Aiming for A/A* in AQA A-Level Psychology

Course Code:


This new course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future AQA A-level Psychology examinations. The course will explore the characteristics of A/A* students identified in research and why and how we have to challenge our most able psychology students. Focused extensively on evidence-based teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent exams, you will leave with a vast range of resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your most able students and ultimately increase A and A* grade attainment. Finally, we will look beyond the course to focus on preparing these students to continue studying psychology at university.


  • Increase awareness of what teacher should aim to achieve with the most able Psychologists
  • Gain the latest evidence-based practice that challenges A/A* students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in Grade A/A* responses
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and electronic resources for your most able students
  • Learn how to develop resilience so that talented psychology students achieve their A/A* potential
  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions


Challenging our most able students

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Who are our most able students?
  • Why do we have to challenge our most able students?
  • How are A/A* Grades achieved?



10.45 – 11.00am

Focus on assessment demands for A/A* students

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Examine the assessment demands of all components including the use of assessment objectives as a framework for assessment
  • Consider the most effective models for delivery of the course to ensure effective assessment
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the most recent exam. What is required for A/A*?
  • Analysis of mark schemes – which sections/questions differentiated candidates?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Key attributes of Grade A/A* students in the classroom
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A/A* grade?

The key challenges for A/A* students in Paper 3

12.00 – 1.00pm
  • Embedding synopticity throughout the course to develop deep understanding of core psychological concepts
  • Supporting students to write top band issues and debates essays
  • Developing a personalised approach to note taking to support recall
  • Applying psychology concepts to consistently write top band evaluation
  • Activating prior knowledge to improve retention of paper 3 topic areas



1.00 – 2.00pm

Stretching and Challenging the most able students

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Moving on from GCSE approaches – encouraging students to become sensitive readers
  • Using wider reading to prepare for exams
  • The value of context – using who?/what?/when?/why? questions to push students
  • What makes a strong A-Level response? How can we build up to this?
  • Working up to full essay questions, and using them to stretch students
  • Planning with and designing support for students aiming for top grades
  • Extra-curricular ideas that help get A and A* grades

Tactics for achieving the highest grades

3.00 – 3.30pm
  • Develop an action plan for success for students aiming for top grades
  • The shorter questions: what are the potential pitfalls?
  • Focus on the extended questions and essays: what does a grade A/A* candidate need to do?
  • Varying response practice to stretch the most able
  • Revision ideas to help students produce high grade essays


London | Wednesday 13 December 2023
London | Wednesday 06 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Wednesday 13 December 2023
London | Wednesday 06 March 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Emma Shakespeare is a highly experienced and innovative classroom practitioner, with over 10 years in leading departments and faculties. She is currently an assistant principal in a sixth form college, an SLE and a Chartered Teaching and Research Psychologist. Emma has presented for the Association of Teaching Psychology, National Science Learning Centre and is a very popular Course Leader for Keynote. She combines her wealth of experience or both teaching and leadership with cutting edge research to deliver high quality training for educators.


  • Heads of Social Science
  • Heads of Psychology
  • Teachers of A level Psychology


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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