SELF AND PEER ASSESSMENT GUIDE
This guide is designed to help you understand how to answer and mark in
the way the SQA (exam board) expect. By learning how the examiner’s mind
works you will be able to build on your current skills and achieve better
grades. You will be expected to mark some of your own answers as well as
your classmate’s. However it is very important that you ask your teacher for
help if you do not understand any part of the answering and marking
How to get Marks
For all of the questions you should look at how many marks are available.
If an answer only makes 3 separate points but the question is worth 4
marks then, obviously, it will not gain full marks.
In General questions a Process mark is often available. This means that a
mark is given for carrying out the correct process; in other words the
answer shows that the writer understood the style of question being asked.
For instance if an ES question asked How fully does a source describe an
event, a Process mark is given for saying “the source does not fully
When a Process mark is available there will be a large P in this guide. If
the answer does not include the correct Process in General a mark is NOT
taken away though it would be in Credit.
Knowledge and Understanding Questions:
There are 3 types of KU questions. They are given codes by the SQA but
you will probably identify them by the opening words in the question:
KU1 – asks you to “describe” a historical event or fact
KU2 – will ask “why” something happened or to “explain why” people felt a
certain way about something.
KU3 – asks “How important …” or “What was the importance of…” or “How
Although a Process mark is not available in KU questions, make sure the
answer focuses on what was asked. i.e. if the question asked “explain why”
and the answer “describes” then it is not doing what was asked! The
difference between “describe” and “explain” often catches people out and is
as much a test of English skills as it is Historical knowledge. This is a point
you might want to double check with your teacher before marking answers.
General KU questions will always have a source with them. The answer can
use the source – so long as it doesn’t copy exactly from it – but MUST also
use Recalled Knowledge; in other words something that isn’t given in the
source. If the answer doesn’t have Recalled Knowledge (i.e. only uses
information from the source) then it cannot gain full marks!
Awarding Marks in KU:
To gain a mark an answer should have at least one separate sentence per
separate point being made.
2007 General. Q1, Unit IB
1. Why was working in a coal mine harmful to children’s health? 4
Working in coal mines was harmful to children because they had
The first 2
to work for long hours without a break which was tiring. They
also had to work in wet conditions which was bad for them. PE
There was also a risk of the mine falling and crushing them to
2 points are
death. Also they could die of gas poisoning because of the
dangerous fumes in the mine. R NOTE: This answer doesn’t just describe
conditions in a mine (KNOWLEDGE) it
explains why these conditions were
harmful (UNDERSTANDING) . i.e. it
was tiring, crushing them to death, etc.
However, marks can be given if two points are made in a sentence as long
as it isn’t basically a list of points. In other words it is obvious that separate
points are being made.
Working in coal mines was harmful to children because they
had to work for long hours without a break which was tiring PE
and had to work in wet conditions which was bad for them. PE
in 1 sentence so
makes 4 points
they are listed
mark at most!
would gain 1
There was also a risk of death from the mine falling in, dying
of gas poisoning, flooding and black spit. R
Marks are awarded for information taken from the source so long as the
answer has done something with the information from the source. Simply
lifting the whole source into the answer is called Copying and is punished
by gaining no marks at all!
KU3 questions which ask “How important/successful …” was one thing in
an event, also require ‘other factors’ to be highlighted before full marks can
be achieved. In other words you have to deal with the point given in the
question but then say what else was important.
2008 General. Q2, Unit 1B
2. How important was new technology in the development of railways in 4
New technology was important in developing railways for
instance when steel rails replaced iron it gave a smoother
ride. New designs in locomotives such as improved steam
brings in “other
than the named
PE boxes increased speed and pulling power. However,
This is where
point in the
technology was not the only important development in
railways. A standardised gauge meant trains from different
companies could all use the same tracks allowing better
access across the country. Standardised time across Britain
also ensured that all trains could run to a timetable. R
NOTE: This answer doesn’t just describe
new rail technology (KNOWLEDGE) it
explains how this developed the railways
All KU answers in General MUST have at least one piece of Recalled
Knowledge to gain full marks. An answer can gain full marks using only
recalled knowledge but this makes the question much harder.
ES questions should have people thinking PACLAD straight away:
Not all of these will be needed in every question but at least 1 or 2 will be
needed in each. You will see the PACLAD symbol at the bottom of each
example in this booklet. It will remind you which parts are needed for each
type of question.
Process marks are very important at General level. By simply wording your
answer to match the wording of the question a Process mark can be given.
HOWEVER, full marks cannot be given if the correct process isn’t done.
So if you do the right Process you gain a mark, if you don’t carry out the
Process you lose a mark!
A large P on the left side of the page will let you know when a Process mark
ES1. How useful/valuable/reliable:
This question at General is usually worth 3 marks so the answer can use
whichever of the PACLAD they find most obvious. Careful though! Marks
are not just given for mentioning these. The importance of each must be
made clear before a tick can be given.
Purpose: Why the person wrote it. i.e. to express their view, to inform, etc.
Author: Simply naming the author does not get a mark; their significance
must be highlighted. i.e. they are an eyewitness, expert, first hand
experience, expert historian, etc.
Content: Brief summary and example. i.e. the content gives details on
events such as… The candidate must then give a specific and
relevant example of the content.
Limitation: Is there anything wrong/weak with the source? Is it one person’s
opinion, refers to one place whereas the question is about the
whole country, fails to mention something important.
Accuracy: Does the source match up to what you know? However, it is not
as simple as saying it matches what you studied in class, you
must give an example of your own knowledge to show it matches.
Date: Just saying it is a Primary source does not get a mark
Saying it is a Primary source written at the time does get a mark
Written at the time we are investigating does get a mark
Written at the time when (for example) Scotland’s population was
growing does get a mark.
