before the exam
 Revise !!!!!!!!
 Practice answering questions to time
 Know beforehand how much time you should allocate
to each question according to the marks available
Have the right equipment ready
Eat and sleep well
Take time-out to relax
Remember that some adrenaline when going into the
exam will help you perform better! BUT talk to
someone in school or at home if you get too stressed.
During the Exam
 Read the instructions on the paper thoroughly
 Regularly check the time
 Plan your longer answers – but don’t spend too long on
 Check your answers by reading back over them
 Keep your handwriting legible
 Clearly mark on your answer booklet which question
you are answering
Research Methods Compulsory
 Question a) 10 marks – 10 minutes
 AO1 10 marks (All knowledge based)
 You will be given an example of some research on a topic
and could be asked about why the researcher has chosen a
particular method, sampling methods, ethics or even
theoretical things like advantages/disadvantages of
positivism/interpretivist. You need to know advantages and
disadvantages of all the methods in the textbook and how
to evaluate each method in terms of GROVER
(generalisability, representativeness,
operationalisation, validity, ethics and reliability).
Your answers must be in the context of the source material
given. You could also use other examples of research you
know about (see SY4 research summaries handout.)
 Question b) 30 marks – 40 minutes
 AO1 14
AO2 16
 You will be asked to outline a research design on a topic which
will be given to you. It will also state whether the study should be
qualitative or quantitative. You will then have to discuss any
problems which may occur with your design. You should design a
study which is fitting for the topic given to you. So don’t try to
write one you have pre-prepared, just practice doing them. You
need to cover the sub-headings below in your design.
 To get AO2 marks you must justify each stage saying why you
made the decision and giving some strengths and weaknesses of
your design e.g the method or sampling technique used. The
evaluation section will be particularly important for getting
The research design
 Aim, a statement about what your overall aim is
 Hyposthesis (If quantitative) a prediction about what you think will be found
 Operationalisation (how are you measuring/defining the concept e.g class
 Sampling method (how will you get access to your participants and select
 Method used (primary or secondary data collection and actual method)
 Procedure used, how you would actually carry it out
 Analysis of the data, how would you analyse it and what you might expect to
 Evaluation. A couple of paragraphs explaining any problems you might
anticipate with data collection e.g time, cost, access to sample, and problems
with the design itself in terms of GROVER, see above.
 A way to remember order of above list: A Hippo Only Smells Monkeys Properly After Eating.
Question 2 Social Inequality
These could be any question based around the 10 booklet
topics that we have covered. Synopticity is being examined
in this unit so a question may also be broader requiring you
to bring aspects of topics together or draw on previous
knowledge in sociology.
You should know: Key terms linked to each topic
 key points/patterns e.g on gender, ethnicity etc, names of
writers, linked research studies, linked theories /perspectives
and have strengths and weaknesses prepared.
 You need to pay attention to command words (see handbook)
 Use activities, key words and essay plans at back of booklets.
Question 4/5 a) 20 marks – 25
 AO1 8 AO2 12
 This will be the ‘identify two areas of inequality’ question.
 You should aim to identify each area, explain it with
examples, provides at least two pieces of evidence for each
area which is fully explained, developed and evaluated
using strengths and weaknesses or alternative
viewpoint/perspective. You can also use research from the
summaries and evaluate the methods used.
 Mark scheme states ‘range of evidence’ for AO1
 Mark scheme states ‘explicit links to question’ and analysis
must be the focus. I.e demonstrating an understanding of
the issues and what evidence implies/suggests about it.
Question 4/5 b) 30 marks – 45
 AO1 13 AO2 17
 This is a longer essay and is examining your skills of evaluation and
analysis more , you need range AND depth.
You can jot a quick plan if you have time
Include an introduction and conclusion
This question will ask you to Discuss, assess or critically evaluate etc.
The essay should be set out as an argument.
Use evaluative language at every opportunity and make VERY explicit
links to the question in your answer.
You need to include a range of writers, research and theories in your
Each point you make should be fully explained, developed, provide
evidence which is then evaluated and analysed.
Use PEEA !!!
Extra Tips !
 The key to doing well in exams is all about revision and
practice. Half the battle is writing good essays to time.
 Watch the news and apply your knowledge to current
debates. This will help you understand the issues and
consolidate your knowledge. Anything current you can
include in your answers will get extra marks but don’t
overdo it, remember you need actual research studies
writers and theories too !
 GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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