The scheme of assessment for the Ordinary Level qualification is based on two examination papers.
Paper 1 is presented in two parts. Section A focuses on research methods and comprises one compulsory
question based on source material. The second part of the examination paper is divided into three sections:
Section B covers the theme of Culture and Socialisation; Section C is Social Stratification; and Section D is
Power and Politics. There are two structured questions in each section. Candidates are required to answer
three questions from Section B to D. The examination for Paper One is of 2 hours 30 minutes duration.
Paper 2 is divided into four sections addressing the themes of the Family, Education, Mass Media, and
Crime, Deviance and Social Control. There are two structured questions in each section. Candidates are
required to answer three questions from Sections A to D. ...view middle of the document...
An effective teaching strategy will therefore include provision
for teaching and supporting the development of these skills among the candidates individually and as a study
group. Teachers and Centres will identify their own schemes of best practice to suit their particular
circumstances and candidate requirements. The following recommendations are intended as a modest
contribution to the process of formulating an appropriate teaching strategy that each Centre will approach in
its own way, and they are not necessarily the only or most effective way of helping candidates to achieve
success in the examination.
Where candidates under-perform in the O Level examination, there are two main reasons. First, some
candidates demonstrate little or no knowledge of appropriate sociological evidence and ideas. There seems
to be an assumption on the part of these candidates that the examination questions can be answered
successfully by recounting personal experiences and viewpoints rather than referring to relevant academic
material. Such an approach inevitably results in failure. Candidates who lack an appropriate knowledgebase
for the subject should be discouraged from sitting the examination.
The second reason why some candidates under-perform in the examination is not because they lack
sociological knowledge, but rather because they have difficulty in applying their knowledge appropriately to
the questions set. To accumulate marks in the examination it is necessary to demonstrate the skills of
describing, explaining, interpreting, and evaluating appropriate sociological evidence and ideas. These skills
are in some ways more intellectually demanding than the relatively simple process of absorbing and
reproducing knowledge about a subject. They depend upon other underlying skills such as judgement,
insight, reasoning, logic, and command of language. Nevertheless, much can be achieved through the use
of carefully selected teaching strategies to stimulate and hone the required intellectual qualities in the