Predictions for Philosophy 2018 (First and Second Year)

untitled.pngI am starting to think that my students think I am Mystic Meg and have God on speed dial giving me inside tips. Because if I had a pound for every time I have been asked for my predictions over the years I could have paid for a luxury holiday to Barbados with a yacht…and cocktails.

The simple answer is – “I have no idea!” Why? Because this is the first time the full A Level has been sat. This means there are no previous questions to rule out and no lessons to be learnt. We are all going in blind!

First Year:

It is slightly easier this year as we have one round of questions and the examiner’s feedback  (see: Examiner’s Report 2017: What can we learn?).

Last year’s question paper:


Now don’t get excited! This does not mean that Cosmological, Problem of Evil and Soul, Mind and Body won’t be on this year but it certainly is quite unlikely. However examiners love curve balls so they might throw one in just to catch you off guard. So you might for example get a question specifically on John Hick’s POE for example.

However I am thinking:

  • Religious Experience
  • Teleological (maybe worded with ‘fallacies’)
  • Aristotle
    (Why these? – Clear questions can be asked on these areas that are doable with one year’s worth of knowledge. Examiners want to test your understanding but not make it impossibly hard).

Second Year:

This is the mock paper I set for my students:mock pThere are 11 possible topic areas with at least 5 possible questions per topic. What this means is that predicating the questions is impossible. Questions like the ones I set above test a wide range of knowledge from the students, which is what the examiners want to do. If they ask very narrow or closed questions it will be more challenging to show off a spectrum of understanding.

So I am thinking:

  • Religious Experience: if it is not on the first year paper it could very easily be on the second year as there are so many questions that can be asked that all students can approach but also for the top ability to really shine.
  • Religious Language: might be an open ‘RL is meaningless’ or specific question like the one above but I think it will be there. Students generally don’t like this area so examiners often like to ask at least one question that is not seen as ‘popular’.
  • One on the Arguments for the Existence of God: thinking this might be quite open looking at ‘fallacies’ or like the Q I set above.
  • POE or Nature of God: Students always find both of these topics challenging so would test student’s capabilities.

Now I know your thinking ‘well that doesn’t take out much then’ but maybe that’s the point- You MUST revise everything! Yes maybe revise some areas really really well but you cannot ignore any topics.

Examiners try very hard to limit the predictability of their question papers. What this means is = I might be completely wrong (I do not often say that either!) So please do revise all areas and elements in order to guarantee your success.

See Panic “My Exam is Tomorrow!” Must Read for Philosophy (1st and 2nd Year) for my last minute tips for the exam.

Essay writing support check out: Step by Step to help with essay structure. Also Going for Gold: Achieving that A* and  “But I am evaluating!”… or are you just describing?.


Good Luck!

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 (for a small charge):

philo pack                   Philo Rev Pack

To test your content knowledge check out:

KKE          booklet

Show Off!

You have one opportunity to show everything you have worked for over the past two years. The examiners can only mark what you write, they never see the homeworks, discussions or stresses.

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