How to ace Alevels sociology and psychology

by Maryam Ali

Psychology (9990) and Sociology (9699) are two of the most popular social science subjects. Sociology discusses characteristics that not only make up a society, but also contribute to its operation. Psychology, on the other hand, concentrates on an individual’s behaviour and thoughts. Even though there is no doubt that most of the individuals that choose these disciplines find them intriguing, they are tough to study for. So, here are five tips to help you ace these two subjects if you are an A-level student:

Read, read, and then read again!

Both of these subjects are theoretical, which means that to have a good grip on the content, one needs to have an in-depth understanding of each topic. This comes from reading. You need to familiarise yourself with the main content, such as the common books your teachers or classmates recommend you. A pro tip: have additional content. This tip is especially great for Sociology, as you are required to write detailed answers in your CAIEs. Websites such as ReviseSociology can come in handy for this. Moving onto Psychology, you might not need a lot of extra content here, but reading is still a prerequisite to scoring a good grade in this subject. For that, stick to reading the original articles for each core study in AS. The book suffices for a good revision of each study. For A2 psychology, the book Psychology Coursebook (by Julia Russell, Fiona Lintern, and Lizzie Gauntlett, and Jamie Davies) is more than enough to score a good grade


Get Acquainted With The Paper Pattern

The most significant part of your journey with Cambridge requires you to be well acquainted with the paper pattern. This includes the kind of questions that appear along with a predetermined way to answer them. For example, your Psychology exam emphasises on making links back to the question once you’ve mentioned your point in detail. Similarly, there is a PEEL or PEE method used in answering essay questions in both of the subjects. You can find a good explanation of these methods on YouTube. Once you have an idea of how to cater to each question, start attempting past papers.

Create A Time-Table And Track Your Progress

Oftentimes, students find themselves feeling all over the place when it comes to completing the syllabus, especially when it comes to subjects like Sociology and Psychology, since there is a bulk of information to retain. A great way to deal with this anxiety-ridden feeling is to create a timetable for yourself. You can make weekly timetables as well, so it’s easier to cater to your short-term goals. This also helps in tracking your progress so you can plan your study time accordingly.

Know What Each Questions Requires

It is great to invest some time in learning the material for these subjects, but tips and tricks to ace these subjects always help you find an easier way to prepare. Many people find short questions easy to answer, but it’s the essay questions that they have to work harder for, owing to the time constraints. This is why it is critical to have shortcuts to long responses. The design-based question, for example, appears in both AS and A2 Levels exams. These questions can be answered using the four Ws. It might seem a lot of work to remember what to write in your answer, based on different experimental techniques, but the first 3 Ws are usually the same for all of them, i.e: Who, Where, and When. The only aspect that differs among the experimental techniques is ‘What’. So, you should learn accordingly.

Always Take Down Your Notes

Many students hunt for methods to memorise and retain large amounts of information. A good method to achieve this is to make sure you grasp the issue well before taking notes in a simplified manner so you can quickly understand and apply the material. Furthermore, it is beneficial to learn from several sources so that you can consolidate the material in a single place, making it simpler to recall and revise the topic.

Making a timetable and writing your own notes are one of the most effective ways of acing your Sociology and/or Psychology exam. By following these five simple tips, you can easily achieve those top-notch grades you’ve always strived for!


About Mojza

Mojza is a student-led organisation aiming to provide quality resources for Cambridge students.

Other than such weekly blogs, Mojza offers resources for your O levels, IGCSE, and A levels journey, We have notes from reputable teachers, our own original notes and a library of other websites and resources!

Check out our home page!

Published 19 February 2023
Written by Maryam Ali