If you’ve completed lots of past papers and marked them with official marking guidelines, you’ll have some idea of how each question is marked.

Broadly speaking, if a question is worth 2 marks, you’ll need to make two points. If it’s worth 6, you need to make six points, etc. Some longer essay-like questions might be worth 16 or more marks, meaning you’ll need to make several arguments, backing those up with evidence and dates. You may also get marks for structuring your answer well, using appropriate terminology, etc.

For some questions, you may have difficulty making as many points as you need. You might have tons to say for others, but the total marks available are low!

Don’t be tempted to completely overblow the amount of time you spend on a question. If you’re confident writing on a subject, ensure you pick up every mark possible without spending too much time on the question.

  • Take notice of how many marks each question is worth.
  • Work out how to get all the marks you can without wasting time.
  • If you know a lot about a topic, don’t fall into the trap of writing too much and wasting time. Think about the marks!
  • Think back to past papers and how they were marked. Then, you can ‘reverse engineer’ the marking guidelines.
  • Remember keywords, terminology, dates and other key facts. You might get a mark simply for mentioning them.

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