Well done, you’re almost there – you’re about to take your Edexcel A-Level Geography exams! You might well be thinking; how did time fly so fast? I’m not ready! But there’s no need to get anxious – you’ll feel better the moment you get started with revision. First and foremost you should write up a well-structured revision plan. A thought-out revision strategy will guide you up until exam day and give you confidence that you’ve covered all your bases. It will also make it easier to break down the large amount of content that you have to learn for you’re A-Level Geography exams. Here is all you need to know to prepare and how we can help you get the very best results.
If you’ve looked at a few different examination board websites, you will have noticed that A-Levels are fairly standardised in that their core content is usually similar if not identical. However, examination boards do differ in how they assess students and in what they place emphasis on. Each examination board devises its own assessment scheme based on the principles of education they most focus on. In this case, the Edexcel exam board emphasises multiple-choice questions as a means of examinations. Knowing this will help you prepare for your A-Level Geography exams. In this case, it would be smart to use test quizzes to prepare for multiple-choice exam papers.
About the Board
Edexcel comes from the combination of education and excellence and was created with an agreement between Edexcel Foundation and Pearson Plc in 2003. Since then it has been the only examination board in the UK which is privately owned. Edexcel A-Level Geography is assessed as a linear course which means that you will take all of your exams at the end of the year as opposed to throughout it.
How long will the course take to complete?
If you are taking just Edexcel AS Geography, then it will take you 1 year to complete the course. However, if you are taking the full Edexcel A-Level Geography, then it will take you a total of 2 academic years to complete the course. It is up to you which you will choose and whether you do the AS, or the A-Level will largely depend on your interest in geography as a subject. When making the decision you also want to bear in mind your academic future. Most universities ask you to have at least three full A-Levels to admit you onto their courses. Geography can (but doesn’t have to be) one of those.
Is any prior knowledge required?
You’re not required to have taken any specific courses prior to taking Edexcel A-Level Geography. But for ease of learning and understanding, it is recommended that you complete GCSE Geography (or equivalent) prior to tackling the A-Level.
What will I study?
What you study will depend on whether you have taken AS or the A-Level Geography. If you took AS Level Geography then you will cover tectonic processes and hazards, and landscape systems, processes, and change for the physical geography component of your course. Meanwhile, for the human geography component, you will study globalisation and shaping places.
If you have opted to take the full A-Level Geography course then you will study the above topics as well as the water cycle & water insecurity, and the carbon cycle and energy insecurity for physical geography. As for human geography, you will also study superpowers in global governance and global development and connections.
What is the examination process like?
The exams themselves also depend on whether you are taking AS or A-Level Geography. If you chose to take only AS Level Geography, then you will take just two written exams. Each will last 1 hour and 45 minutes and be worth 50% of your final grade. For AS Level Geography you are also required to complete a minimum of two full days of fieldwork.
If you opted to take A-Level Geography for two years, then you will be assessed based on three timed written assessments and one non-examined (coursework) assessment. The first two papers (one covering the physical and the other covering the human geography topics) will last 2 hours and 15 minutes each and be worth 30% each. The third written paper (Synoptic Investigation of a Contemporary Geographical Issue) will also last 2 hours and 15 minutes but be worth 20% of your final grade. Finally, the fourth component will involve a 3-4,000-word essay based on an independent geographical investigation during you’re A-Level. It will be worth 20% of your final grade.
In order to be prepared on exam day, you should be revising A-Level Geography a few hours a day, preferably three to four. This is the perfect balance as you need a few hours to really get into the topics properly and retain information, but you also need to know when to stop in order to avoid burnout. Studying for hours on end each day at some point loses its point as your brain will not be able to focus for 12 hours in a row each day for weeks.
One of the ways to ensure that you are as focused as possible is to maintain a healthy lifestyle during exam season. Eat your greens and get some exercise! This will help you manage your stress and wake up fresh and motivated each morning during your weeks of revision. Finally, don’t forget to engage with your content and not just read out of your textbooks. Writing flashcards, taking notes, creating mind maps and studying in groups will help you engage with your content actively and increase the chances of information retention. As you progress start taking timed practice papers by using past exam papers. These will help you learn how to manage your time and you’ll know what to expect come exam day. At A-Level Geography we are committed to helping you get the very best grades this exam season and in order to do so, we have quite a lot of engaging material waiting for you. Let’s begin!