lifestartsnow.x
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Hi, I'm a year 12 geography student and our exam board is OCR. I had parents evening tonight and my teacher said my extended answer questions are "too GCSEish" and not long enough. Can anyone please give me some tips on how to improve to reach those higher marks?
Thank you!
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abbbbbb.
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(Original post by lifestartsnow.x)
Hi, I'm a year 12 geography student and our exam board is OCR. I had parents evening tonight and my teacher said my extended answer questions are "too GCSEish" and not long enough. Can anyone please give me some tips on how to improve to reach those higher marks?
Thank you!
Hi, currently in year 13 and take the OCR geography exam board too. For 33 markers (not sure if you have done any yet), our teacher recommends us using the PEECAL structure (point, evidence, explanation, counter argument, link). Application is key for geography, allows you to get lots of knowledge marks.

When your teacher says "GCSEish" assuming she means too simple right? Maybe the concepts you have are too basic and don't go into much depth, which consequently means you can't access the higher levels. Do you define the geographical concept, but not actually explain the whole process- could be a potential reason. Are you evaluating throughout in your essays, i.e. going against the questions or thinking of other factors which may influence. Like the magnitude of the problem, short term or long term, could it lead to even more serious problems if it persists maybe?

You may want to invest into doing to do some extra reading too if you want an A or A*, my teacher recommended me prisoners of geography by tim (forgot last name). I didn't read the whole book, but it does have some interesting views and facts and stats which are great for long mark answers. Extra reading is not essential for every topic (as that would take too long) but is definitely worth doing it for all 8 hazardous earth case studies when you come to it. By following the ones in the textbook means that you have no room for error, everyone in your class is most likely going to pick the same ones. So if your stats are a bit off the teachers will know!

Which topics do you struggle with in the course? I might be able to help! I maybe be able to help you with your exam technique I am sitting my mock on monday so will be revising all of the year 12 content anyways. For reference I am doing: glaciated landscapes, csmp, human rights, future of food, migration, elss and hazardous earth - think that is all of them.
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lifestartsnow.x
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(Original post by abbbbbb.)
Hi, currently in year 13 and take the OCR geography exam board too. For 33 markers (not sure if you have done any yet), our teacher recommends us using the PEECAL structure (point, evidence, explanation, counter argument, link). Application is key for geography, allows you to get lots of knowledge marks.

When your teacher says "GCSEish" assuming she means too simple right? Maybe the concepts you have are too basic and don't go into much depth, which consequently means you can't access the higher levels. Do you define the geographical concept, but not actually explain the whole process- could be a potential reason. Are you evaluating throughout in your essays, i.e. going against the questions or thinking of other factors which may influence. Like the magnitude of the problem, short term or long term, could it lead to even more serious problems if it persists maybe?

You may want to invest into doing to do some extra reading too if you want an A or A*, my teacher recommended me prisoners of geography by tim (forgot last name). I didn't read the whole book, but it does have some interesting views and facts and stats which are great for long mark answers. Extra reading is not essential for every topic (as that would take too long) but is definitely worth doing it for all 8 hazardous earth case studies when you come to it. By following the ones in the textbook means that you have no room for error, everyone in your class is most likely going to pick the same ones. So if your stats are a bit off the teachers will know!

Which topics do you struggle with in the course? I might be able to help! I maybe be able to help you with your exam technique I am sitting my mock on monday so will be revising all of the year 12 content anyways. For reference I am doing: glaciated landscapes, csmp, human rights, future of food, migration, elss and hazardous earth - think that is all of them.
Sorry for the late reply - I've been so busy with school!
We have begun 33 markers but we've only looked at them briefly. That was definitely a weakness for my whole class I think. That PEECAL structure you suggest sounds helpful, I'm using similar ones in my other subjects so that could work.

Yes my teacher means its too simple by 'GCSEish', and I think I struggle with that due to time management as opposed to not knowing the content or how to write the answers out properly. My teacher has also consistently mentioned since we started in year 12 about the importance of 'factor by factor' and not 'case study by case study' (obviously that is different when it comes to case study questions). I think my evaluation is okay as I'm able to say which factor has the most significant impact and why. I also study psychology which is very evaluation heavy so I think that will just come with practice anyway.

Extra reading sounds helpful, my teacher does give us readings to print out that relate to exactly what we're learning. He also makes us go through them in class to ensure we all understand exactly what is happening - which is helpful for someone like me who struggles to comprehend exactly what is going on. Many of our stats come from these readings/articles too.

