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The Key To Answering Exam Questions
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The Key To Answering Exam Questions

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  • 1. The key to answering exam questions Basic rules 1. Read the question. 2. Check the command word/s. 3. Re-read the question. 4. Write your answer. 5. Quickly check you have answered the question. Longer answers are marked using levels. There are three levels of marks. Each level has different characteristics. Level 1 A basic answer showing brief knowledge. Simple understanding shown. Does not link ideas together. Poorly organised. No key terms used. Level 2 A clear answer showing accurate knowledge. Clear understanding shown. Some ideas linked together – likely to contain connectives. Organised. Uses some key terms. Begins to use examples. Level 3 Detailed understanding showing very accurate knowledge. Detailed understanding shown through examples. Well organised. Clear links between ideas – connectives used regularly. Good range of key terms. Go through the examples in this booklet and decide the level of answer you think the student has written. These are real examples from Northgate students. Highlight and label examples of good and bad exam practice. Use the levels guide above as a checklist to help you decide on the quality of the answer. Then use what you have learned in writing future exam answers. Your teacher should go through the first example with you to guide you on what to look for.
  • 2. Mauna Loa is a shield volcano. Explain the characteristics of shield volcanoes and how they are formed. (6 marks) Answer 1 Shield volcanoes are found on constructive plate boundaries where the plates move apart. When the plates move apart, magma quickly releases from the mantle and quickly solidifies, creating more land. Basic lava is the magma released from shield volcanoes which is a thin liquid and moves quicker. Answer 2 Shield volcanoes are formed at tensional boundaries when two plates are moved apart because of convection current in the magma underneath. The magma then flows though the gap in the earth’s crust. This happens repeatedly, forming a volcano. Shield volcanoes contain basic lava which is not viscous, as it has low silica content. Because the magma can travel long distances before cooling and solidifying, this means shield volcanoes have wide bases in comparison to their height. The eruptions of shield volcanoes are not as violent as the eruptions of composite volcanoes. Answer 3 (annotate this answer to show how it can be moved to the next level) Shield volcanoes have a wide base and a not particularly tall. They are found where plates move apart. The lava is runny and quick moving. Lots of eruptions will gradually build up the volcano.
  • 3. Using a volcanic eruption or an earthquake you have studied, describe the short-term responses to the disaster. (4 marks) Answer 1 In Montserrat when the volcano was going to erupt the citizens of the island were evacuated to the west of the island as a short-term response, leaving the area around the volcano empty. Short-term responses are often to evacuate the area surrounding the volcano. Answer 2 The short-term responses to an earthquake will be to evacuate the area and get help to all the people affected. Unlike the long-term responses the short-term responses are quick and take place immediately after the earthquake and depending on whether the country is a LEDC or MEDC depends on how effective and quick the responses will be. For example in the Kuwait earthquakes responses were not as good as they would have been if the country were an MEDC. Answer 3 (write your answer here and then highlight the examples of good exam practice) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
  • 4. Chesil Beach has been formed partly as a result of longshore drift. With the help of a diagram, explain how longshore drift works. (6 marks) Diagrams not included…… Answer 1 Longshore drift is dependent on the fetch of the wind and the direction of the wind. The longer the fetch of wind then the stronger the wave energy is. He stronger the energy then the more shingle the waves will carry on to the beach. The swash of the wave depends on the type of wave it is. Answer 2 When constructive waves (with a strong swash and weaker backwash) approach a beach at an angle they will pick up material and move it along the beach. Repeated waves breaking will continue this process to move material in an overall direction along the beach in a zig- zag style motion (as seen in the diagram).
  • 5. Now turn the following level 1 answers in to level 2 or 3 answers. Consider how adding connectives might make the answer better. Describe the problems of a country with an ageing population. (4 marks) Student’s answer They have to spend more money on old people. More old people’s home have to be built. People might have to work longer. Less people are paying tax. Your answer ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
  • 6. Describe the factors that have influenced the location of a footloose industry. (6 marks) Student’s answer Close to a source of workers. Near to transport like roads. Near to a university. Your answer ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________
  • 7. Describe the disadvantages of using renewable energy. (4 marks) Student’s answer They are expensive. They don’t make a lot of energy. They are not guaranteed to work as it’s not always sunny or windy etc. Your answer ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________