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 Specification GCSE Document Reference Additional Content
Component 1 The Physical Environment
Section A The changing landscapes of the UK
Topic 1 The changing landscapes of the UK Understanding Landscapes
1A Coastal landscapes and processes Coastal Landscapes
1B River landscapes and processes River Landscapes
1C Glaciated upland landscapes and processes Glacial Landscapes
Section B Weather hazards and climate change
Topic 2 Weather hazards and climate change
2.1 The atmosphere operates as a global system transferring heat and energy Climate Change
2.2 The global climate was different in the past and continues to change due to natural causes Climate Change
2.3 Global climate is now changing as a result of human activity Climate Change
2.4 The UK has a distinct climate which has changed over time Climate Change
2.5 Tropical cyclones are extreme weather events that develop under specific conditions and in certain locations Tropical Storms
2.6 There are various impacts of and responses to natural hazards caused by tropical cyclones depending on a country’s level of development Tropical Storms
Topic 3 Ecosystems, biodiversity and management
3.1 Large scale ecosystems are found in different parts of the world and are important Introduction to Ecosystems
3.2 The biosphere is a vital system Introduction to Ecosystems
3.3 The UK has its own variety of distinctive ecosystems that it relies on Introduction to Ecosystems
3.4 Tropical rainforests show a range of distinguishing features Tropical Rainforests
3.5 Tropical rainforest ecosystems provide a range of goods and services, some of which are under threat. Tropical Rainforests
3.6 Decidusous woodlands show a range of distinguishing features Deciduous Forests
3.7 Decidusous woodland systems provide a range of goods and services, some of which are under threat Deciduous Forests
Component 2 The Human Environment
Topic 4 Changing cities
4.1 Urbanisation is a global process Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
4.2 The degree of urbanisation varies across the UK Urban Issues & UK Challenges
4.3 The context of the chosen UK city influences its function and structure Urban Issues & UK Challenges
4.4 The chosen UK city is being changed by movements of people, employment and services Urban Issues & UK Challenges
4.5 Globalisation and economic change create challenges for the chosen UK city that require long-term solutions Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
Case study of a major city in a developing or emerging country Urban Issues & UK Challenges
4.6 The context of the chosen country's major city influences its functions and structure Urban Issues & UK Challenges
4.7 The character of the chosen city is influenced by ts fast rate of growth Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
4.8 Rapid growth within the chosen city results in a number of challenges that need to be addressed Global Patterns of Urban Growth & Change
Topic 5 Global development
5.1 Definitions of development vary as do attempts to measure it Population and Development
5.2 The level of development varies globally Population Structure, Density and Settlements
5.3 Uneven global development has a range of consequences Population Dynamics
5.4 A range of strategies has been used to try to address uneven development Population and Development
Case study of development in a developing or emerging country
5.5 The level of development of the country is influenced by its location and context in the world Population Structure, Density and Settlements
Population and Development
5.6 The interactions of economic, social and demographic processes influence the development of the chosen country Population Structure, Density and Settlements
5.7 Changing geopolitics and technology impact the country Population Structure, Density and Settlements
5.8 There are positive and negative impacts of rapid development for people and the environment of the chosen country Population Dynamics
Topic 6 Resource management
6.1 A natural resource is any feature or part of the environment that can be used to meet human needs Introduction to Resource Management
6.2 The patterns of and distribution and consumption of natural resources varies on a global and national scale. Introduction to Resource Management
6.3 Renewable and non renewable energy resources can be developed Renewable & Non-renewable Resources
6.4 To meet demand, countries use energy resources in different proportions. This is called the energy mix Introduction to Resource Management
6.5 There is increasing demand for energy that is being met by renewable and non renewable resources Energy
6.6 Meeting the demands for energy resources can involve interventions by different interest groups Energy
6.7 Management and sustainable use of energy resources are required at a range of spatial scales from local to international Energy
6B Water resource management
6.8 The supply of fresh water supply varies globally Water
6.9 There are differences between the water consumption patterns of developing countries and developed countries Water
6.10 Countries at different levels of development have water supply problems Water
6.11 Meeting the demands for water resources could involve technology and interventions by different interest groups Water
6.12 Management and sustainable use of water resources are required at a range of spatial scales from local to international Water
Component 3 Geographical Investigations
Section A Geographical investigations – physical environments
Topic 7 Geographical investigations − fieldwork
7A Investigating physical environments (rivers landscapes OR coastal landscapes)
7B Investigating human environments(central/inner urban area OR rural settlements)
Topic 8 Geographical 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

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!