Answering Section B Qs

Specific advice for Section B

Section B focuses on the analysis and evaluation of interpretations and opinions.

1.Use contextual knowledge - on Section B, 16 of the 40 marks are awarded for your own knowledge! Use this information to put the sources into context and to question the interpretation, and to bring new points into the argument.

2. Weigh up the evidence especially as it asks you for a judgement, eg Do you agree...

3. Interrogate each interpretation – evaluate it on the strengths and weaknesses of the opinion shown. Put this into context and use your own knowledge/opinion to interrogate it. Remember that 24 of the 40 marks are awarded for your evaluation of the sources.

4. Assess the merits of each source and question how valid the interpretation is. Do not get drawn into questioning the reliability of the source based on the provenance – this is not assessed in Section B!

5. You will ultimately be asked to assess ‘do you agree…’. Therefore ensure you develop a balanced answer and conclusion.

General advice

1. Plan your answers before you start writing. Give yourself a good 15-20 minutes to plan your answer in Section B - take time to read and evaluate the sources. Look for links between them - compare and contrast... look for similarities and differences, weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each argument.

2. Use these timings as a rough rule of thumb... 10 mins to plan Section A, 40 mins to answer Section A.  20 mins to plan Section B, 50 mins to answer Section B.

3. Use the sources as the basis of your answer. This will help keep you focused. Remember to give examples from the sources to support your argument. Make it explicit that you are using the source... 'Source A shows...'

4. Develop inferences (what does the source suggest to you?) and support these with evidence. Try and pick up on the nuances within the source. Try not to take the source at face value. Read it carefully and consider what it is really suggesting!

Good luck!