significance history

GCSE History: Understand Significance

What is significance in GCSE history?

Significance is becoming an increasingly important skill in GCSE history and IGCSE history. All the exam boards are now looking for an understanding of significance to get a high grade, so it needs to appear in essays.

The AQA British paper has questions on significance and importance. This new skill has really extended the idea of consequence into a clear field: now consequences must have a great impact.  

Write an A-Grade essay


For GCSE history and IGCSE history students this means that they must be able to explain an event clearly. As well as being able to connect it to events that may be much later in time and explain their connection. For students aiming for grade 7-9 the more complicated the consequence the better. They should consider wider long-term gaps in time and wider topics (eg socio-economic connected to political).  

Significance in KS3 and GCSE history

This is beginning to impact KS3, as well as GCSE history, and students are often asked to consider significance over time. I have been asking my students to consider it via a significance starThis is based around the LISTS criteria.  This may be helpful for any GCSE students when considering their answers.



How to structure AQA A-level History essays


About Simon

Simon has studied History to Masters Degree Level and gained a 1st in his Dissertation. He has studied the Tudors, Modern America, Russia and many more subjects in great depth.  Simon is Head of History in a prestigious UK independent school and is an expert tutor for The Tutor Team. You can contact Simon here.

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