A Process mark will be awarded if you answer the question in the style
required. In this case by making the judgement on how useful the source
P actually is. This mark is only awarded if the statement is backed up by a
relevant point. i.e. no marks would be given for saying, “Source C is useful”.
However two would be awarded for saying, “Source C is useful because the
author was an eyewitness to the events as they took place”.
This can be from any of PACLAD. Some will be more obvious than others
depending on the source given.
ES2. To what extent do two sources agree?
P Process mark available for making the judgement that the sources agree or
1 mark for a simple comparison.
i.e. one of these:
Source B says…e.g. and Source C agrees by saying …e.g.
Both sources agree about…e.g.
2 marks for a developed comparison.
i.e. putting both parts together:
Source B says …e.g. and Source C agrees by saying …e.g. Therefore,
both sources agree about…e.g.
So, having 2 developed comparisons is an easier and quicker way of gaining
four marks than writing 4 simple comparisons.
There is also the chance to point out that one source mentions something
that the other doesn’t. However, these aren’t as obvious at General level. i.e.
Source C mentions…e.g. however Source D makes no mention of it.
So the two sources do not agree about… would gain 2 marks
By saying that the sources are agreeing about individual points like this
should get the Process mark (i.e. the answer has said that the sources are
agreeing) but an overall summary guarantees the Process mark. i.e.
“therefore, the two sources largely agree overall”.
From PACLAD this is simply comparing the 2 Contents
This question should be easy but people find the word “attitude” difficult and
therefore often struggle to pick out the attitudes. The question is asking you
to identify the thoughts, feelings or emotions a person has about a particular
Straight copying of what the source says will not gain any marks.
To gain the tick the answer should pick out the “buzz words” which highlight
the authors feeling/attitude/emotion towards something.
Answers should highlight why they think the author has that attitude by
showing the relevant section from the paragraph by quoting or paraphrasing.
The author is Critical about what is happening when he
says, “I did not like the way things were being run”. She is
Angry towards them when she says, “I couldn’t believe how
stupid they were being”. When she says, “I have never
been so annoyed” she is showing that he is Upset at
Careful! Do not just keep using the same attitude. i.e. an answer like this
would gain 1 mark:
The author is excited when he says… he is also excited
when he states, he is even more excited because he said…
Although there is no Process mark available there is an overall mark up for
grabs – the holistic mark. To gain this a final overall/summing up attitude is
i.e. Overall, the author does not like the Nazis.
From PACLAD this is simply picking out the attitude from the Content
ES4. How full is a source/s:
Not to be confused with “How useful” question!
“Useful” and “full” mean different things but people can get confused by them.
There is always something missing from these sources so the answer must
point out what is there but also what is not there. i.e. what crucial piece of
information is missing?
Careful! An answer has to say that the source is not full and then bring
examples of what is missing rather than simply bringing in some recalled
knowledge about the topic but not actually pointing out that the source wasn’t
A Process mark is available for making a statement on whether the source is
P full or not but only if it is backed up with a piece of recall.
i.e. 2009, Unit 2A, Q5.
How fully do Sources C and D explain the growing rivalry between Britain and
Germany before 1914? 4 marks
Source C tells us that Germany wanted a great empire and that
C such ambition is a threat to Britain. Source D tells us that the
race to build the most dreadnoughts became a major cause of
C distrust between Britain and Germany.However, the source
does not fully explain the rivalry between the countries. It
fails to mention that Kaiser Wilhelm’s actions and attitude
upset many people in Britain. also doesn’t say that Germany
was building up a strong army which made Britain suspicious. L
Full marks can only be awarded if the answer uses evidence from the
sources AND recall to show what has failed to be mentioned.
From PACLAD this is picking out evidence from the Content then
highlighting what the Limitation is. i.e. what is missing.
ES5. Evidence in two sources on different views of a subject:
This question is ONLY in Unit 1. In General it will always be Q4.
Do not get it mixed up with “How full are two sources” (ES4) or “to what
extent do two sources agree” (ES2)
This can be done in sentences and paragraphs or as a table. The table is the
easiest and fastest version
2009, Unit 1B, Q4:
Evidence is source C that supports Evidence is source D that does not
the issue support the issue
Relevant points picked out Relevant points picked out
from the source from the source
1 mark is given per relevant example from the sources. However, if only one
side is shown, i.e. only evidence that supports the issue OR only evidence
that does not support the issue then full marks can not be given.
Recall or personal judgement will not be credited as it is not evidence from
There is no Process mark available.
From PACLAD this is picking out evidence from the Content of the
ES6. Coming to a conclusion on a subject:
This question is ONLY in Unit 1. In General it will always be Q5 and is linked
to the previous (table) question.
It should be written in a paragraph.
The answer must be based on evidence from the source and from recall to
gain full marks.
Only one piece of recall is required but it must be there as a maximum of 2
marks is given for one based solely on the evidence from the sources.
Likewise, an answer based solely on recall will only gain 2 marks.
Unlike the Credit paper, the answer doesn’t need to be balanced. The pupil
can come down on one side of the argument only through their presented
evidence and recall if they desire.
P Process mark available for saying how far you agree with the question.
2009, Unit 1B, Q5
How far do you agree that Scottish people emigrated because of poverty and hardship? 4
Source C tells us that people emigrated because of poverty
when it says… use an example from the table… It also tells us… another
example… Source D however tells us people emigrated because…
example from the other side of the table… From my own knowledge I
know… example from your memory. Overall I agree that people
emigrated because of poverty and hardship
From PACLAD this is picking out evidence from the Content of the source
and using your own knowledge to point out the Limitation of the source.