IGCSE History
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Exams and Revision

IGCSE History Exams

Mr Jones-Nerzic's top revision topics for May 2004!

What is going to be on the exam Paper 1 for 2004? Unfortunately neither I nor any other teacher can tell you. However, I do know what has been on the exam paper since 2000 (International Relations and Germany) and I know what the syllabus says! Examiners are keen to make sure all parts of the syllabus are covered and even after 8 exam papers not everything has been. See past paper patterns for International Relations and Germany and then look closely at the syllabus, especially the 'specified content'.

A Jones-Nerzic Health Warning: Exam question spotting can seriously damage your grades!

International Relations 1919-91 

There will be five topics that you might be able to do and you will need to be able to answer two questions. The most important thing is to answer the question set (ATBQ). Therefore it is very important that you understand the question set. If you have any doubts about meaning, leave the question well alone. Unless the question is identical to a question you have prepared in advance, do not be tempted to use a pre-prepared answer

  • What caused the First World War has been on every exam paper as question 4 since this new syllabus began in 2000. I suppose it has to be missing at some point but this would be a very unpopular decision. For the 5 and 7 mark question can you answer all the previous questions? What has not been asked previously? (This is also worth asking of all the topics below) The 8 mark question always requires an evaluation of one factor as a cause of war. Germany's fault has been identified twice in past papers including last time. Because this is such a predictable question expect the examiners to add a twist to the question. If in doubt do not attempt.
  • Versailles was on last May but LoN was on last November, you should expect a question on one or a mixture of the two. 
  • Causes of WWII is almost as popular as causes of WWI and only came up as a part question last summer. Remember the 6 factors which caused the war? All of the factors have been covered in the 8 mark question except Nazi Soviet Pact and the Depression. As with the WWI question expect the examiners to include a more difficult question to make you think. (e.g. the 'Hitler was a gambler' question in May 2003)
  • Cold War blame is the subject of Paper 2 (1945-7 only) this summer and will have to be revised for this reason. 
  • Vietnam was on last summer, Cuba last November. Maybe Cuba this summer or neither this time?
  • USSR and Eastern Europe has not been on the paper since May 2002. Not a popular topic but this could be its year. A pity we haven't had time to study it fully.
  • UNO was on last summer and is not popular. This is one of the reasons we didn't study it. 

My prediction for May 2004

  1. WWI again. This time the focus on Russia or Britain's responsibility or perhaps colonialism? But look out for a tricky question.
  2. League of Nations 1920s mixed with Versailles?
  3. Causes of WWII mixed with LoN (see Nov 2002)? Pay particular attention to Nazi-Soviet pact, depression and appeasement.
  4. Cuba.
  5. USSR and Eastern Europe.

Should you only revise these topics? Absolutely not. There are 7 topics (key questions) in this part of the syllabus. You should insure you have thoroughly revised at least 4 and preferably 5 topics. You should also revise the whole of topic 3, 'Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?'. This is an important topic, a topic we have spent a long time on and a topic you should do well.

Germany 1919-45

With Germany it is much more difficult to select the topics that are most useful to revise. It is therefore important that your revision covers everything. There will be only two questions and you will only need to answer only one of them. Something on Weimar has come up regularly and is obviously popular but will it come up again? If it does, note that there has never been a question on Weimar culture even though this is a 'focus point' and specified content.

My prediction for May 2004

  1. Hitler's rise to power. Perhaps going back to the 1920s? There has never been a direct question on the impact of the Depression and period after Hitler became Chancellor until he became Fuhrer has been little touched upon. Reichstag fire has never been mentioned. 
  2. Coercion, persuasion and consent. Print out and learn your completed table thoroughly. The question of 'totalitarianism' has never been examined and neither has economic policy including re-armament. 

Click here to see what the  paper might look like!

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