Always Learning

 Past Papers and Mark Schemes 

Past papers are a handy way to check the level of the questions you’ll need to answer in an exam. This makes them a great revision tool.

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Which past papers are available?

  • Question papers and mark schemes more than nine months old for most qualifications
  • All functional skills question papers and mark schemes except for those from the previous two exam sessions. 

Only teachers at Pearson-approved schools and colleges have access to the most recent exam papers. This is to ensure that there is at least one exam paper which they can be used for a mock exam.

Using test papers to prepare for exams

It's sensible to look at past papers as part of your exam practice. They won't help you predict the questions or topics that are likely to come up in the exam but you can use them to:

  • assess whether you have learnt the material
  • identify gaps in your knowledge.
  • Read our tips on using past papers to revise

    If you practise under exam conditions you can use past papers as a trial run and see if you know the answers under pressure. You'll also get a feeling for how long you can spend on each question and how much detail you can write in the time.

    Some students find it useful to look at questions on past papers for old specifications. If a topic was also covered in an old specification it can be useful to test your knowledge and understanding by tackling these questions as well.

    Case studies, source booklets and pre-release materials

    Some subjects, like geography and history, have case studies, source booklets or pre-release materials that you need to answer the questions in the paper.  If you need one of these documents and it isn't at the back of the question paper, it will be attached to the pdf with a paper clip icon.

    Find out how to open documents attached to a question paper

    Step 1 - Open the relevant question paper.

    Step 2 - Double click the paperclip icon on the front cover of the question paper.

    Note: Sometimes the paperclip doesn't show if you are using Google Chrome. If you can't see a paperclip icon you may need to download another pdf viewer like Adobe Reader.

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