I have to admit I haven’t been very impressed with the exam questions so far. Yes they are fair questions (minus the use of the word ‘analyse’ in Aristotle as I have never seen that before in OCR) and the wording of them is generally straight forward (if not a bit long winded in parts) but I feel that the examiners are trying so hard to limit the predictability of the questions they are missing out on a wealth of other topics and questions that would still test the cohort properly. There are so many questions that could be asked, that predicting the questions is slim to none but then to ask the same two topics from last year on the ethics paper (conscience and meta) I think is a bit frustrating.
So once again, with this in mind, prepare yourself for anything! Revise all areas as best as you can (I know there is A LOT for DCT). One thing that is interesting to point out from the first year’s question paper (other than Bonhoeffer making a third appearance – the examiners must be getting bored of marking them!) is the specific question on the biblical story of the Sheep and the Goats. My advice is make sure you know all the biblical stories and references made by the examiners on the spec i.e Ephesians.
So let’s have a look at the questions so far over the years (please see this year’s questions at the bottom of the first column).
Missing areas from the second year exams are: both pluralism, gender and society, liberation, Augustine, death and afterlife, natural and revealed and moral principles. However as we have seen in both Philosophy and Ethics this year, what is missing and what has already been asked gives us absolutely no indication of what the examiners might ask this year. All we know is that they are not going to ask the exact same questions again. Just to be on the safe side I have broke down each topic area into potential questions:
Augustine: General Augustine or around Grace
Death and Afterlife: Heaven or hell
Natural and Revealed: Question around ‘Only revealed theology not natural’
Person of Jesus: Human vs divine
Moral Principles: Question around ‘The Bible as the only authority for Christian ethical principles’
Moral Action: Costly Grace/ Discipleship
Pluralism and Society: Any area. Could be on Scriptural reasoning or interfaith dialogue or something more general such as ‘Christians should have a mission to those of no faith’. Make sure you know the Catholic Church: Redemptoris Missio 55–57 and the Church of England: Sharing the Gospel of Salvation.
Pluralism and Theology: Any area. Could be something around ‘salvation’ (e.g. Jesus is the only way to salvation).
Gender and Society: Any area. Make sure you look at Ephesians 5:22–33 and Mulieris Dignitatem 18–19. Could be something around whether Christian teachings should resist secular views or how secular views have affected Christian teachings.
Gender and Theology: Reuther or a Daly/ Reuther comparison
Liberation and Marxism: Any area. This is a huge topic so be ready for anything e.g. Preferential option for the poor, ideas around structural sin and alienation or if a Christian theology should engage with an atheistic ideology.
Secularisation: Specific i.e Freud, Dawkins or Humanism
If it was me I would ask questions on the areas in bold…but I don’t seem to be on the same wave length as the examiners this year!
All I can say is Good Luck! This is your final chance to shine and show the examiners two years of hard work!
Check out: Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Christian Thought (1st and 2nd Year) which might help too 🙂