The Student Room Group

geography alevel

I'm currently getting C's and I need to get a higher grade to get into the uni I want to go into. How can I structure my answers for 6 markers and 20 markers to get level 3 or 4 answers? And how can I effectively work on my exam techniques?
Reply 1
Original post by kxxthixa178
I'm currently getting C's and I need to get a higher grade to get into the uni I want to go into. How can I structure my answers for 6 markers and 20 markers to get level 3 or 4 answers? And how can I effectively work on my exam techniques?


The way I did it was by having a basic structure for every essay that I did. For 20 markers you need to be straight to the point and you cannot waffle on about things that aren't relevant to the question- the way I did this was by first analysing the question- what does it want you to do- Discuss (so you need to go into detail about one topic), Evaluate (go into detail about positives and negatives) etc. then I set out a basic plan with an Intro- P1 (PEEL) P2 P3 Conclusion. No matter what you write about make sure your conclusion links all of your points and explains them. Doing a basic plan in 5/10 mins before really helped me set out a clear plan for what I would write in the exam and saved me from thinking random things to add on the spot. I ended up getting an A in geography and I revised for about a month before- while I absolutely don't recommend this make sure you practice regularly and look at model answers- buy student guides which give practice qs which will help reinforce content even more.
I got an A* in my a level geography this year, and got 25 marks above the boundary of an A* and followed this structure in all my papers.
For a 6 marker, write 3 small paragraphs with different points and some form of reasoning (including the words 'because' and 'this infers'). If you have any brief case studies to chuck in do so but it is not necessary. If the 6 markers include a study then make sure to reference the figure in each of your paragraphs.
For 20 markers, this structure is the one I followed every time:
1. An introduction including key words and definitions, define the words mentioned in the title of the question is crucial too. You should also mention the points that you are going to talk about in your essay.
2. You should aim to write 4 main paragraphs as the body of the essay with 2 agree and 2 disagree points. In each paragraph write the point clearly at the start, expand on the point with wider knowledge and reasoning. Then include a case study and REMEMBER TO LINK THE CASE STUDY TO THE POINT THAT YOU ARE MAKING. Then lastly link back to the question and state a nice concluding statement at the end to make sure you get that level 4.
3. Then the conclusion in which you should state your opinion and reasoning and this must be one of the points you have previously stated. Do not include any new information that you have not previously mentioned.

It must be said that timing in exams can limit the quality but if you plan your time effectively it is possible to get this all done. I definitely recommend fully writing past questions under timed conditions in an area like the library which reflects exam conditions. Also wider reading and coming up with your owns facts and figures helps you to stand out, like the national geographic and geo fact sheets.
COME UP WITH YOUR LIST OF CASE STUDIES FOR EACH TOPIC AND AS LONG AS THERE IS A WIDE VARIETY STICK WITH YOUR LIST ONLY. I had my list of case studies which was not as long as others but I personally researched information on each one in a lot more detail so that in my 20 markers I had more to write about and it helped me actually link the case studies to the question instead of just chucking them in.
Hope this helps, if you need any more help then feel free to reply.
My Physical Geography teacher taught me 'TEAM C' for 6 markers and it's actually really helped. Trend, Evidence, Anomaly, Maths, Conclusion. It seems stupid but this saved me quite a few marks on my mocks in year 12 and I find it a lot easer to structure my 6 markers. As for Human Geography, I usually use 3-4 brief, well explained points + conclusion, make sure to use key terms.
20 markers;
Introduction - Definitions/Do you agree?
Point 1 - Explanation, why is it good/bad? Argue with yourself, poke holes in your own argument - Why is it bad/good? What are the faults/benefits? Mini conclusion linking back to question + saying why you're point is correct overall.
Repeat this 3-4 more times for 3-4 different points.
Conclusion which summarises your points + links back to question and answers it overall, I steal a lot of my conclusion from my introduction. I use this structure and guaranteed I don't mess up a point + use key terms I usually get 17/20.
Original post by use12123
I got an A* in my a level geography this year, and got 25 marks above the boundary of an A* and followed this structure in all my papers.
For a 6 marker, write 3 small paragraphs with different points and some form of reasoning (including the words 'because' and 'this infers'). If you have any brief case studies to chuck in do so but it is not necessary. If the 6 markers include a study then make sure to reference the figure in each of your paragraphs.
For 20 markers, this structure is the one I followed every time:
1. An introduction including key words and definitions, define the words mentioned in the title of the question is crucial too. You should also mention the points that you are going to talk about in your essay.
2. You should aim to write 4 main paragraphs as the body of the essay with 2 agree and 2 disagree points. In each paragraph write the point clearly at the start, expand on the point with wider knowledge and reasoning. Then include a case study and REMEMBER TO LINK THE CASE STUDY TO THE POINT THAT YOU ARE MAKING. Then lastly link back to the question and state a nice concluding statement at the end to make sure you get that level 4.
3. Then the conclusion in which you should state your opinion and reasoning and this must be one of the points you have previously stated. Do not include any new information that you have not previously mentioned.

