An O-Level History Examination from 1979

I have in the past posted a few examples of the O- and A-level examinations I took when I was at school. These have been mainly science and mathematics papers as those are relevant to the area of higher education in which I work, and I thought they might be of interest to students past and present.

A few people have emailed me recently to ask if I could share any other examinations, so here are the two History papers I took for O-level in June/July 1979. Can that really have been almost 40 years ago?

These were Papers 5 and 12 out of an unknown number of possible papers chosen by schools. My school taught us exclusively about British and European history from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries; you will observe that in both cases `history’ was deemed to have ended in 1914. It’s possible that some of the other papers paid more attention to the wider world.

I have no idea what modern GCSE history examinations look like, but I’d be interested in any comments from people who do about the style and content!

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7 Responses to “An O-Level History Examination from 1979”

  1. Paul Stevenson Says:

    Here’s an example of what a modern GCSE history exam looks like. The style appears to have changed somewhat. https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/History/2009/Exam-materials/5HA03_3A_que_20170621.pdf

  2. It could have been worse… due to timetabling conflicts I was made to learn about Tudors and Stuarts, rather than ‘modern’ history. And we never made it to the Enlightenment.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    One of the questions in your O-level examination, in conjunction with your new address, reminds me: saying that you were at the same college in Cambridge as Parnell should get you a few drinks in bars.

    • telescoper Says:

      Funnily enough we were talking about Parnell only the other day. It seems people generally know little about him apart from his affair with Kitty O’Shea!

      Parnell seems to have been an impressive character, perhaps due to his splendid beard.

  4. […] A blog about the Universe, and all that surrounds it « An O-Level History Examination from 1979 […]

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