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Advanced Higher Geography


Advanced Higher Geography Erica M Caldwell Senior Examiner SQA Research, content and relevance Standard of research reflected in quality of materials consulted ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Advanced Higher Geography

Advanced Higher Geography
  • Erica M Caldwell
  • Senior Examiner SQA

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

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 scenariotype question related to
    fieldwork techniques, worth 10 marks

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?

Do encourage pupils to-
  • Read ALL the questions before they decide many
    candidates dont seem to have any practice in
    questions 2 and 4evidence 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!!

Map Reading Questions
Question 1 - the decision making question Most
common style of question is being asked to decide
on a site foroccasionally 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
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.
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.
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

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
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

2005 Question 2
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
  • Lists just dont mean anything unless accompanied
    by development of ideas which are illustrated by
    the listif not, theyll be largely ignored by
  • Using GRs is important but we are not into over
    crediting that skill!

  • Take care not to double mark. If you accept
    something in one part and its 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

Map skills required at AH are beyond Standard
Grade and Higher
  • Flat land easy to build on S Grade
  • Space for development ?
  • Its 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

Question 3
This normally has a calculation to be done or to
be completedwith 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 informationbut
candidates need to be taught to find it. Use
more recent Q3s in Prelims to more accurately
reflect current standards.
Questions 3 and 4
  • 2001 NNI German Cities
  • 2002 open fieldwork
  • 2003 SpearLat 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

The problems with drought (in Malta) is because
they cant grow any more desalination plants.
Question 4
Many candidates dont 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
Question 5
Hi! Im 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?
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 11.15 to give your feedback

The Folio
  • The Geographical Issues Essay

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.
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.
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.
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.
How good candidates can do less well than they
  • Write overlong essays
  • This shows no selection of materials
  • Orsummarise so much that the final product is
  • 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!

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
  • 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

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?
  • Is there real research/stats to back up the
  • Enough controversy to make it interesting?
  • Range of sources i.e. not all from a local weekly

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

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

  • Text is very well written quality/high standard
    of grammar well finishedshows attention to
  • 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!!

(No Transcript)
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

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)

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 madeprovides focus

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.
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.
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

Marking the Study
Total marks 80 Four x 20
marks Presentation Data and
Content Techniques Relationships
The Marking Instructions
  • Use the introductory statements and the key word
  • Dont 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. 14 - 12
  • The intro e.g. for 9 marks has some very helpful
    words for use in your comments

  • Written text quality, accuracy, attention to
  • 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

  • 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

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

The Excuses!
  • I didnt have time
  • The rain came on
  • The car wasnt available
  • We couldnt drive slowly enough to do the land
  • 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
  • Positive ??? I was able to study the land use
    from a friends light aircraft

  • 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 informationleads 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

  • 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
  • What were the research or study questions?

  • 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, maturenot a repetition of
  • Appreciation of complexity of relationships
  • Theoretical background to analysis flair in use
    of theory and background reading

It is often very obvious that more work could and
should have been done but the candidate hasnt
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
Themthese 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 shouldnt 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 dont end up in a rush stuffing in bits of
    their fieldwork notebooks!

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
  • I got my data sheets wetthey 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

and theres more
  • Get a weakly shop at ASDA
  • Re Ss Rank analysisthere is a relation because
    cars are noisy and cars produce most noise so
    there is a relation
  • Re NNIon 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

and finally
  • Re rainfall recordings
  • a frog was found in the metercare had to be
    taken when trying to remove frog so that no water
    was lost

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 Id value
    any feedback re how helpful or otherwise the
    grids were
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