Exam format


A Level Psychology Exam

The psychology A level assessment consists of 3 exam papers, each 2 hours in duration and with 96 available marks. Together, these 3 exam papers add up to a total of 288 available marks.

psychology a level exam format

Each section of each paper will contain a range of different question types that will test your knowledge and understanding of psychology according to the assessment objectives below. Question types include multiple choice, short answer, and extended writing – although the exact format of questions can differ slightly with each paper.

You must answer all the questions in each paper except paper 3 (issues and options in psychology). Sections B, C, and D of this paper allow students to pick questions from a choice of 3 topics. So, for example, you could choose to answer the questions on relationships in section B, the questions on eating behaviour in section C, and the questions on addiction in section D (ignoring the other topics).

AS Psychology Exam

The psychology AS level assessment consists of 2 exam papers, each 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration and with 72 available marks. Together, these 2 exam papers add up to a total of 144 available marks.

psychology as level exam format

Each section of each paper will contain a range of different question types that will test your knowledge and understanding of psychology according to the assessment objectives below. Question types include multiple choice, short answer, and extended writing – although the exact format of questions can differ slightly with each paper. You must answer all the questions.


Assessment objectives


Exam responses are graded according to the 3 assessment objectives below. Longer questions often require a mixture of 2 or more of the following skills, whereas shorter questions may only test for knowledge and understanding.

AO1

AO1 is knowledge and understanding.

To pick up these marks, you just need to demonstrate that you know about the specific psychology concept, experiment, or technique you are asked to explain. This typically involves a short description or sometimes answering a multiple-choice question. For example:

Outline two behavioural characteristics of depression. (4 marks)

AO2

AO2 is application.

To pick up these marks, you need to apply your knowledge of psychology to a particular issue or example. For example:

The survey shows that fewer young people are smoking today than in 1987.

Using your knowledge of social influence processes in social change, explain possible reasons for this change in behaviour. (6 marks)

AO3

AO3 is analysis, interpretation, and evaluation. For example:

Explain one or more reasons why it might be better to conduct a case study than a questionnaire. (4 marks)

The extended writing questions often require a mixture of all 3 assessment objectives. For example:

Discuss the multi-store model of memory. Refer to the [example material provided in the paper] in your answer. (16 marks)