S2 Buddhism Course – Revision Guide


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The time is nearing for the S2 Assessment consolidating all your learning for Buddhism this term. You should have a copy of the below mind map to help you with what you should be revising. This guide is to provide a refresher for any bits you need extra help on. You will be able to bring your mind map into the assessment so make sure you have as much details on it as you can.

buddhism Mindmap

The Life of Buddha


You will need to know the story of the Life of Buddha; from his birth and prophecy made about him, to him seeing the four sights, leaving the palace, living an ascetic life and then eventually gaining Enlightenment.

This is the video we watched in Class you can rewatch to remind yourself.

Alternatively this is an excellent Timeline of the Life of Buddha. http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zg8c9j6

It is important to remember that Buddha did not die after gaining enlightenment, in fact he lived for another 50 years. He dedicated the rest of his life to helping others gain Enlightenment.

The Four Sights

seeng the old

The Four Sights are the four things that Siddhartha saw when he left the Palace. These impacted greatly on his life and eventually convinced him to leave the palace. You can read more about the sights and the impact of them in this other post here. You will need to know

  •  What the Four Sights are
  • What the impact of seeing them would be


Suffering is a key theme in Buddhism and Buddha taught a lot about how suffering is caused by craving and the need for permanence. He used the 4 Noble Truths to teach this.

You will need to know

  • What suffering is
  • What causes it
  • How we can stop it

You can read more about it on this BBC Guide.


The Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path consists of eight ways of thinking, speaking and behaving that the Buddha said people should follow if they want to reach Nirvana, the end of suffering.


You will need to know

  • What each of the steps mean

You can find a guide on the 8 steps and how to practice them in every day life here.



There is no one set definition of Enlightenment. It is a state of mind that is difficult to explain to those who are unenlightened. Buddhist believe that there is a cycle of birth, life and death and rebirth. This goes on and on. They believe that unless someone gains Enlightenment, when they die they will be reborn. If a person can gain Enlightenment, they can break out of this cycle. Breaking out of the cycle is called Nirvana (sometimes called Nibbana). It is the end of everything that is not perfect. It is perfect peace, free of suffering.

You will need to be able to describe Enlightenment in your own words.


Bulletproof Monk


In class we have been watching Bulletproof Monk. The story of a monk who has dedicated his life to protecting sacred scrolls. Many Buddhists join a monastery and become monks dedicating their whole life to gaining enlightenment or teaching others Buddhist beliefs and practices. Many shave their heads, wear robes and lead a simple life. Some may even give up their name and identity to focus only on following the eightfold path. You can read more about the monastic community here.

This is all the information you should know for your assessment. Remember that you can take in the mind map or other revision notes into the assessment so make sure you add lots of notes to it. Take the advice on this post wisely. The assessment has 22 questions and is out of 34 marks.




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