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Are the hints and help given in the bullet points for Question 1 optional or compulsory?

The bullet points given in Question 1 are there to help candidates; it is not compulsory for candidates to use them. Marks are awarded according to the band descriptors for Part 1 in the Mark Scheme. Covering the three bullet points helps candidates to meet the criteria for a higher band mark, for example by showing ‘clear critical understanding’, or by using ‘much well-selected reference’.

It is possible for a candidate to give an effective answer that meets all the descriptors in the Excellent band, without covering one of the bullet points; the examiner is then able to use their judgement to award a mark from the ‘Excellent’ band. In situations like this, the answer must show breadth and depth, despite not covering one of the bullet points.

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