It must be said that timing in exams can limit the quality but if you plan your time effectively it is possible to get this all done. I definitely recommend fully writing past questions under timed conditions in an area like the library which reflects exam conditions. Also wider reading and coming up with your owns facts and figures helps you to stand out, like the national geographic and geo fact sheets.
COME UP WITH YOUR LIST OF CASE STUDIES FOR EACH TOPIC AND AS LONG AS THERE IS A WIDE VARIETY STICK WITH YOUR LIST ONLY. I had my list of case studies which was not as long as others but I personally researched information on each one in a lot more detail so that in my 20 markers I had more to write about and it helped me actually link the case studies to the question instead of just chucking them in.
Hope this helps, if you need any more help then feel free to reply.

wow thank you. I was also predicted a c and I have my a level in less than two weeks. I know my content it's just essays I falls short on and this really helps. Thank you!!
Original post by use12123
I got an A* in my a level geography this year, and got 25 marks above the boundary of an A* and followed this structure in all my papers.
For a 6 marker, write 3 small paragraphs with different points and some form of reasoning (including the words 'because' and 'this infers'). If you have any brief case studies to chuck in do so but it is not necessary. If the 6 markers include a study then make sure to reference the figure in each of your paragraphs.
For 20 markers, this structure is the one I followed every time:
1. An introduction including key words and definitions, define the words mentioned in the title of the question is crucial too. You should also mention the points that you are going to talk about in your essay.
2. You should aim to write 4 main paragraphs as the body of the essay with 2 agree and 2 disagree points. In each paragraph write the point clearly at the start, expand on the point with wider knowledge and reasoning. Then include a case study and REMEMBER TO LINK THE CASE STUDY TO THE POINT THAT YOU ARE MAKING. Then lastly link back to the question and state a nice concluding statement at the end to make sure you get that level 4.
3. Then the conclusion in which you should state your opinion and reasoning and this must be one of the points you have previously stated. Do not include any new information that you have not previously mentioned.

It must be said that timing in exams can limit the quality but if you plan your time effectively it is possible to get this all done. I definitely recommend fully writing past questions under timed conditions in an area like the library which reflects exam conditions. Also wider reading and coming up with your owns facts and figures helps you to stand out, like the national geographic and geo fact sheets.
COME UP WITH YOUR LIST OF CASE STUDIES FOR EACH TOPIC AND AS LONG AS THERE IS A WIDE VARIETY STICK WITH YOUR LIST ONLY. I had my list of case studies which was not as long as others but I personally researched information on each one in a lot more detail so that in my 20 markers I had more to write about and it helped me actually link the case studies to the question instead of just chucking them in.
Hope this helps, if you need any more help then feel free to reply.


Question: How many pages about did each 20 mark essay come to. As I am making a plan (based off your structure so thanks) it looks like it can easily come to 3-4 pages of writing and I am wondering if that is too much.
Sorry for the late response, just saw this now! I remember writing around 4 pages per essay. But you shouldn't worry too much about this, I remember in my paper three I left not a lot of time for the last 24 mark question, writing a little less than three pages but got 71/75 overall in that paper so it must have gone well. Honestly, from personal experiences its the depth of knowledge that makes you stand out instead of just the amount of facts you can recite in an exam.
Hope this helps :smile:

Quick Reply

Latest