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Geography Coursework Examples Gcse Exams

Controlled Assessment

We award 25 percent of the marks for controlled assessment (Unit 3). This is a terminal unit. Students must complete a geographical investigation that is supported by a fieldwork report. The fieldwork report must be no more than 2000 words. It must be based on primary data collection and investigate two or three hypotheses with a maximum of four. We provide a list of titles and teachers must choose the most suitable for their students to investigate.

The teacher marks the controlled assessment tasks, and we moderate them.

Students are assessed on their ability to:

  • plan some aspects of work to be carried out in the field;
  • investigate using geographical skills, including enquiry skills;
  • collect and record data in the field;
  • develop a written report to present, analyse and interpret the above data;
  • draw and justify conclusions, and communicate outcomes appropriately; and
  • evaluate methods of collecting data and suggest improvements to the investigation.

Teachers should guide students in planning and data collection. They may help by clarifying the focus of the investigation and detailing the structure of the report. The analysis, interpretation, formulation of conclusions and evaluation is the responsibility of the student.

Students can carry out the investigation as a group exercise, but each individual must complete a separate report. Where fieldwork is carried out in a group to support a common topic, students must:

  • define their role in the group in terms of primary data collection; and
  • use some original data collection.

Students must complete research and data collection under limited supervision. However, they must complete all analysis and evaluation work under direct supervision by the teacher.

For more information, see the specification.

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  1. I'm taking the AQA Geography A Unit 1 (physical geography) and Unit 2 (human geography) exams.
    Any tips on how to get an A* in gcse geography? revision methods/techniques, revising case studies and approaching questions especially the 8 markers importantly ^^
    Thanks in advance
  2. Hi, I'm taking the same exams as you this summer for geography. I have a 4 week easter holiday so this is when i am going to be revising. Firstly though make sure you have got the best possible mark for your coursework- I have handed mine in but not sure whether you have or not so I thought i would make the point despite it being obvious. The coursework is important as it is worth 25% of your overall grade and so may determine whether you get an A or an A*.

    1) Case studies are the key to the exams as typically the longest questions ask for case studies and have the most marks to be awarded. With this said, I would recommend to firstly make a list of all the case studies you need for a given topic. If you have not been given a list by your teacher already then you can make one yourself- find the specification ( and look through it (it will state the case studies you need to know). Essentially write up the information that you need to know for a given case study on a separate sheet of paper, personally i prefer to type but you could equally use pens, you may need to refer to your notes but if you get stuck then use AQA's geography textbook and it will provide the information for you. Alternatively you can just buy the CGP revision guide (make sure it is for the AQA specification!) and it will clearly display all the information about the case studies you need to know- I have written my own notes but i also have this revision guide and its really useful for summarising!

    2) Having made your case study notes you need to make revision notes for the main facts of the topics (eg tsunami formation, different types of plate boundaries etc), again to see specifically what you need to know refer back to the syllabus (specification).

    3) Once you have all your notes written you need to learn the information (obviously...). Personally I like to choose a topic to revise, for example plate tectonics, and then read all my notes on the topic whilst highlighting main points/key words. Once I have done this I re-read the notes ALOUD. Reading is not an 'active' revision technique- you need to be actually doing something to process the information rather than passively reading; and so i use highlighters talk to myself/make more concise notes of my original notes. By re-reading the information and processing it in different ways, the information is condensed and reinforced every time Then I like to go through my notes on the topic and write questions which test my knowledge on what I have read. In the revision guide, at the end of each topic, there are similar lists of questions. The next time I come to revise this topic I answer the questions I have made and highlight any questions i am unable to answer. Later in the day I will have retest myself on the highlighted questions. I find this technique really effective as I revise best using flashcards but I don't have enough time (or flashcards!) to sit down and write them for all of my subjects.

    4) When I re-revise a topic at the end of the session, I like to get a sheet of blank paper and I write/draw all I can remember about that given topic. Then, using my notes, I like to review the page and see whether I have missed out any facts or written down something that is wrong. The things which I have forgotten I write on a new piece of paper. The next time I come to re-revise this topic/later that day, I can learn this list of facts. Every time I revise a topic I will do this 'blank page technique' and, gradually, the piece of paper listing everything I forgot will become shorter and shorter each time. When it comes to the week before the exam if i still have anything on those sheets i can review them/focus my energy on those facts.

    5) Practising papers is key to getting your timing right in the exam. Have a go at answering past papers and I highly recommend using the mark schemes to mark your work. By using mark schemes, you can see what the examiner wants from your answer: you can really comprehend the rubric. When it comes to answering 8 markers you need to make 8 substantial points- if you are finding them hard then use your notes for the first few attempts. Underline the key words in the question, find the relevant sections in your notes, highlight/pick out 8 key points which answer the question and write them up. Again if your finding this hard write your 8 points into long bullet points on a sheet of paper, read through what you have written, make any changes you need to and write up into a continuous answer onto the past paper. Your 8 marker needs to contain things like figures and key terms (e.g. 'multiplier effect'). Remember that your 8 mark answer does not need to be a work of english/how you would write an english essay, having said this you do need to ensure that the points you are making flow form idea to idea. Make sure you are being strictly relevant to what the question is asking and remember to include examples and or refer to a case study (if asked for one). With 8 markers you may find it helpful to look at the mark scheme you can find model answers on AQA's website which you can compare your answer to. I would advise you have a fresh pair of eyes mark your work (perhaps a parent but preferably a teacher) as if you mark your own work you may be too generous in the marks you give yourself or be overly self-critical, also your teacher can tell you how to improve!

    Sorry for how long this post is- I am procrastinating revising excretion (for biology not geography...).

    Good luck with your exams and if you would like a better post about 8 markers/an example of an 8 mark response let me know!