Mr Nonsense
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Ok I will be doing a-level geography in september (i.e. y12) and i think at my school they follow the AQA course (i know the specifications are new but your experiences will stil be relevant). And i have a few questions that i hope you could help answer so that i can get a better understanding of the a-level:

* how hard is geography as an a-level? I thought at GCSE it was relatively difficult to revise for as there is a lot of material to cover. There will be even more so at A-level, so how does it compare to other a-levels? Is it more about assimilating knowledge over the whole year?

* in the GCSE exam, most of the questions required you to interpret infomation rather than directly use your knowledge. Is this the same at a-level?

* how many case studies do you have to know approximately? as there were a lot at GCSE and i expect even more so at a-level

* how much time does the coursework take? At GCSE (we did ours lent term of y10) it took up a huge amount of time and there is no way i would have been able to commit so much time in y11 to the c/w if we had done it then (i did get full marks, but it was still a major effort). I know for the a-level, the c/w itself is not directly marked but instead you have an exam on your investigation.

* how well regarded is geography by universities? Geographers know that it is not a *piss* A-level, but do non-geographers?

I am also thinking of doing geography at uni (so obvs I will have to do it at a-level) and I was wondering what sort of things I should be doing to help get into somewhere like oxford. I am doing economics a-level - which should complement the geography - but can anyone suggest any relevant work experience?

Thank you so much for your help in advance - long post i know, sorry...
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fn_101
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yayyy do geography! I will give you a proper reply later when I'm not just about to pop out, but great to see another geographer =D
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DaneCook
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AQA: You do cwork in A2.
Yes it's hard.
It's not a matter of memorising case studies and randimly throwing them in, you have to apply the content correctly and evaluate, also stating possible solutions to issues.
Cwork generally takes a term, i.e. We'll go on the Field trip this september for a week and do the cwork up to January, so 3-5 months.
It's regarded highly be universities because it's a social science is a quite versatile.
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Mr Nonsense
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(Original post by fn_101)
yayyy do geography! I will give you a proper reply later when I'm not just about to pop out, but great to see another geographer =D
thank you
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Mr Nonsense
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(Original post by DaneCook)
It's not a matter of memorising case studies and randimly throwing them in, you have to apply the content correctly and evaluate, also stating possible solutions to issues.
so is it less about rote learning of specific facts? is the learning and revision more about general themes and the issues? (if that makes sense...)
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Mr Nonsense
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(Original post by Terryw)
Am not sure, but i don't think you need to do geog A-Level to do it at Uni.Work experience would be anything you like, could be volunterring at a local Nature reserve or helping teach primary schools geography, also depends what part of the subject you like best (e.g. if you liked population and change, a local counsil could give you work experience)
thaknk you so much for your help very useful
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Kater Murr
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1. It's easy.

2. About 5 per module/unit (6 units per year [3 human, 3 phyiscal])

3. Coursework: Anything between about 50 - 100 hours, I suppose.

4. Fairly well, I think. Surprisingly. It's a traditional A level.
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Norfolkadam
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Don't do it. I got A* at GCSE and I went into college loving Geography. I got my AS results back yesterday with a big fat U written next to Geography. If you think there is too much to remember at GCSE your brain will explode at A Level like mine did.
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DaneCook
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(Original post by Norfolkadam)
Don't do it. I got A* at GCSE and I went into college loving Geography. I got my AS results back yesterday with a big fat U written next to Geography. If you think there is too much to remember at GCSE your brain will explode at A Level like mine did.
I got A at GCSE, i felt it was quite easy...certainly doable.

