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How do I get top marks in my GCSE History essay?

Although different examination boards seem to have different requirements from pupils when it comes to approaching essay writing in GCSE History, below we will provide some practical tips that are applicable across all boards. 

A first step is to writing a good GCSE History essay is to read the question very carefully. However sophisticated your argument may be, if it does not answer the question it will not give you top marks. Consistency and focus are key requirements here.

You also need to consider the different skills you need to demonstrate to the examiner. GCSE History requires two main areas of skills according to most syllabuses: knowledge and understanding of the history you are studying, and critical and reflective thought. A good historical essay will have a good balance of these two sets of skills. The best way to achieve this balance is through a good structure that will combine facts with a coherent analysis that is tailored around the essay question. 

Finally, remember that enjoying writing the essay can make the final outcome enjoyable for the examiner too. Finding the right balance between sincere interest in what you are writing and strict self-criticism can help you achieve a highly refined answer to a historical question. 

Maria E. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature tu...

10 months ago

Answered by Maria, a GCSE History tutor with MyTutor


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Degree: Law (Bachelors) - Durham University

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Degree: History (Bachelors) - Durham University

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“About Me:  My name is Octavia Cogher and I am in my second year studying history at Durham University. I am interested in a broad range of topics and periods, but particularly in twentieth-century political history. Last year, I tuto...”

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Degree: Classics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

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