The AS and A Level Exams
There are two 90 minute papers at the end of the AS year, and three two hour papers at the end of the A Level Year. Remember that if you do the AS qualification, your grades don’t count towards the A level, you are reassessed in a slightly different format on all of the first year material, along with all of the second year material as part of the A level exams at the end of the two years of study.
Exam Papers for AS and A Level Sociology – this link just takes you to the AQA web site’s assessment page – you should definitely check out the exam papers, and practice them!
AQA A Level Sociology – The Three Exam Papers
AQA Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods – hints and tips for answering the six questions on this 2 hour exam paper.
AQA Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology – hints and tips for answering the 6 (optional) questions on this two hour exam paper
How I would’ve answered the families and households section of A level sociology paper 2 (AQA, 2017)
AQA Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods –
You might find my cheesy exam guide for the AS sociology exam useful….
Assessment Objectives in AS and A Level Sociology – It’s useful to know how the marks are distributed in the exam – there are complex question by question breakdowns on the specification, but to simplify it – Knowledge and Understanding (of concepts, theories, research) is worth about 50% of the marks in the exam, the other 50% are for Application, Analysis and Evaluation.
Essays and Essay Plans
This will gradually be populated with more and more essays, please check back for more!
Assess the Marxist View of the Role of Education in Society (20)
Evaluate the view that differences in educational achievement between social groups are the result of factors and processes within schools (30)
Assess the extent to which it is home based factors, rather than in-school factors which explain social class differences in educational achievement (20)
Research Methods in Context – essay template (20)
Assess the Strengths of Using Participant Observation in Social Research (16)
Evaluate the view that the main aim of the family is to meet the needs of capitalism (20)
Assess the reasons for the long term increase in the divorce rate (20)
Evaluate the Contribution of Consensus Theory to Our Understanding of Crime and Deviance (30)
Assess sociological perspectives on prison as a form of punishment (30)
An essay typically consists of a number of paragraphs, and the general paragraph structure in a sociology essay is to make a point, explain it, expand on it, and then analyse/ evaluate it. The points you make will obviously depend on the question you’re being asked, and you’re generally looking to make from 3-5 points in each essay. At least one of these, ideally two should go into some depth, and the paragraphs below have been written to show you how deep you could go into analysing and evaluating just one point within an essay.
An Evaluation of Zero Tolerance Policing – This is an overkill paragraph demonstrating different aspects of ZTP with 6 evaluation points. You might discuss ZTP in response to a question about Realism in general, right realism specifically, policies of crime control, or the role of the police in reducing crime.
10 Mark Questions
Outline and explain two ways in which changes to gender roles have affected diversity of family structures (10)
Outline and analyse two reasons for the formation of subcultures (10)
Outline and analyse some of the ways crime has changed in postmodern society (10)
A Suggested Revision Strategy for A Level Sociology
As I see it – Revision Should be done in Three Stages
Stage One – Planning and Preparation – START FEB HALF TERM (or earlier)
Stage Two – Doing and Learning Summary Revision Notes – Start in Easter Vacation
Stage Three – Reviewing and Hench Exam Practice – Starts Mid-April
Of course there’s no reason why you can’t mix it up and/ or get ahead – these are just suggestions. The more the merrier when it comes to revision. NB don’t forget to eat and sleep.
- Planning/ Preparation for revision
- Know What you Need to know – Keep in mind the main topics and sub topics (know what you need to know) – Ideally stick an A3 copy of the course structure on your wall – keep referring back to it
- Know how you are assessed – Stick an A3 copy of the two exam papers on the wall – keep referring back to them
- Do an overview of a revision timetable – allow enough time to cover every topic at least three times (not including the last week of the exam when you should be constantly reviewing everything)
- Make your own detailed revision notes and memorise them
Construct Summary Revision Notesfor each Sub-Topic write 1-2 pages of revision notes covering the following:
- Intro Blurb – roughly what is it about?
- 3-5 Key points about the sub-topic
- Overall evaluation points – NB these will overlap with other sub-topics!)
- Key concepts/ evidence/ sociologists highlighted
- Exam practice
- Test yourself on short answer questions
- Plan essays using the ‘Intro – PEEC*4 – Overall Evaluations – Conclusion’ structure
- Write essays under timed conditions
- Also look at actual exam papers which will ask you questions which cover two or more topics.
Sociology is the study of human social behaviour and its origin, organisations, developments and institutions. The subject matter on sociology can vary from family to the state, crime to religion, shared beliefs to common culture, division of race and social class or even stability to radical changes in the society and much more.
Unifying these different subjects is sociology’s purpose to make us understand how consciousness and human action are shaped surrounding cultural and social structures.
Sociology offers an interesting and enlightening way of seeing and understanding the social world we live in.
According to the Latin word socius and Greek word Logus. Logus connotes study on a high level and socius points to society. So the etymological meaning of sociology is the “science of society”.
How to Write an Impressive Sociology Essay
Sociology essay writing, is different from other social sciences writing, because it relies heavily on interpretive analysis and statistics.
Analyze the question
The first step is to think which question you are going to answer. Always start with an important sociological question.
Should there be a grey area, do not hesitate to ask your lecturer.
Remember all sociological papers must be supported by facts and documentation.
Quantitative data are generally numbers, example surveys and census can be a good source of such information.
