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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Exam wobbles

Categories: Advanced Higher
Just a quick post. As usual, I am sitting worrying about tomorrow, our exam day. This year in particular, my mind is drawn to advanced higher, who I have not seen for some time and who spent the last month or so intensively working on folios. As such, I'm just posting some late reminders about the exam, which is where all the GMT work that you fought with throughout the year is assessed.
For statistics questions, remember you could be asked about descriptive- tests like standard deviation and related variants - or inferential - tests such as chi square, nearest neighbour, spearmans rank and pearsons product. All of my statistics links are here and some of the presentations I drew from are here, so look back over them. You need to know
1) situations where you would use each test and why (suitability of the test for type of data)
2) the limitations of each statistical test
3) what your result means. This sounds really straightforward, but it's something people forget about quite a lot. Talk about your test in terms of the hypotheses and significance
4) You'll probably be asked a more general question which looks for geographical reasons for a pattern e.g. why GNP rises as Infant Mortality rates drop is essentially a question about the geography of development, which you covered at Higher
There are various other possible types of GMT question, but this will come as a choice. previous examples would be a systems diagram, polar graph etc, most of the elements you studied for T1, so have a look back over that too.
The first part of your paper will be the mapping question, where again you have a choice. It's difficult to predict exactly what you'll be asked here, but one thing is certain, you'll have to use the atlas. Think about what conclusions you can draw about the area in the map extract in relation to the question from looking at atlas info such as the underlying geology, climate, relief, precipitation, prevailing wind, socio-economic data such as income, age etc. Try to then link these factors into the reasons you give in your response, but support the response fully with as much evidence from the map extract as possible- reference extensively, you are expected to be old hands at mapwork now! In light of both the stats and mapping element, remember, you are allowed both a calculator and an atlas in the exam, so make sure you have them!
The final question will be a fieldwork scenario, and will require you to think about things such as sampling-how would you gather data to investigate a geographical problem?What type of data would you class as important? Would you sample randomly, systematically or use stratified sampling? Most importantly...Why? Once you had collected your data, what would you do with it? How would you work to prove/disprove your hypothesis? What problems might you encounter in having a fully accurate result? This sounds very like what you did at Ardentinny, in the Giffnock shops surveying and in your Geographical Study. You should be confident of coping with this type of task, don't panic if it's not a familiar example, the processes you have to go through are the exact same.
Finally, a heartfelt good luck. I think back to you all coming into my class in S1 and you have come such a long way since then. The exam is your chance to consolidate some good folio work (particularly in the Issues essays) and put to use the knowledge you gained during much of the taught part of the course. If you have prepared, the exam should be something you will handle well. I will be in early for any last minute flutters, my fingers are crossed already :)

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