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PSYA4paper:GeneralTips

The2hourPSYA4paperrequiresyoutoanswerTHREEquestionsinthepaper,sothefirstthingyouneed
tobesureofiswhichtopicsyouhavecovered!Never,ever,trytoansweraquestionunlessyouhavebeen
taughtthetopictheessaymayseemtobeaboutthingsinyourexperience,buttheanswermustfocuson
psychologicalresearchandknowledge,notanecdotalmaterial.
Taketimetothinkaboutwhatthequestionisactuallyaskingyoutodo,thenplanhowtodowhatitwants.
Acoupleofminutesspentjottingdownideascansavealotofwastedtimeandmissedmarks.
SectionA:Psychopathology
Thisquestionisoutof25marks.Makecertainyouknowifyouhavecoveredoneanxietydisorder,
schizophrenia,ordepressionasyourexampleofapsychopathology,andthenchoosethecorrectquestion.
Thetimeallowedforthisquestionisapproximately35minutes,asfindingandreadingyourchosen
questionwilltakeaminuteortwo.Thismeansthatyouneedtowritequitealot!Ifyouhavenoideaof
howmuch35minutesofwritingis,thenduringyourrevisionyoucouldpractisewritingsomething,
anything,for10minutes,andthenworkouthowmuchthreeandahalftimesthisamountwouldbe.
Marksaregiveninthreeareasasfollows:
AO1:Thereare9/25marksallocatedforshowingappropriatepsychologicalknowledgeandunderstanding
ofthequestion,possiblyusingawiderangeofrelevantexamples.Trytoaimforabalancebetweenbreadth
anddepth;thisisidealbutnotobligatory.
AO2:Thereare12/25marksforapplyingknowledgeanddemonstratinganunderstandingofpsychology,
includinganalysisandevaluation(suchasstrengthsandweaknesses),solongasthisisusedas
commentary,andnotplaindescription.Morepossibilitiesincludeapplyingorcomparingscientific
psychologicalknowledgeintheformofalternativeexplanations,ormodels,orcontexts;alsoconsider
assessingthevalidity,reliability,andcredibilityofsuchscientificinformation.
AO3:Thereare4/25marksforusingissues,debates,approaches,andelaborationtoanswerthequestion
anddemonstratesynopticity.Theargumentsneedtobecoherentandclear,showinggoodunderstanding
andsoundanalysis.Methodologicalissuescanbeusedinevaluation.
OnegoodwaytogaincreditinAO2andAO3istoincluderelevantreferencestoissues,debates,and
approaches,suchasethics,genderbias,natureornurture,andthedifferentpsychologicalapproachesand
perspectivesjustmakesureyoushowhowyourchoicesarerelevanttothequestionyouareanswering.
Finally,dobesuretouseappropriatewords,suchascorrectpsychologicalterms,asthisisanAlevel
Psychologyexam!
SectionB:PsychologyinAction
Here,again,itisvitaltoknowwhichoneofthethreesectionsyouhavebeentaught.One25markquestion
willbesetoneach,andyouneedtoidentifyyouronequestion.Thequestionshouldtakeabout35minutes
toanswer,andagainyouwillneedtogivealotofinformation.Itispossiblethatthequestionwillbe
parted,sochecktomakesureyouknowhowmanypartsthereare,andallocatetheappropriatenumberof
minutes'writingtoeach.
Marksaregiveninthreeareasasfollows(verysimilartoSectionAmarking):
AO1:Thereare9/25marksallocatedforshowingappropriatepsychologicalknowledgeandunderstanding
ofthequestion,possiblyusingawiderangeofrelevantexamples.Trytoaimforabalancebetweenbreadth

anddepth;thisisidealbutnotobligatory.
AO2:Thereare12/25marksforapplyingknowledgeandunderstandingofpsychology,includinganalysis,
andevaluation(suchasstrengthsandweaknesses),solongasthisisusedascommentary,andnotplain
description.Forexample,applyingorcomparingthisscientificpsychologicalknowledgeasalternative
explanations,ormodelsor,contexts;alsoconsiderassessingthevalidity,reliability,andcredibilityofsuch
scientificinformation.
AO3:Thereare4/25marksforusingissues,debates,approaches,andelaborationtoanswerthequestion
anddemonstratesynopticity.Theargumentsneedtobecoherentandclear,showinggoodunderstanding
andsoundanalysis.Also,ifrelevant,applyyourknowledgetounfamiliarmaterialorcontexts.
Methodologicalissuescanbeusedinevaluation.
OnegoodwaytogaincreditinAO2andAO3istoincluderelevantreferencestoissues,debates,and
approaches(suchasethics,genderbias,andnatureornurture),andthedifferentpsychologicalapproaches
andperspectivesjustmakesureyoushowhowyourchoicesarerelevanttothequestionyouare
answering.
Finally,dobesuretouseappropriatewords,suchascorrectpsychologicalterms,asthisisanAlevel
Psychologyexam!
SectionC:PsychologicalResearchandScientificMethod
Thiscompulsory,parted,researchmethodsquestioncarries35marks.Readthestimulusmaterialandthe
descriptionverycarefully;perhapsevenhighlightkeywordsandphrases.Lookattheallocationofmarks
sothatyoucanspendmoretimeonpartswithmoremarks,andlessonpartswithfewermarks.
Makesureyouunderstandwhateachpartofthequestionisaskingyou.
AO1:Thereareonly3markshere,forshort,factualanswers.
AO2:Therearejust4markshere,foraccuratedescriptions.
AO3:Thereare28marksinthissectionforappropriateanalysis,explanations,extractionofinformation
fromthestimulusmaterial,interpretation,and/orapplicationstounfamiliarcontexts.
Overallitisreallyimportantthatyouranswersareclearlyandcoherentlywritten.