How Many A Level History Exams Are There?

The number A level history exams you’ll have to take depends on the exam board. If you’re thinking of choosing history, don’t let the number of exams put you off. If you’re willing to work hard, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed in this subject. You just have to make sure that you prepare for exam season fully!


With the OCR exam board, you’ll usually take three exams. Students choosing A level history will study three modules, two in AS level, and one in A level. Coursework will also take up a percentage of your grade, although you won’t have to perform this part in exam conditions.

Each exam accounts for a different percentage of your grade, so you may want to focus on one more than the other depending on your strengths and weaknesses, not to mention how confident you are too.

However, with three modules, this means you’ll have to work extremely hard throughout the two academic years just to memorise all the content. A tutor who tutors history online will certainly be able to help. There’s certainly a hefty amount of content, so it’s important to get your priorities right and find a revision method that works well for you.


There are three components to AQA history A level., although only two of them are under exam conditions.

The first component, the breadth study, tests students’ abilities in analysing and evaluating historians’ views. It will require answers to essay questions which will test the historical understanding of developments of whatever module you are doing.

The second examination, the depth study, tests students’ abilities in analysing and evaluating primary sources. It requires students to write another set of essays aimed to mark you on historical understanding in depth.

Thirdly, the final component, the historical investigation, is pretty self-explanatory. Students will carry out a historical investigation in non-examination conditions, researching and writing independently. So, despite having fewer exams than the OCR exam board, you still may want to avoid AQA history if you struggle with writing essays!


Similar to OCR, Edexcel requires students to take three examinations for A level history alongside a piece of coursework. Whatever modules you take, this will cover a breadth study with interpretations, a depth study, and themes in breadth with aspects in-depth paper. The piece of coursework and exam papers make up different percentages of your final grade. So, you may want to consider this when trying to prioritise things.

So, whilst the number of exams varies from exam board to exam board, most are similar in that they require several written exams and a piece of coursework. Due to a large amount of content, some students find the number of exams overwhelming at A level. However, the key to tackling this is just to plan and prioritise what you need to do. Hopefully, this discussion will have given you a broader overview of what to expect with A level history. Whatever exam board you take, they will challenge and test you in similar ways.

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