AS and A level History Advance Information Support | Pearson qualifications

AS and A level History Advance Information Support

18 February 2022

This update contains information and support for AS and A level History teachers and students on the summer 2022 Advance Information which was released on 7 February 2022.

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The summer 2022 AS and A level History Advance Information is available now to download from our qualification page. There are separate documents for AS and A level History.

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Updates to documents

Following further quality checks after the release of the advance information on 7 February we have updated the A level History advance information document. Topic 37.2 incorrectly had the heading Section B listed above the content for Section A. We have changed this so that both headings in Topic 37.2 now correctly named as Section A and Section B. This update is reflected on page 39. The new version is named as 'Version 2'. Please check that you have downloaded the latest version.

Advance Information Guidance

The following guidance document explains the key principles and rationale for Advance Information.

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Student Guide to AS and A level History Advance Information

The following video is to support Edexcel AS and A level History students to explain more about how they can use the Advance Information document to prepare for their summer 2022 exams. It may also be of use for teachers who have queries on how to use Advance Information to prepare students for their exams.

Student guide to AS and A level History Advance Information
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Advance Information FAQs

Why does your Advance Information look different to other exam

  • Advance Information is not identical between different exam boards
    because we take different approaches to the way we set out our content in specifications and the way we assess this content in exams. We did work together to ensure for each qualification it is as comparable as possible.

Do students need to learn content not specified in the Advance Information?

  • For AS and A level History Paper 1 Section C, and A level Paper 3 Section C there is no advance information specified – in these sections all areas of the specified content must be learned.
  • For the rest of the specification we have provided Advance Information of the major focus of the content of the exams – teachers and students should use this information to help focus revision.
  • For the content not specified in these sections: Students may still find it useful to know this as it could help their understanding of the topics being tested. History essays can be broad and it may be possible for students to bring in content not specified in Advance Information into their argument – if this is relevant they will be credited. However, students will not be penalised if they answer a question using only the information specified in the Advance Information ie examiners will not expect them to bring in information from content not specified.
  • Please remember that Advance Information is not designed to narrow teaching and learning.

What does it mean when it states that 'Questions will be drawn from one or more of the indicated areas of specification content'?

  • This means that questions won’t necessarily focus solely on a single bullet point identified in the advance information.
  • Questions could draw on one or more of the indicated bullet points which is normal for A level History since questions can be broad and cover more than one area of the specification for a particular topic.
  • Also a question may not be about everything in a single bullet point – it could be one aspect of it.

Why did you drop topics X/Y/Z from the exam?

  • We appreciate that some students and teachers may be unhappy that parts of topics they find interesting aren't included in the Advance Information.
  • The summer 2022 question papers were written far in advance of any decision to implement Advance Information.
  • Over the lifetime of the specification our examiners have a responsibility to assess the full range of specified content. 
  • They have to assess different topic areas each year to ensure exams aren't predictable.
  • Please remember that Advance Information provides notice of the major focus of the content of this summer's exam and it does not mean that content has been cut from the specification.

Why do some qualifications have optional content and others have Advance Information?

  • The Department for Education and Ofqual have been working closely with exam boards and teachers to decide on what measures to put in place for each qualification in summer 2022.
  • Last year they ran a consultation on their proposed approaches for each qualification.
  • For the majority of qualifications like A level History it was decided that Advance Information would be used to support students in summer 2022.
  • A small number of qualifications (such as GCSE History) had optionality introduced to give teachers a choice of topics but this wasn't available for A level History.

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