How to succeed at GCSE Geography

How to
succeed at
1. Read the question
• If a question asks you to describe,
only describe DO NOT EXPLAIN!
• ‘Describing’ questions usually do
not have many marks so do not
waste your time writing in too
much detail.
• Time is valuable in exams, use it
Example 1
• This question asks you to give two examples. Do not be
fooled by the space they have given you to write.
• There is only 2 marks available. You will not be given
extra marks for any explanations.
LEDCs and MEDCs can be affected in the same way by
global warming.
Give two examples.
Example 1
Example 2
2. Look at the marks
• If you look at how many marks are
available for the question this gives
you some idea of how much you
have to write and what to include.
• For example, you will have to
include more detail for a 4 mark
question than for a two mark
Example 2
• This question asks you to explain two
effects and is worth 4 marks.
• One mark will be awarded for each effect
and another mark for each explanation.
Explain two effects of global warming on the coastline of
Example 3
• This question is worth 6 marks. It would
be sensible to make 3 relevant points and
give 3 good explanations to achieve full
How could some of Vietnam’s policies on global warming be
considered a good example of ‘sustainable development’
Example 4
• Look at this DME question. There are 20
marks available. The question has given
some guidance on what to include.
State which plan would provide the most sustainable
solution for the Maldive government and write about:
•Your reasons for choosing this plan
•Your reasons for not choosing the other plans
•Possible problems with your chosen plan
Example 4 (continued)
You could break the marks down like this:
• Reasons for choosing this plan
3 reasons with 3 explanations = 6 marks
• Reasons for not choosing the other plans
1 reason for each of the other three plans
with 1 explanation for each = 6 marks
• Possible problems with your chosen plan
2 problems with 2 explanations = 4 marks
Example 4 (continued)
• It is always a good idea to evaluate when
writing your DME answer.
• The marks add up to 16. In order to gain the
last 4 marks you could suggest a possible
solution to the problems you have identified.
• 2 advantages of plans that were rejected with
2 explanations = 4 marks
• Always breakdown the marks and ensure you
include an evaluation when writing extended
3. Write neatly
• Make sure that the examiner can read
what you are writing.
• An examiner does not want to spend a lot
of time working out what words you have
written and might even ignore important
terms you have used because it is not
4.Check your spag
• Make sure you check your
spelling, punctuation and
• The examiner can award extra
marks for correct use of spag.
• This could make the difference
between one grade and another!
• Make sure you know all your topics
• Organise your folder into sections and
revise one section at a time.
• It might help to devise a revision timetable.
You could do this for each subject and set
time aside for each topic.
• Take a 5 minute break every 20 minutes.
This will help you to concentrate and help
you to remember more facts!
And finally….
Relax, Don’t panic!
You have all the knowledge!
Show the examiner how you can apply your
knowledge to the questions set.