CCEA GCSE Geography Examination Tips
On Monday 4th April I attended a GCSE Geography support event for the CCEA Geography specification at William Parker School Daventry. This is the second of three posts on my notes from the event.
Range of Questions
- A wide variety of different questions are used to enable learners to show their learning.
- To support this a wide variety of resource material is used (tables, graphs, photographs, maps, and diagrams).
Different types of questions include:
- Complete the diagram/ figure or paragraph – in the foundation tier a list of answers is often included.
- Select the correct answers from the options given.
- Putting statements in order – e.g. steps in a process, formation of a spit or waterfall.
- Matching – terms and definitions; grid references and locations. For example matching types of aid and definitions.
- Sorting and classifying – for example economical and definitions.
- Definitions – state the meanings of geographical terms; all key words come from list of key geographical terms in specification.
- Skills – students may be asked to plot or complete a graph (if a bar graph is given complete the chart including the shading).
Commonly used command Words
- State fully
- Describe and explain
- State the meaning
- Extracting information from a table or graph.
- Completing a graph or table.
- Interpreting weather maps.
- OS Map work skills (distance, direction, area, map interpretation)
Tips to Candidates
- Take care that m = 1,000,000
- There will be an OS Map every year; either in the physical exam or human exam; there will be some generic skills and some specifically related to human or physical topics.
- Note use of emboldening in the examination; key terms and numbers (one reason, two causes).
- Ensure that if the question asks for one reason, give detail of one reason, not a list of many.
- The number of lines is relative to the number of marks, typically two lines per mark.
- If the question uses sustainability, sustainability should be used in the answer; should mention economic and environment in the answer.
- When answering questions underline or highlight command words in the question.
- When asked to describe the changes/pattern from a resource candidates should quote figures in their answer; otherwise they won’t get full marks.
- Case study answers should include a minimum of two facts/figures.
- On the foundation tier across the paper ¾ marks come from naming the location of case studies.
- Case studies need to be at the correct scale.
- Some questions require reference to place but not necessary a full case study.
Key Points from the Chief Examiners Report
- Candidates should respond directly to the question set, don’t put in a great deal of background detail.
- Use geographical phrases and terminology.
- Quote information from given resources when asked to describe a pattern or trend.
- Specific facts from case studies are needed to access level 3 marks.