History Grade 12 NSC Paper 1 and Paper 2 Exam Topics and Structure Guide Syllabus

On this page you will find History Grade 12 NSC Paper 1 and Paper 2 Exam Topics and Structure Guide from the CAPS syllabus.

History is the study of change and development in society over time. The study of history enables us to understand how past human action affects the present and influences our future, and it allows us to evaluate these effects. So, history is about learning how to think about the past, which affects the present, in a disciplined way. History is a process of enquiry. Therefore, it is about asking questions of the past: What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen then? What were the short-term and long-term results? It involves thinking critically about the stories people tell us about the past, as well as the stories that we tell ourselves.

History Grade 12 NSC Exam StructurePaper 1 and Paper 2

This examination includes two papers; each paper has six questions: three source-based questions (one set on each topic) and three essay questions (one set on each topic). Candidates must answer three questions: one source-based question, one essay question, and one other question in each paper. Candidates may answer an essay and a source-based question on the same topic.

Allocation of content per question paper

The mark allocation is 50 marks per question, with a total of 150 marks per paper.

Paper 1 Topics: Source-based Questions

  • The Cold War: How did the Cold War period shape international relations after the Second World War? Question focus: Origins, Cold War in Europe and the Cuban crisis
  • Independent Africa: How was independence realised in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s?
    Question focus: Africa in the Cold War
  • Civil society protests, 1950s to 1970s: What forms of civil society protest emerged from the 1960s to 1990? Question focus: Civil rights and Black Power movements

Paper 2 Topics: Essay Questions

  • The Cold War: How did the Cold War period shape international relations after the Second World War? Question focus: China and Vietnam (candidates to choose one)
  • Independent Africa: How was independence realised in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s?
    Question focus: Successes and challenges faced by the Congo and Tanzania
  • Civil society protests from the 1950s to the 1970s: What forms of civil society protest emerged from the 1960s to 1990? Question focus: Civil rights and Black Power movements

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