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Advanced Higher Geography

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1 Advanced Higher Geography
Erica M Caldwell Senior Examiner SQA

2 External Assessment at AH Geography
Two parts The Folio: Geographical Issues Essay (60 marks) and Geographical Study (80 marks) The examination (60 marks) Total 200 divided by 2 = mark out of 100% Means candidates earn all their own marks

3 The Examination Why the change from 4 to 5 questions from 2009?
Apart from earning all their own marks, it boosts the unseen part of the submission 2 map interpretation questions (choose one) each worth 30 marks 2 statistical questions (choose one) each worth 20 marks 1 compulsory “scenario”type question related to fieldwork techniques, worth 10 marks

4 Total mark for the examination:
is 60 this is exactly the same as the mark for the Geographical Issues Essay part of the folio do you and your pupils give it an equal time allocation for preparation? how many practice questions do they do in class or as homework?

5 Do encourage pupils to:-
Read ALL the questions before they decide; many candidates don’t seem to have any practice in questions 2 and 4…evidence from Prelim papers submitted where candidates have no choice! Read ALL parts of the question a) before they make their final choice and b) again when they actually tackle the question so that they answer the vetted question and not their own version!!

6 Map Reading Questions Question 1 - the “decision making question”
Most common style of question is being asked to decide on a site for…occasionally a site may be given… …but the skills required are more or less the same Candidates have an atlas. They are expected to make use of it, and show in their answer that they have done so! The main thing they MUST do is use direct evidence from the OS map extract provided

7 Candidates are asked for ONE site.
If they choose several, then pick one of them, they will certainly not do themselves any favours! They waste time, effort and marks They MUST do map reading and interpretation They are expected to write organised answers with correct Grid References, make use of contour lines, height, direction,aspect, specific examples &c. Lists are not helpful. Answers need to be developed and links sought out.

8 Some centres seem to be teaching a “catch-all” method of answering the decision making question but this very often means that the answer is generic rather than specific to the question asked and often makes little actual use of the map. Candidates cannot earn many marks as a result. This means centres are then surprised by candidate results or by the response to any Appeals. Prelim may be marked very leniently if this is not taken on board and Appeals rejected.

9 Location of maps for Q 1 and 2
Leisure C: settlement/geology Wind farm: woodland Hotel/golf: rivers Quarry: land uses Landfill: tourism Field centre: transect/geol/land Paint ball: settlement pres/future Cycle routes: drainage Nature reserve: flooding Eco-centre and coasts 2001 Westbury 2002 Ilkley 2003 Alnwick 2004 Rutland Water 2005 Lyme Regis 2006 Church Stretton 2007 Witney 2008 Quantock Hills 2009 Hereford 2010 St Austell

10 Question 2 This is a map reading and interpretation question which is used in conjunction with the atlas. Candidates must make very specific use of the map extract provided. The question must relate to basic map reading e.g. physical features, settlement, land uses, transport

11 Question 2 Like Q1 it is designed … to be accessible
to allow good candidates to demonstrate their map reading and interpretation skills to allow use of the atlas to provide background knowledge to enhance the answer

12 2005 Question 2

13 Marking the map questions
Although it is possible to identify some actual points you are giving credit for, AH mapwork is generally a much more holistic type of marking than at Higher Atlases are allowed, so we should expect them to be used effectively e.g. to give an introduction or to provide evidence of transport links/possibilities Lists just don’t mean anything unless accompanied by development of ideas which are illustrated by the list…if not, they’ll be largely ignored by markers Using GRs is important but we are not into over crediting that skill!

14 Care… Take care not to double mark. If you accept something in one part and it’s repeated elsewhere without real development then ignore it. This is often the case where annotations on the tracing overlay are then merely repeated in the next part of the question without any further development or examples Stick to the actual requirements of the question e.g. if physical reasons are asked for then human and economic reasons have to be ignored

15 Map skills required at AH are beyond Standard Grade and Higher…
Flat land; easy to build on = S Grade Space for development = ? It’s steep? There is a clear indication that the rivers are flowing downstream The chance to spot a great bear in the woods is very appealing especially to tourists from countries that do not have great bears The visitor centre will attract walkers, hill walkers and naturists

16 Question 3 This normally has a calculation to be done or to be completed…with the relevant formula provided Note the change in *weighting of parts of questions as centres have gained confidence over time Main part will always require Geographical explanation. This can be for 10/11 marks so candidates must be prepared to answer this half or more of the question too! Atlases provide a great deal of useful information…but candidates need to be taught to find it. *Use more recent Q3s in Prelims to more accurately reflect current standards.

17 Questions 3 and 4 2001 NNI German Cities 2002 ‘open’ fieldwork
2003 Spear’Lat Am health 2004 ‘open’ t-test/chi2 2005 Spear % urban GDP 2006 NNI N Ital Plain 2007 Pearson river 2008 Stand Dev Mumbai 2009 Spear Malta water 2010 Chi2 IMR and GNI Scattergraph Chi-squared parks Interquartile land uses Wind speed/direction Dot & choropleth Australia % farms in Canada Sampling: rock types Christchurch Bay sediment Questionnaire USA choropleth +

18 “The problems with drought (in Malta) is because they can’t grow any more desalination plants”.

