Thursday, 12 May 2011

Upper Sixth! Revision Help

Hello Uppers!

AS the AS geography exam is next week, I'm aware that the blog and the workshops have been very much focused on the Lower Sixth topics, so here is a post just for you!

Nick has very kindly been through the textbook and come up with a list of subheadings that could easily be the focus of the short answer questions this summer. They are categorised by module, and would make an excellent format for you to make sure you have all the notes you need and case studies for each.

You should be, and should have been for some time, revising pretty hard by now. The exams have a nasty habit of creeping up on us very fast at this time of year, and they are now a month away. As you enter the final fortnight (Sob/Cry/Scream in delight at the idea of under two more weeks of lessons), you need to ensure you have everything you need from us before the half term break.

So, the subheadings:

The theory of plate tectonics
Features of plate margins
Hot Spots
Distribution of volcanoes
Volcanic eruptions
Intrusive and extrusive volcanic activity in the UK
The impact of volcanic eruptions
Causes of earthquakes
Magnitude and frequency
The effects of earthquakes

Structure of the atmosphere
The atmospheric heat budget
Planetary surface winds
Atmospheric pressure and winds
The general atmospheric circulation system
British Isles - basic climatic characteristics
British Isles – Air masses affecting the….
The origin and nature of depressions
The origin and nature of anticyclones
Storm events
Tropical Monsoon Climate
Tropical Revolving Storms
The urban heat island effect
Urban areas – precipitation, fog, air quality, winds
Evidence for climate change
Possible causes of climate change
Effects of global warming
Effects on monsoon climate
Effects on the UK
Responses to global warming

Development and Globalisation
Global Marketing
Patterns of production, distribution and consumption
Growth in the 21st Century
Countries at low levels of development
Quality of Life
Social problems
Global groupings
Social and economic groupings
Growth of the EU
TNCs - definitions
TNCs – growth and location
TNCs – globalisation
TNCs - Social, economic and environmental impacts
Trade vs Aid
Economic vs environmental sustainability
Sustainable tourism: myth or reality

As ever with geography, the best answers have the following characteristics:
  1. Terminology - we wouldn't teach it if you didn't need to know it, so use it. There is a dictionary on moodle that you can fill out with all the key words from all the modules this year.
  2. Structure - Don't just write everything you know in a rush, take your time and answer questions properly, categorise your sentences and make sure you write in good English.
  3. Case Studies - quite often, even if the question doesn't say "Using case studies analyse...." they are still expecting you to demonstrate knowledge of real world examples.  It can never hurt to "name drop" a few examples into the short answer questions.
The last point to remember, is that there are marks available for "Thinking like a geographer", this is exam board terminology, Nick, Nikki and I have all been at exam meetings with our Chief Examiner talking about how impressed he is when students demonstrate they understand the nature of the subject, how the syllabus links together, using unique and local examples etc.

What he is really trying to say, is that by this stage in your education you should realised that geography is everywhere, and concerns pretty much everything. Therefore you can talk about anything you have learned, not just in this subject and your other AS modules, but your other subjects too. What have you read in the news? What is important to you that you understand and can relate to geography? Use examples, use your brains and look at the subject as a whole.

That may all sound a bit wishy washy and all-encompassing coming from a possibly slight over enthused teacher, so to make it clear, lets define what geography is:

  • The bridge between the human and physical sciences?
  • The science of dealing with the earth, its lands, features, inhabitants and phenomena
  • Spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena
  • Understanding the earth and everything that takes place on it or in it
  • How has the earth changed and developed and come to be as it is today?
  • A world discipline?
In reality, for the numpty like me, Geography is the study of people and place, and how the two interact. It is studying how we are affected by and affect the planet.

So, set yourselves up with a list of revision topics, the case studies and the revision booklets. Traffic light topics, make new notes, believe me this really helps, and come to workshops. We are currently finalising a post half term structured week of revision, designed as last minute help, with a day on each topic and a session on exam technique for short and long answers.

Hope this helps, if you have any particular requests for assistance with Upper sixth revision, leave them here as a comment and i will try to make it happen!


PS - As of next week, all Upper sixth classes are open to all upper sixth students, there are columns in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7, please feel free to come along if you want to.

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