Qualitative data is usually based on interviews or the researcher’s own opinion.
Read, read and read
Sociology course needs a lot of reading. For your essay to get that well deserved high grade,make note of all important points that will relate to your essay. Take good notes and remember sociology is about concepts.
Organize your material
Ensure everything you need is organised in a way which will make you write efficiently. The assignment guidelines should always be reviewed from time to time to ensure that you do not stray from the subject matter.
The Body of the Sociology Essay
You should outline what the topic is all about. Make an argument statement to open up on the essay. Review briefly what you will do on the paper in line with the argument statement or the thesis statement.
First theme,second theme and third theme
Articulate in depth the topics or ideas you will cover.
This is where you analyze from a variety of perspectives. Outline modes of analysis and any factual findings.
Draw your ending points based on the research, reiterate briefly on the body of the essay. This is also the best time to give your own opinion.
List of 100 Sociology Essay Topics
- What are the causes and concerns on youth addiction to alcohol?
- Is homosexuality rampart with the youth? Is this a crucial warning to the society?
- What has caused increase of youth crimes in our society?
- What are the factors leading to an increase in suicidal tendencies in the youth?
- Does the TV show “16 and pregnant” promote early pregnancy?
- Should marriage age be 21 and over?
- Can one be allowed to change the family name once they reach 18 or should the parents be involved in court?
- How is the youth representation in the media industry in your country?
- Have celebrities influenced the youth to live unrealistic lives?
- Is social networking the new millennium in the youth of today?
Gender and Stereotype
- Boys are raised knowing “boys don’t cry” do you think this has made them bottle up emotions making them more violent?
- Is the woman less privileged in the society today?
- Are career women better mothers?
- Is beauty perceived more than intelligence in this society?
- What is the effect of racial stereotyping?
- Have the transgender society been fully welcomed?
- Does anorexia affect mostly women?
- Is there gender bias? Are women treated differently in workplaces, social places etc?
- Gender stereotype in relationships. Is a lady allowed to propose marriage?
- Are senior bachelor’s taken serious by the society?
Check out : proposal essay topics
- Has the society surrendered culture to technology?
- Has modern technology made the society better?
- Who are the users of facebook, twitter, instagram and why prominence in the group.
- What social change has technology brought along?
- Is technology a blessing or curse?
- Alienation and technology in today’s social fabric.
- Did biomedical policy in Brazil reduce mortality?
- Nothing at all escapes technology discuss societal point of view.
- Has social media promoted narcissism in today’s society?
Nationality and Ethnicity
- What makes up a patriot?
- How does ethnicity affect social class?
- Is there a position of multi ethnic people in the society?
- What is the correlation between race and ethnicity?
- What is the moral side of ethical people in the society?
- How should we encourage our society to have good morals?
- Do people with bad morales commit more crimes?
- Should cultural pluralism be encouraged today?
- How have social movements affected the evolution of social norms?
- How can social violence be stopped?
- Does marriage bring change to an individual?
- Is race and ethnicity associated with particular family structures?
- Does the family structure influence societal experience and development?
- Gay culture has been trending for a while, has it divided the the family outfit?
- Does family make who we are? Does our thought process and ideologies heavily rely on the opinion of the ones we live with?
- Is there a difference between personal responsibility and social responsibility?
- Is today’s society more materialistic?
- Are live in marriages better in today’s world?
- Dual career families, do the children feel forgotten?
- Has the society accepted single parenting?
Cults and Communities
Study the following groups which have the same belief and their effect on the society either in this modern age or before.
- Ku Klux Klan
- Branch Davidians
- Aum Shinrikyo in Japan
Social Movements and Revolutions
This social movement could be current or historical expound the effect on the social fabric.
- French Revolution
- The tea party
- Anti nuclear movement
- American India movement
- Disability rights
- Civil rights
- Human rights
- Gay rights
Beliefs and Rituals
- Astrology and its positive or negative impact on the society.
- Is astrology science or religion?
- Cannibalism history and impact on the people.
- What are the equivalent of taboos in today’s modern society?
- Why was some superstitions around sports taken seriously?
- What are the common taboos in the American society?
- Did the European folklore have superstitions and how did it impact the society?
- What rituals did the traditional American have before a game?
- What is the conflict between taboo and religion.
- Expound three sociological perspective in regards to religion.
- Is journeying towards sustainable consumption viable in the modern society?
- What are the ethical concerns for the environment on consumer choices?
- How green is the city you live in?
- Importance of neighbourhoods getting together in a quest of sustainable energy.
- Is planetary interest a new concept for global age?
- What are the psychological effects on children and war?
- Did Sierre Leone protect its children from being child soldiers?
- How is the family creating a safe place, to avoid child sexual abuse?
- Children and criminality are they the victim or perpetrator?
- What is the best approach to child and family welfare?
- Rich democracies, poor people, how does politics explain poverty?
- Effects of multidimensional poverty in a country.
- Is the American dream a fad or reality?
- Discuss minimum wage and the social policy.
- Explain two moralities of the minimum wage and its impact on the people.
- The social psychology consumer behaviour.
- The difference in buying habits in baby boomers and generation Y.
- In modern society does the consumer have knowledge and power?
- Does lifestyle segmentation reach the new consumer in the US?
- Green consumer behaviour is taking shape in our society is it sustainable?
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