Exam 2022: Everything you need to know!

What a surprise! I had been expecting a vague, undecipherable message from OCR about the 2022 exams that raised more questions than it answered. So what a shock when the news filtered down that not only had topics been removed but the guidelines were pretty much as clear as they could be. I felt like I had been hit by a train of emotions: elated that the students have some compensation for a tough year, mournful of the topics lost such as Liberation Theology and Pluralism (which make for really good essays), grateful that for the first time in two years I actually feel like I can plan and have direction and then the stress hit…there will be an exam and we need to be ready!! So after having some time to process the news, here is everything you need to know about your exam:


Topics to revise for the examTopics that will not be mentioned on the exam
AristotleBody, Mind and Soul
TeleologicalReligious Experience
CosmologicalReligious Language
Problem of EvilReligious Language 20th century
Nature of God 

What to watch out for:

  • You might get a comparison question between Plato and Aristotle e.g The Form of the Good is more convincing than the Prime Mover.
  • You might get a question asking about arguments from observation where you can discuss both Teleological and Cosmological approaches.
  • Knowing details and facts about evolution and the big bang will help develop evaluation.
  • God of gaps, burden of proof, verification principle, language game, reductionism all act as extended evaluation possibilities.
  • Keep control over a Nature of God answer as there is a lot you could write e.g if the Q asks for the attribute of eternal stick with eternal not the other attributes.
  • Know your key words for POE and who argues what. Also make sure you know the difference between logical and evidential.


Topics to revise for the examTopics that will not be mentioned on the exam
Meta EthicsBusiness Ethics
Euthanasia (need Natural Law and situation Ethics) 
Sex Ethics (need Natural Law, Situation Ethics, Kant and Utilitarianism) 

What to watch out for:

  • First of all I am frustrated they added in Sex Ethics! Without sex ethics you would not have to have revised Kant and Utilitarianism. Instead they should have added in Natural Law or Situation Ethics as you need to learn these to potentially apply to euthanasia.
  • Euthanasia and Sex ethics are application topics. What this means is that whilst you will not get a question specifically on Kant for example you might get a questions asking for a Kantian perspective on sex ethics. You could also get a completely broad question on both sex ethics and euthanisa e.g ‘quality of life is more important than sanctity of life’ but even a question like this it is worth knowing NL and SE to make links across and plump out an essay.
  • Application essays are some of the hardest to write as you are juggling more than one topic so it is worth practicing these as part of your revision.
  • Do not discredit Meta ethics as it is an easier topic to score high marks on because the evaluation is inbuilt through comparing the approaches together, easy enough to remember, it is just a little dull.

Christian Thought:

Topics to revise for the examTopics that will not be mentioned on the exam
Knowledge of God (Natural and Revealed Theology)St Augustine
Person of JesusDeath and Afterlife
Moral Action (Bonhoeffer)Moral Principles
Gender and TheologyPluralism (Theology and Society)
 Gender and Society
 Liberation Theology

What to watch out for:

  • Overall thoughts are the topics are a bit flat. A lot from the first year, which I happened to teach all in lockdown but that can’t be helped. It is just frustrating that the second year topics have so much more substance and bite to them which works well in essays.
  • So bored of seeing Moral Action on the exam – Bonhoeffer has been on pretty much every paper since the new spec changes.
  • Liberation Theology is worth knowing for links with Person of Jesus and Bonhoeffer.
  • Moral Principles is a good one for synoptic links too – pick up a few key words like Sola Scriptura that could be used in Revealed Theology for example.
  • Watch Gender and Theology it is an immense topic and you run the risk of over describing or going on a rant away from the Q – a deceivingly difficult topic to answer in 40 minutes.

Final Pointers:

  • There is no room for mistakes.
  • Make sure you know each topic inside out.
  • Wider reading is advised.
  • Know recent events especially within Euthanasia and Sex Ethics.
  • The exam board has made your revision easier so do not miss any of the topics out that you are expected to know- that would be a risky move if you did.
  • Read over the other topics not on the exam to develop synoptic links and a more holistic understanding of the course (= higher marks).
  • You might get more than one question on the same topic (unlikely but possible).

Overall thoughts:

It is worth mentioning that whilst revision has been made easier, this will not necessarily make the exam easier. You still have to answer 3 out of 4 questions, in full essay format, with all the usual components to score within the top bands. It is also worth remembering that with any exam there will be grade boundaries which fluctuate each year depending on the marks awarded within the cohort of students. What this means is that what constitutes a B grade one year (based on the marks given for the paper) might not get a B grade the year after. All students cannot be awarded high grades so you are still competing for those top marks and with fewer topics to revise there is no room for error.

Support video:

Playlist of support videos (from exam stress, to revision techniques, to essay writing development and topic explanation):

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