Geography (H): A Beautiful Paper With Choices Within Choices

LC Geography Analysis 2023

Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2022 Geography (Higher Level) by Lesley Aslin & Michael Doran, Geography teachers at The Institute of Education.

  • A beautiful paper with choices within choices.
  • A fair paper – those who prepared will find ample opportunities to apply their knowledge.

This paper started with some wonderfully comforting and welcoming short questions in Part One. They were clear and straightforward, allowing students to settle into a paper that most would have hoped for. Those that had studied their Plate Tectonics had ample chance to apply that work, which most do while still bright-eyed and eager at the start of 5th Year, and so tends to really stick in their minds.

Part Two’s questions really were a gift. Since this paper was subject to adjustments this year, the students had a freer ability to choose the material that best suited them. The questions themselves were fundamentally fair – being clear but also offering opportunities for those seeking the higher grades to distinguish themselves. For example, the Physical Geography question’s first two parts were simply wonderful, but the mention of Isostasy in Part C might trouble a weaker student. This was repeated in the Regional Geography question – two straightforward requests followed by a left-field twist. But even with this in mind, everyone should be happy with this paper. The abundance of choice meant that the students could navigate by their strengths.

The topical EU question also allowed students to draw upon their general knowledge base, augmenting their study with a broader awareness of what is going on around them. The question was flexible, engaging and most of all fair.

The electives of Part Three meant that students from different schools will approach this section differently, but those who focused on the Patterns and Processes in the Human Environment were greeted by two very similar questions: urban sprawl and city growth. This means that they could really get the most from their revision simply by shifting their perspectives in accordance with the specifics. Again, an absolute gift of a section.

Finally, those tackling the long essays of Part Four will be relived that the predicted topics appeared. Some might have baulked when the deferred paper upset predictions, but this summer paper was the one that was promised.

This was a brilliant paper that offered no barriers or excuses for not getting a fair and honest grade.