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

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!

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