AQA GCSE 9-1 History Past Papers

A complete collection of aqa gcse 9-1 history past papers. perfect for preparation for upcoming exams. can be used at home for individual learning or within a classroom environment., gcse examination booklets.

Download our comprehensive practice exam booklets covering every GCSE topic and examination board (2020 & 2021 Syllabus), produced by a highly experienced AQA and OCR marker. These are fully sourced and aligned to the respective boards mark scheme.

It’s time to start preparing for your exams and it’s never been easier with School History. We’ve got hundreds of past papers that are easy to use, come with mark schemes, and are specifically tailored to each specific examination board, so you can get the most from your revision time and enter your examination feeling confident and fully prepared.

Why use past exam papers?

The answer is simple: preparedness. As a GCSE-level student, exams become an important part of your assessment criteria and preparation for A-levels. The use and importance of past papers, therefore, cannot be over-emphasised.

Fill in the blanks

Using past papers are an effective way to establish your strengths and weaknesses so you know where to focus your revision time. Don’t spend hours on a topic you’re familiar with while neglecting an area that needs more time and effort to familiarise yourself with.

Learn effective time management

Proper time management can quite literally mean the difference between passing and failing an exam, even if you know everything that’s required to pass. Your revision time and using past papers is an excellent way to start practicing how to properly manage the time in the exam setting. You’ll be given different styles of questions with different mark allocations, so it’s important to know what’s expected of you and how much time to dedicate to each question, whether its a multiple-choice question, short answer or an essay.

Walk into your exam with confidence

With proper preparation, it’s possible to walk into and out of your exam feeling confident. Confidence is key to performing well as doubt and anxiety can cloud your judgment and affect your ability to think clearly and make the proper decisions. Past papers are the most effective way to familiarise yourself with important terminology, vocabulary, and styles of questions so that you have a solid understanding of what is expected of you to excel in each and every style of question.

Get to know your questions

Remember, some questions will be assessing your knowledge and understanding of key features and characteristics of a period studied, others will require you to explain and analyse historic events, others will require you to compare and contrast source material and contextualise it in the historic environment, while thematic studies will require you to demonstrate knowledge clearly over centuries while following a particular theme. All of these questions require you to substantiate your answers using facts.

All these questions will be awarded marks in levels, i.e. basic, simple, developed and complex, and short answers and essay questions will also have marks awarded for spelling and grammar. By practicing with past papers you’ll have access to mark schemes, which examiners use to evaluate your responses and you’ll quickly learn how to achieve the most marks while striking the right balance with time management.

Where do I find past papers? Right here, of course! School History has hundreds of examination-style questions to help you practice for your history exams. By signing up, you’ll not only have access to past papers but thousands of resources related to what you’re studying, including notes, activities, quiz questions and more. Let’s dive in! Take a look below at the major examination boards we cover. Give yourself every advantage to excel in your exams and sign up today!

gcse history essay questions

Search form

  • My Timetable
  • Revision Maths
  • Revision Science
  • Revision Videos
  • Student Jungle
  • AS & A2 LEVEL (A-Level) Revision
  • History (GCSE & A-Level)
  • History GCSE Past Papers
  • AQA GCSE History Past Papers

AQA (9-1) GCSE History past exam papers (8145).  You can download the papers and marking schemes by clicking on the links below.

AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers June 2022 (8145)

Paper 1: Section A/A: America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section A/B: Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section A/C: Russia, 1894–1945: Tsardom and communism Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section A/D: America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/A: Conflict and tension: the First World War 1894-1918. Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/B: Conflict and tension: the inter-war years, 1918-1939. Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/C: Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945-1972. Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/D: Conflict and tension in Asia,1950–1975 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/E: Conflict and tension in the Gulf and Afghanistan,1990 - 2009 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section A/A: Britain: Health and the people:c1000 to the present day Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section A/B: Britain: Power and the people:c1170 to the present day Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section A/C: Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day Download Insert    -    Download Paper     –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/A: Norman England, c1066–c1100 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/B: Medieval England: the reign of Edward I,1272–1307 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/C: Elizabethan England, c1568–1603 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/D: Restoration England, 1660–1685 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers November 2021 (Labelled as June 2021) (8145)

AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers November 2020 (Labelled as June 2020) (8145)

Paper 1: Section B/E: Conflict and tension in the Gulf and Afghanistan, 1990-2009 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers 2019 (8145)

Paper 2: Section A/C: Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers 2018 (8145)

Paper 1: Section A/A: America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/B: Conflict and tension: the inter-war years, 1918-1939. Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/C: Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945-1972. Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 1: Section B/D: Conflict and tension in Asia,1950–1975 Download Insert    -    Download Paper     –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section A/B: Britain: Power and the people:c1170 to the present day Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/B: Medieval England: the reign of Edward I,1272–1307 Download Insert    -    Download Paper   –   Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/C: Elizabethan England, c1568–1603 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –  Download Mark Scheme

Paper 2: Section B/D: Restoration England, 1660–1685 Download Insert    -    Download Paper    –   Download Mark Scheme

For more GCSE History past papers from other exam boards click here .  

gcse history essay questions

  • Create new account
  • Request new password
  • Cookies Policy
  • Privacy Policy

Copyright  ©  2007 - 2024 Revision World Networks Ltd.

