Different question types


3 mark questions

3 mark questions are 100% AO1. So, you don’t need to evaluate or analyse the arguments. Just a short sentence or two – if accurate – is enough to get full marks and writing too much (especially if it is irrelevant) will actually lose you marks.

5 mark questions

5 mark questions are very similar to 3 mark questions – you will just have to write a little more. Typically, what you will be asked to explain will be a slightly more detailed concept or argument. However, 5 mark questions are still 100% AO1 and so you don’t need to analyse or evaluate.

12 mark questions

12 mark questions are still 100% AO1 and so you don’t need to analyse or evaluate.

25 mark questions

25 mark questions are the only questions that involve AO2, i.e. analysis and evaluation. A good 25 mark response will argue to a conclusion in a format like the following:

  • Introduction
    • Define key points
  • Explain which side you are arguing for (E.g. “In this essay I will argue for theory X”)
  • Argument for theory X
    • Possible response to this argument
      • Response to this response
  • Argument against theory X
    • Response to this argument
  • Conclusion: Theory X is correct because of the arguments above

For examples of answers that make the top grade boundary (21-25 marks) check out the example essays page.

AQA philosophy 25 mark question mark scheme