Geography is a fascinating subject as it gives you an opportunity to see how a particular place was formed and how it has changed throughout the years.
However, as enjoyable as it may be to study geography, the prospect of the upcoming A-level geography exam is still daunting to the vast majority of students.
Geography is included in Singapore's A-level exams so if you are uncertain about your capabilities and do not have the confidence to study by yourself the best course of action may be to seek help from a geography tutor. The tutor's insight and guidance may be especially beneficial when you are asked to do a case study.
Alternatively, you can try the steps listed below to revise your A-level geography case studies.
The first and crucial step to acing your geography exam is fully understanding the case study. You need to have a crystal clear model in your mind of how it works. This model includes a mental map i.e. how it is laid out in space, the people who were involved, and the context (whether it is political, historical, social, environmental, or economic).
Follow these steps to comprehend your case study better. First and foremost, you need to have seen the map of the place. Nowadays with the existence of Google maps, this has never been easier to accomplish. Pay attention to both the 2D and 3D landscape of the case study.
In order to gain some background information try to find some newspaper articles containing pictures of the place. There may also be some videos that can help you. YouTube is your friend in this case so don’t shy away from it and use it to your advantage.
Alternatively, if the place is accessible to you then you can visit it and see it with your own two eyes.
After you have thoroughly understood what you are dealing with the next step is condensing your notes. Follow these tips to learn how to do this.
Firstly, you can create the A3 annotated map of the area. Color coding various social, economic, political, and environmental factors is another great idea. Display your map on the wall in the place in your house where you can glance at it frequently.
Another great idea is to create a table of contents. Divide your table into several sections with the environmental, political, economic, and other factors on one side and causes and effects on the other.
Also, you can create index cards. The index cards will help you separate the given information into smaller, much more manageable chunks and the kinesthetic nature of the cards will help you memorize the information better. Color coding your index cards will also bring you one step closer to your goal.
And, last but not least, you cannot go wrong with traditional revision notes. The main thing here is to not be intimidated by the large collection of notes you will have to memorize.
Now that you have all your notes condensed and ready to go there’s nothing left to do but memorizing them. Some of the best memorization techniques are: repetition and using the information in various formats.
Here’s how you can do that. Read an index card out loud, immediately cover it and try to repeat the information you have just read.
Get your friends involved! Give them your index cards and allow them to test you. Get up and walk around the room while you do this, use your body language, act it out. You can also make up songs or rhymes, or come up with other unique techniques that work best for you.
If you teach somebody else something about the topic this is the sign that you have understood this topic fully. So in order to check whether you have understood the information try to teach one of your friends something about the case study. And encourage them to ask you additional questions at the end of your teaching session.
I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial it is to do past papers in any scenario where you’re trying to prepare for an exam. After you have done a past paper make sure to mark your work and pay attention to any mistakes you may have made.
This will help you get into the mind of your potential examiner and see the things from their point of view which will, in turn, help you understand why you have made that mistake and hopefully avoid it in the future. Doing past papers and marking yourself gives you insight into what exactly is expected of you at the exam.
Hundreds of thousands of students take their A-level exams each year all over the world. So there are many people who are in the same boat as you (or who have been there before) and now thanks to the Internet you can exchange tips on how to prepare better for the exams.
Just a brief Google search will land you on a student forum where students who are facing the same problem as you are discussing the best ways to prepare for their A-level geography case studies.
You may learn about the revision techniques that you have never heard of before and pick up some other useful tips and tricks.
For instance, some students write that they cover their bedroom walls in plain paper and scribble across it. This is just like making notes in the notebook but the difference is that every time you walk into your bedroom you have to look at that wall and thus you look at the figures you wrote (which helps you memorize them).
I know that in the age of the Internet getting information from old-fashioned paper magazines and newspapers seems a bit... well old-fashioned, but some of them may contain information that is not available on the Internet and, in general, the words and pictures printed on paper tend to be more trustworthy than the ones you look up on the Internet. Academic books might add rigor to your A-level geography studies.
If you wish to expand your knowledge even further you may try reading books that weren’t specifically designed for your geography course. School subjects do not exhaust all of the information that exists about a particular topic. So in order to fill in the gaps, you might need to venture outside of your predetermined school curriculum and try to find additional information from credible sources, such as https://www.alevelgeography.com/
Modern technology is truly a great facilitator of the learning process. If you go online you can find detailed case studies for the A-level geography exam done up by other people. By having a close look at these case studies you can see the examples of how it needs to be done. Now, of course, you will not be able to copy these particular case studies word for word but, hopefully, if you pay close attention you will be able to learn important lessons which you can then apply to your own case study.
Whilst revising do not forget to take care of yourself.
Preparing for the exams can be particularly taxing for your physical as well as mental health so it is crucial to practice self-care while you are revising for your geography A-level exam (or any exam for that matter). Do not forget to eat well, sleep an appropriate number of hours, and occasionally do things that you enjoy to take your mind off the stressful topic of exams.
If you keep pushing yourself beyond your limits you run the risk of burning out and this type of extreme regime may actually be detrimental to your goal. It is important to strike the right balance between rigorous revision and occasionally having a break. After all your health is the most important thing.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to revise your level geography case studies. If you are unsure where to start follow the tips given above; once you gain a bit of confidence and figure out which method works the best for you then you can formulate a combination of specific methods that are most beneficial to you.
Alternatively, you can hire a tutor in Singapore who will guide you through the entire process.
They will give you some valuable insight and it is always beneficial to have another person in the room who can objectively assess you. Your geography tutor will show you the bits you may have missed and tell you if there is anything you need to pay particular attention to. They will also be able to provide you with all important historical perspectives and show you how geography changed throughout the years.