My tips for last year’s first DCT exam consisted of:
- Use the words in the question throughout your answer
- Add critical words with ‘because’ throughout to emphasize evaluation
- Add as many glossary/ key words as possible and link back to the question.
I can’t promise that I have much more than I did last year as far as advice but this is what I have learnt about the six DCT topics (first year):
- Use the overlap between topics to your advantage e.g. Moral Principles topic on the different interpretations of scripture is very similar to Natural and Revealed Knowledge of God
- Learn 3 quotes (one for a Pope) that can be used in multiple different answers
- Summarize your revision notes into 4-5 main themes per topic (e.g Augustine – Original Sin, Before and after the Fall, Grace and the role of women etc.)
- Learn some extra names that can be used as evaluation (e.g. Dawkins compares belief in God to a teapot in space or belief in the tooth fairy). Don’t forget it is only evaluation when you say who presents the most convincing argument.
- Work out which topic the question is from and how much you can write for that topic area. Do you have enough for at least 2 sides?
Remember the style of questions and material for the DCT topics is different from that of Philosophy and Ethics (well I certainly think it is!) It is more descriptive and presents less arguments to really sink your teeth into. However that is not an excuse to not engage with evaluation. What this means is you have to work harder for it. What I found after last year’s DCT exam was that students tended to do better because they were so aware of the question and the need to evaluate, that they actually emphasized it more than they did in Philosophy and Ethics. Good news!! So don’t stress out, focus on what you are asked and try think of any relevant quotes, names, ideas that you have covered in the DCT topics that you can use in relation to the Q.
Pointers for 2nd year DCT:
- If a question comes up on gender (especially Mary Daly) control yourself. Do not get carried away from the question in a feminist rant. By all means evaluate the views, engage in discussion and judgment, just keep it controlled.
- There is a lot of overlap between the topics and this might make it difficult when working out the topic the question is from. All points that you link back to the Q are deemed relevant and deserving of marks, however I still think it is risky having a question on Pluralism for example and taking it down a secular route rather than mentioning Inclusivism and Exclusivism.
- Make sure you argue something. Pick a point of view on the Q before you start and go for it! (Always remember to present the other side, using language like ‘to an extent’ in order to develop why that approach is wrong and the argument you are presenting works better).
Note: My power points are very intense because they cover everything you could possibly need to get an A grade, so there is lots and lots of information. You DO NOT need to worry about all of this, you just need to focus on understanding the main elements and everything else will flow in the exam.
*Please remember these are the recommendations that I give to my students and do not necessarily coincide with what your teacher may have said*
If you would like a Revision Pack that contains quizzes, glossaries and past exam questions to help structure your revision, click on the image below to be transferred to the shop:
2017 Year One Questions (For my comments check out: Examiner’s Report 2017: What can we learn?)
For support with Philosophy see Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Philosophy (1st and 2nd Year) and Ethics see Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Ethics (First and Second Year)