"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


LC History Exam Guide (H)

The exam is 2 hours & 50 minutes – take exactly 40 minutes per question, no more.

Q. 1 – Document Question

Ensure that you leave enough time for the Contextualisation Essay (1 – 1.5  A4 Pages) in the Document Question – it accounts for 40/100 marks.

Always quote from the Documents in EACH part of the Document Question except for the Contextualisation essay

Q. 2, 3 & 4 – Essays

Each paragraph in your essay will be marked out of 12 – ensure that enough facts, discussion and critical observation is made in EACH paragraph.

Ensure that your Introduction discusses and defines the ‘Key Concept(s)’, the Chronology of Events & the ‘Key Personality(s)’.

Also ensure that your introduction covers the MAIN POINTS of discussion – which you will then use as paragraph headings for the rest of the essay.

Write between 8 – 10 paragraphs in each essay.

Ensure that your CONCLUSION begins with summation i.e. summing up what you have already covered in all the previous paragraphs. (4/12) However, make sure that you have a least 3 – 4 New Points of argument, quotation & observation that you will make in the Conclusion.

Check at the beginning of each paragraph of each essay that you are answering the QUESTION ASKED – not merely “writing generally about the topic”. It is vital that your essays are critical & analytical, rather than purely narrative.

Key Words: Always ensure that you have fully explained key words in the question e.g. Communism, Totalitarianism, Propaganda. Explain in depth using examples.
Then Comment on their use/ relevancy to the period/ event in question.


“How effective was propaganda in creating a totalitarian state in Nazi Germany between 1933 & 1945?”

  • Propaganda: describe & explain in all forms i.e. print, visual, theatrical, etc. (also include specific ‘targets’ of propaganda to this question e.g. Anti-Semitism, Pro-Military, Anti-Treaty of Versailles, Pro-Aryan, Anti-Communism, Lebensraum, Anschluss, Grossdeutschland)
  • Joseph Goebbels: describe & explain his background, his role in Propaganda Ministry, his position in Nazi hierarchy, control over print media, visual media etc.
  • Albert Speer: his position in Nazi hierarchy, his role in the organisation of Nuremberg Rallies, numbers, size, scale & effect on German society
  • Leni Riefenstahl: her role in dramatising Hitler’s part in Nuremberg Rallies, her films ‘Triumph of the Will’ etc.
  • Totalitarian State: define what it means. Prove its existence in Germany at this time e.g. one-party state, National Socialism, dictatorship, Fuhrer & Cult of Leadership, State Rallies at Nuremberg, Hitler Youth, League of German Maidens, Nazi Labour Front, SS, Gestapo, Nuremberg Laws etc.
  • 1933 – 1945: Ensure there is a logical & chronological progression from 1933 to 1945 throughout your essay. In this way, you can describe how totalitarianism increased and/or deepened, also commenting on how this reflected the ever-increasing ambition and extremism of the Nazi leadership (Final Solution, 1942)
  • “How Effective” – throughout your essay and in each paragraph, you should continuously refer to the key part of the question. Evaluating and measuring the level of effectiveness of all of the above in contributing to a totalitarian state in each paragraph is essential. One can use similar adjectives, at times, in the place of ‘effective’:- Successful
    – worthwhile/ useful
    – Productive
    – potent
    – Powerful
    – fruitful
    – constructive
    – contributing

Marking Scheme for Essays

CM (Cumulative Mark) = 60/100

OM (Overall Mark)       = 40/100

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