Psya1 Revision Checklist For Essays

Does A level psychology seem hard? Maybe it feels so overwhelming at the amount of stuff you need to learn and remember for the exams that you’re probably wondering how to begin? How on earth do you begin to memorise all this psychological information? – I’ve been there and so have all the Loopa students whose pictures you see on the website.

Well what if I told you psychology doesn’t need to be a hard subject! – Sometimes you just need a bit of guidance and that’s where I come in. I’ve broken down your entire A level course for you below with an in depth guide and revision checklist for all the psychology topics you need to learn – Let’s get started.

How Do I Begin Revising For A level Psychology?

(This explains everything below – read it carefully ! Links to resources and notes are also given below!)

You are studying the new specification if you have started your psychology course after September 2015 as a new student. You will start learning unit 1 and unit 2 (also known as 7181/1 and 7181/2) for AS and the full A level has the unit code 7182 where you will also sit a third paper too.

You can download the new specification here.

Some students are still doing the old psychology specificationif they are retaking their exams with the last opportunity to resit them likely to be the 2017 exam window. Students who started studying A level psychology from 2015 or later will always be learning the new psychology specification. The first set of year 2 exams for the new psychology specification (also known as just A level exams now) will be sat in 2017 onwards. Below you have a road map for how your AS or A level psychology course breaks down:

An Overview Of Your AQA Psychology Exam Papers

AQA A Psychology Road Map

The Psychology Syllabus Explained

  • AS students sit unit 1 (7181/1) and then unit 2 (7181/2) after 1 year of study. At this point they can either opt to keep the AS qualification and finish the course or choose to continue to do the full A level in the second year.
  • If you choose to do the full A level you will resit modified versions of unit 1 and unit 2 again (which have more topics) but you will also study unit 3 in addition to this. After sitting all 3 exams in your second year you will be given your A level qualification based on how well you do in these 3 exams.
  • Some schools have opted to ignore the AS exams and study the full A level only sitting the exams in the second year. This is because AS results do not count towards your full A level psychology grade. Other schools will let students sit their AS exams and then choose whether to continue into the second year or not for the full A level.

Be sure to ask your school/teacher what it is they are doing so you know how the course will break down for you.

  • The new specification consists of 2 exam papers for AS students.
  • For A level students, the linear specification requires A level students to sit 3 exam papers.

AS / A level Psychology Paper 1:

For additional help with this paper you can getpaper 1 notes here for both AS and A level psychology.

AS / A level Psychology Paper 2:

  • Approaches in psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Research Methods

For help with paper 2 you can get paper 2 notes here for AS and A level psychology.

A level Psychology Paper 3 (7182):

Paper 3 for A level psychology consists of Issues and debates as well as the following 9 topics:

  1. Aggression
  2. Relationships
  3. Schizophrenia
  4. Cognition and Development
  5. Forensic psychology
  6. Eating behaviour
  7. Stress
  8. Gender
  9. Addiction

You are required to pick 3 to study and answer questions on however they are all split into 3 groups where you can pick only 1 from each group. The split is as follows:

  • One topic from either Aggression, Addiction or Forensic psychology.
  • One topic from either Schizophrenia, Stress or Eating behaviours
  • One topic from either Relationships, Gender or Cognition and Development.

Covering the new AS/A Level specification

  • Past questions for unit 1 AS and A level psychology (7181/7182) are available here. This includes all the 6-12 mark questions for AS and 6-16 mark questions for A level psychology.
    • You can check all the unit 1 possible essay questions you can also be asked for both the AS and A level exams here.
  • Past questions for unit 2 AS and A level psychology (7181/7182) are available here. This includes all the questions ranging from 6-12 marks for AS psychology and 6-16 mark questions for A level psychology.
    • You can check all the unit 2 possible essay questions you can also be asked for both the AS and A level exams here.
  • Past questions for unit 3 (7182) A level psychology (7182) are available here. This breaks down all the different topic questions in unit 3 7182 for A level psychology. The respective ebooks for each topic I have written cover every possible question and give you model essay answers which will help you master these topics too.

    Covering the new AS unit 2 (7181/2) specification for first teaching from September 2015

  • Past AQA A psychology exam papers and mark schemes for unit 1 7181/1 (AS and A level)
  • Past AQA A psychology exam papers and mark schemes for unit 2 7181/2 (AS and A level)
  • Past AQA A psychology exam papers and mark schemes for unit 3 7182 (A level)

  • Complete breakdown of the aqa psychology grade boundaries are here – (these are updated every year) – This also outlines the differences from last years exam papers so we can see if they go up or down and by how much.

  • Understanding Your UMS A Level Grade Results And Calculation – this explains how your mark is worked out, what you need for an A or A* grade and how you can work out what your raw mark was also.


If you are a school you can bookmark this page by adding this code to your school’s website:

<a href=””>Loopa Psychology Revision</a>

You can also earn free resources/discounts by adding us to your school’s website – simply email myself once added here: sajdevshi AT gmail dot com.

Many students tell us that they don't know what to check for once they have finished their essay. They usually know to check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling, but other details are often seen as less important because of the high emphasis placed on these problems in their early education.

Writing experts generally agree, however, that while details such as grammar and punctuation are important, they are far less important than solid organization,  fresh writing, and creative content.

The following guidelines are designed to give students a  checklist to use, whether they are revising individually or as part of a peer review team.


  • Is there a clear introduction, body, and conclusion?
  • Does the introduction provide sufficient background for the reader? Are the "who," "where," "why," "what," and "how" questions addressed?
  • Is there a thesis sentence? Is the purpose of the essay clear?
  • Does the essay move from general to specific?
  • Are there sufficient transitions between related ideas?
  • Is the overall organization murky or clean? In other words, does the writer avoid introducing new material in the conclusion or switching subjects in the middle of a paragraph in the body?
  • Does every paragraph address the subject matter of the thesis in some way?

Content and Style

  • Does the essay show that the writer has a knowledge of the audience?
  • Is the length appropriate and adequate?
  • Has the writer used sufficient examples and detail to make his or her points clearly?
  • Has the assignment been addressed?
  • Is the tone of the essay appropriate?
  • Has the writer avoided insulting the reader?
  • Is the tone of the essay professional and appropriate?
  • Is the language convincing, clear, and concise?
  • Has the writer used fresh language and a creative approach?

Research and Sources

  • Are all sources credible?
  • Is the research accurate, unbiased, and complete?
  • Has the writer fully interpreted the findings?
  • Has the writer commented on each source used?
  • Is the analysis based on hard evidence?
  • Is the analysis free of faulty reasoning?
  • Is the documentation in the Works Cited page and body of the essay correct?
  • Have all quotations been checked against the original?
  • Are all quotations introduced? Is the flow of the essay seamless?
  • If material was paraphrased, are the sources still mentioned?
  • If necessary, are limitations clearly spelled out?
  • If included, are recommendations based on accurate interpretations?
  • Have all facts been checked for accuracy?
  • Have any potentially libelous statements been eliminated?


  • Has the writer checked grammar and punctuation?
  • Has the writer spell checked the essay?
  • Has the writer checked for his or her particular pattern of error?
  • Are the page numbers correct?
  • Is the title capitalized correctly?
  • Has the writer used the correct margin and font?
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