Guide for Students and Teachers: Paper 2

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This video explains the composition of Paper 2, including the provision of sources and the expectations with regard to answering questions.

Transcript

Simon Wood                        

Paper 2 in the new Scottish Higher will assess your ability to analyse sources.  All five topics that you may study are from Scottish topics.  They will be either The Wars of Independence, the impact of the Reformation of Scotland, the influence of the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, the impact of migration on Scotland, the impact of Empire, as well as the impact of the First World War.

Paper 2 should be familiar to you if you’ve already studied history.  It’s a source based paper and the exam will comprise of five sources, two of which will be primary sources and two of which will be secondary sources.  The fifth source will be either a primary or a secondary source.

There will be three types of question that will assess particular skills.  The first type of question is an evaluation question, the second type of question is a comparison question, and the third type of question, of which there will two, is what we call a contextualisation question.  The three different questions will relate to different parts of the option you are studying.

Each option has got four major themes that you will be studying; for example, if you’re studying the impact of the First World War on Scotland there are four issues that you will be studying.  The first, the involvement of the Scots on the Western Front; the second is the impact of the war on Scottish society; the third is the impact of the war on the Scottish economy; and the fourth is the impact of the war on Scottish politics.  Four questions equals four areas.  One question will apply to each of these four areas, therefore all the course content be sampled.

The five sources in the exam paper you set will all contain information that is relevant to the topic for the questions that you’re being asked to answer.  However, they are also likely to contain what we call “distractors,” that is information that is not relevant to the question.  These distractors are designed to put you off, therefore it is very important the way in which you interpret the content of the sources, because if you interpret them correctly you should only be extracting the information that is relevant to the answer.

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