  • International
  • Schools directory
  • Resources Jobs Schools directory News Search

GCSE HISTORY: EDEXCEL EXAMS SAMPLE ANSWERS AND REVISION GUIDE FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

GCSE HISTORY: EDEXCEL EXAMS SAMPLE ANSWERS AND REVISION GUIDE FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

Subject: History

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Assessment and revision

Levi Zindi's Publications

Last updated

24 November 2023

  • Share through email
  • Share through twitter
  • Share through linkedin
  • Share through facebook
  • Share through pinterest

gcse history essay questions

This revision guide gives you an insight into Sample Answers for GCSE History, Edexcel, that will earn you the highest marks. It will also teach you how to break down questions so you fully understand how to answer them and check for yourself if you have fully comprehended and addressed all the demands of the question. It covers different Edexcel History papers and attempts to cover all papers. There are also lesson plans for teachers and revision guides/ questions and answers for students to practise on their own. In addition, it will explore what examiners will be looking for in each question and it addresses many different past papers and mark schemes and what those mark schemes mean.

The first booklet/guide will consist of Past Papers and Mark Schemes only. These are accessible to any teacher or student on the Edexcel website but I have put them here for easy accessibility in one place.

The second booklet will then be a follow up to the question papers and this will explain the chosen questions, how to answer them as well as explain the mark schemes and show possible sample answers.

Creative Commons "Sharealike"

Your rating is required to reflect your happiness.

It's good to leave some feedback.

Something went wrong, please try again later.

This resource hasn't been reviewed yet

To ensure quality for our reviews, only customers who have downloaded this resource can review it

Report this resource to let us know if it violates our terms and conditions. Our customer service team will review your report and will be in touch.

Not quite what you were looking for? Search by keyword to find the right resource:

Course assessment Essay skills

The Higher History course is assessed on two exam papers and the assignment. Structuring your answers and understanding the marking can help you get the best result.

Essay skills

The exam requires two essays written in a well-structured manner. Your essay should include:

Introduction (Historical context)

The ‘essay introduction’ is worth 3 marks .

You need to write at least two sentences explaining two relevent pieces of context. Set the essay around the time, place and historical events around the question e.g.

  • What? - What was happening...
  • When? - around this time...
  • Where? - and place in history...
  • How? - that sets the essay question in context

The introduction should also have a line of argument . In your opinion what is the most important factor in answering the question or explaining the success or failure of an important historical development.

Make sure you refer to the exam question in making your line of argument. The additional skill requires you to show balance by listing other factors or analysing the other side of the argument, linked to the question.

Essay paragraphs

A Higher History essay must have at least 3 paragraphs but 4 paragraphs is good practice. Overall there is a total of 16 marks available across the essay paragraphs.

Try to use the same technique/structure for each paragraph.

  • Identify a factor and link it to the question. A simple comment is NOT enough.
  • Show you understand the factor - Make points that show detailed knowledge of this factor and link back to the question (Worth up to 6 marks )
  • Analyse the factor NOT the knowledge. You need to show WHY the factor is important in answering the question.
  • Show balance - Use a counter argument or limitation on the factors' relative importance. There are other ways such as debating the importance of one factor against another. (Overall analysis is worth up to 6 marks )

Evaluate for top marks!

This is NOT a summary. You need to assess how the factor played a part in the impact of the historical development/topic:

  • Use a relative judgement e.g. most important.
  • Use new evidence OR discuss the historical interpretations OR quote a historian to support the judgement.
  • To access the ‘full’ evaluation marks you need to bring in your line of argument e.g. How important is the factor you are discussing in comparison to your line of argument?

(worth up to 4 marks )

The conclusion is the last part of your essay but still plays a significant part in your overall answer.

  • Refer to the exam question.
  • Show you are answering the question.
  • Introduce your line of argument.
  • Confirm your line of argument, and the answer to the question, in your opinion.
  • Support your opinion - This MUST be supported by a relative judgement and by evidence from your essay e.g. use the analytical comment in your essay paragraph.

It is important to show balance in your answer by discussing the other factors. This will require you to make a relative judgement with supporting evidence on the other factors e.g. use a counter analytical point from the essay paragraph. (The However…argument)

The conclusion is worth up to 3 marks .

To gain all 3 marks in the conclusion you MUST make a relative overall judgement between the different factors.

Related links

  • BBC History
  • BBC History: Magazine
  • Education Scotland
  • History.com
  • History Learning Site

Oxford Education Blog

The latest news and views on education from oxford university press..

gcse history essay questions

How to tackle the Historic Environment question in AQA GCSE History

gcse history essay questions

The way AQA have included the Historic Environment (HE) study in their specification is an absolute gift to students and teachers. Rather than having an extra paper to think about, the HE is embedded seamlessly into the highly engaging British Depth Study units. Our department ‘sells’ this section of the course to our budding historians by reminding them that they know for certain what Question 4 of this paper will be about, and that there is only a limited amount of questions that can be asked about each site – basically, they can go into the exam with confidence, knowing that as long as they know their stuff, question four is probably already ‘in the bag’.

As teachers, the HE site changing every year enables us to really deepen our knowledge of different sections of the course over time – I must admit, I feel like quite the expert on the Spanish Armada at the moment!  We have found that it is best if we teach it embedded into the British Depth section of our course, changing where we deliver it each year, depending on where it would be most appropriate. This prevents the HE from becoming a ‘bolt on’ to the GCSE course. However, if you do decide to deliver this at the end of the Depth Study, students can do further research on the section required, and those aiming for Level 4 can really consider how the HE fits into the wider context of the period, as they have a secure understanding of the whole period.

To support teachers, AQA provide excellent resource packs for each site – these can be given to students as a pack, or adapted to form part of an enquiry in class. Of course, you cannot beat a visit to the site itself (over 75% of the students that attended our trip last year actually got half the marks or above on this question!). If you can’t make it though, the Oxford AQA GCSE History Kerboodle animations are the next best thing: not only do they give you a virtual tour of the site itself, but they give you a practice exam question for each site, and a suggested summary of how it could be answered.

We like to organise a lecture in our school theatre too: the whole History cohort comes together to discuss the history of the site, particular features, events and people linked to it, and what questions could possibly come up. Each class can then go away and do their own enquiry and exam practice depending on their needs and abilities.

2019 AQA Historic Environment sites

The sites for this year are superb – Pevensey Castle has great links to the Norman conquest itself, and shows how castles became a way for William to control England, as well as defensive structures for the new oligarchy. Caernarfon Castle was a part of Edward I’s ‘Iron Ring’ of Welsh castles. His eldest son, Edward, was even born there, and became our first Prince of Wales – this is obviously something that links to the wider context of Edward’s conquest of Wales.

As I’m teaching the Elizabethan unit, I’m thrilled that we’re studying the Globe Theatre . The Globe shows just why this era is known as the ‘Golden Age’: culture was flourishing, and the social structure starts to become less rigid. Theatres themselves were microcosms of this huge change. Do I even need to mention the links to the Bard himself, William Shakespeare? I am a bit jealous though, that those of you teaching the Restoration get to look at Ham House , a beautiful example of a Restoration house, home to one of the power couples of the day – the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale. The house is a brilliant reflection of changing tastes of the time. You can even link the European influence to Charles’ time spent in exile on the continent.

How to tackle the question

No matter which site you are teaching, students will need to consider a similar range of questions:

  • Motivation: What was the motivation behind constructing purpose-built theatres, like the Globe? What was the motivation behind creating a luxurious home like Ham House – what were the Lauderdales trying to prove? Why were Caernarfon and Pevensey Castles built at the time?
  • Location: What was the strategic importance of the locations of Pevensey and Caernarfon? Why is Ham House located close to the seat of royal power? What was it about Southwark that made Shakespeare put the Globe there?
  • Function/purpose: What was the main function of a castle like Pevensey of Caernarfon? They have other purposes besides defense – what are these? Stately homes like Ham House were made for showing off essentially – but what other purpose did they serve? What were the functions of the different parts of the Globe?

And to consider the wider context:

  • Structure : What can the structures themselves tell us about culture, values, society, fashion, developments, changes and technology of the time?
  • People and events: Which key people in our Depth Studies are linked to the site? Which key events are linked to the site? What does the site tell us about the period itself?

Ultimately, my top tip to you and your students would be: don’t just write a narrative about the site in question, regurgitating everything you know. Answer the question focusing on the wider period, and use the HE site as a ‘source’ to support the points you are making. For Level 4, students need to analyse how the chosen site really tells us about changes, developments or key aspects of the wider period being studied, rather than seeing the site in isolation.

Good luck to you and your students with the HE studies this year, I hope you enjoy teaching this section of the course as much as our department does. As sad as it sounds, I’m already on countdown for next year when I can visit Kenilworth Castle , the Elizabethan HE for 2021!

gcse history essay questions

Share this:

  • Account details

Grade 9 GCSE History Revision Guide

Preparing for your Edexcel GCSE history exam? We've got you covered with the best history revision notes and resources at Learndojo all for free to help you score top grades.

In this GCSE revision guide, we will break down all the content across all three exam papers which you will need to study and revise for. We've also created content that covers the most popular topics chosen by students such as Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 and Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (and more!)

Let's get started with our History GCSE revision tips:

Download the GCSE History specification for your exam board

The best way to revise GCSE history and start your revision sessions is by downloading the specification (also known as the syllabus). This gives you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to revise and what topics the exam questions will be focused on.

The syllabus is the most useful guide to GCSE History as it contains in detail the entire course and what you will be asked questions on. Simply confirm which exam board you are studying first as this will determine the content you are learning too.

  • The 9-1 AQA GCSE History spec is here
  • The Edexcel 9-1 GCSE History specification link is here
  • Download the OCR GCSE History spec here
  • The WJEC GCSE History syllabus is here

Once you've downloaded your exam boards specification, you need to take a look at this as it gives you a detailed overview of all the exam papers, how many marks they are, and what you will be learning. This also tells you how long each exam is.

For example, Edexcel breaks down as follows for paper 1:

Edexcel GCSE History Specification

Based on the image above, we can see that Edexcel has its course broken down into 3 exam papers you need to learn with a total of 168 marks.

8 marks are also specifically for punctuation, spelling, grammar and the use of specialist terminology. We can also see that the exam will last 1 hour 15 minutes.

This text also shows us that we will answer questions on one of the four options which are:

  • Crime and punishment in Britain
  • Medicine in Britain
  • Warfare and British society
  • Migrants in Britain

The second exam paper covers the following:

edexcel gcse history paper 2

Therefore, you will answer questions on one of the following options:

  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060-88
  • The reigns of King Richard I and King John, 1189-1216
  • Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509-40
  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88

Students also take one of the following study options:

  • Spain and the 'New World', c1490-c1555
  • British America, 1713-83: empire and revolution
  • The American West, c1835-c1895
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91
  • Conflict in the Middle East, 1945-95

If we look at the third examination, we can see it covers the following list of topics for which we answer questions on one of them:

edexcel gcse history paper 3 overview

  • Russia and the Soviet Union, 1917–41
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
  • Mao’s China, 1945–76
  • The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad

With a good concise overview of how the subject is broken down, we will now break each subject matter down and identify the individual elements you need to learn within them.

