On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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It contains new terminology which you need to be able to define. You will need to understand both single words and phrases.
The terminology is used in exam questions so you need to know what it all means.
Make glossaries of key terms and consult the textbooks if you are unsure.
For the vast majority of students revision works best when it is active.
Passive reading of notes is a poor way to revise.
Condense notes by re-writing them
Use diagrams and mind maps
Put key case studies and examples onto revision cards
Understanding the Papers: Unit 1
Unit 1, Section B extended writing skills
What do I have to do?
One question from a choice of 4 – you should spend 30-35 minutes on this
Each question is worth 25 marks
The 25 marks is split into a 10 mark part ‘a’ and 15 mark part ‘b’
There is a stimulus resource for the 10 mark question
Choice of Question
Questions will be based around 4 key themes
you can expect to have a genuine choice:
Very importantly you should read all 4 questions
look at all four accompanying Figures before you make a decision.
In January 2009 the choice of question was heavily biased towards questions 7 and 8.
The Resource question, part ‘a’
Notice that the question states ‘such as the one shown’.
This is indicating a need to move beyond the stimulus material provided and into a discussion of other drought examples and their impacts:
Ongoing Australian drought the ‘big dry’
Drought in Niger
Drought in Sudan and Ethiopia
There is also a structure provided in the question i.e. ‘people and the environment’
answer needs to cover both in order to be balanced.
Importantly the question is not ‘what are the impacts of drought?’ but actually ‘ why do drought have such severe impacts?’
Just describing the impacts of drought lacks the explanation the question is looking for.
Use the resource, but don’t copy it out. Description of impact Explanation of severity Forest fires Uncontrolled burn devastates wildlife and ecosystems; difficult to manage Farm production down Direct reliance on irrigation; scarce water resources diverted to people Low river flows Made worse by human abstraction for water supply Fall in tourist numbers Fear, danger, intense uncomfortable heat Deaths Vulnerable groups (elderly) ‘silent’ killer
The Open questions, part ‘b’
a 15 mark question which will be quite open.
There is no Figure to look at -you are ‘on your own’ .
good idea to do a very quick plan just to organise your thoughts and help structure your answer.
The plan should take less than 1 minute
for the 15 mark question they use 4 levels.
Like a flight of sets which you are trying to climb.
To go up a step, you need to add something new into your answer.
Ticking the mark scheme boxes
can be a real challenge, but there are various tricks you can use to help write an impressive answer.
This question is from January 2009 (Question 10b):
typical. It uses the command word ‘explain’ and is ‘open’.
The question does not directly ask for examples to be used, but you should just assume you should use them!
Top Tips for extended writing Structure
Organisation; logical order and sequencing
Consider a summative statement / very brief conclusion.
Issues, problems, factors, explanations etc. need to be examined and discussed in some depth
Need to be used as a matter of course, don’t wait to be asked!
If the question refers to a compulsory case study then considerable detail is expected
Contemporary knowledge always shines more brightly than the tired and dated
Narrow answers, around one factor or explanation will rarely attain the top level of the mark scheme
Factual data support – numbers, facts and figures, always impress.
Use of the correct geographical terminology increases your answers currency
Some recognition that geographical issues are now always black and white, combined with some evaluative language.
Especially in human geography, a recognition of costs and benefits, positives and negatives etc.