#2022Challenge Days 17-20

So… still playing catch up this week, which demonstrates the importance of having a) a clear schedule to revise and b) rest days planned to catch up when you need to.

Anyway, the complete Families and Households section of the #2022challenge is up now. Videos will be a bit longer as I’m away from home and the normal recording equipment/software I use is there. Hopefully the videos will be updated by later next week, but focusing on making sure the written forms are up at minute. So here they are… days 17-20 – 8 x 10 mark questions over a broad range of questions. As always, I’m trying to use limited responses to show how knowing key ideas in sociology can help you to answer a range of questions. Hopefully, I will be able to do either a post, or a resource on that to help you ‘trim’ some of the course content to revise.

But here are the responses for the last 4 days. I’m off to Bristol and Birmingham this week, but hope to have Health questions out and the responses by the end of the week.

Good luck with revision…


#2022Challenge Days 13 and 14

Apologies for not updating this sooner (if you noticed that is…) but here are Day 13’s responses to a couple of tricky questions. As always, I put out some material which you can find on the 2022 Challenge page.

And like buses, here are Day 14 and Day 15’s responses as well.

The fact that I am a couple of days behind at such an early stage of the challenge should tell you one thing…It’s never too early to revise, because you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow that is more important than revision. I’ll have Day 15 up shortly and the question for Day 16 – on families and households will be on Twitter and Instagram on Monday 21st in the morning. Best of luck.


#2022Challenge Day 12 Culture and Identity

Culture and Identity is today’s theme, focusing mainly on the impacts of globalisation and social class identity as well as the impacts of consumption on identity. Through the day I sent out some hints, which are in the gallery below.

In answering the questions, I tried to use as much information as I could from other areas of the specification to show how inter-connected sociology is. Strinati is used in the media section, while Bauman should be used far more throughout the specification in my opinion, but you know…maybe one day. Concepts such as crisis of masculinity appear in education, while the process of globalisation and its impacts on society are wide ranging. There is not one module in which globalisation does not have impacts which makes me think that it should really be explored in much more depth earlier on in the course, rather than add ons in topic areas. Anyway, 29 questions down – 96 to go. Tomorrow’s (Day 13) questions are below and the video walkthrough will be on You Tube shortly. Good luck.


#2022Challenge Culture and Identity Day 11

After a nice relaxing weekend, it’s back to the grindstone with 2 – 10 mark questions on Culture and Identity. I have to admit, this is not a module I have taught very often, but it is quite a fascinating module to have read about and studied. As we focus largely on the non-Advanced Information content, today’s challenge looks at three different specification points. Socialisation, Identity and Production and Consumption. Why 3? Well the 10 mark outline and explain questions always look to get students at A level to link two different specification points together to show skills of application and to develop synoptic links.

The apply and analyse question is more straightforward on paper as the material usually comes from one part of the specification, however, there is the added complication of having to make sure that your answer refers to content from the item. If you don’t… maximum three marks out of ten.

I sent out some graphics earlier today to highlight some possible ways to answer the question, and the model answers I wrote is below. Video walkthrough will be up later this evening.

Tomorrow’s question is below – looking at making links between how globalisation impacts on social class identity (HINTS: work, consumption, nationalism to name a few) while the item question is centred on consumption. Good luck.


#2022Challenge Day 10 Theory and Methods

Then end of week 2 of the #2022 Challenge is upon us as I put up the final response to this week’s challenges. Today we looked at two questions that differed in difficulty. First, ethical considerations of experiments should be quite straightforward, identifying an ethical issue, explaining why it was an issue and using an example to illustrate how it works in practice. The second questions was a little trickier, looking at how values influences choice of topic, and I deliberately went with a similar response to how values influence research – why? Well, if you can have a range of answers that stem from a few ideas, it helps you to focus your revision on those pieces of research and concepts that are versatile (in other words can be used to answer a range of questions). And given the barriers students have faced over the past 2 years, a little trimming of the spec might just be what is needed.

Through the day I sent out a few hints. All of these can be found below and are in the revision notes section of website and will be on relevant subject pages ASAP.

Today’s answer is below… all other answers for the challenge so far (25 questions) can be found on the 2022 Challenge page. Next week it’s Culture and Identity, the first of the options I’m tackling. Around 7% of students tackle this module, so expecting a bit of a quieter week, then the following week Families – which will be a challenge as I am also shooting around the country that week on the Tutor2U grade booster tour. But I will endeavour to carry on. 25 down – just 100 to go.


#2022Challenge Day 9

Day 9 of the challenge is complete and just one more day to go to the weekend. After this week, we’ll nearly be down to double figures of questions to complete. At present, there are still 102 to go!

Throughout the day I have been posting some little hints on how to answer todays questions. Question 2 is probably more tricky as it requires students to apply not only their understanding of what postmodernity is, but also to identify features of contemporary society that fit into the characteristics of postmodernity. Fortunately, there is a lot of that in the news at the moment, distrust of experts, insecurity, media saturation etc…

Here is my answer and below, rounding off week 2 of 11 is Day 10’s question. One more straightforward that the other – choice of topic is very similar to values questions is my hint – next week onto the optional topics, so if you don’t do Culture and Identity, consider yourself rested. Good luck!


