Assessment Report

Level 3 Geography 2021

Standards 91426  91427  91429

 

Part A: Commentary

Candidates should read all parts of the question/s in the examination papers carefully before starting their responses. Taking the time to do this allows candidates to see how the questions are scaffolded and to plan their responses. These candidates tend to obtain higher grades as their responses cover all aspects of the question and are logically constructed. Candidates that do not do this are prone to writing responses that are repetitive and do not encompass the breadth of the question, and are restricted to lower grades as a result.

When the response is targeted to the question, candidates write concisely rather than trying to showcase all their knowledge and understanding. Those candidates who tried to include everything about the process or geographic environment and did not focus on the intent of the question did not perform well.

Candidates are encouraged to integrate specific case study evidence into their answers. Without the evidence in maps, diagrams, and essays, candidates are limited to an Achievement grade. Evidence that is integrated, rather than added on at the end of a sentence, encourages candidates to be analytical and perceptive – these candidates tended to obtain higher grades.

Part B: Report on standards

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

Examinations

The examination consisted of one question that required candidates to include a map or diagram to support their written response. This covered the requirements of the 2021 assessment specifications, which indicated that there would be one question with a written and visual component. The question required the candidate to analyse how one natural process interacts with at least one other natural process to shape one or more features in their New Zealand geographic environment. Candidates were required to integrate supporting case study evidence that would demonstrate their geographic knowledge and understanding of a specific geographic environment.

Observations

Candidates should take time to effectively use the planning page provided. Planning allows candidates to break down the question into key components and select which case study evidence they will use to support their answer.

Candidates should come into the examination with a range of specific examples, facts, and information about their geographic environment.

For the visual component, candidates should use the relevant conventions and annotate rather than label the map or diagram. Annotated visuals are more likely to demonstrate a higher level of understanding and analysis when compared to generic diagrams with labels, somewhat descriptive maps.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • wrote about the interaction of natural processes
  • included at least some specific evidence about the shaping of a feature with the environment.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • completed brief responses, with very little or no case study evidence
  • wrote a response that did not address the requirements of the question
  • did not write about the interaction of natural processes.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • wrote complete responses, with a good level of case study detail
  • addressed the question, and did so fluently
  • showed good understanding of the natural processes, and the impact of them on shaping a feature
  • annotated a diagram or map to support the written answer.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • linked geographic ideas and concepts to a specific context
  • made comparisons about features within their environment to show variation in how processes interacted
  • wrote well-structured responses with connected points and paragraphs
  • had a comprehensive understanding about the environment
  • had a high level of specific detail in their responses
  • included clear evidence of insightful analysis in their responses
  • explained how processes interacted using geographical terminology and concepts.

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

Examinations

The examination consisted of one question that required candidates to include a map or diagram to support their written response. This covered the requirements of the 2021 assessment specifications, which indicated that there would be one question with a written and visual component. The question required the candidate to analyse how the operation of a cultural process impacts on the environment and people in their chosen geographic environment. Candidates were required to integrate supporting case study evidence that would demonstrate their geographic knowledge and understanding of a specific geographic environment and a cultural process that shapes it.

Observations

Some cultural processes lend themselves better to the requirements of this achievement standard than others. When selecting a cultural process, candidates should ensure that elements of a process are clearly identifiable so that providing an insightful analysis through links between the elements of the cultural process to draw conclusions is possible. This is part of the achievement standard requirement for an Excellence grade and candidates need to come into the examination prepared for this, so they are not unfairly disadvantaged.

Lack of clearly identifiable elements within a cultural process can be an issue for candidates who wrote about migration as a cultural process. Globalisation as a cultural process did not seem to appear this year, which reflects feedback given in previous comments for this examination.

Candidates who wrote pre-learned answers on the operation of the process over time tended to score poorly, as their response did not meet the requirements of the question unless the changes in the operation of the process over time were clearly linked to impacts caused to people and the environment over time.

Responses that contained geographic theory, such as Butler model, Bid/Rent curve, cumulative causation and geographic terms like allocentric/psychocentric showed a higher level of understanding.

Covid-19 has undoubtably had an impact on how the process of tourism development operates, but many candidates needed to make clear links to how this factor has changed the operation of this cultural process, which then caused impacts on people and/or the environment, for this information to support their answer of the question in the examination.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • named a cultural process and a clearly defined geographic environment
  • focused more on explaining the impacts than explaining the operation of the process as the cause of the impact
  • provided some reasoning that linked the operation of their selected cultural process to impacts on people and/or the environment
  • described a range of impacts on people and/or the environment, but did not analyse them in any depth.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • wrote responses where the process or environment was not stated or evident
  • provided a response that focused solely on how the cultural process operated over time with no links as to how this caused impacts on people and/or the environment
  • inferred any reasons for the cultural process impacting on people and/or the environment
  • wrote descriptive answers that focused only on the impacts without any links to how the operation of the cultural process caused these
  • did not have analyse a sufficient range of impacts (i.e. more than two).

