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Standard Grade

Modern Studies
Standard Grade:- Credit Level Papers

This booklet contains the CREDIT level examinations from 2004, 2005,
2006 and 2007. It also includes the relevant marking schemes.
The following should give you an idea of what to expect in each section of the
exam. This is not meant as an exhaustive list- there is potential for other
questions in line with your course notes!!

Living in a Democracy

In this part of the syllabus you should know:

• How candidates are chosen for election

• Ways in which people can take part in politics in the UK
• How elections work in Scotland and the UK
• How representatives work for their constituents at Westminster, the Scottish
Parliament, and on Local Councils
• Pressure Groups in the UK
• Trade Unions in the UK

Before your Standard Grade exam, you should revise each of these topics.

Knowledge and Understanding questions for this Syllabus Area will be based on
three different concepts:

• Participation
• Representation
• Rights and Responsibilities

Remember: Questions about Politics in Scotland could be based on the Scottish

Parliament in Edinburgh, the Westminster Parliament in London, or local councils in

Potential Question Themes

• Why women or ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the House of


• Trade union methods

• Role of TU members during disputes with their employers

• The work of an MSP or MP in terms of representing his/her constituents

• Advantages and Disadvantages of electoral systems

• Why people should use their vote

• Methods used by Pressure Groups to influence MPs

• Ways of participating in politics

• Role of media during an election

Changing Society

In this part of the syllabus you should know:

• Health needs of the elderly

• Housing needs of the elderly
• The needs of the unemployed: jobs, money
• Inequality between different elderly people because of wealth, health and
• Inequality between families
• New technology and its impact on jobs
• The role of individuals, families, government and voluntary organisations in
meeting the needs of people such as the elderly, unemployed and those on
low incomes

Before the Exam

Before your Standard Grade exam, you should revise each of these topics.

Knowledge and Understanding questions for this Syllabus Area will be based on
three different concepts:

• Equality
• Ideology
• Need

Questions could be based on the elderly, employment and unemployment or families

in the UK.

Potential Question Themes

• Policies introduced by Labour to help the unemployed

• Needs of the elderly- health, mental, physical

• The pension issue

• Accommodation for the elderly

• Living standards of different types of family

• Problems faced by lone parents/older people in finding work

• Causes of unemployment/ decline in heavy industry

• Way the Government help elderly people/unemployed/lone parents- usually


In this part of the syllabus you should know:

• The ideology of China (Communism, Central Party control)

• Equality and Inequality in China (wealth, rights, SEZ etc.)
• Participation in China
• Ways of protesting in China (legalities of protest)
• Human rights issues (Lagoai, Falun Gong, Punishments, Lack of rights)

Before your Standard Grade exam you should revise each of these topics.

Knowledge and Understanding questions for this Syllabus Area will be based on four

• Equality
• Ideology
• Participation
• Rights and responsibilities

Potential Question Themes

• Social Inequality in China

• Development in the economy of China- foreign business, SEZs

• Argument behind the call for increased political rights

• Reasons for the wide gap between rich and poor

• Barriers to development- Human Rights issues, nature of political system and

treatment of non-CPC citizens

• Recent developments in reducing inequalities- more participation at local level

in politics, Hukou abolished and One Child Policy changed

• Ways in which Human rights have improved/ ways in which they remain
behind the rest of the world
International Relations

In this part of the syllabus you should know:

• Reasons why countries benefit from membership of the European Union

• Reasons why countries benefit from membership of the United Nations
• Reasons why countries benefit from membership of NATO
• Aid to African countries from rich countries and organisations such as the
United Nations

Before your Standard Grade exam you should revise each of these topics.

