AQA Psychology A Level Revision For Psya4

AQA Psychology A Level Revision For Psya4

We move onto the final paper for our Psychology A Levelrevision, which is Psya4. A2 Psya4 consists of two essay-based questions with the final section being research methods again similar to AS Psya1. A detailed video for Psya4 and Psya3 is here:

You are given the choice of picking your topics for the two essay based questions. The first essay question looks at Psychopathology, which you may remember from AS Psya2. The second topic is Psychology In Action. Thankfully Psya4 is significantly easier than Psya3 because the questions are standardised across psychopathology and the questions for Psychology in action are not difficult either. For Psychopathology you can choose from:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Phobic Disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders

The questions, as mentioned are standardised – here let me show you:

On the left you have topics to choose from – on the right you will notice the questions remain the same no matter which topic you choose. Again you have to be careful; the bullet pointed sections can break down even further into more questions!

I chose Psya4 Schizophrenia, as it’s the easiest I think. There’s probably up to 12 essays you would need to create and memorise to cover all your bases however I took the risk and memorised only 6 and only one essay answer for each of the above.

Why did I do this? I did this because I noticed the past questions for Psya4 Schizophrenia have never been specific and generally broad e.g. “Discuss biological explanations for Schizophrenia” or “outline and evaluate a Psychological therapy”. It has never specifically asked for two explanations or specified which explanation or treatment it wants.

E.g. It has never asked “Outline/Evaluate how genes play a role in schizophrenia”, or “Outline two biological explanations or two Psychological treatments”.

Therefore I opted to take the gamble and memorise only a single essay for each and it has worked for me. This assumption applies to Schizophrenia only however and always double check the AQA Psychology past papers and which Psya4 past questions have been asked. It’s up to you and I suppose it depends on the amount of time you have to revise.  They can ask for two however so be warned.

For the second essay topic for AQA PsychologyPsya4, you choose from topics, which cover Psychology In Action. The choices are:

You have 3 choices, which are listed above from the specification:

  • Media Psychology
  • The Psychology Of Addictive Behaviour
  • Anomalistic Psychology

I looked at all 3 and picked Psya4 media psychology because it is by far the easiest I think and is based on concepts we have already learnt about (Social Learning Theory etc.) therefore we already have much of the foundation knowledge there to build on from AS psychology. Depending on which topic you choose, the questions may vary in size – for example, for media psychology there hasn’t been a full essay question on it ever and the topic generally asks 2-3 smaller questions. For Psychopathology you can be asked either a full essay question or have it broken down even into smaller ones. There’s a list of past questions for Psya4here so you can see for yourself.

Your best bet is to identify every possible question from the spec and memorise model essays. If your asked a smaller question then great as you should be able to easily cut down your memorised essays into smaller essays picking out the key bits dependant on how many marks are available.

The final section for A level Psychology is research methods, which I will dedicate a whole article to considering the difficulty many psychology students have.

-Saj Devshi

Loopa Psychology A Level Revision.

Next article: AQA Psychology Psya4 Research Methods Revision

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