Key Stage 5 Co-Ordinator:


Paper 1: In Search of the American Dream: The USA, c1917-96

The twentieth century saw the expectations and aspirations of ordinary people increase tremendously. In particular, the experience of two world wars led people to question the political, social and economic environment around them. Alongside this, technological advancements and the development of mass communication provided the means to experience a better quality of life and to the rapid spread of political, social and cultural ideas. In some countries this would lead to communist-inspired revolution from below — as in Russia and China — although not necessarily ending in the equality and security originally envisaged. In others, existing political and social structures attempted to adapt to these desires. In the USA, and indeed in Britain, the quest for political, social and economic advancement saw reforms to existing structures. In those countries which had become subject to the rule of nineteenth-century European empires, people sought to overthrow political domination and discrimination, bringing an end to imperial rule in India and apartheid in South Africa. Route F focuses on the experiences of people fighting for rights and freedoms in the USA, India and South Africa.

The options in Route F are linked by the common theme of a search for rights, freedoms and greater equality during the twentieth century. In the USA, the quest for political, social and economic advancement mainly looked to reform existing structures. In India, this quest led to more radical outcomes, bringing an end to imperial rule in India.

Studying two different countries allows students to develop a greater understanding of both similarities and differences in the search for greater rights, freedoms and equality in the twentieth-century world (although students will not be required to answer comparative questions that link the breadth and the chosen depth option).

In this route, students study:

In search of the American Dream: the USA, c1917–96 and India, c1914–48: the road to independence

30% of the total A level marks

Written examination, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes.

Marks available: 60

Students answer three questions: one from Section A, one from Section B and one from Section C.

Sections A and B comprise a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in breadth (AO1).

Section C comprises one compulsory question that assesses the ability to analyse and evaluate historical interpretations (AO3).

Paper 2: India, c1914-48: The Road to Independence

20% of A level  

Written examination, lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

Marks available: 40

Students answer two questions: one from Section A and one from Section B.

Section A comprises one compulsory question for the option studied, based on two sources. It assesses source analysis and evaluation skills (AO2).

Section B comprises a choice of essays that assess understanding of the period in depth (AO1).