Knowledge and Understanding questions for this Syllabus Area will be based on two
different concepts:

• Need
• Power

Questions could be based on Alliances or on the Politics of Aid to Africa

Potential Question Themes

• Factors taken into consideration prior to giving of aid

• Not all aid is good aid- meeting the needs of developing nations

• The work of the UN agencies in Africa

• Advantages/ Disadvantages of the Euro

• Advantages/ Disadvantages of NATO membership

• Recent conflicts- involvement of NATO/UN/EU

• Issues surrounding growth in membership of the EU

• Negative media images of Africa

Types of Enquiry Skills

There are two main types of Enquiry Skills to master for the Standard Grade paper:

Evaluating questions can be based on any of the topics included in the Standard
Grade Modern Studies course, but you don't have to include any knowledge and
understanding in your answers. You'll always be given sources and these will include
all the information you require to answer the question.

Evaluating questions will ask you to:

• Detect bias, exaggeration and selective use of facts

• Make comparisons within and between sources
• Express support for your own opinion, or someone else's opinion

For the Investigating questions you will need to include your own knowledge and
understanding in your answers. You won't get any information from sources.

Each of these types of question will come up in the General and Credit papers.
Investigating questions come in several stages and will ask you to:

• State a hypothesis
• Give relevant aims or headings
• Choose a method of finding out information
• Describe how you would find information using that method
• Explain its advantages and disadvantages

Detect bias, exaggeration and selective use of facts

• At General Level, the examples of exaggeration won‘t be so obvious and the

sources will be relatively complicated. You‘ll have to give reasons for your
• At Credit Level, questions will usually use the phrase ‘selective use of facts‘.
The sources will be quite long and complex and the examples of selective use
of facts will not be obvious. You‘ll have to explain your answer in some detail.

Sometimes it‘s helpful to think of the words ‘bias‘, ‘exaggeration‘ and ‘selective use
of facts‘ as meaning ‘wrong‘. Basically, when a person makes this sort of statement
they‘re saying something that cannot be backed up from the evidence in front of you.
Make comparisons within and between sources

• At General Level, the sources will be fairly complicated. If you‘re asked for
differences, then it‘s a good idea to try and explain what the differences are.
• At Credit Level, questions will usually have complex sources. The question
may well ask you ‘what conclusions can be drawn from . . .‘. The most
common mistake in this type of question is when pupils just repeat what the
source says without drawing any conclusions.

Questions which ask you to reach a conclusion might involve you looking for :

• Similarities
• Differences
• How things have changed over a period of time
• Things that are bigger or smaller.

Good words and phrases to use in answers to this type of question include:

• In comparison with . . .
• Compared to . . .
• More than / less then . . .
• Bigger / smaller . . .

Express support for your own or someone else's opinion

• At Foundation level, you‘ll be asked to use a simple source. Usually you‘ll be

asked if you agree or disagree with what someone has said, and to give one
reason for your answer.
• At General Level, the sources will be more complicated and your explanation
will need to be more detailed.
• At Credit Level, there may be several complex sources and several possible
opinions. You need to study the information very carefully before you answer
this type of question.
Investigating Skills
This type of question is different from all the other Enquiry Skills questions because
you don't get any information from sources. To do well in Investigating, you need to
have a certain amount of knowledge and understanding to answer.

The question is posed in several stages:

First of all you're told about a broad topic and asked to carry out an investigation into
some aspect of it. The topic will be described in a box and identified by a large
question mark, like this.

The topic will appear alongside a

large question mark.

You're asked to:

