Modern Studies Exam Advice Booklet

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Text of Modern Studies Exam Advice Booklet


Welcome to


STANDARD GRADE MODERN STUDIESThe course is completed through the study of four Syllabus Areas; Syllabus Area [SA] 1: Living in a Democracy Political parties and their policies. Citizenship and electoral systems. Pressure groups, trade unions, local government.In this part of the syllabus you should know:

How candidates are chosen for election Ways in which people can take part in politics in the UK How elections work in Scotland and the UK How representatives work for their constituents at Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, and on Local Councils Pressure Groups in the UK Trade Unions in the UK

Remember: Questions about Politics in Scotland could be based on the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, the Westminster Parliament in London, or local councils in Scotland.

Area 2: Changing Society The Welfare State. The needs and problems of the elderly, unemployed and minorities in the Britain.In this part of the syllabus you should know: Health needs of the elderly Housing needs of the elderly The needs of the unemployed: jobs, money Inequality between different elderly people because of wealth, health and housing Inequality between families New technology and its impact on jobs The role of individuals, families, government and voluntary organisations in meeting the needs of people such as the elderly, unemployed and those on low incomes


Area 3: Ideologies China Communist Ideology, Chinese political system and recent changes. Social and Economic inequalities between rural and urban areas. Political rights and participation, human rights violations and punishments.

In this part of the syllabus you should know: How China is governed The role of the CPC in Chinese politics How the Chinese economy is changing The effects of the economic changes upon the government Human rights in China The extent of participation in politics

Area 4: International Relations United Nations, NATO and the European Union. Methods and tactics used to deal with international events and conflicts. Problems of developing countries and International aid solutions.In this part of the syllabus you should know: Different types of aid and their usefulness The role of UN agencies Why countries form alliances The alliances Britain is involved in and how they effect us How the UN, EU and NATO work The role of the UN, EU and NATO on the world stage


MODERN STUDIES CONCEPTSThere are 7 concepts in Standard Grade Modern Studies. It is important that you know and understand the meaning of all of them. CONCEPT NEED MEANING SENTENCE USING CONCEPT SYLLABUS AREA




Osama Bin Laden opposes the ideology of the USA




When someone, or a group, has strength or influence greater than others have.


KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING (KU) QUESTIONSWhat you have learned throughout the two-year course will be tested by these questions. KU questions are answered using only the information stored in your head. You must show the marker what you know and understand about the question asked. To do this you need to ensure that you write in as detailed a manner as you can throughout your two years as well as in the exam. It is very important that you do not write too much for an answer as this means that you will not have time to finish the paper. How do you make sure you get the balance right? The answer is basic arithmetic: 1 point + 1 explanation and example = 2 marks So for a 6 mark question you will need three points and three explanations plus examples. Your explanation should always link back to the question and make your point directly answer the question. If you do this fully, the examiner should never be left thinking so what?. Only if you are really uncertain about one of your points and expansion should you add in an extra one just in case. In short: Remember to P.E.E (Point, Explain, Example)

Worked Example: Credit question from the 2005 exam which asks you to Choose either Local Councillors or MSPs or MPs. Describe, in detail, the ways in which the type of representatives you have chosen works on behalf of the people they represent. (KU 6 marks). Notice in the question some words appear in bold this is done to make sure you notice them. It is really important to follow the instructions you are given. The word or tells you that you must choose one of the three representatives and write three points about them, not one point for each of the representatives.

A candidate chooses to write about MSPs and writes: MSPs represent their constituents in many ways both inside and outside the Scottish Parliament. One way MSPs can do this is by taking part in a debate.While the point made is correct, the candidate would be lucky to receive one mark at this stage in a Credit level paper because it lacks detail. To improve on the quality of this answer and guarantee a full mark, the answer would continue


such as the recent debates on the issue of banning smoking in public places.(1 mark) The candidate then needs to make this point answer the question. Currently the answer implies that an MSP would do this just for fun!

During the debate MSPs, like our MSP Bristow Muldoon, would contribute their points of view so that people from our constituency (Livingston) would be represented in the Scottish Parliament. (1 mark) So far our candidate has achieved two marks. They must make two similarly detailed, relevant points in order to secure full marks. MSPs also work on behalf of the people they represent by asking questions during First Ministers Questions. (1 mark) This is held once a week and gives MSPs a chance to ask First Minister Jack McConnell (now Alex Salmond) a question directly. An important issue like closing the A&E Department at a local hospital would be an example of an issue that constituents would want their MSP to ask about. (1 mark)This answer is still not finished and a third method now needs to be added. Examples such as holding a surgery, attending a local function in the constituency, replying to letters and e-mails sent in by constituents, being a member of a committee such as Transport or Education, or any other point that shows how an MSP can represent constituents. Remember to include an example that is related to either local councillors, MSPs or MPs according to which one you have chosen to write about. Also, insure that you are writing about the work specifically asked in the question. Some papers ask for constituency work only or parliamentary work only. You achieve no marks if you do not write about the correct one.

ENQUIRY SKILLS (ES) QUESTIONSMost Enquiry Skills questions are based on the sources provided in the question. They will probably be charts, tables, graphs or statements you have never seen before.


You must select information from the source without simply copying the information straight from the source as this will not gain you any marks. You also need to provide an explanation for the evidence you select. Again, the two mark rule applies so check the number of marks available and write in paragraphs just as in the KU questions. Be sure to use all the sources you are given and name them by including phrases like according to Source 2. It is also good practice to provide a concluding sentence. Useful phrases are: This clearly shows This proves I can therefore conclude

There are three types of Evaluating ES questions and you should not include any KU material for any of them.

Conclusion type questionsThese questions can be quite tricky to master. They will provide you with information and ask you to interpret it and draw your own conclusions, ie put the figures into words. A response to the question to the left below might read:

One conclusion is that hotels and restaurants have the highest paid workers. (1 mark for conclusion) 22% of hotel and restaurant workers earn more than 10 per hour while only 5% of electricity/gas and water supplies earn more than 10 per hour. (1mark for evidence to support) For a further two marks you need to use another piece of information from the source to write a different conclusion.

Another conclusion is that people working in retail trade are poorly paid. (1mark)

According to the source, 67% of people working in retail earn less than 6 per hour compared to 33% for those who work in electricity/gas and water supplies. (1 mark)Be sure to notice exactly what it is you are expected to draw a conclusion on. Do not draw bland conclusions - the rate is increasing. That will be


obvious and worth no marks at credit. Instead state rate of increase - rapidly, slowly, etc.

Selective in the use of facts/ExaggerationAt Credit level these questions will provide you with three sources of information: One will support the issue discussed (usually) One will oppose the issue discussed (usually) One will be figures and graphs relating to the issue discussed. Underneath there will be a viewpoint of a third party. You will be asked to assess to what extent you think the person is being selective in their use of facts. These questions are too long to give an example of here (they take up two sides of A4 paper!), but in answering them you should always do the following:

1. Begin by make a judgement as to how selective in the use of facts theperson is being. This is credit level so do not say to an extent or to a certain extent as you may as well not bother writing it down. You will lose 2 marks if you do not make a judgement. 2. Quote from all the sources provided. Quotes and evidence make your arguments stronger. You will lose 2 marks if you do