Some of these questions are relevant to Common Academic Scholarship preparation; however, many are more akin to the kind asked in the Radley General, Religious and Ethical Issues paper, or the more religious-based questions from Eton King's Scholarship General II (please contact me for more information about preparing for either of these).  To get top marks, you need to think beyond the question, offering mature examples, and producing well crafted and logical answers.  Is there a different side that you can see and would like to develop?  Bring in as much evidence to back yourself up as you can (including a wide Biblical knowledge, and a solid grasp of current affairs) - provided you do this logically, you should impress the examiner at your public school.  Be as broad as you can in your ideas.  When you give your own opinions, try to develop each one sensibly, tying your thoughts together with each other and with the question.  Explain how they fit in with each other - don't leave them in abstract.  Show that you can think on your feet, demonstrate your understanding and ability, and mark yourself out to the examiner by going beyond what you are being asked, offering well developed and sensible opinions, appropriate examples, and just that little bit extra; be it a different point of view, extra knowledge, unusual examples, a new comparison…
 
Those preparing for the Common Academic Scholarship should focus on the questions that are marked with a double asterisk (**),  In this paper, you will have to write one long essay (30 minutes) showing knowledge, understanding and evaluation of a contemporary ethical or religious issue (choosing from six possible titles). You will also have to answer one multiple-part question on either a Set Text (Old Testament or New Testament) or a World Religion. You will be required to show knowledge and understanding of the topic you have chosen, and the evaluation part of the question will require an ethical and/or Theological response. Any of the questions below could appear in a General/RS paper, in which you would probably have 30-40 minutes to write your essay.

Whichever question you pick, please copy and paste it into the top of the writing box before you start your answer.



**  "Act how you want, provided you don't harm others."  Discuss.

**  "In the twenty-first century, miracles are impossible."  Discuss.

**  "Abortion is murder, and murder is one of the gravest sins."  Write a reaction to this statement.

**  "God created life, so God should be the one to take it away."  Comment on this statement, making reference to whether or not you believe that Euthanasia should be legalised in the United Kingdom.

**  "The death penalty involves taking a life, which is morally unacceptable.  As a result, no civilised person could ever condone this punishment, whatever crime had been committed."  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "Genetic engineering is morally acceptable, as it may eventually lead to the eradication of all manner of all manner of atrocious diseases."  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "God gave mankind power over all the animals.  Vivisection, then, cannot be wrong - we are simply exercising that power for the greater good."  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "Christians have a duty to be worthy stewards of the world in which they live.  As a result, they have a moral responsibility to use energy saving light bulbs, recycled paper and public transport"  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "World peace is an impossibility."  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "Pacifism has never achieved anything - as such, it is naïve nonsense."  Discuss what is meant by this view.  Do you agree with it?  Give reasons to support your answer.

**  "Human rights are an impossible ideal."  Do you agree?  Give reasons to support your answer.


*  "Rich nations are like lifeboats and in the oceans outside the lifeboats swim the poor of this world who would desperately like to climb aboard."  Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this comparison.  Give reasons to support your answer.

*  "Christians will naturally lead more responsible lives than non-Christians because of their faith in God and their knowledge of the Ten Commandments".  Discuss.  Download sample answer

*  "Crime is a more serious issue now than it has ever been.  Despite government assurances, not enough is being done to address this problem."  To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?  Give examples in your answer. 
Download sample answer

*  The disciples were simple men who never really understood Jesus' mission until it was too late.  What on earth can their example teach 21st century Christians?

*  If miracles are possible, what remains impossible?

*  "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
Comment on this statement by the French writer and philosopher, Voltaire.

*   "Scientists and doctors can do whatever they like (e.g. genetic engineering and genetic modification) provided the eventual outcome is of benefit to the human race."
What do you think about this statement?

*  Should God answer prayers?

*  Religion is love; in no case is it logic.  Do you agree?

*   "Only Christians can go to heaven."  Is this statement accurate, in your opinion?

*  "The creation stories have no scientific basis, hence they should not be taught in schools."  Discuss.

*  It is a Christian virtue to want to help others, especially when they are in need.
Explain the motives, methods and significance of such acts.

*  We live in a country where the rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer.  To an increasing extent, life is getting less fair for the majority of the population.
Do you agree?  What, if anything, has been done to try to rectify this situation in the past?  What should we do in the future?

*  If a religious text contains murder, rape, war and deceit, how can it be considered a holy book?

*  The French philosopher Blaise Pascal once wrote that "All the trouble in the world comes from man's inability to sit quietly in his room."  Did he have a point?

*  Do the potential benefits from experiments in cloning and genetic engineering outweigh the arguments against them?

*  Morally speaking, would it be more or less acceptable if a cannibal were to eat with a knife and fork?

*  Are we becoming increasilgly self-centred?

*  Are there any candidates for sainthood from the twentieth century?

*  Does religious faith make people happy?

*  Would you like to live for 100 years?

*  Should religious faith be more about structure or ideals?

*  Mankind needs something to struggle towards, therefore the perfect world cannot exist as improvements will always be sought.  Discuss.

*  Wasps serve no useful purpose.  Discuss. 
Download sample answer


 

Exam Practice

Whichever question you pick, please copy and paste it into the top of this writing box before you start your answer.





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