Breakdown your topics

Let's take a look at Weimar and Nazi germany as an example and how this might be broken down. The same technique can be used for the others too.

Within Weimar and Nazi Germany, this actually breaks down into four further sub-topics as follows (with each of them having further individual elements you need to learn):

The Weimar Republic 1918–29

  • The origins of the Republic, 1918–19
  • The early challenges to the Weimar Republic, 1919–23
  • The recovery of the Republic, 1924–29
  • Changes in society, 1924–29

Hitler’s rise to power, 1919–33

  • Early development of the Nazi Party, 1920–22
  • The Munich Putsch and the lean years, 1923–29
  • The growth in support for the Nazis, 1929–32
  • How Hitler became Chancellor, 1932–33

Nazi control and dictatorship, 1933–39

  • The creation of a dictatorship, 1933–34
  • The police state
  • Controlling and influencing attitudes
  • Opposition, resistance and conformity

Life in Nazi Germany, 1933–39

  • Nazi policies towards women
  • Nazi policies towards the young
  • Employment and living standards
  • The persecution of minorities

You will notice each chapter keeps breaking down until you have the actual individual elements you need to learn within them. By identifying each individual content we need to learn, our revision becomes manageable as we then use history resources that cover each section specifically.

This is a great way of navigating through the entire course and then subsequently making a revision timetable and creating notes covering all the identified sections.

Download past papers

Downloading historical past papers and using them for practice questions is another excellent technique which can help you improve your understanding straight away.

Past papers can be downloaded from the exam board website and they are a fantastic tool which help you get into the mindset of answering questions with the right exam technique.

  • Edexcel history past exam papers are here
  • AQA history papers can be downloaded here
  • OCR exam papers can be accessed here
  • WJEC exam papers are available here

If you are unsure how to use them, we recommend you use them like a quiz by printing out the last 3-4 years worth of past papers as well as the mark schemes and attempt to answer questions within them. To check how you have then done, compare your answers to the mark scheme and what the examiner notes also state in terms of what is required to score in the top marks bracket.

Initially, this may seem tiresome and difficult but over time you should notice your knowledge and answers improving gradually. This technique can be used across all GCSEs and various different subjects too.

Create easy to digest flashcards and condense history revision notes

Another good piece of advice is to learn to "chunk" information onto flashcards. Flashcards can be used to condense large pieces of information into more concise bits of information with the thinking being that if you can remember the concise information, this can help trigger your memory to recall the additional detail that goes with it to expand your answer further.

Write down the key facts, definitions and ideas related to the topic you’re revising. This will allow you to focus on what matters most, so you don’t waste time memorising unnecessary details or waffle.

You would then write a question on the other side of the flashcard for the content you've just written and attempt to answer it, turning over the flashcard to see if you answered correctly. The goal is to cover as much of the information as possible on the opposite side and improve your recall of the topic.

Another benefit to using flashcards is they are more memorable than large walls of text such as revision notes. You can highlight key elements and break the information down concisely as well as colour code the headlines and key phrases to help you jog your memory and recall your learning too.

Download our detailed Edexcel gcse revision guides

Our resources are used by thousands of teachers and students across the UK. We've created our revision guides to make revising gcse history as easy as possible by focusing only on the key information you need to know for the examinations themselves.

You can revise the Edexcel GCSE history course here where we've begun creating free content as well as download revision resources geared to help students, teachers and parents in mastering this subject.

Have regular study revision sessions

Study sessions are a great way to prepare for an upcoming test or exam and consolidate your learning. They allow you to review the material you've been studying and better understand the concepts that you will be tested on. Revision sessions can also be beneficial in helping you identify any weak points in your understanding and correct these knowledge gaps.

When engaging in revision sessions, it’s important to start by breaking down all of the material into manageable sections and topics as we discussed previously. Working through each topic one at a time will help you identify any areas that need further exploration or clarification. Taking breaks throughout your study session is also essential since this allows your brain to rest and reset before diving back into the material with a fresh perspective.

Create a gcse history revision timetable

Leaving revision late is the worst thing you can do and it's why so many people often find themselves searching Google on how to revise for GCSEs in a single day. The truth is, this really isn't possible so what a revision timetable allows you to do is stay on track and motivated with your study.

To create a revision timetable, take a look at your upcoming workload and all the GCSEs you are studying and break down your available time. Your goal is then to allocate blocks of available time in your schedule for every subject and ensure you leave enough room for breaks too. This needs to also factor in homework, assignments and practice papers so it's important you set realistic targets. Also put in time that allows you to relax and do things you enjoy so you don't feel completely burnt out studying all the time.

Finally the goal should be to stick to this revision timetable and ensure it is comprehensive enough to cover everything you need to know so you have no knowledge gaps. Ensure your knowledge is also regularly tested too as simply reading information wont normally help you assimilate it without it being tested and explored.

We've included revision timetables on the back of our revision books which you can simply print and use too. Hopefully, this is all enough to get you started with your course, however if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment within our content and we'll try to get back to you!

Happy revising! 

Get Free Resources For Your School!

Welcome Back.

Don’t have an account? Create Now

Username or Email Address

Remember Me

Create a free account.

