A-Level Psychology

Revision guide for AQA Psychology AS and A-Level topics, including staightforward study notes and summaries of the relevant theories and studies, past papers, and mark schemes with example answers. Fully updated for the 2021/22 academic year.

Key Terms

AO3 (Evaluate)

This assessment objective involves analysing and interpreting. Evaluating scientific studies and theories, including in relation to issues, to:

  • make judgements and reach conclusions
  • develop and refine practical design and procedures.

AO2 (Apply)

Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques, and procedures:

  • in a theoretical context
  • in a practical context
  • when handling qualitative data
  • when handling quantitative data.

This assessment objective tests knowledge of research design and data analysis and applying a theoretical understanding of psychology to real-life examples.

AO1 (Outline)

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques, and procedures. The assessment object requires students to show knowledge and understanding of psychological theories, terminology, concepts, studies, and methods.

Frequent Asked Questions

To do well, you must get organized and plan your time logically and rationally to make sure you cover everything on the syllabus in an adequate amount of depth.

What are the most effective ways of revising subject knowledge?

  1. Ask ‘How” and ‘Why’ questions when revising and try to connect ideas (this method is called ‘elaboration’)
  2. No cramming: Distribute your revision over time and use a spaced system of repetition
  3. Switch topics regularly when revising (this is called ‘interleaving,‘ and it will help you to identify connections between different topics)
  4. Words and visuals. Combine words and visual representations to create two ways of remembering key ideas (this is called ‘dual coding’)

Learn More: How to Revise for Psychology A-level

10% of the examination will consist of mathematical questions at the GCSE level. These questions will cover basic arithmetic, data, and graphs. There is no need to be worried if you have a GCSE pass grade of 5 or higher, as you will be familiar with these concepts.

There are three assessment objectives assessed in each examination: AO1 (Demonstrate knowledge), AO2 (Application of knowledge), and AO3 (Analyse, interpret and evaluate).

There may be one, two, or all (only in the extended writing 16-mark question). It is important to understand how assessment objectives are allocated to each type of question to maximize your chance of obtaining full marks.

Learn More: How To Write AQA Psychology Essays for 16 Marker Questions