Edexcel B GCSE Geography – Revision Notes & Study Resources

Edexcel B GCSE Geography mapping file. Download our comprehensive teaching resources and revision toolkit today. Use the mapping table to align with the Edexcel B examination board. Updated and aligned to the new 2020 specification.

Edexcel B Specification GCSE Document Reference Additional Content
Component 1 Global Geographical Issues
Topic 1 Hazardous Earth
1.1 The atmosphere operates as a global system which transfers heat around the Earth Climate Change
1.2 Climate has changed in the past through natural causes on timescales ranging from hundreds to millions of years Climate Change
1.3 Global climate is now changing as a result of human activity, and there is uncertainty about future climates Climate Change
1.4 Tropical cyclones are caused by particular meteorological conditions Tropical Storms
1.5 Tropical cyclones present major natural hazards to people and places Tropical Storms
1.6 The impacts of tropical cyclones are linked to a country’s ability to prepare and respond to them Tropical Storms
1.7 Earth’s layered structure, and physical properties is key to plate tectonics Tectonic Hazards
1.8 There are different plate boundaries, each with characteristic volcanic and earthquake hazards Tectonic Hazards
1.9 Tectonic hazards affect people, and are managed, differently at contrasting locations Tectonic Hazards
Topic 2 Development dynamics
2.1 There are different ways of defining and measuring development
2.2 There is global inequality in development and different theories in how it can be reduced Population and Development
2.3 Approaches to development vary in type and success Population and Development
2.4 Development of the emerging country is influenced by its location and context in the world Population and Development
2.5 Globalisation causes rapid economic change in the emerging country Population Dynamics
2.6 Rapid economic growth results in significant positive and negative impacts on people and environment in the emerging country Population Structure, Density and Settlements
2.7 Rapid economic development has changed the international role of the emerging country Population Structure, Density and Settlements
Topic 3 Challenges of an urbanising world
3.1 The world is becoming increasingly urbanised Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.2 Urbanisation is a result of socio-economic processes and change Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.3 Cities change over time and this is reflected in changing land use Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.4 The location and context of the chosen megacity influences its growth, function and structure Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.5 The megacity in the chosen country is growing rapidly Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.6 Rapid population growth creates opportunities and challenges for people living in the chosen megacity Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
3.7 Quality of life in the chosen megacity can be improved by different strategies for achieving sustainability Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
Component 2 UK Geographical Issues
Topic 4 The UK’s evolving physical landscape
4.1 Geology and past processes have influenced the physical landscape of the UK Understanding Landscapes
4.2 A number of physical and human processes work together to create distinct UK landscapes Understanding Landscapes
4A Coastal change and conflict
4.3 Distinctive coastal landscapes are influenced by geology interacting with physical processes Coastal Landscapes
4.4 Distinctive coastal landscapes are modified by human activity interacting with physical processes Coastal Landscapes
4.5 The interaction of human and physical processes present challenges along coastlines and there are a variety of management options Coastal Landscapes
4B River processes and pressures
4.6 Distinctive river landscapes have different characteristics formed by interacting physical processes River Landscapes
4.7 River landscapes are influenced by human activity interacting with physical processes River Landscapes
4.8 Some rivers are more prone to flood than others and there is a variety of river management options River Landscapes
Topic 5 The UK’s evolving human landscape
5.1 Population, economic activities and settlements are key elements of the human landscape Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
5.2 The UK economy and society is increasingly linked and shaped by the wider world Urban Issues & UK Challenges
Case study: Case Study - Dynamic UK cities
5.3 The context of the city influences its functions and structure Urban Issues & UK Challenges
5.4 The city changes through employment, services and the movement of people Urban Issues & UK Challenges
5.5 The changing city creates challenges and opportunities Urban Issues & UK Challenges
5.6 Ways of life in the city can be improved by different strategies Urban Issues & UK Challenges
5.7 The city is interdependent with rural areas, leading to changes in rural areas Urban Issues & UK Challenges
5.8 The changing rural area creates challenges and opportunities Urban Issues & UK Challenges
Topic 6 Geographical investigations
One physical fieldwork investigation linked to Topics 4 and 5
Investigating coastal change and conflict
Investigating river processes and pressures
One human fieldwork investigation linked to Topics 4 and 5
Investigating dynamic urban areas
Investigating changing rural areas
Component 3 People and Environment Issues
Topic 7 People and the biosphere
7.1 The Earth is home to a number of very large ecosystems (biomes) the distribution of which is affected by climate and other factors Introduction to Ecosystems
7.2 The biosphere is a vital lifesupport system for people as it provides both goods and services Introduction to Ecosystems
Topic 8 Forests under threat
8.1 The structure, functioning and adaptations of the tropical rainforest reflect the equatorial climate Tropical Rainforests
8.2 The taiga shows different characteristics, reflecting the more extreme and highly seasonal climate The Taiga
8.3 Tropical rainforests are threatened directly by deforestation and indirectly by climate change Tropical Rainforests
8.4 The taiga is increasingly threatened by commercial development The Taiga
8.5 Conservation and sustainable management of tropical rain forests is vital if goods and services are not to be lost for future generations Tropical Rainforests
8.6 The taiga wilderness areas need to be protected from overexploitation The Taiga
Topic 9 Consuming energy resources
9.1 Energy resources can be classified in different ways and their extraction and use has environmental consequences Introduction to Resource Management
Renewable & Non-renewable Resources
9.2 Access to energy resources is not evenly distributed which has implications for people Energy
9.3 The global demand for oil is increasing, but supplies are unevenly available Energy
9.4 The world’s continuing reliance of fossil fuels increases pressure to exploit new areas Energy
9.5 Reducing reliance on fossil fuels presents major technical challenges Energy
9.6 Attitudes to energy and environmental issues are changing Energy
Renewable & Non-renewable Resources

