2021 A-Level General Paper (GP) Paper 1 Essay Questions

The 2021 paper was made up of a notably large number of questions under the media theme: a third of questions were under the media theme, covering topics of social media, news, films and advertising. We managed to spot the question on advertising despite it being a rather niche topic, and our students that year would know that ‘media’ is among the first themes we covered. We covered all aspects tested—we had lessons exclusively for social media, news, films and advertising respectively. These subtopics are often combined by teachers under a rather rushed, surface-deep lesson on ‘media’, overlooking these key components.

1. How far is the pursuit of happiness the most important human goal? [Miscellaneous]

2. ‘Scientific advancement breeds complacency.’ How far do you agree? [Science]

3. ‘Power these days lies more with the people than the politicians.’ To what extent is this true? [Politics]

4. To what extent has social media devalued true friendship in your society? [MEDIA]

5. To what extent is charitable giving desirable? [Miscellaneous, but we had a lesson specifically on charity!]

6. ‘Films are concerned with escaping from the problems of everyday life, rather than addressing them.’ Discuss. [MEDIA]

7. ‘What an individual eats or drinks should not be the concern of the state.’ What is your view? [Politics]

8. Is news today reliable? [MEDIA]

9. ‘The arts are nothing more than a luxury.’ How far is this true of your society? [Arts]

10. ‘Staging major sporting events brings nothing but benefits to the host country.’ Discuss. [Sports]

11. Are global tourism and travel still necessary when everything can be experienced or achieved online? [Movement of people]

12. ‘Advertising is largely about persuading people to buy what they do not need.’ How far do you agree? [MEDIA]