The topics I'm doing are coastal landscapes (currently), csmp (done), disease dilemmas (next year), migration (currently), hazardous earth (done but needs some more work as a class) and there are probably ones I've missed, but we don't know exactly the topics we're doing. The mock we've just done was on csmp and the hazardous earth 33 marker. I didn't write nearly enough for the 2 longer answer questions because I ran out of time

Thank you so much for the reply!!
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abbbbbb.
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(Original post by lifestartsnow.x)
Sorry for the late reply - I've been so busy with school!
We have begun 33 markers but we've only looked at them briefly. That was definitely a weakness for my whole class I think. That PEECAL structure you suggest sounds helpful, I'm using similar ones in my other subjects so that could work.

Yes my teacher means its too simple by 'GCSEish', and I think I struggle with that due to time management as opposed to not knowing the content or how to write the answers out properly. My teacher has also consistently mentioned since we started in year 12 about the importance of 'factor by factor' and not 'case study by case study' (obviously that is different when it comes to case study questions). I think my evaluation is okay as I'm able to say which factor has the most significant impact and why. I also study psychology which is very evaluation heavy so I think that will just come with practice anyway.

Extra reading sounds helpful, my teacher does give us readings to print out that relate to exactly what we're learning. He also makes us go through them in class to ensure we all understand exactly what is happening - which is helpful for someone like me who struggles to comprehend exactly what is going on. Many of our stats come from these readings/articles too.

The topics I'm doing are coastal landscapes (currently), csmp (done), disease dilemmas (next year), migration (currently), hazardous earth (done but needs some more work as a class) and there are probably ones I've missed, but we don't know exactly the topics we're doing. The mock we've just done was on csmp and the hazardous earth 33 marker. I didn't write nearly enough for the 2 longer answer questions because I ran out of time

Thank you so much for the reply!!
No worries! I guess it is quality over quantity for your case. Maybe prioritise writing a solid argument which can score a lot of marks rather than trying to fit in another paragraph. I know someone in my class who also struggles with time, but they always write really high quality paragraphs so are able to access higher grades.

Looks like I don't take any of the same topics except from the standard ones! Best of luck with geography, hope you can achieve great grades in the future
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ItsStarLordMan
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This is the guidance we were given. I hope it's helpful!

16 mark essay question:
Introduction
Rephrase the question – show you understand the question. Don’t answer it.
Agree paragraph
Topic Sentence. Announce the purpose of this paragraph
• Point 1 – Give your first agree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 1 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 1 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
• Point 2 – Give your second agree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 2 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 2 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
Evaluation and Link back to the question. Reuse words from the question. This evidence shows agrees with the
question as it….. This is a mini-conclusion to the question
Disagree paragraph
Topic Sentence. Announce the purpose of this paragraph
• Point 1 – Give your first disagree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 1 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 1 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
• Point 2 – Give your second disagree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 2 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 2 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
Evaluation and Link back to the question. Reuse words from the question. This evidence shows agrees with the
question as it….. This is a mini-conclusion to the question
Layered argument
This is where you show discussion and include the discursive connectives. Basically, this is a paragraph that says you can neither agree or disagree with the statement because of factors unrelated. It is contingent on… It depends on.
Include at least one layered argument
Conclusion
• Use either the judgement ‘this essay therefore mostly agrees’ or ‘this essay mostly disagrees’.
• Include the main arguments and most convincing evidence agreeing and disagreeing. Both sides
• Explain why you mostly agree or disagree.



33 mark essay question:
Use the same technique as you use for 16-mark questions but add the following sections in blue font below. If time,
add some more points, evidence or counter-arguments to develop your points.
Introduction
• Rephrase the question – show you understand the question. Don’t answer it.
• Define key word/concepts in the question.
• Ask questions of about some of the words in the question
Agree paragraph
Topic Sentence. Announce the purpose of this paragraph
• Point 1 – Give your first agree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 1 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 1 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor.
• Perhaps include the odd however counterargument
• Point 2 – Give your second agree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 2 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 2 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
• Perhaps include the odd however counterargument
Evaluation and Link back to the question. Reuse words from the question. This evidence shows agrees with the
question as it….. This is a mini-conclusion to the question
Disagree paragraph
Topic Sentence. Announce the purpose of this paragraph
• Point 1 – Give your first disagree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 1 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 1 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
• Perhaps include the odd however counterargument
• Point 2 – Give your second disagree reason/point/factor
• Evidence 2 – Include convincing place-specific evidence to substantiate (or add weight) to your point.
• Explanation 2 – Show you understand the main reason/point/factor
• Perhaps include the odd however counterargument
Evaluation and Link back to the question. Reuse words from the question. This evidence shows agrees with the
question as it….. This is a mini-conclusion to the question
Layered argument
Layered argument 1 - This is where you show discussion and include the discursive connectives. It is contingent
on… It depends on. Include at least one layered argument.
Layered argument 2 – Same again
Conclusion
• Use either the judgement ‘this essay therefore mostly agrees’ or ‘this essay mostly disagrees’.
• Include the main arguments and most convincing evidence agreeing and disagreeing. Both sides
• Explain why you mostly agree or disagree.
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