Each year on the night before my student’s exam I post these comments on Facebook. I am not a believer in last minute revision (you are welcome to disagree with me ) as I believe the best approach is lots of sleep. However these final tips might make all the difference to your exam and involve little work:
1. In a RE question mention all 4 of WJ mysticism points: even if written in different parts of your essay – not all in one go.
2. ‘Charismatic’ = Holy Spirit. ‘Corporate’ = group
3. Don’t forget to read over St. Bernadette (vision/ voices/ revelation), Nicky Cruz (conversion) Whirling Dervish, Toronto Blessing (John Arnott).
4. ‘Arbitrary’ and ‘partisan’ means God is unfair/ unreasonable because he selects some and not others to help/grant miracles to etc.
5. Wiles is against the ‘realist view’ that miracles happened by God’s hand. Wiles does not criticise anti realist miracles – he has no problem with John Hick’s or Holland’s views.
6. Don’t forget to check out a Biblical miracle e.g. Creation, Granting Hannah a baby, parting of the Red Sea etc.
7. Always explain WHY a miracle + other explanations.
8. ‘Embodied’ = in body (reincarnation/ resurrection), ‘Disembodied’ = not in body.
1. Work out your point of view immediately (are you going to argue for or against the question?)
2. ANSWER THE QUESTION -Use the words in the question throughout your answer.
3. Evaluate throughout – argue and question every point you make. The more you criticise the better you will do. Don’t forget to defend arguments and use critical words. Ask rhetorical questions. Take apart your own evaluation.
4. Look on the BBC news for examples or exact cases to reference. …
5. Use ‘therefore’ to summarize argument at end of a big point.
1. Do not disregard Meta Ethics; this is one of the easier topics which often receive high marks in the exam.
2. Conscience: you need to be sharp on who says what, how the different religious thinkers are similar/ different and how your critics can be directly applied to them. Once again an easier topic which can score high marks.
3. Freewill and Determinism is a good topic to really get your teeth stuck into …but examiners will expect high level discussion and comparison between them.
4. Virtue: remember key words and main themes – really good one for the exam.
5. Application topics: approach with caution. Examiners mark these harshly because they expect specific examples, focused detail but also a strong grasp of the topic you are relating them to. Application questions are the hardest as you have to consider not just the topic (e.g. NL) but how it applies as well.
Top three mistakes in Ethics:
1. Not focusing on answering the question instead just adding as many names as possible. Stick to just a few names that you explore/ criticise/ compare in detail.
2. Not evaluating/ questioning everything
3. Application questions – make sure if you criticise the topic in the question (e.g Kant) with another theory (e.g Virtue) that the comparison to virtue is short/ effective and only evaluative as otherwise not relevant to Q. Make sure you look at actual ISSUES to do with the application area (e.g different cultural views on homosexuality)
(Please remember these are the recommendations that I give to my students based on the experiences that I have had over the years with this exam and do not necessarily coincide with what your teacher may have said.)
Don’t forget to: SHOW OFF! This is your last opportunity to show what you have done over the last two years on this course. The examiners can only mark what you write – make it count! (check out the post: Going for Gold: Achieving that A*)