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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...

7 months ago

Answered by Maria, a GCSE History tutor with MyTutor

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Elise H.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Newcastle University

Subjects offered: History, Spanish+ 1 more

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“I am a second-year History student at Newcastle University. I have loved history for years now, in great part thanks to several excellent teachers in my secondary education. Since I know how valuable good guidance and mentoring are to...”

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Degree: Religion and Theology (Bachelors) - Bristol University

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Extended Project Qualification

“A bit about me: I'm Katya and I'm in my first year studying Religion and Theology at the University of Bristol. As you can guess from my degree title, my passion is for religious studies, but I'm also keen to tutor in History, Philoso...”

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Degree: Computer Science (Bachelors) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: History, Maths+ 1 more

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“About me: I am a Computer Science student currently studying at Warwick University. I've always had a passion throughout my education for Maths and Computing, as the vast array of ideas that you can bring to life through programming i...”

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Maria P.

Degree: Classics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered: History, Latin+ 5 more

History
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French
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English Language
Classical Greek

“INTRODUCTION A self-motivated and conscientious multilingual Classics student at the University of Edinburgh, with a passion for the Arts and Humanities.  EXAMINATION BOARDS AND SUBJECTS TAUGHT I can assist pupils studying the follow...”

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