GCSE question stem guidance: The making of America

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Anwen Brown
GCSE question stem guidance: The making of America
Main Subject
Key stage
Exam board
Depth/Period studies: 19th century America
Resource type
Exam preparation

Exam tips, question stems and sentence starters for the OCR B (Schools History Project) period study 'The making of America, 1789–1900'.

The resource consists of four one-page guides, each covering one of the question types in the GCSE history exam:

  • one-mark questions
  • nine-mark summary questions
  • 10-mark questions on reasons, causes and impacts
  • 18-mark 'How far do you agree?' questions.

The advice for question 4/5 reminds students how to organise a long response into paragraphs.

An extract from the guidance for question 3:

Period study

Q3: The making of America, 1789–1900

Tests ability to explain clearly

Typical question stems:

  • ‘Why …?’
  • ‘Why did …?’
  • ‘What was the impact of …?’
  • ‘What caused …?’
  • ‘Why do you think …?’
  • ‘How much …?’
    (10 marks)
  • Take care to stick to any date range in the question – in the tail of the question.
  • Use connectives to link parts of your explanation – ‘this was due to’, ‘therefore’, ‘because of this …’.
  • Aim to make three main points (each with its own paragraph), supported with evidence.

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