Assessment Report

Level 3 Geography 2020

Standards 91426  91427  91429

 

Part A: Commentary

Successful candidates wrote concisely and included sufficient detail in their responses. It is important to note that ‘more’ is not necessarily a ‘better’ response. Lengthy responses tended to look like a regurgitation of all that a candidate knew about the topic rather than addressing the questions being asked.

Candidates are encouraged to read all parts of the questions before beginning their responses so that they can plan and present their ideas logically without repeating themselves. Those who took care in noting the command terms in each question responded well and obtained higher grades as their responses were better targeted to the questions.

Candidates should read the different parts of the questions carefully so that their diagrams and written responses show evidence of the required understanding. Students who failed to use examples and include specific details either did not achieve or were limited to an Achievement grade. To obtain higher grades, they needed to integrate supporting evidence in their responses.

Part B: Report on standards

91426: Demonstrate understanding of how interacting natural processes shape a New Zealand geographic environment

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • had limited case study evidence for names of places or landforms
  • included incomplete diagrams and / or written answers
  • described the process and / or the shaping of a feature.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not draw a map for part A and/or did not refer to the shaped feature
  • lacked specific case study evidence
  • wrote everything they could remember about the topic (or fieldtrip) rather than answering the question
  • confused variations within an environment with variations within a feature.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • included annotated diagrams that showed features that were shaped by the interacting processes
  • gave detailed specific case study evidence that included reference to names and processes throughout the answer (for example, the names of specific vegetation, soil types, wave heights, beach profiles, sediment volumes etc)
  • explained in detail the interactions between processes
  • clearly identified the spatial or temporal variations within their environment.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • presented specific supporting case study evidence throughout the whole answer
  • showed insight by regularly referring to the links between processes within their chosen environment
  • included two or more processes to show a comprehensive understanding of how processes interact.

91427: Demonstrate understanding of how a cultural process shapes geographic environment(s)

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • named a cultural process and a clearly defined geographic environment 
  • showed a basic understanding of the interaction of key elements involved in the operation of a selected cultural process in either part (a) or part (b)
  • focused more on how the cultural process operated over time or space with basic and in some cases inferred links to specified changes caused in the environment
  • provided some simplistic reasoning that linked the operation of their selected cultural process to changes over time or space in their environment
  • described and partially explained the variations in a geographic environment but did not analyse them in depth.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not name a cultural process or a clearly defined geographic environment
  • selection of a process or environment was not evident in the written response
  • did not include a map or diagram
  • wrote descriptive answers that listed facts or provided a history of the environment without any links to how the cultural process changed their environment over time or space
  • misinterpreted the question and wrote a response about impacts caused by the operation of the process with no links to variations over time or space
  • wrote a response about both spatial and temporal variations without showing sufficient understanding of either
  • did not include a sufficient range of variations
  • failed to include any references to time or named locations
  • showed limited understanding of how their cultural process operates.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • named a cultural process and a clearly defined geographic environment 
  • constructed a relevant map or diagram for part (a) or evidence was given within part (b) that demonstrated detailed understanding of the interaction of elements involved in the operation of their selected cultural process
  • analysed how a cultural process operates to cause temporal or spatial variations in a selected geographic environment 
  • made links between the operation of the process and the variations caused over time or space, although some were explained more clearly than others
  • supported their answers with detailed case study evidence.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • named the cultural process and clearly defined a geographic environment 
  • constructed a relevant diagram showing the interaction of elements involved in the operation of their selected cultural process
  • provided a comprehensive analysis of how temporal or spatial variations in a geographic environment were created
  • made clear links between elements of the cultural process to the outcome of changes over time or space in their environment
  • integrated supporting case study evidence throughout and used correct geographic terminology showing insight
  • expressed ideas logically and fluently by breaking variations into time frames, elements or spatial patterns.

Standard-specific comments

Some candidates included diagrams that consisted only of a map with the key features of the environment or two maps showing the change in elements or features of the environment over time. These did not accurately answer part (a) as they needed to show how the different elements interact.  

Candidates who showed a good understanding of the operation of a cultural process explained how elements within a process affected one another and how external factors impacted the process.

Tourism development was by far the most commonly selected cultural process.

