Keynote Educational


AQA A level Psychology – Insights into improving student performance on Paper 3

Course Code:


This course focuses on methods by which student responses to the differing types of questions they will face in their Paper 3 examination can be improved. All types of exam questions will be considered in terms of their requirements, common mistakes that students make when answering them and strategies to improve the quality of answers produced. Questions based on the Issues & Debates topic will be used as exemplars, due to these being common to all teachers of the AQA specification Focus will be upon knowledge and understanding, as a means of producing higher-level answers, with consideration additionally given to strategies that can be employed by students of differing levels of capability.


  • Gaining an insight into the different forms of exam questions and their requirements
  • Developing an understanding of the reasons why students can under-perform when answering exam questions
  • Taking away easily applicable strategies that will enable students to produce better quality answers to all forms of exam questions
  • Exploring means of producing higher-level responses to essay and long-answer questions
  • Learning how to use skills developed during the study of Paper 3 topics to Papers 1 & 2 topics
  • Gaining an insight into the marking of exam-type responses

The messages from the most recent examiner reports and identifying key areas for improvement

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Extracting the key areas for improvement identified in the examiner reports.
  • Addressing issues with your current cohort
  • Do you students actually know where and how they lose marks?
  • Practical approaches to engaging students in the content of the course and how to maximise their focus on what brings the most reward in examinations


11.00 – 11.15am

A consideration of question types

11.15 – 12.30pm
  • An examination of the different types of exam questions and their requirements
  • Common mistakes students make when answering questions and why they make them
  • Exploring strategies to improve student performance on all types of questions [and for students of different levels of capability]
  • Focus on Issues & debates questions


12.30 – 1.30pm

Methods to approach the longer written responses

1.30 – 2.45pm
  • A question is more than just a text of subject knowledge – how to ensure that students dissect a question correctly
  • The AO1/AO3 ratio: getting students to focus on evaluation
  • Components of effective answers. Do’s and don’ts
  • Elaboration; What is it? Strategies to employ for its creation
  • The effective use of comparison in essay and long-answer responses
  • The incorporation of issues, debates and approaches into essay and long-answer responses
  • Different ways of approaching ‘discuss’ questions for students of different levels of capability
  • Scaffolding methods for different ability levels to boost attainment for all


2.45 – 3.00pm

Marking workshop

3.00 – 3.45pm
  • The use of grade descriptors and levels in the assessment of student answers
  • Making marking decisions when assessing student answers
  • An opportunity [with feedback] to assess student responses to exam-type questions
  • Conclusions to take away


3.45 / 4.00pm


London | Monday 21 November 2022

Please select your preferred date

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.


Jean-Marc Lawton has taught Psychology for over 30 years and has a long history of producing high-attaining and well-motivated students. Jean-Marc has written many best-selling books on the subject and bases his own teaching around practically based learning experiences and the development of student responses to exam-type questions. Jean-Marc has also many years experience working as an examiner in senior positions for several exam boards and so is able to impart valuable guidance on how to [and how not to] write exam answers.


  • Heads of department for delivery of AQA A’ level Psychology
  • Teachers of AQA 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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