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What is an explanation and what does it look like?

An explanation sees knowledge and understanding appropriately selected and used to answer the question. Each explanation is awarded one mark within that level.    Comments on marks awarded are in red italics

  • For Q1c and optional part b questions the L3 range of marks for answers that give explanation(s) is 5-7 marks (Table 1).
  • For Q1d the L3 range of marks for answers that give a one-sided explanation is 4-6 marks. The L4 range of marks for answers that give explanation(s) of each side is 7-9 marks.
  • For optional part c questions, the L3 range of marks for answers that give a one-sided explanation is 7-9 marks. The L4 range of marks for answers that give explanation(s) of each side is 10-12 marks (Table 2).
  • The descriptors within the mark scheme for L3/L4 for Q1d and optional part c questions are identical.

Two examples of an explanation are given below, one for Q3b (5-7 marks) and another for Q3c (L3/7-9 marks), both examples use responses written by candidates:

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Q3b Explain why there were three Round Table Conferences between 1930 and 1932.

As the Simon Commission was sent to India in 1927 to research, accordingly the Round Table Conferences were held so British could listen to the people of India, all the political parties could be present and the problems of India can be discussed as new reforms were to come (L3).

5 marks                                                                                                                                      

Several points were identified/described, one (simple) explanation of the purpose of the Round Table Conferences is credited.

Q3c: To what extent was Direct Action Day more significant in the creation of Pakistan than other key events of the 1940s? Explain your answer.

Direct Action Day was organised by Jinnah on 16th August 1946. It was intended to be a peaceful demonstration to portray Muslim strength to the British so they may be prevented from handing over India to Congress (L3).                 

7 marks

One (simple) explanation of the significance of Direct Action Day in the creation of Pakistan is credited.

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