Tackling Structured Questions at AS Level

Nick Fellows provides a critique of a specimen answer in our latest Survival Skills feature.

One of the new features of the AS examination is the structured question. If you are to succeed in scoring high marks on this element of the examination there are basic principles of which you must be aware.

In the example quoted below, the question has two parts, each with a different number of marks available; and it is important to use this mark-scheme as a guide to how long to spend on each part. In this instance, where part (a) is worth 30 marks and part (b) 60, you should spent approximately twice as long on the second part. With an hour available in total, you might write around three-quarters to one page on part (a), spending perhaps 5 minutes on planning and 15 minutes on writing. However, part (b) is more like a traditional essay, and so you might write roughly two pages in 40 minutes. But do remember that relevance is more important than length, and – the golden rule – that you must answer the exact question set.

A Worked Example and an Examiner’s Comments

The example below is a real answer written by an AS candidate in the examination.

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