Higher Modern Studies Past Paper Questions



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Higher Modern Studies

Past Paper Questions



Contents

Knowledge/Essay Questions Pages

Democracy in Scotland and the United Kingdom 3-4

Social Issues in the United Kingdom 5

World Power (USA) 6



Source-Based Questions*

Selectivity 7-18

Conclusions 19-30

* Source based questions may appear in any of the three units of the final exam. They require very little/no prior knowledge of the actual topic and therefore must always be attempted.



Democracy in Scotland and the United Kingdom

  1. Electoral systems allow the views of the electorate to be represented.

Analyse the ways in which an electoral system you have studied allows the views of the electorate to be represented.

You should refer to an electoral system used in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12



  1. Individuals and groups in society can influence government decision making in many ways.

Analyse the ways in which individuals and groups in society can influence government decision making.

You should refer to individuals and groups in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12



  1. One aim of an electoral system is to provide fair representation.

Evaluate_the_effectiveness_of_an_electoral_system_you_have_studied_in_providing_fair_representation.'>Evaluate the effectiveness of an electoral system you have studied in providing fair representation.

You should refer to electoral systems used in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12



  1. One role of parliamentary representatives is to hold the government to account.

Evaluate the effectiveness of parliamentary representatives in holding the government to account.

You should refer to parliamentary representatives in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12



  1. Some factors are more important in influencing voting behaviour than others.

Evaluate the importance of a range of factors that influence voting behaviour. You should refer to voting behaviour in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12

  1. Social class is an important factor in influencing voting behaviour.

Evaluate the importance of social class as a factor influencing voting behaviour.

You should refer to voting behaviour in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 12



  1. Electoral systems do not always provide for fair representation.

Discuss.

You should refer to electoral systems used in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 20



  1. Most citizens participate effectively in the political process.

Discuss.

You should refer to participation in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 20



  1. Some factors are more important than others in influencing voting behaviour.

To what extent are some factors more important than others in influencing voting behaviour?

You should refer to voting behaviour in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 20



  1. Pressure groups have influence on decision-making.

To what extent are pressure groups effective in influencing government decision making?

You should refer pressure groups in Scotland or the United Kingdom or both in your answer. 20



Social Issues in the United Kingdom

Answers may refer to Scotland or the United Kingdom or both.

  1. Analyse the different lifestyle choices that may result in poor health. 12



  1. Analyse the consequences of social inequality on a group you have studied. 12



  1. Analyse government policies which aim to reduce social inequality 12



  1. Analyse different views as to the main causes of social inequality in society. 12



  1. Evaluate the view that social inequality affects some groups in society more than others. 12



  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of either the benefits system or health services in tackling social inequality. 12



  1. Government policies have failed to reduce social inequalities.

Discuss. 20

  1. Health and welfare provision should be the responsibility of the government.

Discuss. 20

  1. To what extent can ill-health be blamed on the lifestyle choices of the population? 20



  1. To what extent is poverty the most important factor influencing health? 20

World Power (USA)

With reference to a world power you have studied:

  1. Analyse the ability of this world power to influence other countries. 12



  1. Analyse the impact of a recent social issue on this world power. 12



  1. Analyse policies implemented by government to solve a socio-economic issue in a world power you have studied. 12



  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the political system in representing the wishes of the population. 12



  1. Evaluate whether the political system of a world power you have studied is democratic. 12



  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of a world power you have studied in tackling social and economic issues. 12



  1. The political system provides an effective check on the government.

Discuss with reference to a world power you have studied. 20

  1. The political system guarantees and protects the rights of all of its citizens.

Discuss with reference to a world power you have studied. 20

  1. To what extent does a world power you have studied have influence in international relations? 20



  1. To what extent do individuals or groups in a world power you have studied experience social and economic inequality? 20

Source-based Questions: Selectivity

  1. Voting Behaviour Referendum

Study Sources A, B and C then attempt the question which follows.

Scotland independence referendum: BBC poll suggests economy, most important issue for voters

The economy is the issue that matters most to voters taking part in the independence referendum, a poll carried out for the BBC has suggested. A sample of 1,008 adults, aged 16 and over, were asked which issues, from a list of 10, mattered most to them. The economy came out top with pensions second and welfare third. Then, in descending order, came Scotland's relationship with the rest of the UK, currency, immigration, energy, defence, the relationship with the European Union and broadcasting.

Research agency TNS carried out the interviews throughout Scotland between 3 and 10 January 2014. All interviews for the poll were conducted face-to-face, in homes, using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing and quota sampling. The recent economic slump is no doubt a concern to Scottish voters in the referendum and the two campaigns have their work cut out in trying to convince voters that they offer the best economic option. The Yes campaign point to Scotland’s oil potential and argue that by exploiting it they can solve social problems including putting an end to child poverty in Scotland. Indeed, some in the Yes campaign claim that if Scotland becomes independent, the country will be £5 billion better off by 2030. However, the Better Together campaign contend that maintaining the union is the only way to ensure Scotland’s economic progress, and the only way to ensure that major companies stay in Scotland. They also argue that taxes in an independent Scotland would have to rise dramatically if the country wants to continue with policies such as free prescriptions and free university tuition.

However, the issue of nuclear weapons in Scotland is also likely to be a huge factor in determining whether Scotland becomes independent or not. Opinion polls suggest that most Scots are against Trident nuclear weapons being based on the Clyde and the Yes Campaign are campaigning on the principle of having these weapons removed if Scotland becomes independent. The campaign against independence will have to convince Scottish voters that nuclear weapons are necessary for Scottish security within a United Kingdom.



Source A

(Adapted from various sources including BBC Website, 2014)



Source B

Nuclear Weapons Opinion Poll

(British Social Attitudes Survey, 2014)



Scottish independence: Pensions and the referendum debate

How to fund an increasingly ageing population is a 21st Century problem that weighs heavily on the minds of governments across the world. And it certainly matters in Scotland - the issue of pensions has consistently registered as one of the key issues in the independence debate. A recent BBC poll found that pensions came second in a list of the 10 things that mattered most to voters - only the economy was deemed more important. The Think Tank Reform Scotland raised the issue again in a report criticising Westminster for failing to make clear how "uncertain, unfunded and unsustainable" the current system is.

The Scottish government has said pensions would be "fully protected" in an independent Scotland, but bodies including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) have warned that more clarity is needed.

Currently, some public sector pension schemes (such as those on offer to nurses, teachers, police, civil servants and members of the armed forces) are administered by the UK government, while others are managed by the Scottish government. A recent study of Scotland's demography by the University of Ottawa suggested the number of working age people in Scotland will grow at a slower rate than in the rest of the UK, partly due to lower rates of immigration. Researchers said this will put an extra burden of taxation on workers, amounting to about 1.4% of national income by 2035. However, the authors also pointed out that this burden is a smaller factor than the overall pressures from demographic change affecting the whole of the UK and other countries.

Clearly the debate over pensions will be a key feature of the run-in towards the referendum in September 2014, and the two sides have the job of convincing Scottish voters that they have the answers.




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