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I revise really hard for A-level Psychology but always get a low grade, despite doing what teachers tell me. What is going wrong?

That question is a natural one to ask-it’s more straightforward than you think.

Okay let me pick a Psychology topic you will have definitely covered in class like ‘Research Methods’; regardless of what exam board you are working with. A student can write effective notes, read more than that which is required and still get low marks in exams. One main and most popular reason is that you may be slightly going off topic when it comes to answering the exam questions directly and coming straight to the point. As a result loosing easy marks which accumulates as a low grade when in reality you are an A* GRADE student! Remember practice, practice and practice and don’t just read around the topic! Really dig in to pass paper questions. For example in a recent Psychology paper for Research Methods it was asked:

“Give 2 limitations of carrying out Laboratory Experiments” (4 marks). It is quite tempting to list just 2 like the following:

Demand Characteristics

Lacks Ecological Validity (Maximum this answer will get will be 2)

The students who will secure the full 4 marks will elaborate on such points. So looking something like this:

One limitation of carrying out a Lab experiment is the lack of ecological validity, the lack of relation the study has to real-life settings brings a more artificial scope to the study’s findings. Another limitation is that there may demand characteristics on behalf of the participant who recognises the kind of environment they are in and may act in a misleading way blocking access to true validity. (THIS GETS THE FULL 4 MARKS)

Please do let me know your thoughts on this!

Shaan  P. GCSE Art tutor, A Level Art tutor, GCSE Design & Technology...

10 months ago

Answered by Shaan , an A Level Psychology tutor with MyTutor


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Degree: Philosophy and Theology and Religious Studies (Bachelors) - Leeds University

Subjects offered: Psychology, Sociology+ 4 more

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“About Me:I am a student at the University of Leeds studying BA Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. When I was in secondary school I had a passion andreal drive for ALL my subjects and the interesting thing about my degree cou...”

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