I did get a B at AS though.
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Mr Nonsense
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(Original post by Norfolkadam)
Don't do it. I got A* at GCSE and I went into college loving Geography. I got my AS results back yesterday with a big fat U written next to Geography. If you think there is too much to remember at GCSE your brain will explode at A Level like mine did.
is there that much to know?
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juicyfruit
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(Original post by Norfolkadam)
Don't do it. I got A* at GCSE and I went into college loving Geography. I got my AS results back yesterday with a big fat U written next to Geography. If you think there is too much to remember at GCSE your brain will explode at A Level like mine did.
Ah I totally understand, alot of my friends got their geography results back and were pretty gutted to be getting Ds and Es when they got high grades for GCSE. I don't think people completely understand that there really is so much to learn, remember and take in, but it's also how you answer the questions aswell which some times I've found to be really hard.
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MaxTib
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(Original post by Mr Nonsense)
is there that much to know?
No, there isn't. I found it to be the easiest of all my A-levels. It's mostly common sense!
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juicyfruit
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(Original post by Mr Nonsense)
is there that much to know?
There really is, geography by far has had the most to remember and learn, and then you have the skills paper which is pretty hit or miss because you have to get the exam technique spot on.
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Norfolkadam
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(Original post by Mr Nonsense)
is there that much to know?
There really is. I don't know how people could say "it's just common sense". What part about heave and soil creep and tectonic processes is just common sense? There is just so much to learn, so many terms and concepts and ideas. Then you've got case studies and the skills thing which is basically a Statistics GCSE.

It's really a bad subject in terms of workload.
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juicyfruit
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The case studies bring about most of the workload I've found - remembering processes, dates, impacts, conflicts, terms and definitions. But it's not just remembering, you really have to understand the work to be able to apply it to the questions they ask you - it's absolutely not common sense!
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juicyfruit
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Don't get me wrong, I love geography, it's so so interesting and by far my favourite subjects, but there is so much work to do!
I'm on summer holidays, but I've got a project to hand in when I get back, it's 5 essays plus field sketches and diagrams and it sure is taking a long time to do!
But, it will be worth it because it's so interesting, you have to be sure you enjoy the subject because if you don't you could get caught up in not bothering with it if it seems like hard work and end up not doing very well.
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UltimateJ
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* how hard is geography as an a-level?

This is subjective and therefore we cannot give you a definitive answer. However, I will say that it is, in my opinion, certainly not the easiest A-level and for most, not the hardest. There is a large work load (more than all my other subjects), and there is a hell of a lot to learn. Having said that, I personally feel there is nothing difficult to understand - no tricky concepts or theories and providing you have at least some common sense the subject is generally quite straight forward.

* in the GCSE exam, most of the questions required you to interpret infomation rather than directly use your knowledge. Is this the same at a-level?

Well I suppose it depends on which exam board you are with as to what you "do in the exam" but geography generally involves a lot of graphs/diagrams so yes, you will have to interpret them. With my AS level there tended to be small questions were you would use/refer to a graph/diagram/photo and larger questions where you would use case study knowledge.

* how many case studies do you have to know approximately?

Meh. It depends on how safe you want to be (i.e. not run the risk of coming unstuck in an exam). I would generally say there will be about 15-25 case studies for each exam, some large, some small.

* how much time does the coursework take?

Ages. Yes, if your syllabus is anything like mine was it will drive you mad, but it is not that hard and is an easy way of getting marks in the bag!

* how well regarded is geography by universities?

Very well.
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Murphology
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Hmmm if you enjoy Geography and got Geography quite easily at GCSE you should do well if you basically learn all of the things.

The coursework is a huge bonus, if you are half-intelligent you can get 90+ UMS out of 100 on this. This is a big safety net. The coursework does take a long time (7,600 words for me and many charts/graphs/tables bla bla) but you will have a long time to do it, it's not like 'oh btw you have 2 months that's your homework'.

After you get the basic understanding down and learn how to answer the questions (there are specific ways you should do this) then you are halfway there. The other half is just memorising all the concepts/case studies/keywords.

I would say learn the Urban side of the Human module (if you're doing this?) in far more depth than the Rural side of things. My teacher stressed this and basically taught us no Rural, so I just learned all the Urban and got full marks despite not knowing any specific Rural stuff, I guess the Urban material applies to both really. I'm really surprised actually I thought this would be my lowest AS but I got 292 UMS.

If you are like me you can get away with not really paying much attention in the Human side of things (as this is easier to understand - just more to digest) and then just crash revise it near the exams. The Physical aspect requires more 'paying attention' and 'grasping the concepts' but less to learn I think... hope this helped in some way.
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Ewan
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Its very hard, it was the hardest A level I did (check sig). I'll post more in depth later
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UltimateJ
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(Original post by Ewan)
Its very hard, it was the hardest A level I did (check sig). I'll post more in depth later
Funny you should say that. I would do much better in geography than I would in maths/further maths. Just goes to show that there is not really "hard" and "easy" subjects; each to their own I suppose.
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