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How should I start answering questions in the exam?

Planning is really important as it will help make sure you don't miss out any of your most important points whilst ensuring you don't end up 'waffling' about anything that's not relevant. A great way of starting your plan is to imagine the exam question is a question a friend has asked you in conversation. If this were the case, you would start by clarifying your own position and that back it up using your strongest arguments. For example, if the exam question is "The shooting of Franz Ferdinand was the most important factor in starting WW1.' Discuss", imagine a friend has asked you whether this is true. 

First of all, you would say either "yes" or "no" having a strong opinion helps to make sure you stay focused on answering the precise question you have been asked. Then, you would idenfity the 3 or 4 strongest arguments to support your opinion. This will form the plan which you can jot down before starting your essay. For example:

Introduction: No, the start of WW1 was due to an array of complex factors, including....

Paragraph 1: Nationalism

Paragraph 2: The Arms Race

Paragraph 3: Alliances 

Once you have practised making plans like this, using past papers for example, it becomes a really quick and easy of getting your head in the game as soon as you sit down in the exam hall! 

Holly W. GCSE History tutor, GCSE English Language tutor, GCSE Englis...

10 months ago

Answered by Holly, who has applied to tutor GCSE History with MyTutor


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“I am currently studying law at the University of Bristol. I love problem solving and unpicking complex arguments, something which really helped during my History GCSE and A-level too. I also had a passion through out my education forw...”

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