Year 11 IGCSE revision

465_careers_revisionIGCSE REVISION

HURRAY! Paper 1 is over. Well done for getting through it so well. Now, on to Paper 2 & Paper 4. Below, please find some tips for Paper 2 & Paper 4 and a list of fabulous websites that will help you with your revision. However, you should be confident that your own notes from your lessons, along with past papers are the best tools you have for effective revision. You can do this!


  • This paper is 1 hour 30 minutes long.
  • There are 60 marks available. 20 marks for your map question and 8 marks for each of the additional 5 questions.
  • ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS. No choice this time.
  • Read the paper through before you begin to get a feel for the paper.
  • You will be tested on any 5 of your 12 topics but there will be a mix of human and physical.
  • You do NOT need your case studies
  • You need to be practise interpreting graphs and especially photographs. Really practice studying them and describing what you can see, including the obvious.
  • When describing trends, begin with the overall pattern and then zoom in. Support with statistics.
  • Look out for how many marks each question is worth. As with Paper 1, 1 mark = 1 separate point. And yes, if it is a 6 mark question on a photograph, make at the very least 6 separate observations. Try and get 8 to play safe.
  • READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY. What exactly are they asking? What information can you provide?
  • Don’t leave any questions blank. Move on with the paper if you get stuck but ensure you return to the question and always have a go. An educated guess is always better than nothing.
  • As always, never stop until you have checked it all through thoroughly (if you have time) You owe that to yourself.


  • DON’T SPEND TOO LONG ON THE MAP QUESTION! It’s easy to get stressed out about calculating a slope gradient or a cross section but it’s never worth spending more than a minute and a half per mark. You can pick up the marks more easily elsewhere. Have a go, but move on (think Pac-man! Get those marks!)
  • When studying the map, always draw on it the area or line they are asking you to focus on to help you concentrate (you are perfectly entitled to draw all over the map). Use the grid references to help you pinpoint the location or the corners of your area.
  • You will always need the map’s key to identify most landforms. Don’t assume you recognise the symbol. They vary hugely. Check the key.
  • Remember: the closer the contours, the steeper the slope
  • Don’t forget to state the obvious e.g. the river flows east or it starts narrow and gets wider etc.
  • 1:25,000 means 1 cm = 250m or 0.25km.
  • 1:50,000 means 1 cm = 500m or 0.5km.
  • Check the unit of measurement before you write your answer. Always add it unless it is written in for you.
  • Show your workings out. Every step.

Additional tips: PAPER 2 TIPS


  • This exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes long. It is worth 60 marks.
  • It is made up of 2 large questions, each 30 marks. You must answer both questions (i.e. all questions on the paper)
  • Each question asks about an investigation into one of your geographical themes. 1 question will be on a human geography theme (usually but not exclusively settlement, tourism or population) and 1 question will be on a physical geography theme (usually rivers, coasts or weather)
  • It can be very hard to spot the questions on this paper so make sure you don’t miss any! Read everything carefully as it is very wordy and look out for marks as where there are marks indicated e.g. (3) or (5) then there must be a question.
  • You do not need much theory for this paper but it is a good idea to run through your notes, especially key words beforehand. You will be asked some questions at some point that require geographical knowledge e.g.

    “As well as having to travel long distances or taking a long time to collect water, suggest other problems with the water supply in villages like Bacharna and Kalijal” or “Explain how sand dunes like those shown in Photograph A are formed”. However, these rarely contribute more than 8 marks of your total paper.

  • You will be asked various questions on how to plan and carry out a field investigation including questions on sampling methods, health and safety, reliability, accuracy and methodology including methods such as a beach profile, river cross section, river velocity, pebble survey, weather instruments, bipolar assessment, urban transect, footpath profile etc. and the instruments used. If in doubt, have an educated guess. Try and include every single step of the process and every item of equipment, number of students, how many times to repeat, how many locations etc. Don’t forget to revise how to write a questionnaire
  • Examples: a) “Suggest two disadvantages of each traffic count being done for one hour” b) “Suggest three factors which the students should have considered when choosing a site for this rain gauge” c) “Describe how the students would use a quadrat like the one shown in Photograph B (Insert) to do this fieldwork task” d) “Give two reasons why their teacher suggested that this plan might produce unreliable results” e) “Describe an appropriate method to choose a fair sample of 20 houses in each village” f) “Suggest two practical difficulties for the researchers of collecting data using a questionnaire”

  • Data analysis. Watch out for the questions that ask you to complete a graph! You will be using your inserts a lot so make sure you are looking at the correct figure. Look at overall trends before zooming in on specific patterns e.g.

    “The researchers made the conclusion that Hypothesis 1: There is a positive relationship between the average time spent by villagers collecting water and the average distance they travel to collect it was partly true. What evidence in Table 4 and Fig. 8 supports this conclusion?”

  • Hypothesis questions: first of all, you MUST state whether the data in the graph, table etc. supports or disproves the hypothesis. Then you should use specific data to support your answer. Make sure you read the graph correctly and add as much detail as possible. Ensure you refer to all but only the figures you are asked about e.g. “What conclusion would the students make about Hypothesis 1: The amount of traffic on the four roads varies during the day? Support your decision with evidence from Fig. 3 and Table 1 (Insert)”.
  • A lot of this paper is common sense but the best revision is practise papers and mark schemes and chapter 13 of your textbook which is actually very good!
  • Extra Paper 4 tips here: Paper 4 TIPS


Good luck! You are going to be BRILLIANT!


Revision websites:

Greenfield geography (very, very comprehensive & my favourite)

Geography pods (IGCSE geography) ( a new favourite – love the layout!)

Case studies galore

Exam structure

Test yourself at BBC Bitesize

Question bank


CIE geography syllabus 2017-19

Mrs Corpas’ complete IGCSE case studies

Case studies complete list 2018




Images taken from: (accessed 10/12/16)