19 Question 4 Many candidates don’t even seem to look at this question.
They are very accessible questions. They can allow good candidates to excel. SQA wants all GMTs to be examinable so this includes the descriptive and graphical techniques which generally form the basis of Q4

20 Question 5 Hi! I’m the new kid on the block! ‘Scenario’ type question
Like questions 3 and 4 there is an emerging pattern which candidates and schools can prepare for: State a working hypothesis or research question How do you do the collecting? How might you process/present or interpret something which has been processed and presented as in 2009?

21 Workshop 1 In your workshop groups you have half and hour to mark samples of the most popular map and statistics questions + the compulsory Q5 Q1 Q3 Q5 from the 2010 paper Question papers, Marking Instructions and candidate responses are provided Return here at to give your feedback

22 The Geographical Issues Essay
The Folio The Geographical Issues Essay

23 The Rules of the Game: Essay
Maximum length of 12 sides of A4 paper or their equivalent. Larger sheets can be folded to A4 size. An A3 sheet will count as two A4 sides and that each overlay, whether a whole or part sheets, will count as a sheet in its own right.

24 The Penalty For both the Geographical Study and the Geographical Issues essay, a flat penalty of 10% of the marks available for the piece of work in question will be deducted once the stated page limit has been exceeded i.e. 8 marks for the study and 6 marks for the essay. The page limits apply to ALL PAGES THAT ARE SUBMITTED, regardless of their content, and will therefore include any covers, title pages, contents page, maps, diagram, tables and appendices.

25 The Exception The only exception to the rule on page limits applies to the bibliography which is excluded from the page count for both the study and the Geographical Issues Essay.

26 The font size must be no less than 12.
Although the word count has been removed, there is no intention that the essay should be much longer than about 2,000 words nor the study much longer than 3,000. The font size must be no less than 12.

27 How good candidates can do less well than they should
Write overlong essays This shows no selection of materials Or…summarise so much that the final product is bland Fail to look for suitable illustrations Waste time “overproducing” i.e. using fancy publishing styles which make it difficult to read Many essays of 5-6,000 words did worse than those which remained within the “spirit” of the “old” prescriptive word count: candidates talked themselves out of better marks!

28 Choice of topic Although topic choice is not separately marked, it is vital to choose a topic with enough “meat” and controversy to allow a quality essay to be written. Contextualisation: can only come through if candidates have done a lot of background reading and this is made obvious in the final essay and they use their background reading to prove/ disprove/ challenge/ corroborate/ back up the viewpoints or sources they are discussing. This is where real quality critical evaluation of the sources or viewpoints comes from, not from rants about words or phrases being biased

29 “Good” viewpoints or sources
Are the people credible? A properly organised group of protesters with access to good statistics will have more weight than one eccentric protestor! Value of newspapers? Quality? Credibility of reporter, his/her sources? Have the “right”* people been questioned? What do *their own websites say? Who are the people whose viewpoints are chosen? Name, position &c Why are they qualified to pontificate? Who else agrees (or disagrees) with them? {Contextualisation} Is there real research/stats to back up the viewpoint? {“} Enough controversy to make it interesting? Range of sources i.e. not all from a local weekly

30 The article in the Guardian is the most balanced ……
The article in the Guardian is the most balanced …….. unfortunately I was unable to complete this article but I’m sure the rest is more of the same. Views have very little sustenance Researchers are ignorant (they were, in fact eminent professors)

31 Marking the Essay - 60 marks
15 marks for each of the headings Presentation Research, content and relevance Structure and logical development Critical evaluation

32 Presentation Text is very well written; quality/high standard of grammar; well finished;shows attention to detail Graphics/illustrations; appropriate use; relevant and referred to in text; acknowledged; enhance the essay Bibliography is extensive; effective background reading; shows contextualisation Abbreviations are explained!!


34 Research, content and relevance
Standard of research reflected in quality of materials consulted; intellectual substance Choice of content; appropriateness; range of viewpoints; contextualisation Relevance; clear understanding of the topic; provide a distinctive perspective

35 Structure and logical development
Introduction Clear description of the sources to give a basis for evaluation and critical commentary Clear specific arguments which show understanding and insight Organisation; written as an essay (although many will follow the NAB idea and work quite well)

36 Critical commentary Is explicit and effectively incorporated
Has commentary on the sources and viewpoints and is not a continuous rant about individual words Shows balance and is supported by other reading i.e. contexualisation Well argued conclusion which is not just a repetition of points already made;provides focus theend

37 The Geographical Study
The Folio The Geographical Study

Report: maximum length of 25 sides of A4 paper or their equivalent. Larger sheets e.g. A3, may be folded to A4 size. A3 sheets count as two A4 sides. All overlays whether whole or part of sheets count as separate or extra sheets/pages.

39 The penalty of 10% of the marks will be deducted once the stated page limit has been exceeded i.e. 8 marks for the study. The cover, title page, contents page, maps, diagram, tables and appendices ALL count as pages. Page 1 is the cover. The bibliography is the only exception to the page count… but it if it is in excess of the 25 pages it must only be bibliography and have no other materials on it.

