What to Expect in the National 5 RMPS Exam – Monday 28th May 2018

The Exam

The National 5 Exam is made up of three parts.

World Religion

Explaining and commenting on the meaning and context of religious beliefs, practices and sources.

Morality and Belief

Presenting detailed and reasoned views about contemporary moral question

Religious and Philosophical Questions

Analysing religious and philosophical questions and responses.

It lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes, so roughly 45 minutes per section. Within each section there are different topics, you need to make sure you answer only the topic you have studied.

One Religion
One Moral Issue
One Philosophical Question

The question paper has 80 marks out of a total of 100 marks. The question paper is therefore worth 80% of the overall marks for the course assessment. It has a greater emphasis on the assessment of knowledge and understanding than the assignment, with approximately 50% of the marks being awarded for the demonstration of knowledge and understanding. The other marks are awarded for the demonstration of skills.

The question paper has three sections and each section has a number of parts. Each part has a minimum of 25 marks available. There are 4–6 questions in each part, worth between 3–8 marks per question.

Knowledge to Revise

Here is a really simple list of the main topics and what you should definitely know. This is the bare minimum and you would be expected to know a lot of detail and be able to draw links between the different parts.

World Religion

Part A: Buddhism

  •  Three Marks of Existence
  •  Four Noble Truths
  •  Three Poisons
  •  Beliefs about the Buddha
  •  Three Jewels
  •  Kamma
  •  Samsara
  •  Nibbana
  •  Living according to the Eightfold Path
  •  Five Precepts
  •  Meditation and puja

Part B: Christianity

  •  Nature of God
  •  Humans created in God’s likeness
  •  Free will
  •  Sin
  •  Jesus as an incarnation of God
  •  Death and resurrection of Jesus
  •  Judgement
  •  Heaven and Hell
  •  Following Jesus’ teachings and example
  •  Worship

Part C: Hinduism

  •  Nature of God
  •  Atman
  •  Avidya
  •  Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu
  •  Stories about Krishna
  •  Krishna and Arjuna
  •  Karma
  •  Samsara
  •  Moksha
  •  Dharma
  •  Three Margas
  •  Worship

Part D: Islam

  •  Nature of God
  •  Khaliphas (stewardship)
  •  Free will
  •  Sin
  •  Seal of the prophets
  •  Muhammed as a role model
  •  Revelation of the Qur’an
  •  Judgement
  •  Al-Jannah and Jahannam
  •  The Five Pillars
  •  Living according to the Qur’an
  •  Worship

Part E: Judaism

  •  Nature of God
  •  Dual nature of human beings
  •  Free will
  •  Sin
  •  The Exodus
  •  The Covenant
  •  Judgement
  •  Messiah
  •  Olam Ha-Ba
  •  Living according to the Torah
  •  Worship

Part F: Sikhism

  •  Nature of God
  •  Atma
  •  Maya
  •  Haumai
  •  The Five Evils
  •  Following the Gurus’ teachings
  •  Guru Granth Sahib
  •  Jivan Muhkti
  •  Karma
  •  Free will
  •  Sewa and Simran
  •  Khalsa
  •  Worship

Section 2: Morality and Belief

Responses should be drawn from religious and non-religious perspectives.In each part, candidates should be able to do the following at a straightforward level:

  •  present factual knowledge and understanding of the moral issues
  •  present factual knowledge and understanding of a religious and non-religious viewpoint on the moral issues
  •  analyse the different moral issues
  •  evaluate a religious and non-religious response to the moral issues
  •  present a reasoned viewpoint on the moral issues

Part A: Morality and Justice

  •  the purposes of punishment: retribution, deterrence, reformation, protection
  •  causes of crime: poverty, environment, psychological factors
  •  UK responses to crime: custodial sentences, non-custodial sentences, crime prevention
  •  capital punishment and life tariffs: humaneness, human rights

Part B: Morality and Relationships

  •  gender roles: family, employment, religion
  •  sexual relationships: purpose of sex, sexual consent, same sex
  •  marriage: arranged marriages, co-habitation, same-sex marriages, divorce
  •  equality and exploitation: religion, media

Part C: Morality, Environment and Global Issues

  •  resource management: purpose, natural resources, world economy
  •  environmental crises: global warming, depletion of resources, biodiversity
  •  poverty: causes, effects, solutions
  •  trade and aid: types of aid, types of trade, charity

