SBQ Practice: Assertion Skills
10-mark question (part e) is liken to a multiple inference (assertion) question, e.g.:
“The healthcare system in Britain is not effective in providing quality healthcare to its people”
Using sources in this case study, explain how far would you agree with this statement. 
For such questions, there are mainly 2 parts:
Step 1: Do a multiple inference of at least 4 sources, showing BOTH sides i.e. effective and not effective in providing healthcare to its people
- This step will garner a student a range of 5-8 marks, depending on number and quality of inferences
Step 2: This is what we call the evaluation part. This part consists of 2 marks. Students are basically evaluating the ‘how far’ component of the question. They can choose to evaluate in either of the below-mentioned 3 areas:
- Analysing 1-2 sources in relation to its reliability and utility (using critical analysis of provenance through its purpose and tone)
- This is a relatively safe route. After doing a multiple inference, students can then go ahead to check reliability of 2 sources à if the 2 sources are unreliable/reliable à it will be good for student to then make an overall stand to state that due to the unreliability/reliability of the 2 sources, he or she would agree or disagree to a large extent
- Using examples from students’ contextual knowledge
- This route is generally advised only when the SBQ’s topic is related to the topics being examined in the school textbook, then students can feel free to use their contextual knowledge
- The contextual knowledge acts as an ‘check-and-balance’ to the multiple inferences
- Once again, after putting in the contextual knowledge, student should make an overall statement again on whether he or she would agree or disagree to a large extent
- Giving a balanced conclusion
- This route is basically doing a weighing of both sides and then deciding on which side is more predominant
- To do this route, a student should try to identify a BASIS of weighing. The basis of weighing can be in a few perspectives:
- Time-frame ( short-run VS long-run/ past VS present VS future)
- State and nature of society/economy/country
- State can be similar to present time-frame
- Nature can be the long-term characteristics of the examined country/society for example, size/culture of country
Through an examination of the sources, there are sources that both agree and also disagree with the statement. Sources A and B both agree with this statement. This is seen in source A where…… This implies….. Furthermore, Source B also agrees with the statement. This is seen in source B where…. This implies………
On the other hand, sources C and D both disagree with this statement. This is seen in source C where…… This implies…… Moreover, source D also disagrees with the statement. This is seen in source D where…… This implies……
In conclusion, I would agree/disagree with this statement to a small/large extent. Looking at the reliability of source A, it is written by author, addressed to audience to convince and let them know that message so that they will do/outcome. Source A might have an incentive to be biased towards/against….. thus making it unreliable. Looking at source B……… Therefore since A and B are both unreliable, it implies that they are not as useful to be used to examine the statement and thus I would tend to believe source C and D more and therefore disagree with the statement to a large extent.
In conclusion, I would agree/disagree with this statement to a small/large extent. Based on my contextual knowledge……. Thus my contextual knowledge substantiates sources C and D’s stands and thus I will disagree with this statement to a large extent.
In conclusion, I would agree/disagree with this statement to a small/large extent. Looking at the present state of the British healthcare system, where it is overstretched with overworked staff and long waiting times, coupled with the nature of Britain facing an ageing population, it is inevitable that the British healthcare system would find it extremely hard to provide quality healthcare to its people and thus I will disagree with this statement to a large extent.
- Personally, this is the best question for students to score marks in. Why is this so?
- This is because it is liken to a multiple inference skills question. All we need to do is to at least infer 3-5 sources in accordance to the issue stated in the question and we would be assured of at least 6-7 marks!
- Always remember to state to the ISSUE!
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