Politics update - November 2017

Mon Nov 21 09:00:00 UTC 2016

Pearson has re-submitted its Politics specifications and sample assessment material to Ofqual for accreditation. We have made changes in response to their feedback received in September.

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The latest draft materials are live on this website, and any changes are highlighted.

These materials are still draft and subject to change. Below is a summary of the key changes.

Specification changes

  • The level of detail of the content has been reduced throughout, and wording amended, in order to align more fully with the Department for Education’s (DfE) subject content.
  • Reductions in the number of key terms.
  • For each political thinker, there are now two key ideas that must be studied. This will clarify and limit the scope of teaching and learning.
  • The Comparative Politics content (USA and Global politics) have been restructured to ensure they are fully comparable:
    • for USA, the Supreme Court and civil rights topics have been merged together
    • for both options, the comparative theories content has been put into one whole section, section 6. 

Assessment changes

  • For the AS papers, there are longer, more detailed sources for questions 2 and 3 to ensure the assessment objectives are fully met.
  • As a result, the AS papers have been extended by 15 minutes to allow students sufficient time to read and process the sources (each AS paper is now 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Extra instructions have been added to the questions to clarify expectations.
  • For the A level papers 1 and 2, there are longer, more detailed sources for question 1. Students must compare the different viewpoints in the source when answering the question.
  • For Paper 3, question 2 no longer requires students to use a source.
  • There are now explicit requirements for students to demonstrate synoptic understanding in their answers, and this applies to the following questions:
    • AS paper 2, question 4
    • A level paper 2, question 2
    • A level paper 3, USA, question 1 and 2
    • A level paper 3, Global, question 2.
  • Indicative content re-designed so AO1 knowledge and understanding is distinct from the AO2 analysis and AO3 evaluation.

Government and Politcs
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