Part D: Morality, Medicine and the Human Body

  •  the value of life: right to life, right to die, sanctity of life, personal autonomy
  •  use of embryos: reproductive, research, therapeutic
  •  end-of-life care: palliative, hospice
  •  euthanasia and assisted dying: voluntary euthanasia, non-voluntary euthanasia, assisted dying provided by individuals or organisations

Part E: Morality and Conflict

  •  conflict: causes of war, types of war, Geneva conventions, justifications
  •  consequences of war: human cost, environment, economic
  •  modern armaments: weapons of mass destruction, smart weapons, conventional weapons
  •  alternatives to war: sanctions, diplomacy, pacifism

Section 3: Religious and Philosophical Questions

Candidates must study one of the following parts (A to D). Responses should be drawn from religious and non-religious perspectives. In each part, candidates should be able to do the following at a straightforward level:

  •  present factual knowledge and understanding of a religious and philosophical question
  •  present factual knowledge and understanding of contrasting responses to a religious and philosophical question
  •  analyse a religious and philosophical question and responses to it
  •  evaluate responses to a religious and philosophical question
  •  present a reasoned viewpoint on the religious and philosophical question

Part A: Origins

  •  role of creator
  •  origins of the universe
  • big bang
    • literal and non-literal interpretation of creation stories
    •  view that sees a role for religious explanations only
    • view that sees a role for scientific explanations only
    • view that sees a role for both religious and scientific explanations
  •  origins of life
    • evolution
    •  interpretation of creation stories
    •  literal and non-literal interpretation of creation stories
    •  view that sees a role for religious explanations only
    •  view that sees a role for scientific explanations only
    •  view that sees a role for both religious and scientific explanations

Part B: The Existence of God

  •  nature of God
  •  cosmological argument
    • Aquinas’ cosmological argument
    • counter-arguments
    • science and the cosmological argument
    •  viewpoints supporting the arguments
    •  viewpoints criticising the arguments
  •  teleological argument
    •  Paley’s teleological argument
    • counter-arguments
    •  science and the teleological argument
    •  viewpoints supporting the arguments
    •  viewpoints criticising the arguments

Part C: The Problem of Suffering and Evil

  •  types of suffering and evil
  •  explanations of suffering and evil
    •  free will and responsibility
    •  determinism
    •  natural causes
    • role of God
  •  problems for beliefs about God
    •  nature of God
    •  challenge to the nature of God
    •  challenge to the existence of God
    •  theodicies

Part D: Miracles

  •  divine intervention
  •  fixed laws of nature
  •  scriptural miracles
    •  literal and non-literal explanations
    •  miracles in nature
    •  healing miracles
    • view that sees a role for religious explanations only
    •  view that sees a role for scientific explanations only
    • view that sees a role for both religious and scientific explanations
  •  non-scriptural miracles
    •  religious and non-religious explanations
    •  miracles in nature
    •  healing miracles
    • view that sees a role for religious explanations only
    • view that sees a role for scientific explanations only
    • view that sees a role for both religious and scientific explanations
This is all available on the SQA website as well as practice Exam Papers to help with your revision. Use the tags in the side bar to find other help guides.

The Skills

 

There are three main skills you will need in your exam. Use the handy guide in Appendix 2 on the SQA website to help you with the skills and how to best use them. https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/RMPSCourseSpecN5.pdf

Describe

These are probably the most straight forward question types. They are basic describe questions you will be asked to tell the examiner what you know about the particular belief, practice or topic. Look at the points this question is worth to give yourself an idea of how much detail to put in.

Analysing

Analysis is a pivotal skill in National 5. The focus in analysis is on breaking down factual information. Analysis can follow knowledge and understanding and very often excellent knowledge and understanding is, in fact, analysis. Similarly, analysis often precedes evaluation. Analysis includes the following:

    •   making connections
    •   explaining the background
    •   predicting consequences
    •   identifying implications
    •  interpreting sources and viewpointsAnalyse

Evaluating

There will be an 8 marker question in each section, this will be an Evaluation question.

For some time now, ‘evaluating’ has been misunderstood as simply listing two sides of an argument. The skill demands much more than this and expects candidates to discuss the quality of any positions taken. This involves:

    •   making a supported judgement on an issue
    •   making a supported measurement of the effects, impact or significance of an issue
    •   presenting a case for or against a position
    •   commenting on the quality of positions taken on issues

Evaluate

Read more about How to answer 8 Marker Questions here. 
I would highly advise all candidates to look through the Course specification on the SQA website. It explains in detail all about what is expected in the exam and how best to answer the questions. https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/RMPSCourseSpecN5.pdf
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