40 Choice of topic for the Study
difficulty and challenge of the chosen topic its viability of realistically being able to collect the amount of necessary data for an AH study credit for demanding topics be aware of your own experience and expectations

41 Marking the Study Total marks 80 Four x 20 marks Presentation
Data and Content Techniques Relationships

42 The Marking Instructions
Use the introductory statements and the key word descriptors Don’t feel you have to make use of every part of the descriptor e.g. in 11 under data and content… Use key words to provide the range in those with several marks e.g … The intro e.g. for 9 marks has some very helpful words for use in your comments

43 Presentation Written text; quality, accuracy, attention to detail
Maps, diagrams, graphs: range/types: suitable size for their relevance Scale, key, acknowledgements are clear: examiner shouldn't need to “find” information Overall finish; design, layout Properly laid out bibliography

44 In the lower course ….there is very little
eruption or transportation I have already established that three (river sites) may be a problem with the docks area as the water is very deep This creates devotional features such as river beaches

45 Data and Content Quality of data collected; is it well beyond Standard Grade?? Are there both primary and secondary sources of data? Quantity; is there enough to make this an AH study? Appropriateness; data related to specific aims or research questions? Data…sound and suitable? Effort; is there evidence of serious work being done? E.g. revisiting sites for comparison.

46 The Excuses! I didn’t have time The rain came on
The car wasn’t available… We couldn’t drive slowly enough to do the land use!!! “ another problem that made carrying out my fieldwork difficult was that my ankle was in a cast for nine weeks making it impossible for me to go to any sites and conduct my fieldwork..” (modify research questions to use secondary data??) Positive ??? “I was able to study the land use from a friend’s light aircraft”

47 “unfortunately there were no shoppers at the time the questionnaire was taken”
“it was planned to use an auger to measure the depth of soil but an auger could not be obtained” “ there are no values for soil temperature because the soil thermometer broke..” I did a traffic count for 10 minuets This is baked up with a questionnaire At which I collected our information…leads on to… Sharing data is fine provided it is acknowledged and each candidate uses it in a different way. E.g. 3 candidates using river data but each using it in a different way to link with their research on physical features or land uses or settlement and transport

48 Techniques Range and variety; the GMT section means there should be plenty of analytical and graphical techniques; good candidates search out more Effectiveness; are they suitable for the data or results being presented? Do they effectively bring out relationships for commentary in the text? Are they understood? Using difficult techniques is fine so long as they are correct and the results understood Focus; do they relate directly to the study questions???? What were the research or study questions?

49 Relationships Need to be sought out at all stages from development of study questions onwards Their quality related to research questions Explanation or analysis of relationships and conclusion; lucid, mature…not a repetition of results Appreciation of complexity of relationships Theoretical background to analysis; flair in use of theory and background reading

50 This is /would be an excellent way of deriving relationships!
It is often very obvious that more work could and should have been done but the candidate hasn’t done it e.g. has not gone back to do a second or third reading for comparison. This is /would be an excellent way of deriving relationships! Or use some theory? Urban Studies: many are very simple, hardly beyond Standard Grade… Interesting material is often stuck in an appendix when it would have had more impact as an integrated part of the whole

51 “Them”…these awful markers???
Remember we see the finished product… We cannot give credit for potential We cannot reward effort unless it is obvious and contributes to a very well written piece of work We shouldn’t have to look for key, scale, page numbers, try to work out abbreviations &c Candidates must not assume that markers know their area. They need to introduce it and provide proper maps. S6 pupils need to learn to meet your deadlines and allow the time you agree with them for the final writing up, drawing daigrams &c so that they don’t end up in a rush stuffing in bits of their fieldwork notebooks!

52 Some interesting findings!
(Re not having bulls any more)…many farmers buy in seamen… Most of what I have found from both farmers has been sprinkled throughout my analysis The river is starting to brake through the meander I got my data sheets wet…they froze The valley is most defiantly U-shaped Second homes are a boast to the local economy Charts 1, 2 clearly show that in November the pebbles were rounder than in March The thin covering of soil …. would be infertile and acidic due to higher levels of perspiration on the exposed hillside

53 Earthworms are a very profound species
…and there’s more Get a weakly shop at ASDA Re S’s Rank analysis…there is a relation because cars are noisy and cars produce most noise so there is a relation Re NNI…on a coalfield sight, mining villages tended to coalesce The field was 100% soil The U-shaped valley of Glen …….is referred to as U-shaped in glacial terms because it clearly takes the form of a U-shape Earthworms are a very profound species In a Scottish coniferous forest?? … mites such as gamasids, springtails and armadillos

54 …and finally Re rainfall recordings …a frog was found in the meter…care had to be taken when trying to remove frog so that no water was lost

55 Workshop 2 In your groups mark one Study and one Geographical Issues essay Candidate responses are provided along with the finalised MIs for 2010 To help further… grids Each group is asked to mark presentation for both study and essay but to focus time marking the relevant section allocated on the marking sheet. Obviously if you have time, mark all parts Return here to share your results and I’d value any feedback re how helpful or otherwise the grids were

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