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...

5 months ago

Answered by Maria, a GCSE History tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


PremiumMegan  T. GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE History tutor
View profile
£22 /hr

Megan T.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: History, English Literature

English Literature

“I am an English Literature student at Exeter University, and I have just started my second year here. I have always loved reading and analysying texts, so am excited to inspire you too. I do realise that literature can sometimes be a ...”

Jacob M. A Level Geography tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, GCSE Maths tu...
View profile
£18 /hr

Jacob M.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Manchester University

Subjects offered: History, Maths+ 1 more


“Tutoring experience I have gained three years tutoring experience with five seperate students of different ages and capabilities on a one-to-one basis. The subjects I have tutored include Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry at GCSE ...”

PremiumMarral S. A Level English Literature tutor, GCSE English Literature t...
View profile
£22 /hr

Marral S.

Degree: MPhil Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Masters) - Oxford, St Antony's College University

Subjects offered: History, Sociology+ 6 more

Government and Politics
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“About me: I studied BSc Politics and International Relations for my undergraduate degree at the University of Bath, graduating with a first class honours in 2016. I am currently reading MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the  U...”

About the author

Maria E. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature tu...
View profile
£20 /hr

Maria P.

Degree: Classics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered: History, Latin+ 5 more

English Literature
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...”

You may also like...

Other GCSE History questions

What is the best way to write a strong argument?

How do I analyse sources?

How do I analyse a source?

How do I analyse a source?

View GCSE History tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss