Category Archives: Exam Skills

How to answer the 30 Mark Essay Question (Edexcel)

There are four 30 Mark Essay Questions in the three 2-hour exams that you will take at the end of your A-Level course. This means 120 marks, 48% of all available, will be awarded based on the 30 Mark Essay Question. For this reason, it is really important that you are able to tackle it correctly. This post builds upon the following post on the Assessment Objectives:

What are the Assessment Objectives in Edexcel A-Level Politics? | Politics Teaching

What should the overall structure of the 30 Mark Essay Question look like?

It is important to note that there are no set criteria for what a 30 Mark Essay should look like. Examiners are not allowed to look for a certain template. However, this does not mean that there are not ways to approach the question that are better suited to meeting all of the assessment objectives. The two key options are:

  1. A For and Against Approach

A candidate could choose a traditional for and against approach where they start by considering arguments for and against the statement in the question and then consider the arguments against. This approach may allow you to exhibit a wide-range of AO1, however, it is unlikely to lead to strong marks in AO2 and AO3.

2. A Thematic Approach

The best approach for a candidate to take will be a thematic approach. You should look for three themes which you can approach in a balanced way. This will enable clear AO2 and enable you to make consistent judgements across your essay and not just in your conclusion.

What then should the general structure of an essay look like?

Exemplar Question – Evaluate the extent to which direct democracy is unhelpful in Liberal Democracy (30 Marks)

  1. Introduction: An introduction to an A-Level Politics essay has three purposes. Firstly, it sets the tone for your essay and for the examiner reading it. Examiners read many exams per day and, frankly, some of what they read will not be very good. Starting in a positive way is really important and gets them interested in your answer. Showing off some knowledge and being able to define any key terms will help to do this. Secondly, it should lay out the things you will discuss in your essay. By the end of your introduction the examiner should have a clear idea of what your essay will look like. Finally, your introduction should set out the argument that you are going to be putting forward in your essay.

A way to structure this is to remember the mnemonic D.T.A:

D Define any key terms and describe the issue in the question

T – Set out the themes/things you are going to be discussing in your essay

A – Set out the argument you are ultimately going to be presenting throughout your essay.

Introduction example

Direct Democracy refers to a system in which citizens decide directly on policies themselves. In Britain, one example of Direct Democracy is the use of referenda. To answer this question the following needs to be considered: the tyranny of the majority, the dangers of populism, the problems of the representative system and public engagement. Ultimately, although representative democracy has its faults, direct democracy is too easily infiltrated by Populism that can lead to decisions being made that are not in the national interest.

2. Three x Body Sections: You should aim for three sections, each focusing on a particular theme. Within this, you should look explore a point and a counterpoint. At the end of each section, you need to come to a judgement (often called a mini conclusion). It is essential you are making judgements throughout your essay and not just leaving it to the conclusion. You should also look to prioritise your arguments, with your best arguments used first. This means if you run out of time you are doing so on your weakest section. There isn’t a set way to structure within the paragraph, but mnemonic that students have found helpful is:

P.E.A.C.E – Point, Evidence, Analysis, Counterpoint, Evaluation.

Section Example

One reason that it could be argued that more direct democracy should be deployed in the UK is because it encourages participation in the political process. Recent developments of direct democracy in the UK have had the impact of increasing participation in British politics. For example, the e-petitions process has led to public opinion on key political issues being clearly shown – for instance when 6.1 million people signed a petition calling for Brexit to be abandoned. This might influence the policies of political parties (for example the Lib Democrats chose to run on a manifesto of abandoning Brexit). In addition, recent referendums have resulted in significant turnout such as the Scottish Independence Referendum (84%) and the EU Referendum (72%). Increased participation is significant for the political process as it makes any decision that is eventually taken more legitimate. This means that, in terms of increasing participation, direct democracy should be encouraged wherever possible in the UK.

On the other hand direct democracy arguably puts too much power in the hands of people who are not politically well-informed and therefore might not make decisions in the interests of the country. People can be too easily swayed by populism and self-interest. This was seen in the Brexit Referendum of 2016 which was emotionalised and arguably people did not fully understand what they were voting for. It is notable that the most googled term on the day after the Brexit Referendum was ‘what is the EU’. Further to this, not everyone has equal interest in Politics. Direct democracy gives equal say to those with little to no interest as those who have intense interest.  This can lead to political positions in which there is more activism taking precedence at the expense of more moderate positions. This delegitimises the decisions that are taken as they are defined by levels of interest, not levels of expertise. Ultimately, whilst direct democracy may increase participation it does so at the expense of direct expertise at an issue. Whilst representative democracy can be frustrating, it allows for an educated political class to make decisions about complex issues. Therefore, it should be argued that the use of Direct Democracy should be limited.

3. Conclusion: The purpose of a conclusion is to summarise your arguments, to compare their strengths and come to a clear overall judgement. You shouldn’t be adding any extra information in your conclusion, new material should be in the body of your essay. In addition, try not to make it a binary issue, try to consider the extent to which you are making your judgement.

A way to structure this is to remember the mnemonic J.A.R:

J – Make sure you start the conclusion with a clear overall judgement on the question.

A – What is the potential alternative to the judgement that you have come to.

R Return to your judgement and explain why you have decided it is superior to the alternatives.

Conclusion example

There can be no doubt that, although appealing in principle, direct democracy is deeply flawed. In order to make an issue accessible for ordinary systems it has to be simplified, often to the point that it no longer reflects the realities of the issue in question. However, direct democracy can sometimes play a role in supplementing direct democracy, for example, petitions are a useful way of alerting representatives to the issues that matter to their constituents. Yet, ultimately, although limited direct democracy can support a representative system, the normalisation of its use on deciding big issues is dangerous and can lead to political confusion.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I have time to plan my answer?

Yes, and you must do so. Planning your answer is important and will save you time throughout your essay. It also allows you to prioritise your argument and be sure which side of the debate you are going to fall down on.

Q. How long should this take?

You will have around 45 minutes to complete this in your final exams. However, do not worry if it is taking much longer to do this at the moment. It always does and any former A-Level student will tell you it just takes time to get confident under the exam conditions. (That said, practice helps significantly!).

Q. I’ve been told I need to use synoptic points?

There is a requirement to use synoptic points in the 30 Mark Essay Paper for Paper 2: Uk Government. If you do not do this, you cannot get into Level 5. However, Politics is inherently a synoptic subject, and you are likely to be doing this anyway. Just leave time to check at the end of your paper that you have done so.

Some students even underline their synoptic points to highlight them to the examiner. You do not have to this, but there is no harm in doing so.

Q. How important is political terminology?

You should deploy political terminology wherever you can, and some political terminology will make you stand out. For example, you might refer to elective dictatorship or populism. However, remember that political terminology also refers to any language a non-politics student would not know, so you are using political terminology all the time.

An exemplar for a full 30 Mark Essays can be found here: Level 5 Response – Evaluate the view that Parliament is effective at scrutinising the Executive in the UK (30 Marks) | Politics Teaching

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

How to answer the 30 Mark Source Question (Edexcel)

This guidance is for Edexcel exams. Those studying AQA or another board should look elsewhere.

This post should be read in conjunction with the guidance for 30 Mark Essays (Edexcel) posted here. As explained below, most of the principles in the 30 Mark Source Question are the same as that for the 30 Mark Essay.

The 30 Mark Source Question is the one in A-Level Politics that students worry about the most. Some students have studied History at A-Level or GCSE and have a different conception of what is required from a source question and are therefore perturbed by it. However, the source question is far more straightforward that it first seems, and this post aims to explain why that is the case and guide students through how to approach it.

What is the difference between a 30 Mark Essay and a 30 Mark Source Question?

The answer to this question is… very little. This can be seen by looking at the respective mark schemes for the two questions. Below, the differences are highlighted in bold:

AO1 – Knowledge and Understanding

30 Mark Essay Question:

Demonstrates thorough and in-depth knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues, which are effectively selected in order to underpin analysis and evaluation.

30 Mark Source Question:

Demonstrates thorough and in-depth knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues, which are effectively selected in order to underpin analysis and evaluation.

AO2 – Analysis

30 Mark Essay Question:

Perceptive analysis of aspects of politics, with sustained, logical chains of reasoning, which make cohesive and convincing connections between ideas and concepts.

30 Mark Source Question:

Perceptive comparative analysis of political information, with sustained, logical chains of reasoning, drawing on similarities and differences within political information, which make cohesive and convincing connections between ideas and concepts

AO3 – Judgement

30 Mark Essay Question:

Constructs fully relevant evaluation of aspects of politics, constructing fully effective substantiated arguments and judgements, which are consistently substantiated and lead to fully focused and justified conclusions

30 Mark Source Question:

Constructs fully relevant evaluation of political information, constructing fully effective arguments and judgements, which are consistently substantiated and lead to fully focused and justified conclusions

What this shows is that fundamentally examiners are looking for broadly the same skills in a source question compared to an essay question.

Essentially, the source question is a pretty artificial exercise in which students are required to write an essay by going through some hurdles set by the exam board.

What then is the difference between the 30 Mark Essay Question and the 30 Mark Source Question?

The source is just an artificial hurdle for students to overcome.

The only meaningful difference therefore between the 30 Mark Source Question and the 30 Mark Essay question is where the point you are analysing originates.

In a 30 Mark Essay Question you are free to base your arguments around any point that you think is relevant. However, for the source question, all the points you make must originate from the source. This is the artificial hurdle the exam board are placing for what is otherwise an essay question.

How should I approach the Source Question?

Below is a five-stage guide to completing the source question.

Stage 1 – Scan read the sources

It can be very tempting to select which source you will choose to tackle based on the question title alone. As tempting as this is, it isn’t a good idea. It may well be that the question for one source is very inviting, but in fact the content of the source does not offer up clear points for analysis. It may be that whilst a question appears inviting, the content of the source doesn’t present as many clear opportunities to tackle the question. Therefore, it is worth scan reading both the questions first.

Stage 2 – Get three different coloured highlighters and read the source you have selected to tackle

Highlighters won’t show up on your scanned examination script, they are still useful to you though.

In your exam select three different coloured highlighters. Each of these are to highlight a pair of points. Just like in the 30 Mark Essay Question, you are looking for 3 sets of paired arguments i.e. an argument for a point and then another argument that challenges the original point. The source should be written by the exam board in such a way that paired arguments can be selected. Finding pairs of arguments from the source will boost the AO2 marks. The points might not necessarily be near each other in the source, and this is why highlighting them is helpful.

Stage 3 – Rank your arguments

Rank your paired arguments from best to worse. This is important. Most students will not have a chance to write three paired arguments in the source question due to the time constraints and will instead do two. You want to ensure that you are spending your time on the best points which you feel you are best able to expand upon. In addition, the AO3 marks for judgement will be higher if you are able to consider the differing strengths of varying arguments.

Stage 4 – Add some depth to your plans

Just as you would for the 30 Mark Essay question, look to spend some time adding some depth to your plans. Key points, facts, figures, quotes – anything that will help you to develop that argument when it comes.

Stage 5 – Make sure you know what your argument will be

Just as in the 30 Mark Essay question you should know what argument you will be making in your essay.

In the 2022 London Marathon Richard Lee-Wright went viral for sprinting past the professionals at the start of the race. He didn’t win. (Although he still achieved a cracking time!)

It is important to note that whilst you are doing this people around you might already be writing. Do not be perturbed by this – you will make up the time and more later by effectively planning your response. Just because someone sprints at the start of a marathon it doesn’t mean they will win the race.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’ve been told I should not include my own knowledge in the source question, is this correct?

In the words of Margaret Thatcher “No, No, No” and if you do not include your own knowledge, in the words of Tony Blair, your answer will be “weak, weak, weak”. The ideas you should not include your own knowledge is a myth that emerged at the start of the new specification, perhaps as the exam board guidance was not clear enough.

The instruction for the question is: “analyse and evaluate only the information presented in the source”

The mark scheme says: “Marks for analysis (AO2) and evaluation (AO3) should only be awarded where they relate to information in the source.”

Just as in an essay, you must use your own knowledge to analyse the merits of the argument in the source. However, if the knowledge you deploy is not linked to a point in the source, it will not be rewarded.

Q. Do I need three paired points?

The answer to this is no. It is possible for you to achieve Level 5 based on only two points. Realistically you will have a similar amount of time for this question as you will for the 30 Mark Essay Question. However, you will have the added time challenge of having to read the source. Most students will not be able to write three well-developed paired arguments for this question. It is much better to do two well-developed paired points rather than three less well-developed ones.

Q. Do I have to quote from the Source?

No. However, you do need to show the examiner that the points you are using originate from the source. Ideally you should do this at the top of the paragraph and when introducing your counterpoint. But examiners potentially mark 100 answers an evening. They are normally full-time teachers. Some may do multiple papers. Put simply – they are not robots, they are human. Concise quotes are by far the easiest way to show fallible examiners that you are analysing information from the sources.

Q. Do I have to comment on where the source comes from?

Absolutely not. Unlike in a History Source Question, where the source comes from is utterly irrelevant. We are not interested in the provenance of the source. It is simply information being provided to create an artificial hurdle and make the essay harder to write.

Q. What should I do if there is nothing else from the source I can analyse?

It is unlikely that you will be given a source that does not allow you enough arguments to structure your answer, so make sure you read it carefully. However, in the unlikely event that you run out of issues from the source, you can include your own points. You will not be awarded AO2 and AO3 for this – but can be awarded AO1. Therefore, if needed, you can do this.

Q. Do I really have to link the arguments in the source together? Can’t I just do for arguments and then against arguments?

Linking the points from the source together is the best way to ensure you are scoring marks across all the AOs. Selecting a point and counter-point approach allows you to demonstrate AO2 and then using mini-conclusions consistently throughout your answer allows you to demonstrate AO3.

Q. How do I get evaluation marks?

Just like in the 30 Mark Essay question you should be outlining your argument in your introduction and then consistently using mini-conclusions to show you are making judgements throughout your essay. Your conclusion should be a synthesis of the arguments you have already made and should not come as a surprise to the examiner.

Exemplar Question

(C) Edexcel

Exemplar Answer Section

The UK has an uncodified constitution meaning that it has a number of sources that include conventions, statute law and royal prerogative powers. Unlike revolutionary constitutions like that of the US and Germany is has evolved organically over many centuries. Despite the UK constitution constantly evolving, it is often argued that it requires major change, most notably in terms of creating a more codified constitution. When answering this question, the following themes will be considered from the source: the protection of rights in the constitution, issues of entrenchment and flexibility and whether the constitution is fit for a modern liberal democracy. Ultimately it will be argued that the UK constitution does not require major change and that change is already steadily making the UK constitution stronger.

The source presents the argument that the UKs constitution does not protect rights by saying that “a government with a simple majority [can] make significant constitutional changes which threaten our fundamental rights”. In Britain, it can often be said that there is what Lord Hailsham termed an ‘elective dictatorship’. This means that once in power the government can do as it pleases. The First Past the Post voting system often leads to colossal parliamentary majorities, such as Blair’s majorities of 179 and 166 in 1997 and 2001. Indeed, since 1945 the average government majority has been 57.5 seats. This allows the government to change the constitution without much scrutiny and can lead to changes that are seen to threaten fundamental rights. Recently this has been seen through the passage of the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill which has placed more restrictions into law on the rights of peaceful protest – something that is a fundamental right in a liberal democracy. In addition, it is clear that any statute that protects rights could potentially be repealed by a majority government. For example, the Conservative Manifesto in 2015 pledged to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights and the current Conservative Government is still tentatively considering reform to the Human Rights Act (1998). This would be done from a partisan position and may damage the concept of universality that is essential to the modern notion of rights. These factors indicate that majority governments can sometimes threaten fundamental rights. Conversely, the source also presents the more compelling counter-argument that rights are well protected despite Britain’s uncodified constitution in saying “our rights have been respected and updated by politicians and protected by an independent judiciary”. Britain has a long history of judicial oversight of rights and has a strong common law tradition. The judiciary has made a number of judgements that protect and enforce the rights of citizens. For example, in Heiden & Steinfeld v. Home Secretary the Supreme Court ruled that preventing heterosexual couples from seeking a civil partnership was discriminatory. In addition, at times the judiciary has ruled on contentious political decisions in order to protect rights. In Miller vs Prime Minister in 2019 the Supreme Court ruled that by advising the Queen to prorogue Parliament the PM had acted to frustrate parliamentary democracy and therefore unlawfully. In this ruling they were respecting the right of Parliament to scrutinise the Executive. In addition, parliamentarians are always aware that they cannot take decisions that will be politically unpopular. In 2005 this was shown when the House of Commons voted by 322-291 to reject 90-day detention of terror suspects. Despite the terror threat (the 7/7 bombings took place in July) MPs were not willing to undermine civil liberties by allowing someone to be held for three months without being charged. Therefore, on balance, on the issue of the protection of rights it is clear the constitution does not require major change as both the judiciary and the political antennae of elected representatives provide an effective check against Executive overreach.

What does this section do?

  • An introduction is written just as it would be for an essay. This defines any key terms, sets out the themes to be analysed (all of which must come from the source) and sets out an argument that will be presented in the essay.
  • At the start of each point the source is quoted. This ensures the examiner knows that the point being analysed originated in the source. Note that the quote is shortened to make sure the point of the source is clear, but without copying out significant text from the source. You are not getting marks from quoting from the source, so keep the quotes short, if possible.
  • Own knowledge is deployed which is clearly relevant to the examination of the point in the source. This is gaining AO1 marks and allowing AO2 to be advanced.
  • The term conversely is used to cleary highlight to the examiner that an alternative viewpoint from the source is now being considered.
  • The use of ‘the more compelling argument’ indicates to the examiner that you are being judgemental, as required for AO3.
  • A clear judgement is reached on the paired argument in an effective mini conclusion.

A full source exemplar essay can be found here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

What are the Assessment Objectives in Edexcel A-Level Politics?

This is for the Edexcel Specification. If you do AQA or another board the guidance will be different.

The Assessment Objectives (AOs) are what you are being benchmarked against in your A-Level Exams. There are three of them and you need to understand what each is and recognise how you hit them in your answers.

What are the three Assessment Objectives?

AO1 (35% of the A-Level)

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues.

In summary AO1 is what you know and the depth and breadth of your knowledge about the topics in the specification.

AO2 (35% of the A-Level)

Analyse aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences.

In summary AO2 is your ability to analyse. This means your ability to explain the implications of an issue with reference to the question you are being asked.

AO3 (30% of the A-Level)

Evaluate aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments.

In summary AO3 is your ability to create coherent arguments and to make clear judgements on the question you are being asked.

The reason that the percentages are different is that there is no AO3 for the two 12 Mark Questions in Paper 3. For the 30 Mark Questions and the 24 Mark Ideologies question the three AOs are all equally weighted.

Are the Assessment Objectives equally important?

The answer to this holistically is yes. Examiners use a ‘best-fit’ approach when assigning an overall level to your work. A good example of this can be seen by looking at the responses below.

Q. Evaluate the view that British democracy would be strengthened by utilising more Direct Democracy

Below shows three different sections for this essay title, all based on the same themes.

Response 1

One reason that it could be argued that more direct democracy should be deployed in the UK is because it encourages participation in the political process. There are three key ways that direct democracy has been deployed in the UK. Firstly, the Recall of MPs Act (2015) allows MPs to be recalled by their constituents if they meet one of three criteria. So far, two MPs, Fiona Onasanya and Christopher Davies have been removed as being MPs under this process. Secondly, e-petitions have increased the say of ordinary people on issues that they feel are important. There have been some significant e-petitions including:

6.1 Million – Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU

1.8 Million – Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the UK

Finally, there has been an increase in the use of referendums in the UK. Since 1975 there have been three nationwide referenda: the EEC Referendum (1975) the AV Referendum (2011) and the EU Referendum (2016). In addition, there was a significant referendum in Scotland in 2014 which had 84% turnout on the issue of whether Scotland should become an independent nation, in the end, 54% voted for Scotland to remain in the UK. The significant amount of direct democracy introduced in the UK shows how significant it has become.

However, it can also be argued that Direct Democracy puts too much power in the hands of people who are not politically well-informed and therefore might make bad decisions. For example, the 2016 EU Referendum was dominated by populism. The Leave Campaign twisted the truth by arguing that leaving the EU would mean £350 Million more to spend on the NHS and that Turkey would soon be joining the EU and therefore Britain would be flooded with immigration. People did not know enough about the issues to see through this and therefore trusted what was being said to them. Therefore, whilst direct democracy might increase participation, it does not necessarily increase the quality of that participation and therefore the use of direct democracy should be limited.

