Paper 3

Paper 3 is an in-depth essay paper for Higher students only. 

This page gives an overview what is required; see Essay writing for Paper 3 to get hints for tackling Paper 3 essay questions and suggestions for helping students develop their essay writing skills.

What is the nature of Paper 3?

Paper 3 is a two hour and 30 minute essay paper. Students have to answer three essay questions out of a choice of 36 questions.

What content needs to be covered for Paper 3?

There are four regions to choose from:

  • History of Africa and the Middle East
  • History of the Americas
  • History of Asia and Oceania
  • History of Europe

For whichever region is selected, three sections must be studied from a choice of 18 sections. These sections allow content from a wide range of time periods to be covered.

What is the structure of this paper?

There are 36 essay questions on the paper. These will be grouped under the section headings - two essays per section. However students can answer ANY three questions on this paper (i.e. they could do two from one section)

How will this paper be marked?

Each essay is marked out of 15. There are generic markbands for marking the essays as well as indicative content. A student-friendly breakdown of the markbands can be found on the page: Assessment for Paper 3

Selected Pages


8: The French Revolution and Napoleon I (1774–1815) 7 November 2018

This section covers the French Revolution starting with its origins in the 1780s and then the amazing events of 1789 through...


16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924–2000) 31 October 2018

This topic covers the dramatic events in the Soviet Union from Stalin's establishment of a totalitarian state through economic...


14: European states in the inter-war years (1918–1939) 31 October 2018

This section deals with the domestic developments in Italy, Germany and Spain in the inter-war years. In addition, it is...


12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union 31 October 2018

This topic looks at the last Tsars of Imperial Russia, the growing clash between conservatism and modernization and the...


7. The Soviet Union and Russia: Graded student essays 7 October 2018

On this page you will find sample essays on this topic, written by students. There are also some suggested activities that...


6. The Soviet Union and Russia: Essay frames and writing exercises 27 August 2018

This page contains a variety of essay writing exercises and essay plans for this topic.Task OneEssay practice: IntroductionsDiscuss...

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.