GCSE geography revision tips
It can be hard to know where to start when you are revising a topic like GCSE Geography. Aside from the fact the scope is broad, you may find you're stuck for the best way to remember all the processes and theory and turn what you know into winning answers. Here's how to help yourself get to grips with everything you need to know.
DIY flashcards are brilliant for geography revision. Write a question on one side and bulleted facts on the other. Then at regular intervals during the day test yourself, whether you are in revision mode or not. For best results make flashcards for the areas, you are weakest on as the more you test yourself, the better your memory retention will be. Also, be sure to make cards that link to each other so you can remember more than the basics. For example:
Question: What is a biome
Answer: A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in.
Question: How does a biome form?
Answer: A biome is formed as the result of the climate interacting with the ecological environment through a process call succession.
The physical movement of objects from one location to another isn't always easy to remember, and this is where flow diagrams can help. Systems and processes can be visualised as a form of revision. These are especially helpful to show migration patterns, how a drainage basin works as a system and even diagrams of rivers and how the world's population is changing.
Revision apps help when it comes to testing your knowledge as they allow you to learn in sequence, which is great for retention. The quizzes and factual element can also help reinforce any aspect of your revision. An app like GCSE Pod is excellent for diagrams and processes showing you a series of videos linked to your exam board. The app can also help you to revise from wherever you are, and on any device. Gojimo is another app that is the UK's most popular revision app. It's used by 1 in 3 GCSE students and provides access over 40,000 practice questions.
Glossaries are fantastic for any revision from Science to History. In geography, it can help you learn the keywords you need to know to help with retention and recall. List alphabetically and then highlight words to add to your glossary as you go so you can cross-check and revise. For example:
Biodiversity - several species in a given ecosystem
Biofuel - a fuel sourced from the natural world
Biome - a vast ecosystem
Biosphere - a part of the planet system occupied by living organisms
Case studies are key
Case studies are the key to the exams as typically the questions that ask for them give the most marks. Start by making a list of all the case studies you need. Your teacher can help here or the exam specification. The CGP revision guide is useful here for summarising but write your notes and use all the techniques above to improve recall and retain the information.
Use past exam papers
Practising papers is vital in getting your timing right in the exam. Do as many as you can, and you'll see how many questions are repeated in different ways each year. Also, make sure you use the mark schemes, so you can see what the examiner wants from your answer. If you find the questions hard use your notes and underline the critical case studies, theory and processes you need to revise.
You can't beat a revision guide for exam practice work. If you learn how to answer questions, this will help you to achieve maximum points in your strongest areas. Look at your exam specification to see where the marks are and how they are awarded. A geography tutor can help and advise you in this area, as well as help you with knowledge gaps and theory.