History Assessment Objectives (AO)

Assessment Objectives (AO)

It is important for you to know why and how you are being assessed so that you may understand what and how to respond to test and exam questions. While the list below seems daunting, it provides for you the widest possible understanding of where the questions come from, why they are written as they are, and how you can prepare to respond for the best possible score. All your homework, class work, tests and exams will be based upon assessing (seeing what you know and understand) the extent to which you have attained these objectives. Teachers will ‘mark’ your work by indicating the degree to which you met these objectives; each time you do you will receive points or marks for your effort. The following assessment objectives (AO) are presented in increasing sophistication. Therefore low level questions worth 2-4 points/marks usually fall under AO1 – Knowledge and Understanding. Whereas high value questions worth 10-12 points/marks usually fall under AO3 – Synthesis and Evaluation. Use of Historical Skills AO4 should be applied on each and every major written assignment.

Assessment Objective 1: Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Recall and select relevant historical knowledge
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of historical context
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of historical processes: Cause and effect/continuity and change.
  4. Understand historical sources
  5. Deploy detailed, in-depth knowledge.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a specific historical topic

Assessment Objective 2: Application and Interpretation

  1. Apply historical knowledge as evidence
  2. Show awareness of different approaches to, and interpretations of, historical issues and events.
  3. Compare and contrast historical sources as evidence.
  4. Explain the importance of historical sources
  5. Present a summary of evidence.

Assessment Objective 3: Synthesis and Evaluation

  1. Evaluate different approaches to, and interpretation of, historical issues and events.
  2. Evaluate historical sources as evidence.
  3. Evaluate and synthesize evidence from both historical sources and background knowledge.
  4. Develop critical commentary using the evidence base
  5. Synthesize by integrating evidence and critical commentary.
  6. Present an analysis of a summary of evidence.

Assessment Objective 4: Use of Historical Skills

  1. Demonstrate the ability to structure an essay answer, using evidence to support relevant, balanced and focused historical arguments.
  2. Demonstrate evidence of research skills, organization and referencing.
  3. Demonstrate the use of historiography by including the views of historians.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to reach a qualified historical judgment.
  5. Demonstrate synopticity – ‘Approaching History in the way a professional historian would’ by drawing together knowledge, ideas and arguments to show overall historical understanding.