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What's A Level Geography like?

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    The onlt thing that I found irritating at AS was the fact that, for AQA, there are over 100 pages to learn in the revision guide, yet in the exam you are tested on about 10 pages MAXIMUM.
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    I do Geography and in all honesty, the content is quite simple and not hard to understand at all, it's the amount of case studies and topic specific vocabulary that I personally find the most difficult. Geography is undoubtedly the hardest A level I do, purely because of the amount of case studies and exam prep I have to do. My other two A levels are languages btw.
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    I do OCR geography. I'm pretty good at geography and get A with little work, but hat I like about it is that you can watch a documentary such as stacey dooley on BBC 3, or on te geographic channel and use the information in your case studies. As long as it's relevant to your essay you'll gain credit.

    With OCR at AS we have
    F211
    -Cold enviroments
    - Arid / semi arid environments
    - Rivers
    -

    F212
    -Change in urban environments
    -Change in rural
    - Tourism
    -Energy

    A2 is slightly different, you choose 3 topics for F213 to do, and it's all essays whereas AS is shorter questions (4-9 marks) then a 25 mark essay at the end.

    F213
    -Climatic hazards
    -Ecosystems
    -Earth hazards
    -Globalisation
    -Developments and inequalities
    -Population

    I do Ecosystems, developments & inequalities and globalisation. F213 is (iirc) two 10 marks and two 30 marks.

    F214 is a practical / feild work unit.
    You do 2 feild trips (or more) and then the exam is on a certain aspect of the investiagtion. Such as why did you do a risk assesment and justify your methods. And also learning sampling methods and chi squared, mann whitney U, spearmans rho..

    Overall, I love geography and I would be doing adegree in it in september if I wasn't doing nursing. If you say you're interested in physical and human geography I'd reccomend you do it. I don't think it's very difficult, but you need to link cause and effect. Earthquake = damage = homelessness = poor health = death = loss of workforce = economy of country struggles = repairs to damaged infastructure are slow = continued homelessness, decline in tourism. and so on.
    Make sure you clearly link THIS causes THIS, as a result of THIS THAT then happens. And of course, case studies, watc stacey dooley, exctract relevant information.
    One more thing, they love statistics. Just remember a few like 99% of energy is provided by HEP in norway, 5% in UK and such.
    Good luck, if you do decide to do it, feel free to message me for other questions, always happy to talk about geography

    Also, apologies for the trible typing, I'm using a bad keyboard so excuse my spelling errors.
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    I'm studying it for AS now, having got an A* at GCSE. I wouldn't say that AS is a huge step up to be honest. The only thing that has changed is the amount of course content that you will cover in the year and the detail that has to go into your answers. For example, I did the CCEA GCSE and that meant that I covered 3 themes in Year 11 and then sat my Physical paper, and then I covered 3 themes in Year 12 and then sat my Human paper. This year though, you do all 6 themes at the once, although the exams are still split up into Physical/Human.
    Speaking in terms of the CCEA A level, there is no coursework, only a fieldwork investigation, which really isn't difficult. This is then assessed at the beginning of your Paper 1 (Physical) and is worth around 24-30 marks (I can't remember). General "Skills" questions (maps, stat. analysis', sampling etc.) are then assessed at the start of your Paper 2 (Human) and again, this isn't very difficult at all, but you then have the dilemma that your answer is either fully right or fully wrong, due to it being so straight forward, and because of this, people do either very well or VERY poor.
    As far as case studies are concerned, you'll have an average of 8-9 for each paper you sit, with the average being 3 case studies per theme.

    The CCEA themes themselves are very interesting:
    Physical:

    Fluvial Environments (Rivers) - A LOT of content. The biggest theme out of all 6 and is extremely detailed. This is made up for though by the lack of case studies - there is only 1 case study, which is on the Mississippi.
    Ecosystems - A relatively straight forward theme, which is helped by the fact that it is the theme that your fieldwork study is based on, so you will see a lot of the theory in practise. Not too challenging, although terminology can be a bit of a hassle.
    Atmosphere - 100% the hardest theme in the entire AS course. Extremely detailed topic, with quite a number of case studies. The content though, is the most interesting out of all 6 themes, in my opinion.

    Human:

    Population - Very straight forward. Basically the CCEA GCSE Population theme repeated with a few added extras. Probably the theme that everyone does best in.
    Settlement - If you understand how your own town/city works, you'll fly through this. Real-life perspective is the best way to try and learn this theme, otherwise it will all seem like a pile of rubbish.
    Development - Very interesting theme. This is more-less the "obvious" Human theme because it is all about MEDCs/LEDCs and the contrasts between them and why they are how they are.

    I would definitely recommend that you choose to study it if you have a very keen interest in it, but be warned: Prepare to work!
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    GEOGRAPHY IS GREAT!!!!!!!!! i may be biased because my teachers are FANTASTIC, but the subject is soooo amazing, i love it. i was all set to do medicine at uni, but i have changed my mind just after studying it for half a year, it's so interesting. it is a lot of work and you really have to enjoy it, but by the sounds of it you do so you should totally go for it!
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    (Original post by recurring500)
    I'm absolutely fascinated about geography, both physical and human. I love learning about the subject and currently do it for GCSE. I want to get an insight into A Level Geography and so would appreciate any comments that you have about the subject... what is the most interesting topic? On a scale of 1 to 10 how hard would you rate it? Do you go away from your geography lessons feeling intrigued by the topics? On a scale of 1 to 10 how much work is required outside of lessons?

    Thanks for any input
    Both boring and interesting on the AQA spec, outside work is nil compared to the sciences but around exam time for AS you'll have to retain quite a lot (20 or so case studies) and quite in depth knowledge of processes for physical.
    BTW: i do Rivers, Coasts, Population structure and change and Health Issues
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    Firstly; whoever tells you Geography is primarily coloring in is just a big troll as it requires absolutely none of that at all.

    Geography is a very fascinating subject, yet is a lot of hard work.
    I currently do AQA Geography and you'll hear many people say that Geography is an easy subject, however it is only easy if you put in the hard work to learn all of the concepts and case studies.
    For AS,t he exam is made up of longer and shorter answers, as well as another skills based exam based on collecting and interpretation of data.

    I find Geography to be quite fun, but that's my opinion.
    If you like and are interested in Geography, I'm sure you should do well at it if it is one of your options.
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    Geography is the most varied humanity imo. You can link lots of other subjects such as history, sociology and english into it. The topics I do on the Edexcel board for AS are quite varied, and range from climate change to rebranding places.

    There is a lot of content, but most of it is pretty easy to get your head around; the tricky part is just remembering all the case studies. Other than that, it is very interesting; and I'm most certainly looking forward to doing it next year at A2.

    I also just came back from an amazing residential in the Dorset coastline, where I stayed over for 3 days. It was absolutely beautiful and actually seeing geography in practice was wonderful. I've also had like 6/7 trips over the year to supplement the course, which is a huge temptation for doing A-Level Geography

    Good luck, and if you need any more help, just pm me
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    It's great, I really enjoy it. I didn't do it a GCSE, so I should of done a lot more work then others.

    I don't enjoy Sixth Form, or A levels as a whole, but I find the work I do in lessons pretty interesting, but you will need to do a lot of work outside of lessons (I found out the hard way!).
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    depends which track you do tbh i got the ****ty one and had to learn about sodding rivers again -_- other than that i loved it! especially the trip to morocco, sickkkkk holiday

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Updated: April 10, 2012
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