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) 5 November 2021

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


14: European states in the inter-war years (1918–1939) 24 October 2021

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


15: Diplomacy in Europe (1919–1945) 19 August 2021

This topic covers the inter-war period as states sought to deal with the repercussions of the First World War, to establish...


13: Europe and the First World War 19 February 2021

This topic focuses on the breakdown of diplomacy in Europe that led to July Crisis and the outbreak of the First World War,...


12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union 14 November 2020

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


Option 2: History of the Americas 31 October 2020

There are 18 possible topics in this section which range from 8th Century to 20th Century, from Medieval times to developments...

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