Last year we were all well and truly in the dark when 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:
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.
I 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:
- Augustine on Original Sin or Before and After Fall (make sure you know your ‘C’ words e.g. Caritas)
- Natural and Revealed Theology (make sure you know Acts)
- Moral Principles approach to using the Bible (make sure you know how the different denominations approach reading the Bible)
Best case predications:
No 2 or no 3 is replaced with a Person of Jesus: Liberator or human vs Divine or Death and Afterlife: heaven/hell or judgment.
This is the mock paper I set for my students:
There are 12 possible topic areas, with at least 5 possible questions per topic, which means that predicating the questions is impossible. Questions like the ones I set above test a wide range of knowledge from the students, which is what the examiners want to do. If they ask very narrow or closed questions it will be more challenging to show off a spectrum of understanding.
So I am thinking:
- Gender Society (a question where you can mention Theology easily as well)
- Pluralism and Theology (a question where you can bring in Society and Secularisation too)
- Possibly even a Liberation Theology
- Depends on first year paper …if no Question on using the Bible then I think that will be on the second year paper. I will update after I have seen Monday’s paper 🙂
WARNING– You MUST revise everything! Yes maybe revise some areas really really well but you cannot ignore any topics. I know students sometimes want the easiest option or quickest solution to revision. I also appreciate there is a lot to remember and as the exams are approaching stress levels increase. However block out that little voice in your head that is saying ‘oh I just won’t learn that topic’ because if the examiners use a word you don’t know the meaning of or ask a stinker of a Q so you have to answer the other 3 questions…and you haven’t revised one of those. You get the idea!
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.
Check out: Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Christian Thought (1st and 2nd Year) for last minute tips and advice.
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 (for a small charge):
To support your revision there are Revision Podcasts on YouTube.