Scheme of assessment
Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at aqa.org.uk/pastpapers
This specification is designed to be taken over one or two years.
This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.
AS exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2018 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.
All materials are available in English only.
Our AS exams in Politics include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:
- recall information
- draw together information from different areas of the specification
- apply their knowledge and understanding in practical and theoretical contexts.
Our AS exams in Politics include four broad question types.
6 mark questions require students to explain different political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues prescribed in the specification. Students should support their explanation(s) with relevant examples drawn from the course of study and develop their explanation(s) to show their understanding.
12 mark extract based questions require students to analyse political information, evaluating what concept, idea or theory it most expresses and what concept, idea or theory it is less descriptive of. Students should use their knowledge and understanding of the issue to analyse and evaluate the argument(s) put forward. The political information used in examinations may take the form of political publications, government publications, newspaper extracts, manifestos, visual material and data.
25 mark essay questions require students to analyse and evaluate a given statement using their knowledge and understanding of the issue under discussion. The question may draw from different sections of the specifications, requiring students to identify and substantiate parallels, connections, similarities and differences between aspects of politics studied. The answer should take the form of a structured and balanced argument, maintaining a sustained line of reasoning, communicating with relevance, clarity and coherence and leading to a reasoned conclusion.
Courses based on this specification must encourage students to:
- develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, within the United Kingdom (UK)
- develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes
- develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics
- develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups
- develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements.
- develop and interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.
Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all AS Politics specifications and all exam boards.
The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.
- AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues.
- AO2: Analyse aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences.
- AO3: Evaluate aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments, make substantiated judgements and draw conclusions.
Assessment objective weightings for AS Politics
|Assessment objectives (AOs)||Component weightings (approx %)||Overall weighting (approx %)|
|Overall weighting of components||100||100|
The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.
|Component||Maximum raw mark||Scaling factor||Maximum scaled mark|
|Total scaled mark:||98|