Already have an account? Login Here

  • London Contact: +44 020 8874 6422
  • New York Contact: +1 646-457-8119

My Tutor Club Black@2x 1

  • [email protected]
  • 7+ 8+ Entrance Exam Tuition
  • 11+ Tuition
  • 11+ ISEB Common Pre-Test Tuition
  • 13+ Tuition
  • 16+ Private Tuition
  • (I)GCSE Tuition
  • AS/A2 Levels Tuition
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Oxbridge Admissions Tests
  • English As A Foreign Language
  • How The British School System Works
  • UK School Interview Practice
  • School Interview Questions, Tips & Preparation
  • UK University Applications
  • University Interview Practice
  • Personal Statement Advice
  • Oxbridge Applications
  • US University Application
  • Summer School
  • Industry 1.1.1

GCSE History Essay Techniques

gcse history essay questions

GCSE History essays are difficult. For many students taking GCSE History, how to structure your GCSE History essays and source responses are often the most challenging parts of the course. Learning core facts and remembering key dates for the GCSE History course are relatively straightforward. Analysing and evaluating the importance of various factors, reasons and causes are a lot more difficult and these skills take time to develop.

Below are some templates of how to structure your GCSE History essays and source based questions (N.B. the suggested timings may vary between exam boards, but the structure will remain the same).

What can you learn from source X about…..?

You need to make  two inferences , explained and supported with quotes if a written source or select details if it is a picture. Spend about 6 minutes on this 4 mark question

Describe how…..This is a describe / key features question

You need to make at least two statements that are well supported by own knowledge and presented in separate paragraphs. Say “Firstly….” then “Secondly…” Spend about 8 minutes on this 6 mark question

“Explain the effects of…” This is a consequence question

You need to clearly explain two or more consequences that are set out in separate paragraphs and are supported by well selected and relevant own knowledge. Show links between the consequences for full marks and assess the extent of change. How much of an impact did it have? Spend about 12 minutes on this 8 mark question

“How did X change between….” This is a change or development question.

You need to explain  two or more changes  that developed something or affected something, showing how one led to the other for full marks. You need to support your answer by bringing in your own knowledge and that you put each change in a separate paragraph. It is crucial that in your answer you refer to what the situation was like  before  to make it clear to the examiner that you understand what changed. Spend about 12 minutes on this 8 mark question

For further details about GCSE preparation, GCSE History essays, GCSE mock exams, GCSE Revision Booster courses or private tuition bespoke to your requirements, please contact us .

Recent Posts

  • How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Into Oxbridge
  • Why Study Abroad In The UK? Pros & Cons
  • What Are The ISEB Common Pre-Tests?
  • How To Become A Private Tutor
  • Ideas for cultural enrichment for children in London
  • Exam Techniques To Help You Tackle An Upcoming Test
  • 11+ North London Consortium Groups 1 & 2: What Is It?
  • Applying To Study Medicine At University: Tips & Advice
  • Exam Technique and Study skills
  • General Resources
  • Private Tuition Resources
  • University Advisory Blog Posts

2 comments:

[…] Other resources: Oxford Royale / The Tutor Pages/ My Tutor Club […]

Comments are closed.

Privacy Overview

The answers to this question and all your GCSE/iGCSE history topics is only a click away.

Download our FREE app for Android and iOS .

Power and the people 1170 to present course

  • ❖ Part 1 looks at how authority and feudalism were challenged and changed in medieval England.
  • ❖ Part 2 looks at how royal authority was challenged in the early modern period .
  • ❖ Part 3 looks at the reforms and reformers that developed the franchise, the protest movements and the trade union movement.
  • ❖ Part 4 considers the protests and campaigns for greater equality and rights in the 20th century.
  • ❖ King John I.
  • ❖ Simon de Montfort .
  • ❖ King Charles I.
  • ❖ Oliver Cromwell .
  • ❖ William Wilberforce.
  • ❖ Emmeline Pankhurst.
  • ❖ The First and Second Barons' War.
  • ❖ The Pilgrimage of Grace .
  • ❖ The English Civil War .
  • ❖ The American Revolution .
  • ❖ The abolition of slavery .
  • ❖ The Suffragettes.
  • ❖ The General Strike .
  • ❖ Question 1 is worth 8 marks. This question will require you to examine a source, and assesses your ability to analyse and evaluate, and make a judgement on the source's utility.
  • ❖ Question 2 is worth 8 marks. This question will require you to explain the significance of an event or a movement. You will need to show your knowledge, understanding and analysis of the event or movement.
  • ❖ Question 3 is worth 8 marks. This question will require you to compare two key events, developments, individuals or groups. You will have two explain two differences or similarities.
  • ❖ Question 4 is worth 16 marks plus 4 marks for spelling and grammar. This is an essay question which will require you to develop a substantiated judgement. You will be using your knowledge of the entire period to evaluate one given factor against other factors.

Welcome to Clever Lili!

Turbocharge your history revision with our revolutionary new app! Clever Lili is here to help you ace your exams.

Enhanced Learning

Study guides, android and ios app, alexa and google home, ask question in facebook messenger, gcse history.

