Are you currently studying Nat 5 modern studies but need question practice? They can be so easy and tricky at the same time. Maybe you just want a wee bit of practice with them to help with the prelims and upcoming exams. Well, no matter why you want a bit of practice, I am here to help, so just keep reading!
N5 Modern studies describe the question
A describe question is the smallest question, and it usually is the easiest. However, before I go into detail about the describe questions, ill talk a bit about the full modern studies course first.
Over the national 5 modern studies course, you learn 3 topics and 5 questions. The two questions I will be talking about are the describe question and the explain question. Both, are written with the same formula of PEE or PEEL paragraphs, but PEE is more commonly used. As I mentioned there, they are both the same formula and you do get pretty much the same answer for them, so the difference all comes down to the marks.
Modern studies and history both have to describe and explain questions, so if you study both, make sure not to get mixed up as they arent similar!
PEE stands for point (the first point of your question), E is for explain (explaining your point) and the second E is for example (an example of the subject your are talking about. This will all be a lot simpler later when I show an example!
Describe questions are usually smaller, that require less information or there isn’t enough information in the mark to be at a higher mark. They are 4-6 marks for each question and can be pretty straight forward but I can go into more in detail about them later!
Explain questions are a bit bigger and require more information. Even though these questions make you use your brain a wee bit more they are still easy once you get used to them1 They are 6-8 marks, depending on what you are told, but it is the same again I will talk about that later!
Anyway, let us get back to describe questions!
Describe questions are pretty simple. I will talk through the method and formula and then I will show an example. As I mentioned, they are either worth 4 marks or 6. You would use the PEE structure for either amount of marks, but you can miss out a lot more info.
One full PEE paragraph is 3 marks, 1 for each letter. So if you don’t 2 of these, that would take you to 6 marks, if it was a 6-mark question you could easily be done by that. Or, you could do 3 sets of PE, point and explain. Or Point and example. As long as you make as many marks, using letters from the PEE structure, that are correct info, you will get the mark. Same again, if it’s a 4-mark question, you could do PE twice or any order you want. However, you cannot do more than 3 of the same letter, so you could not just do PPPP or EEEE, as you would not get any marks.
Here is an example:
Describe, in detail, 6 alternatives to Prison (6)
One alternative to prison fines. Fines are when you are charged an amount of money for committing the crime, kind of like ‘paying back for your crime’. These tend to be for smaller crimes like road traffic offences. For example, if you are caught going over the speed limit, you could be charged with a fine.
Another alternative to prison is ASBOS. An ASBO is an anti-social behavioural order. You can get one of these for causing disruption to your community like littering or playing loud music late at night. These are just warnings, at first, but if you get a few can lead up to fines or jail time. For example, if your dog is barking to often, someone could complain, leaving you with an ASBO.
Or, if you didn’t want to do that, you could have done 3 paragraphs like this:
One alternative to prison fines. Fines are when you are charged an amount of money for committing the crime, kind of like ‘paying back for your crime’.
N5 Modern studies explain question
The other main question type in Nat 5 modern studies is an explain question. I touched on it earlier, like I said they are 6-8 marks, meaning with an 8 mark you would have to do a PEE paragraph 3 times, using as much information as you can. Same as the described question, with a 6 mark you could alter it a bit.
In History, an explain question is very different to modern studies, as they have a completely different formula than the describe, but in modern studies as I mentioned earlier they are the same, apart from the marks it is worth.
Explain, in detail, representation in the USA (8)
One group that is underrepresented in the USA are women. This is because when women put themself forward as a candidate, they are often scrutinized for their looks and appearance more than their political views, so other women are reluctant to put themself forward in case the press and the public focus more on that. For example, there has never been a female president.
Another group that is underrepresented is ethnic minorities. Ethnic minorities are reluctant to put themselves forward due to the racism they receive from the public. Many believe they are not smart enough and would have the wrong opinion. For example, there has only ever been 1 POC president.
A final reason for underrepresentation is the incumbency effect. This is when people who already have a space in the US government, can get in after relections due to the amount it costs while running as a candidate, their parties would pay for that. However, for a female or POC to run for the first time, it would be really pricy. For example, there is more white men in parliament because they already had a seat.
And that would be your marks!
If you are still struggling, click here for a modern studies help book!