Keynote Educational


Pearson/Edexcel A-Level History: Preparing all your students for exam success in 2023

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This course is designed for all teachers looking to ensure their students achieve their best in the summer 2023 Pearson/Edexcel A Level History exams. The course focuses on methods by which student responses to the differing types of questions they will face in their examinations 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. 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. The characteristics of excellent essays that move away from description at Level 2 and towards judgement of the higher levels will be exampled, with opportunity given for teachers to scrutinise exam-type responses using marking descriptors and levels. This course is up to the minute and will respond to any changes in the examination series.


  • Gain an insight into the different forms of exam questions on all exam papers
  • Develop an understanding of the reasons why students can under-perform when answering exam questions
  • Examine how to maximise success in Question One, Paper 3.
  • Take away easily applicable strategies that will enable students to produce better quality answers to all forms of exam questions
  • Explore means of producing higher-level responses to essay and long-answer questions
  • Gaining an insight into the marking of exam-type responses
  • Example extended A-level questions: how to prepare students to get the most possible marks

The 2022 Exam – Reflections and Approaches

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Feedback from the 2022 exam: what is it essential to be aware of?
  • Discussion of the challenges experienced by all candidates in 2022
  • How to engage students in the content of the course, and how to maximise their focus on what brings the most reward in examinations
  • Reflections on the mark scheme from 2022 and what this means moving into 2023

The different forms of exam questions and what the examiners are looking for in 2023

10.30 – 11.15am
  • An examination of the precise demands of the different question types
  • Developing a skills-based curriculum and an appreciation of the precise demands of the exam papers, especially in relation to thematic responses
  • Focus on Issues & debates questions
  • The difference between interpretation, assertion and fact.
  • Deconstructing the mark scheme and devising a programme of gradual skills progression on analysis and evaluation of interpretation over the whole course.
  • Integrating knowledge into evaluation of interpretation. Examples of outstanding practice in previous exam cycles.


11.15 – 11.30am

Why students underperform when answering exam questions

11.30 – 12.15pm
  • Common mistakes students make when answering questions and why they make them.
  • Feedback from previous exam cycles.
  • Exploring strategies to improve student performance on all types of questions
  • Strategies to stretch and challenge students of different levels of capability


12.15 – 1.15pm

Focus on essay skills for the long answer questions

1.15 – 2.45pm
  • How to support students to access the top grades
  • Examine how to maximise success in Question One, Paper 3.
  • Explore means of producing higher-level responses to essay and long-answer questions
  • Example extended A-level questions: preparing students to get the most possible marks
  • Examiner guidance and examples of outstanding, top-level, A* responses
  • Perfecting the analysis and evaluation of key features of the period as demanded at Level 6.
  • Components of effective answers
  • Encouraging students to reach Level 5 and 6 in substantiated judgement, balanced argument and the effective expression of academic opinion.
  • Approaches to ensuring students achieve the level of skills needed to select and apply appropriate knowledge while at the same time integrating this knowledge within a coherent line of reasoning.


2.45 – 3.00pm

Exams: Tactics for achieving the highest grades

3.00 – 3.30pm
  • The shorter questions: what are the potential pitfalls?
  • Varying commentary practice to stretch the most able
  • Use of peer-marking, sample answers, and re-writes to help students understand how to improve
  • Revision ideas to help students produce high grade essays
  • Crunch time: last minute revision advice and preparation on how to nail the top grades


London | Thursday 08 December 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.


Paul Graham has ten years’ experience working in secondary schools, leading successful History departments and a Humanities faculty. He has a proven track record of success in curriculum development and the issues that leaders must face when devising creative, challenging and thought-provoking schemes of work throughout the Key Stages. He has worked extensively with new and existing staff on various aspects of professional development and has a great deal of experience in running training sessions as well as coaching and mentoring staff in his department A current examiner for Pearson/Edexcel, he has a thorough understanding of what makes a strong response to different exam questions and has developed a range of activities to help students improve their exam performance. He is particularly interested in developing students’ independent learning skills, encouraging curiosity and critical thinking and giving students the confidence to prepare for exam success with effective revision.


  • All teachers of Pearson/Edexcel A Level History
  • Teachers looking to improve exam results
  • Heads of History
  • Heads of Humanities


  • All teachers of AQA A Level History
  • Teachers looking to improve exam results
  • Heads of History
  • Heads of Humanities

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