A text and voice app that allows you to easily revise for your GCSE/IGCSE exams wherever you are. Whether you’re at home or on the bus, GCSE History provides you with thousands of convenient bite-sized facts to help you pass your exams with flying colours. Great for student and teachers.

phone with showing GCSE History app chat screen

Marked by Teachers

  • TOP CATEGORIES
  • AS and A Level
  • University Degree
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Uncategorised
  • 5 Star Essays
  • Study Tools
  • Study Guides
  • Meet the Team
  • History Projects

A Guide to Standard Grade History: Essay Writing

Authors Avatar

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Essays in

Standard Grade History*

A Brief Guide

The Essays: Information

The essays at Standard Grade are worth eight marks. You may hear them being referred to as “8 Markers” or “8 Mark essays”. They contribute to your Knowledge and Understanding mark, and they will be in one of the three different contexts in the paper. You will be given a choice of two different questions.

What will the question be?

It is almost impossible to tell. I managed to predict the correct context AND question, but only out of sheer luck. They are designed to push you, and make sure that you know the course inside out. If you ever progress to Higher, you will find this is mostly the case as well.

How are the marks awarded?

Well, like so:

  • One mark for a reasonable introduction (1)
  • A mark for each coherent point. (Ie, not just any old drivel) (6)
  • One mark for a balanced conclusion. (1)

In order to achieve the full eight marks, you must meet the criteria above.

What do I do if I can’t answer the question?

Write down as much as you can that springs to mind. If you can make a decent introduction, you’ve already got a mark. Quite frankly, it would be rare if you didn’t know ANYTHING about the questions. Remember, this isn’t a test of your english skills, it’s a test of how much of the standard grade history course you know and can apply.

The essays have a really simple structure. It merely consists of an introduction, six essay points and then the conclusion. But, here we will go through step-by-step of the essay structure, to ensure that you know what to do.

Let’s assume that we are answering the 2008 essay question for this guide: “ (ii) Explain the impact upon people’s lives of immigration into Scotland”

Introduction

In the introduction, you always have to include the following:

  • A very stubble reference to the question, which means basically including the question. Briefly summarise what you are going to answer.
  • Background information on the topic at hand. You don’t need to write a whole story of “how it was before then”, just a brief summary.

Join now!

So, here is a introduction that I have written up that would be deemed as appropriate for the essay:

Life in Scotland was very different before masses of people started immigrating to Scotland. There was a lack of culture variety but, much more jobs were free and available for Scots . There were both positive and negative impacts that this had on the Scottish people, and the immigrants themselves.

This is a preview of the whole essay

Short, simple and varied. If you have the ability to balance out your essay with both positive and negative aspects about the subject at hand (given that it’s in the right context), then you will surely get full marks.

Essay Points

This is probably the hardest bit of the essay, but you’ll surprised how simple it actually is. This is where you have to recall your own knowledge, put it into essay form and more importantly, answer the question.

I’ve found that the following little formula helps:

For each point (paragraph) in your essay, I suggest you write in the following format:

  • (Joining word) These are good for liking up your essay. Things like: Firstly, secondly, moreover, furthermore, on the other hand, also, but, to further this point, in conclusion, lastly…these make your essay seem a lot more professional.
  • Point . When you start your paragraph, basically just say what happened/what formed/who done whatever. No waffle needed. Also, you must referrer to the question at some point in the essay!
  • Back-up/Evaluation . Why did that (your point) change peoples lives? Did it lead on to something else? How effective was it? Do you have any evidence? It’s not really enough to just tell a story of what happened, it’s much better to back up your point with some evidence or evaluation (or both!).

Note: If you are trying to have a varied essay, even out the points. If it’s a case of positive or negative, have three positive points and three negative points.

Here is the next six points of the essay written out with this formula.

Firstly , immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on Scots because when the Irish immigrated into Scotland, they helped with the development of the railway lines and canals. This proved to be an positive impact on peoples  lives in Scotland because it enabled transport for leisure and importing goods much more accessible, therefore helping the country as a whole.

Secondly, immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on Scots because Italians who immigrated managed to introduce a different variety of exotic and healthy foods into the typical Scottish diet . This proved to be an positive impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it improved the awful diet that the Scottish people had, which in turn, improved their health as a whole.

Furthermore , immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on the Scottish people because many experienced nurses and doctors immigrated to Scotland to help improve the health of the Scottish people.   This proved to be an positive impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it obviously helped make Scots much more healthier, and be able to have a more healthy life style.  

But on the other hand , immigration into Scotland had a negative impact on the Scottish people because hostility grew between both the Protestant and Catholic churches and the Jewish church . This proved to have an negative impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it led to many fights and disputes, therefore creating a cultural void in Scotland.

Moreover, immigration into Scotland had a negative impact on the immigrants because they were deemed responsible for taking up a lot of jobs, therefore leading to unemployment for Scots. This proved to have a negative impact on Scotland peoples lives in because it caused dispute between the groups, which still go on today.

Lastly , immigration into Scotland had a negative impact on the immigrants because sometimes they were unwelcome and Scots would harass them all the time. This proved to have a negative impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it gave an impression that Scotland was an unfriendly nation, which put off a lot of people from immigrating to Scotland.

As you can see, you don’t need to make it over complicated. But, here are some general tips for writing the essay points:

  • Try to make it sound professional. The people who will be marking your paper will be more than likely quite good at english. If you can include good sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, then you’ll be fine.
  • DO NOT WAFFLE. This gives an impression that you don’t know what you are writing about.
  • Never speak in first person. You only do this in the conclusion.
  • Remember to write the correct question number in the margin.
  • Remember to count how many points you have done, sometimes people forget this and end up doing eight by mistake, when you only need six.

