Edexcel GCSE Geography – Revision Notes & Study Resources

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

Edexcel SpecificationGCSE Document ReferenceAdditional Content
Component 1The Physical Environment
Section AThe changing landscapes of the UK
Topic 1The changing landscapes of the UKUnderstanding Landscapes
1ACoastal landscapes and processesCoastal Landscapes
1BRiver landscapes and processesRiver Landscapes
1CGlaciated upland landscapes and processesGlacial Landscapes
Section BWeather hazards and climate change
Topic 2Weather hazards and climate change
2.1The atmosphere operates as a global system transferring heat and energyClimate Change
2.2The global climate was different in the past and continues to change due to natural causesClimate Change
2.3Global climate is now changing as a result of human activityClimate Change
2.4The UK has a distinct climate which has changed over timeClimate Change
2.5Tropical cyclones are extreme weather events that develop under specific conditions and in certain locationsTropical Storms
2.6There are various impacts of and responses to natural hazards caused by tropical cyclones depending on a country’s level of developmentTropical Storms
Topic 3Ecosystems, biodiversity and management
3.1Large scale ecosystems are found in different parts of the world and are importantIntroduction to Ecosystems
3.2The biosphere is a vital systemIntroduction to Ecosystems
3.3The UK has its own variety of distinctive ecosystems that it relies onIntroduction to Ecosystems
3.4Tropical rainforests show a range of distinguishing featuresTropical Rainforests
3.5Tropical rainforest ecosystems provide a range of goods and services, some of which are under threat.Tropical Rainforests
3.6Decidusous woodlands show a range of distinguishing featuresDeciduous Forests
3.7Decidusous woodland systems provide a range of goods and services, some of which are under threatDeciduous Forests
Component 2The Human Environment
Topic 4Changing cities
4.1Urbanisation is a global processGlobal Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
4.2The degree of urbanisation varies across the UKUrban Issues & UK Challenges
4.3The context of the chosen UK city influences its function and structureUrban Issues & UK Challenges
4.4The chosen UK city is being changed by movements of people, employment and servicesUrban Issues & UK Challenges
4.5Globalisation and economic change create challenges for the chosen UK city that require long-term solutionsGlobal Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
Case study of a major city in a developing or emerging countryUrban Issues & UK Challenges
4.6The context of the chosen country’s major city influences its functions and structureUrban Issues & UK Challenges
4.7The character of the chosen city is influenced by ts fast rate of growthGlobal Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
4.8Rapid growth within the chosen city results in a number of challenges that need to be addressedGlobal Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
Topic 5Global development
5.1Definitions of development vary as do attempts to measure itPopulation and Development
5.2The level of development varies globallyPopulation Structure, Density and Settlements
5.3Uneven global development has a range of consequencesPopulation Dynamics
5.4A range of strategies has been used to try to address uneven developmentPopulation and Development
Case study of development in a developing or emerging country
5.5The level of development of the country is influenced by its location and context in the worldPopulation Structure, Density and Settlements
Population and Development
5.6The interactions of economic, social and demographic processes influence the development of the chosen countryPopulation Structure, Density and Settlements
5.7Changing geopolitics and technology impact the countryPopulation Structure, Density and Settlements
5.8There are positive and negative impacts of rapid development for people and the environment of the chosen countryPopulation Dynamics
Topic 6Resource management
6.1A natural resource is any feature or part of the environment that can be used to meet human needsIntroduction to Resource Management
6.2The patterns of and distribution and consumption of natural resources varies on a global and national scale.Introduction to Resource Management
6.3Renewable and non renewable energy resources can be developedRenewable & Non-renewable Resources
6.4To meet demand, countries use energy resources in different proportions. This is called the energy mixIntroduction to Resource Management
6.5There is increasing demand for energy that is being met by renewable and non renewable resourcesEnergy
6.6Meeting the demands for energy resources can involve interventions by different interest groupsEnergy
6.7Management and sustainable use of energy resources are required at a range of spatial scales from local to internationalEnergy
6B Water resource management
6.8The supply of fresh water supply varies globallyWater
6.9There are differences between the water consumption patterns of developing countries and developed countriesWater
6.10Countries at different levels of development have water supply problemsWater
6.11Meeting the demands for water resources could involve technology and interventions by different interest groupsWater
6.12Management and sustainable use of water resources are required at a range of spatial scales from local to internationalWater
Component 3Geographical Investigations
Section AGeographical investigations – physical environments
Topic 7Geographical investigations − fieldwork
7AInvestigating physical environments (rivers landscapes OR coastal landscapes)
7BInvestigating human environments(central/inner urban area OR rural settlements)
Topic 8Geographical investigations − UK challenges

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!