With the new cohort of A-Level Politicians starting in just over a month, it’s essential to start getting ready, whether you’re about to start Year 12 or Year 13. Our list of tasks to get organised and prepared will help you with anything that A-Level Politics throws at you!
Step 1: Find out your exam board!
Whilst the content from AQA, Edexcel, WJEC and CCEA overlaps to a large extent, there are still distinct differences between them. CCEA is only available in Northern Ireland, WJEC in Wales, and AQA and Edexcel in England. Ask your teachers which exam board you will be taking for Politics, so the resources you find are relevant to your studies. You should be able to find this on the curriculum page of your school website or in Sixth Form induction guides published by your school.
Step 2: Get organised!
Politics is a subject where your notes taken in class and worksheets given by your teachers will help you both during the course and while getting ready for exams. Therefore, it is imperative to keep your notes organised. I would personally recommend getting a folder for each exam paper, for example:
- For AQA, one folder for UK government and politics, one folder for US government and politics, and another folder for political ideas.
- For Edexcel, one folder for UK politics & core ideas, one folder for UK government & non-core ideas, and one folder for either US or global.
Step 3: Start reading!
The use of examples from books, articles and reports are essential in essays, and getting these examples down into your notes can help get those top grades. We recommend the following books for getting started with A-Level Politics:
- Why the Tories Won: The Inside Story of the 2015 Election
- British Politics (Palgrave Foundations Series)
- The Politics Book
- Prisoners of Geography: Ten maps that tell you everything about Global Politics
For a vast range of books, articles, movies, TV shows and YouTube videos to watch about all aspects of politics, find our Revision Playlist to get stuck into some more fiction and non-fiction content.
Step 4: Follow the news
My favourite thing about A-Level Politics is that something that happens the night before the exam can go into the exam. The case studies and examples are happening right now, from the prorogation of parliament to a December general election. Get ready to stay up to the minute with current affairs! Keeping up to date with the news from all points of view can also help you develop skills in appreciating both sides of the argument. We would recommend:
- BBC News and Sky News for neutral commentary
- The Telegraph and The Sun for right-leaning commentary
- The Guardian and The Mirror for left-leaning commentary
Step 5: Use Study Politics!
This website is for Politics students, so we have something for you to help improve your exam grades. You can find a considerable number of resources for all Politics students on our website. Our shop includes practice papers and revision notes, and our free resources include past papers and case studies.