Warning: Doctrines of Christian Thought Exam Approaching!!

The questions you will not be asked Monday afternoon are:

May 2017 First Year Paper:

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May 2018 First Year Paper:

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This means that a question on each of the areas of the first year spec has been asked. What this means (and following the pattern of the previous two A2 exams) is that there could be two questions on AS and two on A2. This means that the same topic might be asked again, just not the question areas already asked above. I have a feeling you may get asked three Q from A2 because there are so many question areas that could be asked from the second year and the AS has been covered quite efficiently over the last two AS exams.

Difficult to predict this one, so based on my gut feeling (the main thing my gut has been doing over the past few weeks of exams is flip flops!) I think the Q areas are going to be:

  • Pluralism and Theology – worded around exclusivism
  • Gender – worded around the church’s teachings/ traditional views/ where it fits into today’s society
  • Secularization – faith/ scripture so you could link in natural and revealed and moral principles from AS
  • Person of Jesus – liberator or divine vs human.

I think because the two topics within Pluralism and the two topics within Gender overlap and are very similar ( in that you could easily interchange the information between them) therefore I think any questions on these areas will be quite open (potentially quite vague, hopefully not too obscure like the Philosophy questions).

Tips:

  1. Make sure you know Ephesians,  Acts and Mulieris Dignitatem.
  2. Be prepared that the questions might be quite open. Remember that a lot of these topics link together, so it is about answering the question in the most efficient way which could include different texts, names and elements from a range of topics.

Note: You need to revise all areas. These predictions could be completely wrong, so you do not want to be caught out in your last exam.

Also check out: Predictions for Christian Thought (First and Second Year) and Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Christian Thought (1st and 2nd Year)

Good Luck

This is your last opportunity to shine and show the examiners what you have learnt!!

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Warning: Ethics Exam Approaching!!

The questions you will not be asked tomorrow are:

May 2017 First Year Paper:

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May 2018 First Year Paper:

ethics Q

This means that all areas of the first year spec have had a question asked on them. So what has been covered is: specific topic (natural law) + open issue, specific topic (Kant) + open issue, specific issue (Business), specific issue (euthanasia), specific topic (SE) + open issue and specific topic (Utilitarianism) + open issue. So all topics have had a specific question on them as applied to moral decision making (an issue). And both business and euthanasia have been asked on there own. Note the massive overkill already with the terms ‘moral decision making’!

So what is missing:

Specific topic on it’s own (e.g Bentham vs Mill )
Specific topic with specific issue (e.g NL+SoL)

So last minute advice:

  1. Check out the BBC news for any recent events in business, euthanasia or sex ethics
  2. Be prepared that at least one of your questions (I think 2 out of the four) will be application
  3. Give specific examples and statistics to avoid vague sweeping statements
  4. If a comparison Q is asked e.g Bentham vs Mill make sure you compare in every paragraph using language like: whereas, both, differing, similarly etc
  5. Whatever is mentioned specifically in Q, that is the start of every paragraph. So if ‘Emotivism is the only way to approach ethical language’ Discuss, every paragraph needs to start with emotivism, even if you bring in EN or I to criticise it, that comes later on in the paragraph.
  6. Meta and Conscience are stand alone topics. This means that you are not expected to link meta or conscience to sex ethics or the AS topics (NL, SE etc) You can make synoptic links i.e. between Fletcher’s conscience and Aquinas because they both link to conscience, as part of your evaluation.

Make sure you read:Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Ethics (First and Second Year) and Predictions for Ethics (First and Second Year). Don’t forget last minute support with Revision Podcasts on YouTube: Revision Podcasts and also my Tips for Writing an Application Essay:

Finally the more links to specific wording in the question and the more you argue, argue, argue, the better you will do! Get off the fence, raise discussion points, pass judgements and criticisms, defend arguments and evaluate everything. Control your content and need to regurgitate information, it is not how much you write/ remember it is what you do with it!

Good Luck

I will be thinking about you all tomorrow. Show off and shine!!

Warning: Philosophy Exam Approaching!!

The questions you will not be asked tomorrow are:

May 2017 First Year Paper:

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May 2018 First Year Paper:

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This means that:

  • Soul, Mind, Body
  • Cosmo
  • PoE
  • RE
  • Aristotle
  • Onto

Have all been asked. All that is missing is:

  • Plato
  • Teleo

You could still get asked a question from any topic area, including areas already been asked above. The only thing we can be pretty certain of is that similar Q’s will not arise.