• State a hypothesis. Take note here, it's a statement you're asked for and,
during the investigation, you'll prove whether it's true or false. Don't ever be
tempted to write a hypothesis in the form of a question.
• Give relevant aims or headings which will help you prove your hypothesis.
This is where the question approach is useful. You would do well to start this
part of the investigation by saying " To find out...
• The third stage is to choose a method of finding out information for the
• Your method should be relevant or suitable, because you'll be asked to apply
it to the aims or headings you picked earlier. You're asked to describe, in
detail, how you would find information using that method.
• Not just that, you're asked to explain why it's a good method of finding out
information for your investigation and what its shortcomings might be. In other
words, you should explain its advantages and disadvantages.
• Sometimes, instead if being asked to choose a method of enquiry, you'll be
told which method to use. Even then, you'll be asked to explain its advantages
and disadvantages.
Methods Advantages Disadvantages
Internet - Access a range of information from all - Cost
over world
- Faster than writing a letter - Time consuming to read through all
the websites
- Available in most schools and homes. - Some websites may have biased
- Email questions: Instant contact - The information might not have
been updated
Writing a letter - Send it to someone who is well - The person to whom you wrote may
informed about your topic not answer your questions.
- You decide what questions to ask - The person you are writing to may
not reply in time or they may not
reply at all.
Interview - You can prepare questions in advance - You may not be able to find a
suitable person to interview
- You can add extra questions during - The person being interviewed might
the interview try to take over the interview.
- You can gauge the reactions of the - The person being interviewed might
person being interviewed. not give honest answers.
- It can be recorded and played back. -
Questionnaires - You can collect information from a - It is time consuming to conduct the
large number of people and therefore questionnaire and collate the data.
make generalisations
- You can set the questions you ask. - People may refuse to answer your
- People may not tell the truth when
CD Roms - Lots of information - Cannot be updated
- The information is presented in an - Some CD’s may be damaged or
interesting format. missing
- Easy to search for relevant - Time consuming
Library - It will store back copies of - Information in books may be out of
newspapers date
- You can gain access to internet - You cannot withdraw reference
- Staff are available to help with search - Some books/news may be missing
Video - You gain a visual impression of your - Video may be out of date.
research topic.
- Everyone has access to the - Video may be damaged.
Observations at - First hand experience - Not always possible or appropriate
visit to visit somewhere related to your
research topic.
- Able to draw own conclusions.
Hypothesis Topics (2000-2007)

• Living Standards for different types of family

• Equal opportunities in China

• Methods used by members of a pressure group during a campaign to

improve road safety

• Equal Opportunities for men and women in China

• UK aid to developing countries in Africa

• Equality in China

• Voting in the UK

• The work of the United Nations in Africa

• The work of the Chinese Communist Party

• Changing Technology and work

• The work of a local councillor

• The EU in the 21st Century

• Voting systems used in elections in Scotland

• People’s attitude towards voting

• Health Care in China

• Education in China

• Scotland and the European Union


How well do you know each of the syllabus areas?

Colour the boxes the following colours depending on how well you feel you
understand the topic.

RED – I don’t understand it at all.

AMBER – I understand but would not be happy answering an exam question on it.
GREEN – I understand it.


Rights and Responsibilities

Representatives at different levels
What a democracy is
The importance of voting
Political Parties including independent candidates
How parties choose their candidates for election
Campaign methods
The media’s role in political campaigns
The voting process
The areas of society not fairly represented in parliament and why
Advantages and disadvantages of first the post
Advantages and disadvantages of Proportional Representation
Advantages and disadvantages of Additional Member system
How each of the voting systems work


An MP/MSPs parliamentary work

An MP/MSPs constituency work
How constituents can contact their MP/MSP
Effectiveness of various contact methods
How an MP/MSP can represent their constituents at home
Ways MP/MSPs can represent their constituents in parliament
Conflict an MP/MSP may face regarding an issue


Why a separate parliament was needed

The referendum and birth of the parliament
Reserved and devolved powers
How the Scottish parliament works
How Westminster works
The role of the Scottish Exec and House of Lords
Problems in relations between parliaments


What are they

How they work
Advantages and disadvantages of them
Campaign methods used
Are they good or bad for democracy.
List some examples and what they campaign for
Rights and Responsibilities


What are they

What they campaign for
How they are organised – grassroots, shop steward, etc
Protest methods used
Why people choose not to join trade unions
How grassroots members can participate in their TU
Why women and ethnic minorities are under-represented in TUs
Rights and Responsibilities


How local councillors are elected

Services they provide/maintain
How services are funded
Mandatory, permissive and discretionary services
Council tax
The job of a councillor
Full or Part time?
Representative or not?