So, you’ve finally got the worst part over with and your at the conclusion. This is a nice way to give your essay that good finishing touch. But, the key to a successful conclusion is to have:

  • A balancing summary.
  • A point from your essay that you think that contributes most to the factor being written about, and why you think it contributes the most.

Here is a sample conclusion.

In conclusion, I think that immigration had an negative impact on peoples lives in Scotland. Whilst some of the negatives stand out from the rest, the most negative impact would have to be the fact that immigrants were being deemed for taking up Scots’ jobs, therefore creating a cultural void that still exists today.

  • Write out as many practice essays as you can.
  • Memorize 6 things about each topic, and more.
  • Look over other essays and improve your technique, you will be amazed on how much you can pick up on.
  • In the exam, read the question carefully and pick the right question AND WRITE THE NUMBER IN THE MARGIN . If you don’t, you might not get any marks for your essay.
  • Reading never does any good! Make spider diagrams, write out the points or even read them out to yourself when revising and will definitely remember them.
  • Good luck, and remember to ask your teacher if you are struggling!

(Essay in full, answer to 2008 question “ Explain the impact upon people’s lives of immigration to Scotland ”)

Life in Scotland was very different before masses of people started immigrating to Scotland. There was a lack of culture variety but, much more jobs were free and available for Scots. There were both positive and negative impacts that this had on the Scottish people, and the immigrants themselves.

Firstly, immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on Scots because when the Irish immigrated into Scotland, they helped with the development of the railway lines and canals. This proved to be an positive impact on peoples  lives in Scotland because it enabled transport for leisure and importing goods much more accessible, therefore helping the country as a whole.

Secondly, immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on Scots because Italians who immigrated managed to introduce a different variety of exotic and healthy foods into the typical Scottish diet. This proved to be an positive impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it improved the awful diet that the Scottish people had, which in turn, improved their health as a whole.

Furthermore, immigration into Scotland had a positive impact on the Scottish people because many experienced nurses and doctors immigrated to Scotland to help improve the health of the Scottish people. This proved to be an positive impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it obviously helped make Scots much more healthier, and be able to have a more healthy life style.  

But on the other hand, immigration into Scotland had a negative impact on the Scottish people because hostility grew between both the Protestant and Catholic churches and the Jewish church. This proved to have an negative impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it led to many fights and disputes, therefore creating a cultural void in Scotland.

Lastly, immigration into Scotland had a negative impact on the immigrants because sometimes they were unwelcome and Scots would harass them all the time. This proved to have a negative impact on peoples lives in Scotland because it gave an impression that Scotland was an unfriendly nation, which put off a lot of people from immigrating to Scotland.

A Guide to Standard Grade History: Essay Writing

Document Details

  • Subject History

Related Essays

Discuss the value of using history as a guide to contemporary affairs to predict the future and as a propaganda tool.  According to the Greek philosopher Ephorus, he saw universal history as a struggle for world power.

Discuss the value of using history as a guide to contemporary affairs to pr...

History of Grenada (How to write a short IGCSE essay: Plan, Evaluation of Sources, Essay)

History of Grenada (How to write a short IGCSE essay: Plan, Evaluation of S...

How valuable is the guide book information when investigating the history of Dover Castle?

How valuable is the guide book information when investigating the history o...

Feudalism - Medieval History Essay

Feudalism - Medieval History Essay

IMAGES

  1. History GCSE Essay Example

    gcse history essay questions

  2. Tips on Writing a GCSE History Essay

    gcse history essay questions

  3. GCSE History Revision Notes Guide Written by a Grade 9/ A Student

    gcse history essay questions

  4. A Grade OCR A-Level History British History essay

    gcse history essay questions

  5. Edexcel GCSE History Paper 3 Exam Practice

    gcse history essay questions

  6. How to answer OCR's GCSE Modern World History paper 1 questions

    gcse history essay questions

VIDEO

  1. Grade 10 history Transformations in southern Africa

  2. Modern Indian History Previous year Questions|Second Semeste|5 Mark Short Essay|Folk wayz

  3. ඉතිහාසය පාඩම් ඒකක ප්‍රශ්න සාකච්ජාව

  4. GCSE History Rapid Revision: Challenges to the Religious Settlement

  5. Modern Indian History Previous Year Essay Questions|Second Semester| 10 Mark Questions|Folk wayz

  6. GCSE History- Appeasement Grade 9 'Write an Account' Skills

COMMENTS

  1. AQA GCSE 9-1 History Past Papers

    The answer is simple: preparedness. As a GCSE-level student, exams become an important part of your assessment criteria and preparation for A-levels. The use and importance of past papers, therefore, cannot be over-emphasised. Fill in the blanks

  2. GCSE History Past Papers & Questions by Topic

    Past Papers Exam paper questions organised by topic and difficulty. Our worksheets cover all topics from GCSE, IGCSE and A Level courses. Give them a try and see how you do!

  3. PDF GCSE History Paper One Conflict and Tension 1894-1918 (WWI) Exam Questions

    1. 'How do you know' question (4 marks = 5 minutes) e.g. Source A suggests...How do you know? Hint: Use evidence from the source and your own knowledge. 2. Utility question (12 marks = 15 minutes) e.g. How useful are Sources B and C for... Hint: Use CONTENT and PROVENANCE. 3. Write an account question (8 marks = 10 minutes)

  4. History GCSE Past Papers

    History (GCSE & A-Level) History GCSE Past Papers History GCSE Past Papers Quick revise This section includes recent GCSE History past papers from AQA, Edexcel, Eduqas, OCR and the IGCSE from CIE. If you are not sure which exam board you are studying ask your teacher.

