Hi guys – I’ve completed a detailed video on revision technique for the new psychology specification which should break down the exam papers you will be sitting as well as the revision technique myself and a lot of Loopa students have been using to do so well.
This video is well overdue as my original video became quite popular so I was always hoping to release this covering the new linear A level too. Click to play the video – it is about 23 minutes long and gives a good overview of all 3 exam papers for AQA psychology.
Be sure to follow me on my Youtube channel here too. <– I’ll be posting my predictions on this channel so follow it to keep up to date and just generally be a part of my journey.
How To Begin Studying For AQA Psychology
AS psychology is a combination of small, medium and big essay questions worth up to 12 marks and this applies for papers 1 and 2. This is again the same for A level but the only difference is there is more topics you need to learn and the essays can now be worth up to 16 marks instead of 12. To summerise:
- For AS you will sit papers 1 + 2 only (small, medium and big essay questions worth up to 12 marks)
- For A level you will sit modified versions of papers 1 + 2 (which have more content to learn and again is a combination of small, medium and big essay questions but these can now be worth up to 16 marks). You will also sit paper 3 which will be almost exclusively essay based.
The first step in revising involves you downloading all the recent past papers and mark schemes and printing these off as booklets. If you can’t get hold of the most recent exam papers then simply download the specification papers instead as they can help you revise and prepare too. You can find these on AQA’s website here.
Once you’ve done this you want to start practicing these past papers over and over using the mark scheme to correct your answers at the end and assessing what grade you get. You can use the UMS calculator here to reverse engineer your marks into UMS so you know what grade you are scoring.
The mark scheme is exactly the same document examiners will be using to mark your psychology exam papers so you want to see what they are looking for in the answers and get into the habit of answering in a similar fashion. If they are asking you for something you are unfamiliar with – refer to your revision notes and begin revising that section to get a grip on it or check out my own ebooks which cover everything you need to know.
Keep practicing these papers and grading yourself in terms of what you are scoring marks wise. The first time I did this I scored a low D grade but over time I began to get better and improve and eventually I was consistently scoring A’s.
While your practicing past papers/mark schemes you also need to prepare for the essay questions as these are worth a lot of marks and can literally make or break a grade. There is a lot of potential essays you can be asked across the different topics and they will normally be split between theory and evaluation (not always but a lot of the time yes).
The idea is then to create and memorise model essay answers for all these possible questions. My ebooks cover all the potential essay questions you can be asked here across the different papers for both AS and A level so you can use them in your first and second year of study.
Paper 3 topics below – all the possible essay questions and answers fully covered in them.
Why this method of studying works for psychology
Revising like this works because past paper practice gets you into the habit of answering the questions how the examiners want you to answer them. They are looking for very specific content to see if you know it, perhaps a theory, explanation or outline and you can only get into the habit of writing these key bits they want through practice.
You also begin to get a rounded understanding of the subject too. Revising for all the big essays prepares you for not only the 12-16 marker essays but helps you in answering the smaller versions of them too which can come up. So here’s an example:
Outline and evaluate the multistore memory model (12/16 marks)
- If you have memorised a full 12 or 16 marker for this question and it doesn’t come up, there is a possibility of it coming up as a smaller question instead such as;
- outline the multi-store memory model (6 marks) or even “evaluate the multi-store memory model” (8 marks)
As you have studied and revised a full essay on this, simply writing the theory element of your memorised essay or even the evaluation will be a piece of cake now. The exam will be littered with versions of these essays you’ve memorised but as smaller versions so your essay practice does not go to waste and prepares you for all versions of these questions in different ways.
This should help you get a detailed grasp of the exams and topics. My best advice is to always start revising early as these new linear A level exams are very content heavy and you have to sit them all together which puts a great deal of pressure on you especially if you have left it really late.
I hope this helps give you a starting point,