GCSE question stem guidance: The Elizabethans

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Anwen Brown
GCSE question stem guidance: The Elizabethans
Main Subject
Key stage
Exam board
British studies: Elizabethan England
Resource type
Exam preparation

Question stems, sentence starters and exam techniques for the GCSE OCR B (Schools History Project) British depth study on the Elizabethans.

These four one-page guides provide tips and typical question stems for each of the question types in the OCR GCSE history exam:

  • three-mark analysis questions
  • five-mark further research questions
  • 12-mark similarities and differences questions
  • 20-mark 'How far do you agree?' questions.

The advice for question 7 recaps the PANDA technique, and the guidance for question 8/9 summarises how to structure an essay.

An extract from the third page:

British depth study

Q7: The Elizabethans, 1580–1603

Tests ability to explain how and why
two interpretations differ

Typical question stem:

  • ‘Interpretations B and C both focus on … How far do they differ and what might explain any differences?’                                                                              (12 marks)
  • Refer clearly to both interpretations.
  • Consider:

P - Purpose

A – Author/Audience

N – Nature (type of source)

D – Date

A - Accuracy (context).   


  • Two parts – how they differ (content) and why they differ (provenance).
  • Consider both similarities and differences.
  • Consider whether one is more positive and one more negative.

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