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Revision (KS5): Government & Politics


Further Reading/Study Support:

McNaughten Edexcel Government and Politics for AS and A2 (4th Edition)

For A2 only- Andrew Heywood, Introducing Political Ideologies

Politics Review A Level Magazine


General Politics Revision links:



Gather essentials – make sure you have easy access to stationary, a quiet space and plenty of paper.

Know your strengths – Carefully select the topics you are strongest at to focus your revision on.

Plan – Make sure you have a revision timetable and a revision checklist (see Miss Dewhurst).

When is the exam? – Know the dates so you can structure your revision equally for both papers.

Know the structure of the exam – Be sure you know how many questions to answer and what an exam paper looks like. Know how the exam questions are marked, especially the weightings of the AOs.

Glossary – compile a key vocabulary glossary complete with up to date examples.

Practice! Answer exam style questions under exam conditions.

Help! Form study support groups; coerce family members into helping and testing you.

Study – little and often rather than once in bulk.

ASK!!!! Email your teachers if you need help, attend revision sessions on offer and never be afraid to ask for extra support.




If possible, try to discuss how the arrival of coalition government affects your answer to the question. This won’t be relevant to all questions, but if it is relevant you should discuss it as it will show you’re up to date with developments.

Use abbreviations (sparingly) to save time – “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) etc. 

Tips on answering stimulus based short answer questions

Do not use long quotes from the extract- keep it short and snappy.

For 10 mark answers, use an equal mix of evidence from within the source and your own knowledge.

Use up to date real life examples in your answers.

SIGNPOST… Use phrases such as “From the source,” or “From my own knowledge”. This makes it easier for the examiner, and shows you understand what the question is asking.

Tips for answering 25/ 40 mark questions

If you are asked one side of an argument (“Make a case against….”), make sure you do just that; do not waste time ‘discussing’ both sides of the debate.

If the question asks you to consider both sides (“Assess the strengths and weaknesses of….”) , then make sure you give both sides in equal amount.

PEELEThere are masses of A03 marks on offer, which means you have to communicate your knowledge in a way that is easy to understand.

Point – have an opening sentence that, if the rest of the paragraph was covered up, the examiner would still get a good idea of how your essay will progress.


Example – Have one example backing up every main point that you make. Keep the examples as up to date as possible. So if you have two equal examples that prove the same point, where one involves Cameron and one involves Thatcher, use the Cameron one.

Link  This is a concluding sentence within your paragraph showing how what you’ve said in the paragraph relates back to the question.

Evaluation – If you have a SPECIFIC evaluation of the POINT you have just explained, then use it here. However, if you find this difficult, you can juxtapose the arguments (all the ‘for’ then all the ‘against’). You MUST make sure you have a balanced argument (only if the question asks for it).

Be balanced yet decisive – accept that there are good points on both sides of the debate, yet come down more on one side than the other. Don’t say that one side is wholly right (ie the other side has no valid points) as this will rarely, if ever, be true. At the same time don’t hover in between two positions without giving a definite answer. Eg DO NOT SIT ON THE FENCE.



Treat the examiner like your student!

If you are using key vocabulary (eg Individualism, natural rights etc), make sure you define them. Do not make the assumption that the examiner knows what you are talking about.

Use examples

Relevant REAL LIFE examples will bring a lot of marks, especially within longer answers. They show that you understand the impact each ideology has on modern society and politics in practice (ie New Labour’s idea of Third Way Politics is a shining example of Modern Liberal sentiment on social and economic policy).

15 markers

These tend to be focused on an ideology’s specific of idea on an institution or key (“What do liberals think of…” “ What is the link between..”).

45 markers


You must be able to provide comparisons from within an ideology and beyond the ideology. For example, if the question is asking how far modern liberals have departed from classical views, you can touch upon all key terms and institutions and the difference between the modern and classical view of these. For higher marks, you can also compare with any other ideology; how similar are they or how different (classical liberal views of the economy are also championed by in the conservative ideology etc).

You can compare any ideology but only if it is RELEVANT, ie comparing multiculturalism with conservatism is fine, even though they aren’t on the same paper.



Analyse Break something into its component parts and show how they relate to one another
Argue Present a reasoned case
Assess ‘Weigh up’ a statement, showing arguments in favour and against
Compare Identify similarities
Contrast Identify differences
Criticise Explain problems, limitations or weaknesses
Define Say what a word or phrase means
Describe Set out features or characteristics
Discuss Examine an issue closely, taking account of differing viewpoints
Distinguish Describe differences
Evaluate Make judgments based on evidence
Examine Investigate closely
Explain Show how something works, usually by giving a clear and detailed account of it



Edexcel G&P past paper and mark schemes: