A/A* Booster Session #1 – AO1

This session is focused on the skill of AO1 and reaching top band description marks.  It will be using an example of “Outline biological treatments for Schizophrenia” (6marks).  The skills discussed, however, relate to any aspect of writing AO1. Due to the nature of holistic marking in a 96mark paper it is impossible to say the actual marks/grades these would get, instead this reference the ‘typical’ writing style of someone who will achieve that grade overall.

Excerpt 1 (190 words)

This is typical of a B grade response.  It misses some detail and is characteristic of a knowledgeable student who revised well but doesn’t completely understand the finer details of the content. Purely learning what the textbooks say or our booklets say will normally result in this.

Antipsychotic drugs are used in the form of tablets, syrup or injection and can be used as long or short term. Antipsychotics split into two types.

Typical antipsychotics are the traditional type of drugs used to treat Sz. This type of antipsychotic has been used since the 1950s.  Typical antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors; helping to relieve many of the positive symptoms of Sz. Chloropromazine is given in a daily dose of 400-800mg orally or when administered as syrup Chloropromazine has sedative properties, which is beneficial if the patient has been admitted to hospital.

Atypical antipsychotics are the newer type of drugs that was introduced from the 1970s. Not only do atypical drugs treat the positive symptoms of Sz but they also treat the negative symptoms. They work like typical antipsychotics as well as acting on other receptors. The dosage is around 300-450mg a day and can only be administered orally.

Another type of atypical drug is believed to be particularly effective because it binds more strongly to the dopamine and serotonin receptors.  Therefore smaller doses of 4-8mg are prescribed in tablet, syrup or in the form of injections.

When faced with feedback on this which is ‘mainly lacking in detail’, student then add lots of little details in some of which  help to get more marks and others do not but the overall tone doesn’t normally change just the quantity of information.  This sometimes means it is unrealistic in the given time frame of 8mins.

Excerpt 2 (275 words)

This is typical of a grade A response. There is almost no information missing and it has the smaller details present and is characteristic of a student who knows they can write quick and revise lots so they throw the kitchen sink at it so as not to leave anything out.

Drug treatment is the main biological treatment for Sz. Antipsychotic drugs are used in the form of tablets, syrup or injection and can be used as long or short term. Antipsychotics split into two types.

Typical antipsychotics are the traditional type of drugs used to treat Sz. This type of antipsychotic has been used since the 1950s and includes drugs such as Chloropromazine.  Typical antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors on the post synaptic neuron; helping to relieve many of the positive symptoms of Sz like delusions. When Chloropromazine is prescribed, dopamine levels will build up because the dopamine receptors are blocked but over time the dopamine production is reduced. Chloropromazine is given in a daily dose of 400-800mg orally or when administered as syrup Chloropromazine has sedative properties, which is beneficial if the patient has been admitted to hospital.

Atypical antipsychotics are the newer type of drugs that was introduced from the 1970s, and became widely used in the 1990s. Not only do atypical drugs treat the positive symptoms of Sz but they also treat the negative symptoms.  Clozapine is a type of atypical antipsychotic drug. Clozapine works like typical antipsychotics as well as acting on serotonin and glutamine receptors. Because of this Clozapine helps to regulate cognitive functions such as improving mood. The dosage of Clozapine is around 300-450mg a day and can only be administered orally.

Risperidone is another type of atypical drug.  Risperidone is believed to be particularly effective because it binds more strongly to the dopamine and serotonin receptors on the post synaptic neuron.  Therefore smaller doses of 4-8mg are prescribed in tablet, syrup or in the form of injections.

In order to push marks beyond the A then a fundamental shift in style is normally required and often needs a complete rewrite. An A* piece of writing is often as short as a B grade but has most of the detail of the A grade.  The trick is in knowing what NOT to write. It also makes connections beyond the scope of the textbook page to other learning or real world understanding.

Excerpt 3 (194 words)

This is typical of a grade A* response. It is concise, focused and makes use of knowledge from other relevant areas of Psychology, characteristic of a student who really ‘gets’ it and can pick up on relevant links are confidence to not throw the lot at it.

Antipsychotic drug regimes are the main biological treatment for Sz which are used both in the long and short term and split into two categories.

Typical antipsychotics, based on the original dopamine hypotheses and developed in the 1950s include drugs such as Chloropromazine. These more traditional antipsychotics work as a dopamine antagonist; blocking receptors on the post synaptic neuron inhibiting their activation.  Initially this causes dopamine levels to build up but over time the dopamine production is reduced therefore helping to relieve many of the positive symptoms of Sz like delusions. Chloropromazine is given in a daily dose of 400-800mg orally or if needed to be more faster acting as syrup which has sedative properties, beneficial if the patient has been admitted to hospital during a psychotic episode.

Newer, atypical antipsychotics, such as Clozapine, widely used from the 1990s treat both the positive and negative symptoms of Sz whilst reducing extrapyramidal side effects.  These work like typical antipsychotics as well as acting on serotonin and glutamine receptors. Because of this Clozapine helps to regulate cognitive functions such as improving concentration. The dosage of Clozapine is around 300-450mg a day and can only be administered orally. Whilst Risperidone, is believed to be effective because it binds more strongly to the dopamine and serotonin receptors, therefore requiring smaller doses of 4-8mg.

Now, get a personal 8min word count, take each essay and write the AO1 with every little bit you can and edit it back to the best (shorter) version it can be.

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