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Snookered in AS geography

Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:11 am

The situation is, it's a half and half thing, we get 2 lessons of Geography. 2 hours. An hour of Physical Geography and an hour of the other kind of Geography. I'm at an advantage for physical because I've always been interested and researching tetonics, volcanoes, the richter scale etc. But at a huuuuge disadvantage in the other part. I never did GCSE Geography because my school didn't allow choices nor supply it. It's all about figures, population basically stuff I've never heard of before, worse off, I lack interest in it. Ive had 2 test questions so far. Q1: 2/20, screwed up most the marks because I did bad in the maths part. The other problem was because of how badly worded exam questions are. I've been told to read the question carefully, but how can you read total gibberish? I don't even know if the question writers actually know English, this was also a problem in my GCSE's.

I aint dropping it, no way. It's a 2 year course, I need some basic tips, but I assure you all, I lack any kind of interest in the figural side. I find it boring and absolute bollocks. Even those who did/doin GCSE Geo, just give me tips. Hell, anyone tips. I've asked people before but they say "keep trying and you'll manage." Yeah, I get that and all but it's not really helping. Why can't I just zap my point of you right over to your god damn brains! Oooooh, Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy... anyway, here I am, here you are finishing reading my post, you haven't wasted your time. If you know something, just say it, I wont be mad if you aren't helpful. Any little thing will do, even if you want to go into detail go ahead. i need all the tips I can get.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:14 pm

Hi Bladen,

You say that you haven't done GCSE Geography, but are studying it now, I asume for A level or something similar? It might be an idea if you could get hold of a GCSE geography text book or revision guide either from a book shop or a library. That would probably fill you in on the bits you have missed, and might help you to develop the skills to make the human geography easier.

When you are doing your homework or learning the human geography, can you break it up into small bits and do it between other subjects, say physical geography, that you like better, or reward yourself for doing it. Its a tactic I often use to motivate me when I find something uninteresting or difficult.

I hope these help.


Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:12 pm

that's a good idea but I get alot more human geography homework than physical. It seems as if human geography is more important for some odd reason. I'm slowly learning but I'm falling behind, surely. It aint much of a bother but when it comes to homework tests I cannot put much of my knowledge into answers. Because I haven't taken much in. I'll try wikipedia for some of the subjects but it goes into details I see as another language, I know alot on stuff but this is totally new to me. It'll take a while for it to grow on me but that's what's got me snookered, I lack interest, I got no idea what is what and I'm only learning small bits and bobs from lectures.

Just an addon to my first post.
I'll try to try out that technique, may work, may not, may aswell try.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:39 am

i did a level geography and am now doing a degree in the subject many people find that they are better at physical or human geography or enjoy one more than the other. I am personally better at human geography than physcial because the fact that i can relate to it because it all around me.

some tips that could help you:
get hold of an outline of your syilibus you probably have a specfic text book that you work from during the year if you are not issued with one they are probably avaliable in the college libary i would get hold of a copy and read the sections relavant to what you are studying at the moment
if you are still haveing trouble talk to your teacher they will probably give you some extra help.

the problem with the way the exam questions are worded is anoying the thing that has helpted me is getting a list of the command words and learning what they mean words like Explain, evaluate, analyse. also try to read the question several times before you answer it and try to jot down a few ideas about what you are going to write in the answer.

hope this helps


Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:18 am

I think perhaps the problem is that you didn't learn technical words, because you didn't do GCSE Geography, and that makes it hard for you to understand the questions. Ask the teacher to give you a list of words you need to know and explain what they mean.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:04 pm

Im doing standard grade geography this year is that the same as GCSe My biggest problem is the Enquiry skills.

Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:02 pm

The question problem is a question: "what in the name of hell is it asking me do to?" I spend about 20 mins deciphering the question, good thing I get extra time. Sometimes I'm on the brink of insanity with them.

I just find it difficult, human geo seems to have a strong reliance on good maths sometimes...

The current human Geo subject is population, I learned a small bit in year 9 about it, I find it hard to understand the graphs too, so the figures are another problem. My support worker thinks it's all in ancient greek aswell. I know I'll eventually catch up and get the hang of it, that just takes about 3x longer for me than it does for others.

Another problem I can think of is understanding what I'm learning, I've gone through my notes on my laptop.

If I had a bloody scanner, I'd give a scan, example of the questions. Some find it easy and people like me find it hard.

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:12 pm

This is quite simplistic, but I think it applies. In Geography you generally get two types of questions. You get "Describe" questions, where you have to describe information given to you. These types of question are easier as you don't have to give reasons. For example a describe question would be "Use figure so-and-so to describe how the population of India has changed over time"

There are "explain" questions, where you have to explain the information given to you. This is more difficult, as it involves giving reasons. An explain question would be worded thus "Look at Figure so-and-so and explain why the poulation of India has risen over the last twenty years".

If I were you I would start by working out whether the question wants you to describe or explain. Some questions may ask you to do both. I hope that this helps you in your approach to questions.

I don't want to say too much more, as my experience is of the Scottish system and not of the English system. I am quite sure that what I have written here will apply to you.

Good luck,


Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:26 pm

A couple of more thoughts. What I said about questions either being "describe" or "explain" is very simplistic, but I think it does work. You might want to amke a list of key words and phrases used in "explain" questions and key words used in "describe" questions. Here is a start for you.


Give reasons for
Why does


Compare and Contrast
What is shown by

Hope this helps!


Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:23 pm

Good suggestions, Gordon. I have another one just for studying. If you are having trouble with memorizing terms and such then write the term on a 3 x 5 notecard and on the back write the definition of the term. Then you will have flashcards that you can study while you are cleaning your room or something like that. 8) I do this a lot for French and it works well for me.

Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:32 am

I know what the words mean in these exam questions but not understanding what the question is actually asking me to do, they are worded so badly. I suggest a few of us go to AQA HQ and educate them on how to word their god damn exam questions.

Human Geography is still an issue, it's getting easier bit by bit but it's the exam practices I fail on. Hell, even fellow class mates blame it on the question.

I've tried these techniques and they do help in some ways, thanks for the tips so far, if you have any more then go right ahead and post 'em.

Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:21 pm

Thank divinity that we've moved onto a slightly easier unit, it's more complexed but easier to get hold of, I'm predicted to achieve an E so far, but considering I have no GCSE Geo experience and that this is all new to me I'm doing pretty well. Still not easy.

Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:17 pm

I'm glad it's getting easier for you.

Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:53 am

i'm still getting 1-4/20's on the tests though.

Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:14 am

right, I've got a choice to take another year for the course, the other part or leave it at that at the year end. I'm thinking about it and can't really decide.
I'll still do the exams and get an AS grade for a 1 year but more exams and beneficial knowledge from A2 would be gained.

So, what do you all think, Do or leave?
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