Role of the media and its influence

Ability to detect bias in a source


Stereotypical view of an elderly person

Prejudices faced by elderly people
Statistics on numbers of elderly in UK
Forms of elder abuse


Typical needs of elderly people

How housing needs change throughout life
Sheltered housing
Residential homes
Nursing homes
Other housing solutions – adaptation, relatives, purpose built
Specific health needs of the elderly
How health needs are a drain on the NHS
Financial inequality
How government and local government meet elderly financial needs
Family and voluntary organisation assistance


Why people work

Effect unemployment could have on a person
Definition of unemployment
How parties alter the definition and why
Causes of unemployment
Inequality and unemployment


Three main needs of the unemployed
Local council/private sector help
Job Seekers Allowance
Skill Seekers
New Deal
Footloose industries
Disabled discrimination
Ethnic minority discrimination
Gender discrimination
How new technology has affected employment
Advantages and disadvantages of national minimum wage


Define nuclear family

Define lone parent family
Define extended family
Explain the changing roles of each in society
Why birth rate has declined
Variation according to ethnic minority
Variation according to gender
Changing divorce patterns
Effect of divorce patterns on family life


Basic needs of families

Why lone parent families need financial assistance and…
…how this affects the quality of their life
The Child Support Agency
Criticisms of the CSA
Financial help available from the government
Financial help available from other sources
Why lone parents find it difficult to find employment


What it is
Arguments for
Arguments against


Location and Geography

Migration- push and pull factors
China's potential


How China became a Communism nation

Central Government Organisation
Communist Party Leaders role
The elections Chinese citizens can/cannot vote in
Political Rights and Freedoms the citizens have
Neighbourhood Units
Friendly Parties
Role in Tiananmen Square and oppression of Falun Gong
Why people are put off voting/participating
Interest groups


Centrally Planned Economy

The Responsibility System
Economic inequality-be able to give examples
Unemployment, poverty and industrial unrest
Exploitation of workers
The Hukou
Advantages and disadvantages of Industrial Growth
Impact of Beijing Olympics
The Growth of Private Enterprise and SEZs
The New Chinese Elite
A rural/urban divide


The One Child Policy

Forced Labour and the Laogai
Oppression of Religious Groups
HIV/Aids Scandal
The Environment
Economic inequality-be able to give examples
A rural/urban divide



Developed world
Developing world
Bilateral aid
Multilateral aid
Boomerang/tied aid
Good aid + list examples
Bad aid + list examples
Why countries give aid
Social factors affecting donor country
Political factors affecting donor country
Economic factors affecting donor country


Social problems affecting the Sudan

Political problems affecting the Sudan
Economic problems affecting the Sudan
The cause of famine in the Sudan
Social indicators–population, literacy + mortality rate, war, GNI, etc
The needs of Sudan
Countries that give aid to Sudan
Countries that don’t and reasons why
Types of aid given
Types of aid required
Problems with aid distribution


What the UN is and why it was established

The aims of the UN – including human rights charter
List the specialised UN aid agencies
Give examples of what at least two agencies do to help

The needs of a country
Political benefits of joining an alliance
Economic benefits of joining an alliance
Social benefits of joining an alliance


What the EU is and why it was established

The aims of the EU
The EU’s 4 main institutions and what they do
Purpose of the 17 committees and name a few
How laws are made in the EU
Progress made on the aims of the Maastricht treaty
Maastricht and Nice treaties effect on UK and Europe – good or bad
Should Britain become full member? Support with a few of the issues
– fisheries and agricultural policy, single market, expansion, cost, etc
Joining criteria for new member states
Why the EU wants the euro
Support view on whether you think GB should adopt Euro
Examples of recent work


Why we need military alliances – Yugoslavia and Milosevic

Role of NATO and UN in Yugoslav conflict
Why NATO was established
Arms Race and the Cold War
NATO’s changing role since end of Cold War in 80s
Support view on whether NATO has a future
NATO’s relations with EU
Rapid Reaction Force
Enlargement of NATO
The different UN departments and what they do
How the different UN departments work together and problems
The 4 ways the UN deals with conflict
Support your opinion on the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping
UK’s role in the UN, EU and NATO anti-terrorist plans
Support your view on the war on terror
The UK, security and the war on terror in Afghanistan
The UK, security and the war on terror in Iraq