Look at you, you’ve almost got
your GCSE Geography certificate! Well done, you’re so close. As exam season
gets closer, you’re likely to be feeling a bit overwhelmed by how many exams
you have to sit in such a short period of time. How are you supposed to regurgitate
all that information so quickly? Worry not, help is here! Here is all you need
to know about preparing for your Edexcel GCSE Geography exams and how we can
help you.

You may have heard that there
are many different examination boards – some of your friends might be taking
the very same GCSEs but with different exams. The secret is that although there
are so many exam boards, the content across them is fairly standardised. After
all, a volcano is still a volcano whether you take AQA or Edexcel Geography!
However, there are some small differences in the ways that exam boards assess
your knowledge and knowing them can go a long way in helping you prepare. The
Edexcel exam board particularly emphasises multiple-choice questions as a means
of assessment. You should definitely take this into account when writing your
revision plan – try and incorporate as many practice quizzes as you can!

About the Board

What does Edexcel stand for
and where does it come from? Edexcel is actually a play on the beginnings of
two words: education and excellence. In 2003 it became the first privately
owned examination board in the UK after an agreement between the Edexcel
Foundation and Pearson Plc. Both of the Edexcel GCSE Geography courses are
linear subjects, so you will only acquire your grade if you take all of your
examinations and pass which happens at the end of the course (not throughout

How long will the course take to complete?

Edexcel GCSE Geography usually
takes two academic years to complete. However, some have managed to complete
the course in one year and others have been known to start studying early and
take three years.

Is any prior knowledge required?

Edexcel specifies that you are
not required to have any prior qualifications in geography in order to take
this course. However, they also do state that the subject course has been
designed to follow the National Curriculum and that it does assume that basic
geographical knowledge has been developed throughout earlier stages which
prepares all students for the GCSE.

What will I study?

Edexcel is unique in that it
offers two different types of GCSE Geography courses. There is GCSE Geography A
which takes a thematic approach and breaks down concepts into human and
physical geography (like most other exam boards). But there is also GCSE
Geography B which takes an issues-based approach with specification content
arranged around the UK vs global geography. It is up to you or your educational
institution what version of Edexcel GCSE Geography you take. The subjects you
will study do differ.

If you took GCSE Geography A
then for physical geography you will study the changing landscapes of the UK;
weather hazards and climate change; and ecosystems, biodiversity and
management. Meanwhile, for human geography, you will study changing cities;
global development; and, resource management. Within resource management,
you’ll choose between two sub-topics: energy resource management or water
resource management.

However, if you took GCSE
Geography B then for global topics you will study hazardous Earth; development
dynamics; and, challenges of an urbanising world. Whereas for UK topics you
will cover the UK’s evolving physical landscape (inc. subtopics: coastal change
and conflict, and, river processes and pressures); the UK’s evolving human
landscape (including a case study on UK cities); and, geographical
investigations (including one human and one physical fieldwork investigation).

What is the examination process like?

The examinations themselves
will also depend on whether you elected to take GCSE Geography A or B. If you
took GCSE Geography A, then you will take three exams in total. The first two
(The Physical Environment and The Human Environment) will be worth 37.5% each
and last 1 hour and 30 minutes each. The third assessment (Geographical
Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges) will also last 1 hour and 30
minutes but be worth 25% of your final grade.

If you elected to take GCSE
Geography B, the structure of your exams will remain largely similar, but the
content will of course differ. Similarly, the first two papers (Global
Geographical Issues and UK Geographical Issues) will be worth 37.5% each and
last 1 hour and 30 minutes each. The second assessment will also cover one
physical and one human fieldwork investigation that you are required to
complete. Meanwhile, the third assessment (People and Environment Issues –
Making Geographical Decisions) will be worth 25% of your GCSE and also last 1
hour and 30 minutes.

Study Tips

To achieve the best possible
results, you should revise for your GCSE Geography exams a few hours each day –
ideally two to three. Make sure to balance your revision sessions with a
healthy lifestyle. Both eating well (vegetables and fruits) and exercising
regularly (get out into fresh air!) will help keep you fresh and motivated
during the exam season. Meanwhile, if you want to keep revision sessions
dynamic and most effective then start engaging with your content actively.
Don’t just read for 2-3 hours per day. Instead, take notes, write up some
flashcards and draw some mind maps. Not only will you have more fun doing this,
but your brain is also more likely to retain the information that way.

As your revision progresses, start working on your time management skills by doing timed practice papers. You can usually use past exam papers for this exercise – it’ll also be useful as you’ll learn about how GCSE Geography exam questions are phrased. At GCSE Geography, we are devoted to helping you succeed in your exams. To do so we’ve got plenty of engaging resources waiting for you, so let’s begin!