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • constructed a relevant map or diagram that illustrated features and characteristics of their cultural environment caused by the operation of the process
  • demonstrated a detailed understanding of how a cultural process operates to cause impacts on people and the environment (this could be the natural or cultural environment)
  • gave an in-depth analysis of impacts on people and the environment, and made links to show how the operation of the cultural process caused these impacts to occur
  • provided detailed case study evidence relating to their selected geographic environment to support their answers.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • constructed a relevant map or diagram to explain the operation of their selected cultural process
  • demonstrated comprehensive and insightful understanding of how a cultural process operated to cause impacts on people and the environment (natural or cultural)
  • provided a comprehensive analysis of how impacts on people and the environment were created as a result of the operation of the cultural process in a geographic environment
  • analysed the links between the elements of the cultural process, clearly connecting these to the outcome of impacts on people and the environment
  • integrated supporting case study evidence throughout and used correct geographic terminology or reference to appropriate geographic theory or models within their response
  • expressed ideas logically and fluently by breaking impacts into subsequent categories such as social, economic, short term, long term, positive, negative
  • demonstrated insight by weighing up the relative significance of the impacts analysed.

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

Examinations

The examination consisted of one question in three parts that required candidates to select and use geographic skills and concepts to demonstrate their understanding of waste management and sustainability in Singapore. This covered the requirements of the 2021 assessment specifications, which indicated that there would be one question with multiple parts and that each part of the question would involve candidates selecting and applying geographic skills and concepts to demonstrate their understanding of a given geographic environment in an overseas setting.

The question required the candidate to apply a range of resources to analyse concepts, including sustainability, relevant to Singapore and to graph specific data using the most appropriate graphing method.

Observations

Candidates should read the question carefully to identify the key command terms that define the expected responses.

Candidates need to be able to read and understand geographic visuals. They should look to understand the purpose of each of the resource materials in the examination and how they can use them to answer the question.

Candidates who were able to select and use information from a range of sources when answering each of the written aspects of the questions demonstrated a deeper understanding than those who relied on the written material and who were likely to copy out extensive passages.

Overall, many candidates did not provide an evaluation of the sustainability of the waste management approaches. Many candidates provided descriptions of the approaches and a single sentence declaring whether it was sustainable or unsustainable. Candidates who were more critical and supported their evaluation, gained higher grades than those who simply provided lots of detailed descriptions.

Candidates need to know how to apply geographic concepts to a context and should refer to the explanations on page 2 of the resource booklet to ensure they are considering the concepts fully in their responses.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • lacked precision with graphing
  • wrote very descriptive answers using detail taken from individual resources in the resource booklet
  • considered whether Singapore’s approach was sustainable overall, but did not evaluate it or consider specific aspects of the approach
  • gave descriptive answers for part (a) that showed relevance, but used information directly from the resource booklet and did not provide further connection between several resources
  • demonstrated some understanding, but their answer lacked depth and specific evidence.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • paraphrased the resources without applying them to the question correctly
  • took information verbatim from the resource booklet but did not apply it
  • did not use the space given as an indicator as to how much to write
  • attempted one part of the question only
  • constructed an inaccurate graph that lacked conventions
  • discussed the ways Singapore conducts its waste management without considering the concept of sustainability
  • made recommendations about waste management rather than evaluating the approaches
  • used very little or no supporting evidence
  • did not demonstrate understanding of the command terms in the question.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • evaluated waste management and sustainability by considering social, economic, or environmental sustainability
  • showed some understanding of the wider implications of concepts, e.g. change leading to further change, interactions becoming interrelated and multidirectional
  • provided answers using specific detail taken from a range of resources in the booklet
  • drew an appropriate graph with precision
  • focused on discussing the ways Singapore conducted its waste management, and referred to it being ‘good or bad’ for each aspect of waste management and the implications for sustainability.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • provided answers using specific detail taken from a range of resources in the booklet and connected information from one resource to another
  • connected ideas or applied concepts in a variety of situations (for example, they described changes, explained the causes and consequences of a change, explained how the change led to other changes, discussed the rates of change)
  • drew a multi-line graph with precision
  • discussed both the sustainable and unsustainable aspects of each approach to waste management
  • showed insight by focusing on the critical evaluation of the sustainability of the approaches, as opposed to providing the steps of how the approach worked
  • considered sustainability through a long term/short term lens or through evaluating different types of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental).

Geography subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 285KB)

2019 (PDF, 660KB)

2018 (PDF, 122KB)

2017 (PDF, 52KB)

2016 (PDF, 223KB)

 
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