So last minute advice:

  1. Check out BBC for moral evil examples and recent events/ stats with the volcano eruption (natural evil)
  2. If you get a question on ‘Religious Language is meaningless’ do NOT talk about Falsification. The exam board has made it very clear that Flew never uses the word meaningless (only ‘vacuous’ yet in my book they pretty much imply the same thing) but still we follow the exam board!! I recommend Verification vs Language Games for a Q like this.
  3. Any RE question mention WJ’s four even just in passing
  4. Avoid numinous as an example, unless the question asks or if you have a specific case to draw upon, otherwise your answers will just be vague.
  5. Make sure you read questions carefully: psychology vs physiology could cost you dearly!
  6. If a comparison Q is asked e.g Plato vs Ari make sure you compare in every paragraph using language like: whereas, both, differing, similarly etc
  7. Whatever is mentioned specifically in Q, that is the start of every paragraph. So if mentioned ‘a priori is better than a post’ structure with Onto throughout.
  8. If Q on God’s attributes, focus on Q throughout, do not get side-lined on long rambling content.

Make sure you read: Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Philosophy (1st and 2nd Year) and Predictions for Philosophy (First and Second Year). Don’t forget last minute support with Revision Podcasts on YouTube: Revision Podcasts

Finally the more links to specific wording in the question and the more you argue, argue, argue, the better you will do! Get off the fence, raise discussion points, pass judgements and criticisms, defend arguments and evaluate everything. Control your content and need to regurgitate information, it is not how much you write/ remember it is what you do with it!

Good Luck

I will be thinking about you all tomorrow. First A Level exam for new spec – let’s make it a good one!!

 

Predictions for Christian Thought (First and Second Year)

Last year we were all well and truly in the dark whenhqdefault approaching the first Christian Thought paper. A year on (and maybe a year wiser) we can certainly learn from two areas: the examiners report (see: Examiner’s Report 2017: What can we learn?) and last year’s questions:

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Now so far in the first year exams it seems that the areas that were asked last year have been avoided so far this year. OCR are very clever though – they will know this too, which means they might throw a curve ball in and ask the same topic again but a different area.

However going by the pattern so far this means that Augustine, Natural and Revealed Knowledge of God and Moral Principles has not been asked. My gut instinct is that the examiners will not ask a question on both Natural and Revealed and Moral Principles as these are very similar topics (in my view) and both quite dry.

deniswaitley1-2xI think if the examiners asked you a question on Natural and Revealed (such as ‘Knowledge of God can only be revealed.’ Discuss – wording would obviously be a little better) and then a question on the Bible (such as ‘The Bible is the only authority for Christian ethical practices.’ Discuss – wanting you to discus the different denominational approaches) I think that would be a really mean paper!

But….your Philosophy and Ethics so far has been pretty nice. My mantra: Prepare for the worse and hope for the best.

Worst case predications:

Continue reading “Predictions for Christian Thought (First and Second Year)”

Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Christian Thought (1st and 2nd Year)

My tips for last year’s first DCT exam consisted of:

  • Use the words in the question throughout your answer
  • Add critical words with ‘because’ throughout to emphasize evaluation
  • Add as many glossary/ key words as possible and link back to the question.

I can’t promise that I have much more than I did last year as far as advice but this is what I have learnt about the six DCT topics (first year):

  1. Use the overlap between topics to your advantage e.g. Moral Principles topic on the different interpretations of scripture is very similar to Natural and Revealed Knowledge of God
  2. Learn 3 quotes (one for a Pope) that can be used in multiple different answers
  3.  Summarize your revision notes into 4-5 main themes per topic (e.g Augustine – Original Sin, Before and after the Fall, Grace and the role of women etc.)
  4. Learn some extra names that can be used as evaluation (e.g. Dawkins compares belief in God to a teapot in space or belief in the tooth fairy). Don’t forget it is only evaluation when you say who presents the most convincing argument.
  5. Work out which topic the question is from and how much you can write for that topic area. Do you have enough for at least 2 sides?

Remember the style of questions and material for the DCT topics is different 41+uCCAOoHLfrom that of Philosophy and Ethics (well I certainly think it is!) It is more descriptive and presents less arguments to really sink your teeth into. However that is not an excuse to not engage with evaluation. What this means is you have to work harder for it. What I found after last year’s DCT exam was that students tended to do better because they were so aware of the question and the need to evaluate, that they actually emphasized it more than they did in Philosophy and Ethics. Good news!! So don’t stress out, focus on what you are asked and try think of any relevant quotes, names, ideas that you have covered in the DCT topics that you can use in relation to the Q.

Pointers for 2nd year DCT:

Continue reading “Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Christian Thought (1st and 2nd Year)”