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Title History SBQ Formatting and Revision Tip Version 4

Author Lim Wang Sheng, School of Information Technology, Nanyang


Polytechnic
Mentoring Club, Nanyang Polytechnic
Date 17/9/2017
Notes May work for Social Studies Paper as well. Both Social Studies and
History Paper are set in similar format.

I am Wang Sheng from School of Information Technology, Nanyang Polytechnic. I


am here to combine my revision tips with history SBQ formatting. Hopefully, my
mistakes and my wonderful experience can be relevant to students studying
history at N or O levels.

Some tips my teacher back then in Secondary 3 and 4 told me.


• Don’t miss revision sessions
• Don’t do last minute work – History requires constant revision.
• In some SBQ questions, you need to pretend you don’t know history and
read in the perspective of the listener or reader, history knowledge while
helps, can sometimes distort how you interpret the source.

Exam Format
Section 1 or Section A – Source Based Questions.
You are given text, speeches or pictures and you need to use that to interpret the
source meaning. More advanced questions require you to interpret its reliability
and usefulness.

Section 2 or Section B – Structured Essay Questions.


You are given questions that require you to, from memory, write down facts that
you know.

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Formatting for Source Based Questions at N or O levels.

History SBQ Type: Inference


Question 1: What does Source A tells you?
Source A tells me that <inference>.
As seen from Source A <Source Obtained>.
Question 2: What can you infer from Source B?
I can infer from Source B that <inference>.
As seen from Source B <Source Obtained>.

If you are observant enough, I highlighted various words. I want to remind


students that teachers may deduct marks from students for using the wrong
“action words”. Simply put, the action word or the way you answer the questions
must follow what the question gives you.

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History SBQ Type: Similarity and Differences
Distinguishing the Requirements of the Questions
Question Type Requirements
How Different are Source C and Source 1 Difference, 1 Similarity
D?
How are Source C and Source D 2 Differences
Different?
How Similar are Source C and Source 1 Similarity, 1 Difference
D?
How are Source C and Source D 2 Similarities.
Similar?
Reasoning Logic:
“How different” or “How Similar” is asking for the degree of differences or
similarity respectively.
” How are the Sources different” or “How are the sources similar” is asking for
the reason why the sources must be different or similar respectively.

Format for Answering Similarities Requirements.


Source C and D are Similar
As both shows <Common Inference>.
As seen from Source C <Source Obtained>.
As seen from Source D <Source Obtained>.

Format for Answering Differences Requirements.


Source C and D are different in <Differences Between Two Sources>
As seen from Source C <Source Obtained>.
As seen from Source D <Source Obtained>.

Other way of Phrasing Similarity and Differences Question May Include.


How far does Source C and Source D agree with each other?
Why Source C and Source D disagree with each other?

Therefore, history students should do more assessment books and practices. With
enough practices, you know the many ways questions are phrased in an exam.

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History SBQ Question Type: Purpose
Question 4: Referring to Source E, why do you think the speaker made that
statement?
Source E was made by <Author/Speaker/Creator>
to <Action Word & Target> (E.g. Convince,
Persuade, Criticize, Encourage)
as to <Outcome & Audience >.
As seen from Source E <Source Obtained>.

Example: Source E was made by the opposition party to criticize the government
as to obtain support from the people.

Any Source Based Questions on Reliability I have seen demands the following
information:

• Author/Speaker/Creator
• Action
• Audience
• Outcome

This method can also be used to approach reliability questions in the following
page.

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History Question Type: Source Reliability
Question 5: How Reliable is Source E?

Method 1: Cross Referencing with Other Sources within the Same Exam Paper
Source E is Reliable,
as Source E agrees with <Other Sources> (E.g. Source A.).
Source E tells me that <Inference>
As seen from Source E <Source Obtained>.
Source A tells me that <Inference>
As seen from Source A <Source Obtained>.

Source E is Not Reliable,


As Source E disagree with <Other Sources> (E.g. Source B).
Source E tells me that <Inference>
As seen from Source E <Source Obtained>.
Source B me that <Inference>
As seen From Source B <Source Obtained>.

Method 2: Logical Deduction and Purpose


Source E is Not Reliable,
As Source E is biased.
Source E was made by <Author/Speaker/Creator>
to <Action Word & Target> (E.g. Convince,
Persuade, Criticize, Encourage)
as to <Outcome & Audience >.
As seen from Source E <Source Obtained>.

Source E is Reliable
As Source E is not biased.
Source E was made by <Author/Speaker/Creator>
to <Action Word & Target> (E.g. Convince,
Persuade, Criticize, Encourage)
as to <Outcome & Audience >.
As seen from Source E <Source Obtained>.

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Method 3: Background Knowledge in History
Source E is Reliable
As it agrees with my knowledge of history.
I learn from history that <Background Knowledge Applied>.

Source E is Not Reliable


As it disagrees with my knowledge of history.
I learn from history that <Background Knowledge Applied>.

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