Predicting questions on an exam paper is a risky business because it is about as predictable as a roulette wheel. So what I have written below is not a science and it will not be enough to just learn these areas. If you do you will be caught out. All I can do I emphasize the gaps that have appeared over the years.
RE: One of the most popular topics for exam questions. Everything in the specification has been covered over the years but…Voices. Therefore a previous question/ area may re-appear or a question specifically on voices such as ‘Voices are the most effective way of God revealing Himself directly to a believer’. (Note: A question on ‘corporate’ has not been on since 2012 and ‘William James’ since 2013)
Miracles: Pretty sure this will come up in some way:
- Critically assess the different definitions of miracles
- Evaluate the concept of miracles
- Critically assess the criticisms of miracles made by Hume
(or some close variation of these such as a question combining 2 and 3 e.g. Evaluate the concept of miracles and the criticisms presented by Hume)
Nature of God: Pretty much the whole specification has been asked on this topic. Plus the question in 2015 was a combination of all three key elements (eternal, omnipotence and omniscience). So if it does come up I think it will be specifically on Omnipotence (not been asked since 2012) or Omni-benevolence (not been asked since 2013). However Boethius and reward and punishment are very popular and if answered properly this has A* potential written all over it!
Life after Death: also a very popular topic for questions. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a question on embodied vs disembodied such as ‘Resurrection is more coherent than disembodied existence after death.’ You could also get a compare question. In the past, questions have been asked on: Aristotle vs Dawkins, Plato vs Hick and Hick vs Dawkins. This means that Aristotle vs Plato, Hick vs Aristotle and Plato vs Dawkins have never been asked.
RL: Verification! There has never been a specific question on this area. Everything else has been asked over the years. It might be too obvious so it may be worded as a ‘Religious Language cannot be verified therefore is meaningless. Discuss’ (but this is very similar to last year’s question) or ‘Critically assess the views of the Vienna Circle’ . [Revised comment: Whilst Verification has never been specified, one blog viewer did point out that the OCR exam report for last year focused on how answers for ‘religious language is meaningless’ was mainly on verification. With this in mind a religious language question will be very hard to predict, as everything else has been asked other than the Vienna Circle]
Examiners try very hard to limit the predictability of their question papers. What this means is = I might be completely wrong (I do not often say that either!) So please do revise all areas and elements in order to guarantee your success but these are my inclinations based on analysis of previous questions alongside the specification.
So my money is on [slightly revised]:
- Miracles (especially Hume)
- RE ( especially Voices)
- Embodied vs Disembodied (LaD)
- Omnipotence/ Omnibenevolent (NofG).
Check out: Let’s Break it Down: Step by Step A2 Essay Structure to help with essay structure. Also Going for Gold: Achieving that A* and Are you arguing with me? to achieve that perfect essay technique.
Please feel free to post your own predications below in the comments and thanks to those of you that have sent me your comments already.
If you would like a Revision Pack that contains quizzes, glossaries and past exam questions to help structure your revision, click on the image below:
Any students sitting the A2 exams(Philosophy or Ethics) I could not recommend these workbooks enough! Fantastic revision tool to test your knowledge and to prepare you for your exam.