  5. GCSE History

    6 Guides Modern World history (20th century) Germany 8 Guides The Cold War and Vietnam 6 Guides America, 1920-1973 6 Guides Britain: health and the people, c.1000 to the present day Medieval...

  6. GCSE History

    AQA CCEA OCR A Exam board content from BBC Bitesize for students in England, Northern Ireland or Wales. Choose the exam specification that matches the one you study.

  7. PDF GCSE (9-1) History

    Question 3(a) Question overview . Questions 3a-3d form a package in the form of an enquiry that assesses AO3 and AO4. It should be remembered that question 3(a) asks about the usefulness of each source, not how reliable they are; unreliable content can still be useful. The three elements of source content, provenance and own knowledge should be

  8. PDF History

    History Answers and commentaries GCSE (8145) 2BC Elizabethan England, c1568 - 1603 Marked answers from students for questions from the June 2022 exams. Supporting commentary is provided to help you understand how marks are awarded and how students can improve performance. Version 1.0 September 2023

  9. PDF GCSE (9-1) History

    This is a 4 mark 'source analysis' question. Candidates are required to analyse one source (AO3) to frame historical questions related to a set specific enquiry. Criteria and application of the mark scheme for question 2(b) is standardised across the three Paper 1 options. The enquiry focus for this question is replicated from question 2(a).

  10. PDF Your guide to answering exam questions for GCSE History Option A

    Top tip: These questions are worth 16 marks (19 marks including spelling, punctuation and grammar) and one will definitely be the final question on Paper 2. OCR 30 minutesanswering this question. The key to achieving full marks on this question is to use a wide range of contextual knowledge. You must use the sources to support your

  11. PDF History

    History Answers and commentaries GCSE (8145) 1BA Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894 - 1918 Marked answers from students for questions from the June 2022 exams. Supporting commentary is provided to help you understand how marks are awarded and how students can improve performance. Version 1.0 September 2023

  12. PDF History

    History Answers and commentaries GCSE (8145) 2AA Britain: Health and the people: C1000 to the present day Marked answers from students for questions from the June 2022 exams. Supporting commentary is provided to help you

  13. AQA GCSE History Past Papers

    AQA History GCSE (9-1) Past Papers November 2021 (Labelled as June 2021) (8145) Paper 1: Section B/A: Conflict and tension: the First World War 1894-1918. Paper 1: Section B/B: Conflict and tension: the inter-war years, 1918-1939. Paper 1: Section B/C: Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945-1972.

  14. How should I structure my GCSE History essay?

    Answered by Pioli P. How do I assess the usefulness of a source? Answered by Alfie H. When it comes to a GCSE History exam essay, it is important to have a clear structure to your argument. Do not simply write down everything you know about a speci...

  15. GCSE HISTORY: EDEXCEL EXAMS SAMPLE ANSWERS AND REVISION GUIDE FOR ...

    Subject: History Age range: 14-16 Resource type: Assessment and revision File previews pptx, 91.73 KB This revision guide gives you an insight into Sample Answers for GCSE History, Edexcel, that will earn you the highest marks.

  16. Essay skills

    The 'essay introduction' is worth 3 marks. You need to write at least two sentences explaining two relevent pieces of context. Set the essay around the time, place and historical events around...

  17. Edexcel GCSE History Past Papers

    Exam paper questions organised by topic and difficulty. Our worksheets cover all topics from GCSE, IGCSE and A Level courses. Give them a try and see how you do!

  18. How to tackle the Historic Environment question in AQA GCSE History

    How to tackle the Historic Environment question in AQA GCSE History. February 14, 2019 Oxford History Team. The way AQA have included the Historic Environment (HE) study in their specification is an absolute gift to students and teachers. Rather than having an extra paper to think about, the HE is embedded seamlessly into the highly engaging ...

  19. Grade 9 GCSE History Revision Guide

    The syllabus is the most useful guide to GCSE History as it contains in detail the entire course and what you will be asked questions on. Simply confirm which exam board you are studying first as this will determine the content you are learning too. The 9-1 AQA GCSE History spec is here. The Edexcel 9-1 GCSE History specification link is here.

  20. GCSE History Essay Techniques

    "How did X change between…." This is a change or development question. You need to explain two or more changes that developed something or affected something, showing how one led to the other for full marks. You need to support your answer by bringing in your own knowledge and that you put each change in a separate paragraph.

  21. Power and the people 1170 to present course

    Question 3 is worth 8 marks. This question will require you to compare two key events, developments, individuals or groups. You will have two explain two differences or similarities. Question 4 is worth 16 marks plus 4 marks for spelling and grammar. This is an essay question which will require you to develop a substantiated judgement.

  22. A Guide to Standard Grade History: Essay Writing

    A Brief Guide. The Essays: Information. The essays at Standard Grade are worth eight marks. You may hear them being referred to as "8 Markers" or "8 Mark essays". They contribute to your Knowledge and Understanding mark, and they will be in one of the three different contexts in the paper. You will be given a choice of two different ...

  23. AQA GCSE History Types of Questions and how to answer them copy

    15 terms sxnjidah Preview History: Elizabethan England - Sheffield Manor Lodge 13 terms AestheticAesthetics Preview Write an account of how events in Abyssinia became an international crisis in the years 1935 to 1936. 10 terms Preview English Language Paper 1 29 terms Macbeth - supernatural quotes 11 terms charlie36583