This course is predominantly aimed at paper 1 and paper 2 content and will focus on key challenging topics that are trickier to teach and which students traditionally struggle with.

It will focus on what outstanding achievement looks like in terms of assessment objectives from the specification. The course will outline the most up to date guidance in how to teach and prepare students for the 2021 exams.

The day will focus on the 4 topic areas that make up the Foundations of Psychology; Social, Cognitive, Biological Psychology and Learning Theories and will look at the content across Paper 2 (Applications of Psychology).   Delegates will have the chance to share good practice, ideas and strategies from their current teaching.

Delegates will be sent out some exemplar exam responses to mark before the course which will then be reviewed during the course. This will help teachers calibrate their own marking to the examiner standard.


  • Understand and evaluate lessons learnt from previous A level exams
  • Develop your approaches to teaching the A Level to produce outstanding student achievement
  • Enhance your understanding of applying the assessment objectives in your planning
  • Engage with and interpret the mark schemes
  • Learn how to adapt your teaching for student success
  • Understand examiner insight and teaching ideas to raise student attainment for the 2021 exams
COURSE DATES  Online | Thursday 25 March 2021
  • All teachers of Edexcel A level Psychology
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


10.00 – 10.15am
Discussion about changes and challenges in response to impact of Covid  

  • Changes to 2021 exam series and other impacts on preparing for paper 1 & 2 this year

10.15 – 11.15am
Key challenges – Lessons to learn from previous exams

  • Using the key messages from the examiners reports to help adapt your teaching; in particular getting to grips with ‘logical chains of reasoning ‘, balanced conclusions and ‘competing arguments’ as these are still misunderstood by some centres
  • The A02 challenge: How candidates can meet the requirements for the frequent stimulus type questions to achieve full marks

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.30pm
Paper 1: Foundations of Psychology – the trickier topics

  • Addressing the number of 8-mark questions, problems with writing too much, and the inevitable running out of time on paper one that candidates have faced over each of the last few years
  • Dealing with Pearson exclusives; Practicals and Key Questions. How to prepare for these throughout the year, deciding which ones to choose and which ones to avoid, and how these are assessed by examiners
  • How to maximise marks on the two Issues and Debates essays in Section E, using synoptic thinking and translating this into effective writing
  • Model answers and marking exercise with feedback

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.45pm
Paper 2 Applications of Psychology – the trickier topics

  • Clinical Psychology – how to get to level 5 on the compulsory 20-mark essay; effective revision for the compulsory questions on the methods section; dealing with the classic and contemporary studies in enough depth getting the clinical practical investigation right.
  • Maximising marks on the Criminal, Health and Child options
  • Model answers and marking exercise with feedback

2.45 – 3.00pm: Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.45pm
Assessment – What are the examiners looking for

  • How to score big on the E.A.T. essays (Evaluate /Assess /To what extent) to ensure your students are prepared for these and can differentiate between these skills
  • Forming judgements and making mini conclusions throughout your work rather than just at the end to demonstrate level 4 criteria in the mark schemes

Ali Abbas

Ali is a regular speaker at Educational Conferences and has been providing INSET to schools and colleges nationally, and now internationally since 2003 and was a key speaker at the Visible Learning World Conference, Edinburgh 2019 and the Aspire Psychology Conference, Dubai 2019. Ali is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (FCIEA) and is a published author at A level and GCSE Psychology. He has taught for nearly 20 years and was a Principal Examiner with 13 years’ experience in writing Psychology exam papers and awarding grades for a major exam board, he was also part of the team that wrote the current A level specification