Verdict: The candidate who wrote this response clearly knows their stuff. The depth and breadth of their knowledge is remarkable and some of it is extremely specific. The AO1 undoubtedly of A* quality. However, they are not really using this knowledge to analyse the question. They are not considering how this knowledge helps to answer the specific question being asked. For instance, note that the candidate starts by saying that ‘One reason that it could be argued that more direct democracy should be deployed in the UK is because it encourages participation in the political process’. However, they do not really analyse this point they are making. There is a clear judgement. However, because there is not much analysis, this cannot really be well-substantiated. Ultimately, whilst initially impressive, this is somewhat of a ‘knowledge dump’. Whilst it would score highly on AO1, the AO2 and AO3 mark under ‘best-fit’ would bring it down.

Response 2

One reason that it could be argued that more direct democracy should be deployed in the UK is because it encourages participation in the political process. Participation is essential to the successful operation of politics as it legitimises decisions that are taken. If there is limited participation, any action that is taken cannot really be said to have a mandate of the population. Direct democracy increases participation as it is easy to access and therefore turnout is often exceptionally high. People find it easy to access issues of direct democracy and to give their political opinions. Therefore, it can be said that direct democracy should be encouraged because it increases participation and therefore makes political decisions far more legitimate.

However, it can also be argued that Direct Democracy puts too much power in the hands of people who are not political well-informed and therefore might not make the best decisions. Whilst participation is important, it should not come at the expense of expertise. Too often, direct democracy makes people feel like they are experts in an issue simply because they have heard lots about it. In reality, expertise on complex political issues is something that takes a very long time to build up and this cannot help in the short-term over the course of a referendum campaign.

Therefore, overall, it is clear that direct democracy should be limited. It is far more important to enable decisions to be made by people who have become relative experts in political issues (like MPs). Whilst electors might not always like the decisions they make, this is the nature of the Trustee Model. These decisions will still be more legitimate than those made by the uneducated masses who might be voting based on emotion rather than any clear political rationale. Whilst participation is important, it should not be artificially increased by making people think that they are experts when in reality they are not.

Verdict: The candidate who wrote this response is analysing the question and produces some very advanced AO3. They make a complex judgement on the question. In this sense it is very impressive. However, they are not deploying much AO1 at all and therefore the judgement they eventually reach is not well-substantiated. It would be unusual to see a response like this, but this would score higher in AO3 and AO2 than in AO1.

Response 3

One reason that it could be argued that more direct democracy should be deployed in the UK is because it encourages participation in the political process. Recent developments of direct democracy in the UK have had the impact of increasing participation in British politics. For example, the e-petitions process has led to public opinion on key political issues being clearly shown – for instance when 6.1 million people signed a petition calling for Brexit to be abandoned. This might influence the policies of political parties (for example the Lib Democrats chose to run on a manifesto of abandoning Brexit). In addition, recent referendums have resulted in significant turnout such as the Scottish Independence Referendum (84%) and the EU Referendum (72%). Increased participation is significant for the political process as it makes any decision that is eventually taken more legitimate. This means that, in terms of increasing participation, direct democracy should be encouraged wherever possible in the UK.

On the other hand direct democracy arguably puts too much power in the hands of people who are not politically well-informed and therefore might not make decisions in the interests of the country. People can be too easily swayed by populism and self-interest. This was seen in the Brexit Referendum of 2016 which was emotionalised and arguably people did not fully understand what they were voting for. It is notable that the most googled term on the day after the Brexit Referendum was ‘what is the EU’. Further to this, not everyone has equal interest in Politics. Direct democracy gives equal say to those with little to no interest as those who have intense interest.  This can lead to political positions in which there is more activism taking precedence at the expense of more moderate positions. This delegitimises the decisions that are taken as they are defined by levels of interest, not levels of expertise. Ultimately, whilst direct democracy may increase participation it does so at the expense of direct expertise at an issue. Whilst representative democracy can be frustrating, it allows for an educated political class to make decisions about complex issues. Therefore, it should be argued that the use of Direct Democracy should be limited.

Verdict: The candidate who wrote this does not produce AO1 as good as the candidate in Response 1. They also do not produce AO3, or even AO2, that is as advanced as Response 2. However, this response would by far score best of the three. The candidate is exhibiting they are tackling all three Assessment Objectives and they are using AO1 as a foundation for AO2, which subsequently allows them to make substantiated judgements.

As you can see, whilst the AOs are worth the same, AO1 is the foundation of any answer.