Responses that contained technical detail such as the use of models like the Butler model and cumulative causation and geographic terms like allocentric / psychocentric showed a higher level of understanding.

Some cultural processes lend themselves better to the requirements of this achievement standard than others. When selecting a cultural process, it is important to ensure that elements of a process are clearly identifiable. To achieve excellence, candidates must provide an insightful analysis of the links between the elements of the cultural process to draw conclusions.

Candidates that wrote pre-learned responses on the operation of the process tended to score poorly as their responses did not engage with the question. To obtain higher grades, candidates needed to make links between the changes in the operation of the process and the cause of changes either over time or space in the geographic environment.

 


91429: Demonstrate understanding of a given environment(s) through selection and application of geographic concepts and skills

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • attempted all or most parts of the question but lacked specific supporting evidence
  • selected the correct resources from the booklet but did not analyse them well
  • provided a partial analysis of the natural and cultural reasons for air pollution but did not make clear links between the cultural behaviours of the citizens of Ulaanbaatar that led to the source of pollution
  • used quotes without unpacking what they meant
  • drew a multi-bar graph instead of a multi-line graph and/or missed several significant conventions from the graph
  • focussed on evaluating the strengths and weakness of possible solutions by stating the impacts but did not critically evaluate them
  • mentioned only positive aspects of the potential solutions in part (c).
  • included some evaluation of the different solutions for part (c) and attempted to draw conclusions
  • wrote lengthy answers that did not show connected thinking.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • copied materials from the provided resources without interpreting them
  • included very little relevant specific evidence from the resource booklet
  • described natural and /or cultural features of Ulaanbaatar’s environment, but did not explain how they contributed to the air pollution
  • analysed either the natural or cultural environment as a contributor to Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution rather than both
  • drew a multi-bar graph or drew a graph that was incomplete, in some instances leaving out necessary conventions
  • described solutions to the air pollution issue rather than evaluating different options
  • explained only the strengths of potential solutions without discussing any weaknesses
  • provided no recommendations to address the air pollution issue and did not reach a justified conclusion.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used connected geographic thinking in some parts of the paper
  • included detailed specific evidence from multiple resources in the resource booklet to support their analysis
  • selected and applied geographic concepts throughout their responses
  • expressed sound understanding of how the environment contributed to Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution by making links and identifying the interactions between the natural and cultural aspects of the environment
  • selected the most appropriate graphing technique for the statistics provided
  • drew a multi-line graph with precision and correct conventions
  • expressed a detailed understanding of the air pollution issue and the merits and drawbacks of some of the potential solutions
  • evaluated two or more possible solutions to the air pollution, discussing both their strengths and weaknesses
  • included either a critical evaluation or a justified conclusion
  • drew conclusions on the best solution to the issue of air pollution.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • integrated detailed evidence concisely throughout the responses
  • interpreted and discussed information from the visuals as well as text accurately
  • interpreted the resources and made links between them, including relevant concepts, showing insight
  • wrote planned and logical responses that flowed well and included appropriate paraphrased quotes
  • selected and applied geographic skills accurately to gather specific detail, especially for the natural and cultural environment of Mongolia and how these environmental factors contributed to air pollution
  • made strong links between how the natural and cultural environment of Ulaanbaatar interact to create air pollution
  • drew a multi-line graph with precision which included most, if not all, conventions
  • made a comprehensive critical evaluation of the possible solutions to air pollution in Mongolia, by weighing up the differing social, economic and environmental solutions, pros and cons of each of the solutions
  • drew an overall well-justified conclusion for the solution that would best solve the issue in the future, based on their detailed evaluation.

Standard-specific comments

Candidates generally had a better chance to complete the paper than in previous years as a result of moving from three items to a single item paper.

Candidates who considered the broad nature of the problem, the solution, and the given environment through a geographic lens tended to write integrated responses that showed some insight.

Candidates who used geographic framework structure such as SPENT (Social, political, economic, natural, technological) or SEE (Social, economic, environmental) showed some broad thinking and logic in their responses. Candidates who focussed on one or two concepts tended to respond in greater depth and were able to articulate some independent thinking.

Geography subject page

Previous years' reports

2019 (PDF, 660KB)

2018 (PDF, 122KB)

2017 (PDF, 52KB)

2016 (PDF, 223KB)

 
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