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April 27, 2018 / C H Thompson

Sociology 4 mark answers

Outline two material factors that may affect social class differences in educational
achievement (4 marks)

To answer this question you need to understand the concept of material factors and the consequences of this factor, which can be both good and bad.


  • Overcrowding;
  • Poor diet;
  • Can’t afford smart school uniform;
  • Parents working long hours;
  • High family income (yes, the questions asks for affects which are outcomes which can go either way)

You’ll get a mark for identification, for example overcrowding.

So you might write, ‘one factor is overcrowding at home’ which unfortunately isn’t enough because you’ve only identified a factor.

In order to get two marks you must address the word outline in the question. Outline is asking you for some detail beyond just identification.

Therefore your answer needs to say something along the lines of  ‘one factor is overcrowding at home which means there’s no room to study in peace and quiet making it difficult to revise.’

  • Poor diet can make pupils more likely to be ill because they can’t fight off illnesses and so they miss lots of lessons
  • Can’t afford smart school uniform means you’re constantly bullied by your peers for looking scruffy so you stay away from school
  • High family income means you parents have more spare cash and so can easily afford a tutor for subjects you don’t understand

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