Spot the mistake before it’s too late! 2.0

Travis DixonRevision and Exam Preparation

Can you spot the potential disasters in these planned short answer responses?

Here are the answers for an activity in our “10 Example Answers” (2nd Edition) resource (coming soon). On the reverse side of all 5 short answer responses in this pack is an activity designed to help students prepare for their exams. In this activity students were given some questions and proposed answers. This post can be used to check their answers.

Nathan’s Answer

Question: Explain how emotion can influence one cognitive process.

Answer: One emotion that might affect cognition is fear and it can influence memory consolidation.

  • Mr Dixon’s Response:Go for it! Fear is an emotion and memory is a cognitive process. This is a common one that students get wrong because they either use something like aggression as an emotion (it’s not an emotion) or conformity or some other non-example of a cognitive process.

Ryoh’s Answer

Question: Describe one example of neuroplasticity.

Answer: One example of neuroplasticity is the hippocampus’s role in helping us remember things.

  • Mr Dixon’s Response: WAIT! This is an example of localization of function, not neuroplasticity. 

Samantha’s Answer

Question: Outline the role of one cultural dimensions on behaviour.*

Answer: One cultural dimensions that might influence behaviour is individualism.

  • Mr Dixon’s Response: WAIT! Technically speaking, individualism by itself is not a whole cultural dimension – you are best to write about individualism and collectivism.
Analog stopwatch close-up with blurred second hand.

While you’ll be feeling the pressure of time in the exam, take a deep breath and slow down – it could save you LOTS of lost marks.

Yurie’s Answer

Question: Describe one model of memory.

Answer: One model of memory is schema theory. This model helps us organize information in our minds. 

  • Mr Dixon’s Response: WAIT! Schema theory is not a memory model. If asked about a model of memory you should write about multi-store model or working memory model.

Samson’s Answer

Question: Describe the use of one research method used at the biological approach to understanding behaviour.

Answer: One research method used at the biological approach is correlational studies, which is used to study neuroplasticity. 

  • Mr Dixon’s Response: Go for it! A common mistake with this question is to use a non-example of a research method, like a twin study or MRI. Correlational studies and experiments are great to use for Paper 1 and 2 research methods questions.

You can join our student facebook group if you want to post questions about the exam.

Aya’s Answer

Question: Outline one ethical consideration relevant to the biological approach to understanding behaviour.

Answer: One ethical consideration relevant to studies at the biological approach is anonymity. This can be shown in studies on the effects meditation can have on the brain.

  • Mr Dixon’s Response: Go for it! This is a good way to approach this question.

  *It’s unlikely you’d be asked about two dimensions in a SAR – this is more likely an essay question. But it’s asked here to demonstrate the fact that individualism and collectivism are two ends of one dimension.

How can you avoid these mistakes?

Some simple tricks:

  • Work hard to revise

Plan your arguments and evidence for each topic when you’re revising. This will take some time, but you can get your teacher to check your planned argument + evidence to make sure you’re on the right track. If you want a second opinion on whether your planned argument + evidence would work for a particular topic, feel free to post it to our student group.

  • Plan your answer in the exam! 

Spend at least 2 minutes planning your answer and thinking it through. Don’t just start writing the first thing that comes into your head – write out a brief sketch or plan, then double-check that it’s consistent with the question. A mind map is an excellent way to plan your exam answers.


Everything you need for the exams is in our revision book.