OCR GCSE Geography – Revision Notes & Study Resources

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

OCR A Specification GCSE Document Reference Additional Content
Landscapes of the UK
The physical landscape and characteristics Understanding Landscapes
Geomorphic processes in disctinctive landscapes Understanding Landscapes
Rivers and the creation of landforms from source to basin River Landscapes
Landforms within coastal landscapes Coastal Landscapes
Landscape dynamism based on geology, climate and human activity Understanding Landscapes
People of the UK
UK's connectedness to many places and countries Global Patterns of Urban Change and Urban Growth
UK's diverse and unequal society with geographical patterns Urban Issues and Challenges in UK
Different causes and consequences of development in the UK Urban Issues and Challenges in UK
UK's changing population Urban Issues and Challenges in UK
Causes and consequences of urban trends in the UK Urban Issues and Challenges in UK
Cities' challenges, way of life and influence on people, culture and geography Urban Issues and Challenges in UK
UK Environmental Challenges
UK's unique climate for latitude and creation of extreme weather conditions Climate Change
Extreme flood hazards becoming more commonplace Climate Change
Humans use, modify and change ecosystems and environments for food, energy and water Introduction
Energy sources available in the UK Energy
Factors affecting UK energy that require management and condideration of future supplies Energy
Component 2 The World Around US
Ecosystems of the Planet
Ecosystems consist of interdependent components Introduction
Ecosystems have distinc distributions and characteristics Introduction
Major tropical rainforests of the world Tropical Rainforests
Major coral reefs of the world Coral Reefs
Bio-diverse ecosystems are under threat from human activity Introduction
People of the Planet
The world is developing unevenly Population and Development
Causes for uneven development Population and Development
Factors contributing to a country's development Population and Development
Majority of the world's population live in urban areas Population Structure, Density, and Settlements
Causes and consequences of rapid urbanisation in LIDCs Population Structure, Density, and Settlements
Cities' challenges, way of life and influence on people, culture and geography Population Structure, Density, and Settlements
Environmental threats to our Planet
Climate has changed from the start of the Quaternary period Climate Change
Number of possible causes for climate change Climate Change
Climate change has consequences Climate Change
Global circulation of the atmosphere controls weather and climate Climate Change
Extreme weather conditions cause different natural weather hazards Tropical Storms
Drought can be devastating for people and the environment Droughts
Component 3 Geographical Skills
Geographical Skills
Fieldwork Assessment

Would you look at that, you’re
already nearing the end of your GCSEs! Before you know it, exam season will
have come and gone, and you’ll have your GCSE certificates in hand ready to
move onto the next challenge. As the long-awaited exam season dawns on you, you
may be starting to get anxious about all of that content you’re going to have
to learn for your assessments. But don’t worry, help is here! Don’t forget that
you will have been introduced to all your exam topics already so you’re not
starting anything from scratch. What you have to do now is write a solid
revision plan and stick to it until exam day. Here’s all you need to know about
that and how we can help.

As you may have noticed,
subjects don’t really change much with different examination boards. After all,
a hurricane is still a hurricane, no matter who teaches it to you! However,
there are small differences between exam boards in terms of how your knowledge
is being assessed. Being aware of this will go a long way in helping you
prepare for your exams. What you need to know about OCR exams is that they are
notorious for being more context- and practical-based. In other words, your
knowledge will be tested more on contextual (storyline) questions than very
direct ones. The best way to learn how to tackle these questions is to start
reading through past papers early on. That way nothing can surprise you!

About the Board

The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA
Examinations (OCR) board was first created in 1998 after several mergers,
abolitions, and handovers which happened earlier in the 1990s. Today it is one
of the largest exam boards in the country and it continues to be run by the
University of Cambridge. Like most subjects, OCR GCSE Geography is ‘linear’.
This means you’ll be assessed on your knowledge at the very end of the GCSE
course as opposed to throughout it (which happens with ‘modular’ subjects).

How long will the course take to complete?

The OCR GCSE Geography course,
whether you took the A or B version, is most likely going to take two academic
years to complete. Most educational institutions teach the subject over two
years, but some have opted to complete the course in just a year. Others have
also started early and taken three years to finish.

Is any prior knowledge required?

OCR does not require any prior
qualification or knowledge from you. But they do specify that learners in
England who are beginning this course are likely to have learned some basics
about geography throughout their Key Stage 3 classes. Therefore, it is safe to
assume that the GCSE course does assume some basic knowledge about geography.

What will I study?

What you study will largely
depend on whether you are taking OCR GCSE Geography A or OCR GCSE Geography B.
This might sound very confusing, but it isn’t. The ‘A’ version of the OCR GCSE
Geography course approaches the subject thematically: first teaching you about
UK-specific geography and then about global geographical topics. Meanwhile, the
‘B’ version of the course approaches the subject of geography in a more
traditional way, splitting it into the two strands: human and physical.

If you are taking GCSE
Geography A, you will first cover landscapes of the UK; people of the UK; and,
UK environmental challenges. Next, you will cover ecosystems of the planet;
people of the planet; and, environmental threats to our planet. Meanwhile, if
you are taking GCSE Geography B, then you will first cover global hazards;
changing climate; distinctive landscapes; and, sustaining ecosystems, all as
physical geography topics. Then you will cover human geography topics including
urban futures; dynamic development; the UK in the 21st century; and, resource

What is the examination process like?

The examination process is
also slightly different depending on which version of OCR GCSE Geography you
are taking. If you are taking Geography A, then your first two exams (Living in
the UK Today and The World Around Us) will last 1 hour each and count for 30%
of your final grade each. The final paper (Geographical Skills), which includes
a fieldwork assessment, will last 1 hour and 30 minutes and count for 40% of
your final grade.

However, if you are taking
Geography B then the exams are weighted and spread out a bit differently. The
first two papers (Our Natural World and People and Society) will each last 1
hour and 15 minutes and each count for 35% of your final GCSE. Each of those
will have a fieldwork component. Meanwhile, the third and final paper
(Geographical Exploration) will be a decision-making exercise in the form of a
1 hour and 30 minutes long written assessment. It will count for the remaining
30% of your overall grade.

Study Tips

You are highly advised to
revise a few hours a day for your GCSE Geography exams from the outset.
Starting strong and following your revision plan will mean that there are no
unfortunate surprises waiting for you at the last minute. Ideally, you should
be revising this subject for two to three hours each day. That will give you
sufficient time to delve into deep learning and it will also keep you away from
the burnout trap (working for too many hours and losing focus).

Another way to stay away from burnout and low-efficiency revision is to avoid passive studying (i.e. just reading). Instead, write some revision cards, take some quizzes and draw some mind maps. This will help you remember your definitions and memorise your ecosystems for the exams. Finally, when you start feeling confident about the content, start doing timed practice papers. That way you’ll learn about what to expect on exam day and you’ll get a hang of how to manage your time in an exam. All of us at GCSE Geography are here to support you in getting the very best grades! To do so we have a lot of revision material waiting for you on our website. So don’t wait around, let’s get started!