#2022Challenge Day 8 – Theory and Methods

Nearly didn’t manage to get today’s challenge done, but here it is. Sometimes it is tough to maintain daily revision, particularly when faced with other demands, such as work, family and friends. Sometimes unforeseen events may throw you off track somewhat, but it’s worth realising that if that does happen then it’s important to get back up and carry on, even if you’re not completely at your best. Consistency is the key and even an under-par half hour of revision is better than none at all!

Speaking of which… Here’s my Day 8 answers.

Hopefully my laptop will speed up enough for me to get the video posted for today’s questions either tonight or tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s questions are a mixed bag. A relative straightforward methods question looking at theoretical advantages (validity, reliability, types of data, methodological preferences etc). This is followed by a more difficult question looking at society in a post-modern age. What features of post-modernity are present in our society?

So, with 8 days gone and just 47 remaining in the challenge, we carry on with Theory and Methods. If you’re doing Culture and Identity as an option then next week it’s all about you. For the rest, you will get a well deserved break if you can make it through the next two days. Best of luck.


#2022Challenge Day 7 Theory and Methods

Today’s questions were again focused on theory and methods – this time looking at practical limitations of observations and reasons sociology cannot be value free. While the former question is relatively straightforward, students need to be careful to mention practical limitations rather that ethical or theoretical ones. A handy way to revise this is through the attached image…

The second question was a little harder- focusing on values. This can be a complex topic for a larger essay (just considering Weber’s view on the matter is enough to confuse most students) but again, focusing on one side of the debate for a ten marker, there are a few different points that can be made.

With Day 7 out of the way, that leaves just…106 questions left to answer in the #2022Challenge. Day 8’s questions are below. Best of luck!


#2022 Challenge Day 6 Theory and Methods

Bit of a tougher question today – looking at Theory and Methods. The first question on primary research methods… I combined the ‘choice of topic and methods’ with the trend that seems to have occurred for asking about strengths/limitations for either primary or secondary methods that AQA appear to have had over recent papers. It’s certainly a tougher question than I’d expect, but with primary and secondary data explicitly named on the specification, got to prepare for it to be included in a question.

The debates question was another flipped one. Often it’s asked why sociology doesn’t or why it should not inform policy, so preparing for an alternative view is always useful. That really goes the same when preparing for all of the debates. Find information that you can use for both sides of a debate – e.g. why sociology can be a science, why society is not in a post modern age, why sociology cannot be value-free… speaking of which…(see below).

Here are my answers to Day 6 and the questions for Day 7 are below. If you’re keeping up with the challenge, then we’ve covered 17/125 questions, which by my elementary maths means we’ve completed over 10% of the challenge. Keep going – 30-45 minutes a day will pay off in the long run.


#2022Challenge Day 5 Education

The end of the first week and 15 out of 125 questions answered. I’ve had some really nice feedback from people doing the challenge, so I hope others are finding it useful. Ordinarily there would not be a challenge set on the weekends, but as I miscalculated the number of days in the first week of March, I had to add a weekend question for Day 5.

Bit of a mixed bag of questions, some drawing on policies and some drawing on functions of education. I have posted my responses below.

Next week we move into the Theory and Methods questions for both Paper 1 and 3. As we know that Consensus, Conflict, Structural and Social Action Theories will be the focus of the 20 marker, I will be looking at one methods and one theoretical debates question (sociology as a science, value freedom, sociology and policy etc) each day. The first questions for next week are below. Good luck with week 2 of the challenge!


#2022Challenge Day 4 Ethnicity and Education

So today’s responses are up a little later than usual, but still completed. Looking at ethnic differences in education is quite a tough area of the specification because many students fall into the trap of using generic explanations rather than looking at the diversity of experiences based upon pupils’ ethnic backgrounds. As with class there is also a tendency to look at underachievement, rather that reasons why some pupils do better than others.

There is also the issue of outdated research that is based upon some pretty troubling stereotypes. Research from the 1960s about second language speakers and assumptions about family structure are often based upon ideological viewpoints (usually from the right wing) and while students may be credited with them as a view, it doesn’t do what sociology is supposed to do…that is challenge these stereotypes. Anyway…off my soapbox and here are my responses…

The video walkthrough will possible be up tomorrow morning rather than this evening – it’s taking a lot longer than usual to upload, but it will be there at some point over the weekend. Tomorrow would normally be a rest day in the challenge, but I started on a Tuesday, rather than a Monday, there is a bonus round of sorts. This one is a bit of a mixed bag – bit of policy, bit of functions, bit of inequality – just to round off the first week. I will post the answers to these on either Sat or Sunday with the first questions for Week 2… on Theory and Methods.


Day 2 #2022challenge Social Class and Education

Today’s challenge focused on social class and education – an area that has often been examined, including as a 30 mark question. When students are approached with social class questions, their focus is often on how working-class pupils underachieve, rather than why there are differences between the two groups. If a questions asks about ‘social class’ then students can draw upon explanations of both middle-class achievement and working-class underachievement, and often, it’s really useful to make comparison better the experiences of both groups in the education system. Doing this demonstrates one of the higher order skills on the AQA specification – Analysis.

