Answering the Questions

Writing in Full Paragraphs - (The Dead Successful Cert)

Unlike (a) to (c) questions, (d) and (e) questions must be written using full paragraphs - that means no bullet-points.

Most readers have a really good idea of how to write using paragraphs, but just in case let' will outline some instructions of what to do.

A really good strategy from Bognor Regis Community College is called The Dead Successful Cert.

  • THE - Topic sentence, where you state your point for the whole paragraph.
  • DEAD - Developing sentence, you further explain the point adding some additional detail
  • SUCCESSFUL - Supporting sentences, this is where you provide several bits of evidence to support your Topic sentence. In RS this usually means you refer to relevant examples and teachings from the religion you have been asked about. You then need to show your reasons for picking that evidence
  • CERT - Concluding sentence, more important in (e) questions where you should evaluate at the end of each paragraph, in (d) questions it is a good to refer back to the question and show how you have answered it

If you have been taught a different way of writing paragraphs and you have practised it a lot then we would suggest carrying on with it. Nonetheless, you should still include the elements outlined above.

How Marks are Calculated

How many marks in total (there are two sets of questions in each paper)

  • 2 marks for (a) questions
  • 4 for marks (b) questions
  • 6 for (c) questions
  • 12 for (d) questions
  • 24 for (e) questions

Marks Needed for Each Grade (for each paper)

  • A* = 43
  • A = 38
  • B = 33
  • C = 28
  • D = 23
  • E = 20
  • F = 17

To get an A or A* grade you need to be aiming for the following:

Questions Marks for A grade Marks for A* grade
(a) 4 out of 4 4 out of 4
(b) 4 out of 4 4 out of 4
(c) 4 out of 4 4 out of 4
(d) 10 out of 12 12 out of 12
(e) 18 out of 24 20 out of 24
TOTAL 38 43

This is a basic guide to the sort of marks you will need. It may be that you fail to get some of the marks in the (a) to (c) questions, therefore it is suggested that you work towards getting the A* so that if things go wrong then you will definitely get the A grade. Throughout the book you will be instructed to write in a way that goes well beyond what you would need to get full marks, therefore if something goes wrong you will still have plenty of marks in reserve to get the best grades. We will aim for the stars so that we can get over the roof.

Exemplar Answers

"Reason is not enough to believe in God" Discuss


  1. Reason can be used to discover God and therefore he should be believed in
  2. Faith is a better basis for believing in God
  3. You need both faith and reason in order to have a strong belief in God


Link to PDF

Get More Help with GCSE Religious Studies for OCR B
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