The essay section gives students a choice 10 questions. Students have to answer just 1 of these questions. We advise students spend 35 minutes on this section (5 minutes planning and 30 minutes)
These are all open-ended questions which deal with a theme that students will have studied (one of religion, war and rebellion, government and politics, social history, general/local history). Up to 50% of the marks available for this question can be gained for simply writing a detailed narrative essay, but to gain top marks students will need to use their analytical skills and come to a clear judgement on the question posed.
Example Essay questions
1. Choose a war which you have studied and explain its most important consequences.
2. Explain the causes of any one rebellion you have studied.
3. Explain the importance of the work of any one government minister.
4. Choose any one religious leader and explain the importance of his ideas.
5. Explain the significance of the changes to daily life in any period you have studied.
6. Explain the role of women in any period of history you have studied.
7. Choose any important building in England/Britain and explain its significance in the lives of people.
8. Assess the importance for England/Britain of any one technological development.
9. Choose a local historical site that you know well. Explain its importance to that particular area of the country.
10. Choose a person (not a monarch) who you think has made the greatest contribution to England/Britain and explain why his or her achievement is so important.
Tips for doing well in this section
Plan well. Think of 3 or 4 factors that you will discuss in this essay.
Think of relevant evidence from you own knowledge that supports your factors
Have one main idea for each of your paragraphs and aim to make a judgement on the significance of the idea/factor you are discussing.
Offer a hierarchy of significance. You will probably talk about 3 or 4 factors in the time you are given, but what is the most significant aspect.
Can you link factors or ideas together? What are the causes or consequences of the factors you have chosen?
Are any of these long-term or short-term factors/affects? Does that effect their importance or influence?
Aside from this, learning some facts, if you can, knowing the dates and being confident with the narratives of the history you have studied is a great help!