Geography vs History GCSE question.

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username1277215
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#1
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Hi guys! Hope all is well

My younger sister is in year 8 and has to decide between Geography or History as her GCSE by next week. The school never even gave us a letter or told us which exam board is used for both subjects. It was a bit out of the blue really. When I was in Secondary school and did my GCSE I did neither History nor Geography so I honestly have no idea which one is better.

She is still in yr 8 and has no idea what she wants to become yet but says she wants to do something in mathematics. Whether that is becoming a maths teacher or a engineer she has no idea yet. I don't blame her though.

If you guys could please kindly state what exam board you study/studied, which one of them you would choose and why if you could do it all again. It would be much appreciated.

I will hopefully meet with her teachers and ask them further questions but in the mean time your feedback is much appreciated.
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AngelPhys
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Just say 'YOLO' and just go for one.... lol. Or not. .
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StayCoolGuys
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I don't think it will particularly matter if she's not thinking about taking either for A-Level. If that's the case she should just choose the one she enjoys most at the moment as a subject, telling her not base her choice entirely on teacher or class could also be helpful.

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childofthesun
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IMO History is more enjoyable


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ozzie2
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I did both Geography and History for GCSE, geography was AQA I think and history was OCR B. Overall I enjoyed history more as I found it more interesting based on the topics we did (Germany from 1918-1945, the League of Nations, treaty of Versailles and The great depression for the controlled assessment)

There isnt much to say about Geography you generally learn a topic and some case studies along with it. Some of it was interesting like population and tourism, but others like rivers and coasts was quite boring to me.

Overall if I could chose one I would pick history (just my opinion)


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WhiteyBread101
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Whichever she enjoys most atm, if she isn't going to be using it in later life then she shouldn't worry too much about the grade she'll get.
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Changing Skies
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I'll vote for history. I was also with OCR B and loved it

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tgwktm
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Hi guys! Hope all is well

My younger sister is in year 8 and has to decide between Geography or History as her GCSE by next week. The school never even gave us a letter or told us which exam board is used for both subjects. It was a bit out of the blue really. When I was in Secondary school and did my GCSE I did neither History nor Geography so I honestly have no idea which one is better.

She is still in yr 8 and has no idea what she wants to become yet but says she wants to do something in mathematics. Whether that is becoming a maths teacher or a engineer she has no idea yet. I don't blame her though.

If you guys could please kindly state what exam board you study/studied, which one of them you would choose and why if you could do it all again. It would be much appreciated.

I will hopefully meet with her teachers and ask them further questions but in the mean time your feedback is much appreciated.
i'm surprised she has to choose in yr 8, i didn't choose until end of yr 9. i did both history and geography at gcse and i enjoyed them both although i enjoyed geography a lot more, i found the content for geography a lot more straight forward as it was more about learning facts whereas history there was more application of them. i had to remember a lot for history too and the information had to be remembered more precisely so i would choose geography.
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nelizabeth_
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I did Edexcel Geography and honestly hated it - I was getting Es, Ds and Cs in my mocks. In August I'll be lucky to scrape a B (my coursework is A* so that should bring the grade up) Whereas, WJEC History was so much more enjoyable and was one of my favourite subjects - I'm expecting an A* in August! If I could do it again I would NOT pick Geography.
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OrangeOwl12
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#10
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I did OCR school history project which I really enjoyed, and edexcel B geography which was also good but I didnt personally like it as much. They are both 25/75 coursework/exam so in the end it depends on which she would prefer, a more literary subject or a more sciencey subject, however they are both their own subjects and very worthwhile so either one will probably be fine :p:p

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Horserider97
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Geography is easier but it's much less interesting. (Edexcel geography, AQA history.)
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AngelPhys
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(Original post by Gingerbread101)
Whichever she enjoys most atm, if she isn't going to be using it in later life then she shouldn't worry too much about the grade she'll get.
That's what I am doing !
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username1277215
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Thanks for your replies guys. Much appreciated. I have another question is you guys don't mind (pretty please ): Is there coursework involved in Geography or history or is it only exam based? How many exams did you have? Perhaps it varies with different exam boards, I dunno. Damn it. Can't believe they tell us about it right now and expect a answer from her by next week. I had to choose all my subjects by the end of year 9 and they won't even allow her to take both and once she decides she can't change her mind. Ugggh, so frustrated.
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ozzie2
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Thanks for your replies guys. Much appreciated. I have another question is you guys don't mind (pretty please ): Is there coursework involved in Geography or history or is it only exam based? How many exams did you have? Perhaps it varies with different exam boards, I dunno. Damn it. Can't believe they tell us about it right now and expect a answer from her by next week. I had to choose all my subjects by the end of year 9 and they won't even allow her to take both and once she decides she can't change her mind. Ugggh, so frustrated.
For my geography we did a fieldwork about tourism which led to a 4 hour writeup of it in controlled conditions (25%) and we had 2 exams worth 37.5% each.

For history we did a controlled assessment which we prepared for making a folder with material for a for hour write up based on the great depression in the USA. We then had 2 exams, one about international relations (for example Germany 1918-1945) and a source based paper on one of three topics. Not too sure about the percentages of the history exams.
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Changing Skies
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Thanks for your replies guys. Much appreciated. I have another question is you guys don't mind (pretty please ): Is there coursework involved in Geography or history or is it only exam based? How many exams did you have? Perhaps it varies with different exam boards, I dunno. Damn it. Can't believe they tell us about it right now and expect a answer from her by next week. I had to choose all my subjects by the end of year 9 and they won't even allow her to take both and once she decides she can't change her mind. Ugggh, so frustrated.
I had to do a controlled assessment for history and two exams. One exam was purely source based. A couple of my friends did geography and I think their course was also a controlled assessment and two exams but it does seem silly she's having to choose so early!

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(Original post by ozzie2)
For my geography we did a fieldwork about tourism which led to a 4 hour writeup of it in controlled conditions (25%) and we had 2 exams worth 37.5% each.

For history we did a controlled assessment which we prepared for making a folder with material for a for hour write up based on the great depression in the USA. We then had 2 exams, one about international relations (for example Germany 1918-1945) and a source based paper on one of three topics. Not too sure about the percentages of the history exams.
(Original post by Changing Skies)
I had to do a controlled assessment for history and two exams. One exam was purely source based. A couple of my friends did geography and I think their course was also a controlled assessment and two exams but it does seem silly she's having to choose so early!

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Thanks for the replies guys! It might seem silly asking such a question- but I did do my GCSEs years ago. What's a controlled assessment? I have never even heard of it before
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ozzie2
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Thanks for the replies guys! It might seem silly asking such a question- but I did do my GCSEs years ago. What's a controlled assessment? I have never even heard of it before
It's basically a prepared exam, so you get given a question or something to write about and you are able to prepare. You then do a write out of whatever the task is in controlled conditions (In silence with a teacher observing you to ensure you aren't teaching). I'm not too sure your sister will have to do them because they are being removed when the new GCSEs are being put in which I believe starts for the new year 10's at the end of this summer.
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German123
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#18
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Hi guys! Hope all is well

My younger sister is in year 8 and has to decide between Geography or History as her GCSE by next week. The school never even gave us a letter or told us which exam board is used for both subjects. It was a bit out of the blue really. When I was in Secondary school and did my GCSE I did neither History nor Geography so I honestly have no idea which one is better.

She is still in yr 8 and has no idea what she wants to become yet but says she wants to do something in mathematics. Whether that is becoming a maths teacher or a engineer she has no idea yet. I don't blame her though.

If you guys could please kindly state what exam board you study/studied, which one of them you would choose and why if you could do it all again. It would be much appreciated.

I will hopefully meet with her teachers and ask them further questions but in the mean time your feedback is much appreciated.

when i was in year 9 i picked history over geography simply because i did not like the geography teachers at my school and because i found geography a boring subject. I must say i do regret picking history as my GCSE option as i did not find this subject intresting at GCSE level. I also wanted a humanity so i picked history but now who knows what grade i will get.

I think you should have a serious chat with your sisiter to see which subjects she would want to pick. Both history and geography are good subjects to pick for GCSE so it does not really matter which one she picks. Most people here are saying she should pick history but like i said again speak to her about here options. Remember tell her to pick wisely unlike some of us here who did not think twice before picking our GCSE options and are now regreting. She should pick what she enjoys and not what the school is telling her to pick as at the end of the day the employers look at your grades not the subjects themselves.

*My exam board for history is Edexcel.

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DebkoX
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I had this debate with a friend

I love history, but it depends on the exam board. For example, at my old school it was mostly British and to be honest, it bored me to hell. At my new school, they did/do WJEC, and I love it, so much I think I've got an A*!

I'm pretty smart but, from what I've seen of Geography, it does seem more taxing than History.
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AdamCee
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(Original post by Chukkeigh)
Hi guys! Hope all is well

My younger sister is in year 8 and has to decide between Geography or History as her GCSE by next week. The school never even gave us a letter or told us which exam board is used for both subjects. It was a bit out of the blue really. When I was in Secondary school and did my GCSE I did neither History nor Geography so I honestly have no idea which one is better.

She is still in yr 8 and has no idea what she wants to become yet but says she wants to do something in mathematics. Whether that is becoming a maths teacher or a engineer she has no idea yet. I don't blame her though.

If you guys could please kindly state what exam board you study/studied, which one of them you would choose and why if you could do it all again. It would be much appreciated.

I will hopefully meet with her teachers and ask them further questions but in the mean time your feedback is much appreciated.
I took both subjects, Geography AQA history OCR

If your sister isn't interested in either at A-Level or further I don't think there's much in it. I was under the impression that if I took both I would look very impressive on a CV but, to be honest, it seems no one is going to care.

I personally think geography is much easier, although I enjoy history more. There's a lot of drawing diagrams in geography, whereas a lot of essay writing in history.

If I could do it again, I would drop geography. I don't enjoy it, find it pretty boring too, but that's just me; I am terrible at art which doesn't help for diagrams and, to be honest, it's more exam technique rather than knowledge (for human geography. Physical requires some more knowledge)

If I was you, I would ask her this question. (Assuming she's taking AQA/OCR. I don't know about other exam boards)

"Would you rather study Russia 100 years ago, first world war and the Nazi's, that sort of thing
or learn about coasts, population, immigration, rivers, etc"

Go with what she enjoys more. That's the mistake I made with choosing both of them. I never liked geography but I thought it would 'look good'. It doesn't tbh.
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