Robin Bunce provides some exam guidance on this topic



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Volume 17, Number 2, November 2014

Exam focus

Edexcel: Trotsky in power

Robin Bunce

Robin Bunce provides some exam guidance on this topic

This resource presents and discusses a sample essay which draws material from Geoffrey Swain’s article on Trotsky in power (see pp. 18–21 of this issue of Modern History Review). This topic is relevant to one of the key themes addressed in Edexcel AS Unit 1: Stalin’s Russia, 1924–53.



The unit and exam

Edexcel’s AS Unit 1 option, Stalin’s Russia, 1924–53, covers the politics, economy and society of Russia from Lenin’s death in 1924 to Stalin’s death almost 30 years later. Specifically, it considers four key topics:



The exam comprises two questions, of which you should complete one. You have about 40 minutes to write and plan the essay. You will also have been prepared for another section of the paper.

The exam questions do not relate to any sources, and therefore they test your own knowledge. In essence, the exam tests your ability to do three things:



The following sample essay addresses the first key topic, Stalin’s rise to power, using information and analysis from Geoffrey Swain’s article ‘Trotsky in power’.




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