In this blog series, Tim will set out how to gain a top merit or distinction grade in Pre-U Geography. An experienced teacher of the Pre-U syllabus, Tim will interpret examiners' comments for safe and easy digestion, with each blog looking at one of the four papers in detail. Blog 1 looks at paper 1 (Global Environments).
Paper 1 (9768/01) Global Environments
Part 1: Responding to the data provided
When tackling this part of the exam paper, it is essential that you respond directly to the data provided. This means using the information given – from a map, a diagram, table, photo or graph – in your answer. It’s a gift! Use the following basic geographical skills:
- If a photo/diagram: comment on distance, direction, size/scale, shape, location (use grid references if grid given)
- If a graph or table: identify general trends or anomalies and quote actual figures
- If a map: name places or locations, look for general patterns and anomalies and refer to the key
- Explain the data using your knowledge – show off! For example, ‘… the reason for a significant recurve of the spit (it is nearly as long as the spit itself) is likely to be due to the interaction between the high water flow from the river Lea and high tides together with storm force winds pushing the lighter deposits in this easterly direction…..’
Part 2: Tackling the essay question
Th essay question carries 15 marks and is assessed according to the level marking guidelines. Even though it’s a comparatively short essay you must still use the tried and tested structure.
- Engage with the question: what are the command words? What are the key words? Focus your writing to answer the question
- Make a brief plan – and include it to be marked.
- Start – set the scene
- Middle – bring in the material and have a balanced argument
- End – evaluate and conclude
Dr Tim’s top tip:
Keep referring back to the question to check you are still really answering it. If not, finish that sentence and with the next one pull your argument back on track!