A2 Psychology

The CIE A2 psychology exam consists of one paper:

paper 3 screenshot

The ‘specialist options’ are as follows:

Psychology and education

  • Perspectives on learning
  • Special educational needs
  • Learning and teaching styles
  • Motivation and educational performance
  • Disruptive behaviour in school
  • Intelligence

Psychology and health

  • The patient-practitioner relationship
  • Adherence to medical advice
  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Health promotion
  • Health and safety

Psychology and environment

  • Noise
  • Density and crowding
  • Natural disaster and technological catastrophe
  • Personal space and territory
  • Architecture and behaviour: housing design and urban renewal
  • Environmental cognition

Psychology and abnormality

  • Models of abnormality
  • Schizophrenia
  • Abnormal affect
  • Addiction and impulse control disorders
  • Anxiety disorders (phobias)
  • Anxiety disorders (obsessions and compulsions)

Psychology and organisations

  • The selection of people for work
  • Motivation to work
  • Leadership and management
  • Group behaviour in organisations
  • Organisational work conditions
  • Satisfaction at work

22 thoughts on “A2 Psychology

  1. Hey!
    Can you please tell me if it matters what examples/studies you use?
    My book has completely different examples of studies for each section than those on your page.

    • Yes it does, just use the studies mentioned in the syllabus, others are not as important but the syllabus ones are the important ones

  2. Hello. I’m sure this question has been asked before but I was wondering whether it is absolutely required to put the year along with the researcher’s name? Like do we lose marks for not doing so?

  3. hi maryam!

    i’d just like to know if you have any plans on posting notes on A2 environmental? If so that would be great! but if you don’t, could you provide me links on environmental notes? i really love your notes and actually survived my AS with them. Thank you so much and may God bless you!

  4. Hi Maryam. Im in A2 studying psychology and I DESPERATELY need help. My teacher isnt as good as I like and has no experience teaching environmental psychology (A2) and I really dont know what to do. Can you please post notes on environmental psychology and/or how to evaluate sub-topics and answer A2 past paper questions, or help me out with links. I got an A in As and I dont want to lose my grade. Please help me out!
    – Maheen

    • Also, what 2 specialist choices would you recommend for A2? My other choice is Abnormal which is going great but I’m having trouble with environmental. Should I change it?

      • Hi Maheen,

        I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner! I hope it’s not too late for me to say this but if you’re struggling with Environmental then I would recommend switching to Organisational Psychology. The notes are easily accessible and the content is quite straightforward. Environmental is fine too, of course, but I know that finding notes for it can be extremely troublesome and having an unhelpful teacher isn’t great either!

        If you can update me on your current situation, I will do my best to help in whatever way I can. One of my old students took Environmental too and she actually did really well without any teacher so don’t worry, just work hard for now!

        I look forward to your response.

        Maryam XXX

        • Hi, your reply really helped! I just couldn’t get the hang of environmental psychology so i switched to organisational as you suggested and its way easier to understand and evaluate! Thank you so much. xxx

  5. Hey maryam i want educational psychology notes. Your notes helped me alot in AS. If you have them can you please upload them or give me another link?

  6. Hey maryam! Would be so grateful if you uplaoded some notes for Education is Psychology!! Thank you so much for these wonderful notes.

  7. Dear Maryam,
    You are UNNNBelievable!! I had a horrible teacher and so only read youre note to understand this godforsaken subject- and ended up with an A ( 87 percentile) at AS.
    I had a few questions regarding A2-
    1.Are we supposed to refer to the research papers/ original study or do we need to know only cursory details like results etc?
    2.Is there some website etc where I can access the research papers/original study?
    3.Is the textbook(by craig roberts) enough according to you to get an A or what else striking do you think is missing?

    Warm gratitude,

    • Hi Victor!

      Thank you so much for the kind words; I am SO glad that this website has been useful to you but let me assure you, that A is YOUR achievement. Reading my notes alone cannot result in an A grade unless you put in a lot of effort, so well done!

      With regards to A2, you definitely need to refer to the original research papers and base all your notes on them. I recommend reading the original papers a few times and summarising all the main points, like the background, methodology, procedure, etc.

      You can access ALL the papers online with a simple Google search. Just conduct a search using the full reference or even just the researcher’s name with the date (e.g. Zimbardo 1971). If you have any trouble finding any, let me know and I can help you out – I have copies of all the original papers.

      Finally, the Roberts textbook is a very helpful resource but you cannot rely on it alone (in fact, you shouldn’t ever rely on one resource). Use the book as your basic plan/guide to follow if you understand it well but take help from the original papers and online summaries (like on Holah or PsychTutor). I have gone through that textbook and personally I think it does miss out many things that you would need to go through the original papers in order to learn.

      I hope this answers your questions – please feel free to message me again with any other confusions!

      Best wishes,

  8. Asa maryam , i have chosen health option . But it seems like you dont have that on ur site . Could u please recommend me some sites where I could find information relating to it . I am finding it quite difficult to do so . Pls let me know if u know any .
    JazakAllah khair .
    Also hoping all is well with u .

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