Assessment Report

Level 2 Geography 2021

Standards 91240  91242  91243

 

Part A: Commentary

Candidates were expected to refer to spatial examples to show understanding of their case study locations. Candidates who scored well generally integrated relevant case study information.

Candidates who achieved higher levels also integrated relevant and accurate geographic terminology that related well to the question. These responses were often well planned and showed a thorough understanding of the requirements of the standard.

Responses that were pre-prepared often did not relate to the question. These candidates tended not to achieve in most instances.

It is recommended that candidates take care when unpacking the questions so they can structure their responses appropriately.

Part B: Report on standards

91240:  Demonstrate geographic understanding of a large natural environment

Examinations

The examination included one question, which required the candidate to apply their understanding to the formation and change of the natural landscape. Candidates had the opportunity to explain their case study evidence in support of their response.

Observations

Candidates need to read the question and instructions carefully and focus on the formation and change of the environment. This particularly applies to “use evidence from case study and where possible geographic terminology and concepts”.

The standard focuses on the natural environment, and thus processes used and case study information must relate to this environment throughout the response.

The overall response was focused on how the processes and elements created the landscape that candidates had chosen.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • completed a response that showed they understood formation and change, with case study material provided to support their response
  • provided diagrams to support their answer, but these often lacked detail to achieve higher grades.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not address the question or did not include sufficient depth
  • provided little, if any, case study material to support the response
  • wrote everything they knew about the environment, but this was not relevant to the question being asked.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • wrote a detailed answer that demonstrated a higher level of understanding of formation and change of the environment
  • provided diagrams that showed the various stages in the formation of their large natural environment, which added depth to the response.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • produced responses with comprehensive detail
  • provided a series of annotated diagrams specific to their case study, that supported their explanations
  • clearly linked diagrams to the written response and accurately referred to them within their responses
  • applied the geographic concepts in detail to show insight.

91242:  Demonstrate geographic understanding of differences in development

Examinations

The examination included one question with two parts. The question required the candidates to apply their understanding of the factors or reasons that have contributed to the differences in development and provide explanations and case study evidence, from different locations, to support their response.

Observations

Too many candidates in 2021 generalised about development in a whole country or groups of people, e.g., everyone in Samoa is poor and everyone in UAE is wealthy, or everyone in India has low literacy levels.

Equally when candidates chose to write about a caste system as a factor, they often generalised or did not make links to the specific locations. Without locations (case study areas/countries/communities, as stated in the achievement standard), the candidates struggled to achieve.

Candidates who chose factors where their outcomes were based on gender differences, but was not specifically linked to a location, failed to meet the requirements of the standard.

Using a single extreme natural event as a factor did not really work, as development differences used were often short-term and did not relate to both case study environments.

Looking at differences in development within a country worked best for the question in 2021, as generalisations were not necessary and candidates could focus on explicitly writing about how factors influence a particular area.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • included some explanation of factors or aspects of an environment and included some case study evidence on at least two case study areas
  • made over-generalised statements about a whole country, for example, climate over a whole country
  • tried to make a response discussing strategies for reducing differences in development fit the question; this is a completely different aspect of this achievement standard and therefore candidates were not fully answering the question. These candidates tended to miss out on obtaining higher grades.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • included little or no case study evidence and made no direct link to the two locations
  • were descriptive, often lacking in explanation of how the factor/s caused any differences in development
  • over-generalised responses – this demonstrated limited understanding of development, with gross generalisations about a whole country
  • used unsuitable factors – e.g., gender differences or the caste system, but were not linked to different locations and therefore did not meet the requirements of the standard.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained how factors contributed to differences in development in detail, showing linking of ideas within their response and explicitly discussed how the factor caused development outcomes in two places
  • chose suitable factors and gave good detail on development about the two locations
  • used case study evidence consistently throughout to support their answers.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • included comprehensive, relevant, case study evidence of two locations
  • used appropriate statistics to explain the differences
  • comprehensively explained the two chosen factors, demonstrating insight of development processes with sound coverage of two locations, demonstrating clear understanding of the differences in development
  • integrated geographic concepts and correct geographic terms that enhanced their explanations.

91243:  Apply geography concepts and skills to demonstrate understanding of a given environment

Examinations

The examination included one question with multiple parts.

The paper was accessible to candidates and most completed all questions. The resources provided were detailed and provided sufficient opportunity for candidates to show deeper understanding of the environment.

Observations

A number of candidates chose to use “sequence of actions” as a process, but there was limited scope in the resources to allow them to discuss a sequence in terms of a process. Rather, candidates tended to discuss the sequence in terms of change in the landscape over time. There is a subtle difference here that led many students solely into a “change” answer rather than one that discussed the “process” or “sequence of actions” that caused the change.

Candidates who chose interaction in parts a (ii) and (iii) often repeated much of their response in (c) as this question also assessed the concept. Part (b) was an excellent mapping question that appropriately challenged the students. The concepts being referred to were “interaction”, “change” and “environments” or “other concepts”.

Candidates needed to show sufficiency in both geographic skills and conventions and, geographic concepts. It is important that equal emphasis is placed on both of these aspects of the standard.

Candidates are encouraged to read the questions carefully to make sense of their requirements. For example, if candidates are asked to give one sentence from a concept, it is important to do exactly that rather than give two sentences or make up their own sentence.

Candidates are encouraged to be as accurate as possible when interpreting resources to produce a precis map. All features need to be included and conventions such as title, scale, direction, use of shading etc., need to be clear and accurate.

It is important to be able to appropriately apply a concept to the chosen environment. This involves careful use of key terminologies from within the relevant concepts’ definitions. Wherever possible, the use of specific resource booklet information should be used to support a response.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed sufficiency in using geographic skills and conventions and a concept
  • made clear distinction between the natural and cultural environments and located most features using most of the required conventions for a precis map
  • used some information from the resource booklet to support their answer.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not show sufficient use of geographic skills and conventions, or of concepts
  • lacked accuracy in both locating features and in use of conventions when completing a precis map
  • did not understand the difference between the natural and cultural environments and tended not to read the given instructions carefully.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • clearly distinguished between the cultural and natural environments
  • showed accuracy when interpreting and locating features on a precis map
  • accurately used geographic conventions in terms of title, direction, scale, and use of a key
  • applied geographic concepts, explicitly referring to them in the context of the selected environment and used a range of information from the resource booklet to support their responses.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • applied geographic concepts by explicitly referring to them in the context of the selected environment
  • unpacked the geographic concepts by referring to key terminologies and used a wide range of information from the resource booklet to support their responses
  • provided well-structured responses that were set out in planned paragraphs.

Geography subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 249KB)

2019 (PDF, 234KB)

2018 (PDF, 110KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2016 (PDF, 214KB)

 
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