The ability to show examiners that you understand the difference between the experiences of two groups, shows a greater depth of understanding than if you mention just one and is more likely to move you up mark bands by doing so.

Todays three questions were also accompanied by 3 ‘cheat sheets’ if you like. I have attached these below for those who didn’t catch them. I have also posted my responses to the three questions on the PDF below.

Tomorrow (March 3rd) we hit day 3 of the challenge (6 questions down, just another 119 to go!) and we will be looking at gender differences in education. The questions are as follows:

Best of luck!


#2022 Challenge Day 1

Today marks the first day of the challenge and I set three questions this morning for students to answer (as above).

The first question asked students to outline 2 ways in which schools promote meritocracy. A commonly asked question – in fact in the 2021 November Exam, the 30 mark essay question was on meritocracy in the education system. 4 and 6 markers are broken down into 2 (or 3) sets of two marks – so students would get one mark for identifying a way, and a second mark for explaining how this happens. Through the day I sent out an image, highlighting some of the ways this is done.

The second question looked at how education serves capitalism – again another common question – I think it was a ten marker in either 2018 or 2019 – but to get full marks on this students would need to identify a way (well, 3 ways) and explain how it served capitalism. I’d advise students in this type of question to be really explicit on how education serves capitalism by writing – ‘which serves the needs of capitalism by…’. Again, here are some of the hints I sent out around lunchtime.

The final question was a 10 mark apply and analyse question. Students must explicitly reference the item in my opinion. Some will suggest they can make an implicit reference, but I liken doing exams to sitting your driving test. You exaggerate each time you check your mirror, you keep your hands at 10 and 2, you feed the wheel… While they may be awarded marks for implicit references, it’s best not to take chances to be on the safe side. Again, I sent out a brief cheat sheet for students to draw information from.

So the first day of the 2022 Challenge is done, join me for Day 2 tomorrow when… oh wait…you all want the answers? Okay, click on the link below. Remember, that other responses may get full credit and that this is just one suggested way of answering a speculative question I made up. Hopefully it’ll be useful though.

Join me tomorrow for question 4-6 out of the 125 that I will be covering over the next 76 days… a little sneak peak of what might come up follows.


#40 Day Challenge Days 31-34

Due to a few issues out of my control (internet connection issues – thank you Sky!) been unable to upload responses/questions for 4) day challenge for the last few days. There are only 4 days of revision left until the first paper and I intend to make sure that there are 40 model answers there by Tuesday afternoon. At present count there are 36 – 10 mark model answers to upload and whilst most of them are on content for paper 1, there are some others for paper 2 and 3 in there as well. Just a recap if you’re not on Twitter or Instagram on the last few questions then…

Answers to these and all other questions on model answers page 


#40DayChallenge Day 16 – Practical limitations of Self Completition Questionnaires

Today’s 40 Day challenge is on research methods. Given that 2 of the 8 ten mark questions across the 3 papers are on either Theory or Methods this is the eighth theory methods question I have asked. These questions are much harder to predict and so for revision I would suggest as a minimum you know 2 Practical, 2 Ethical and 2 Theoretical strengths and limitations of each of the key methods on the specification: Questionnaires, Experiments, Observations, Interviews and Secondary sources – including all variations of these. I have uploaded some blank Research Methods worksheets under Revision Materials 

Previous answers can be found on the Model Answers page

#2022Challenge Day 16 Families and Households

Still playing catch-up somewhat, but onto the right day at least. Today’s #2022Challenge looked at changes to the family structure and how they influence children’s experiences and a 10 mark item question on the decline of marriage. I have to admit to deliberately picking two more difficult hooks in that question – individualism and secularisation – just to test myself and students a little.

I sent out the following graphics through the day, and these have been uploaded to both the 2022Challenge page where all the answers so far are contained. I’m also in the process of reorganising the Families and Households page with graphics. All of these will be able to download FREE at some point in the near future once I figure out the best format for them.

Anyway, you come for the essays not my grand plans… so here it is. Of course, there are lots of other answers that could be given, it’s just my brief attempt – hope it helps and good luck with tomorrows question (below).

#2022Challenge Day 15…Culture and Identity

Still playing catch up after a few days not on task, but today is the final day in the Culture and Identity week of the challenge – which is sort of bittersweet. The topic areas for culture and identity are really interesting and very relevant to contemporary society…but finding adequate resources for students to learn from…less so. Textbooks aside, there was little else, and I can see why few teachers choose this module, yet there are so many synoptic links to other areas of the specification. I think a media/culture options combo would possibly cut about 20% of the content that students need to learn and develop a greater understanding of the connections between areas. But I’m prattling on. You can here for the answers and here they are…

I also did a few summary sheets which I have uploaded to the Culture and Id page and the 2022Challenge page. I will definitely be updating the resources on this area as I think more students should opt for this over families… but I may say that about all of the areas by the end of this challenge. Here is the next question…on family. Good luck!