Review of Geography Higher Level Paper by Michael Doran, Geography teacher at The Institute of Education.
A topical and fair paper, which a well prepared student would have had little difficulty with. It succeeded in relating the Geography course to the everyday world, with issues such as the European crisis, fossil fuels, ethnic and religious migration and income levels in Ireland all making an appearance on the Paper.
Short Questions (compulsory): There were a few challenging questions here. A good overall knowledge of the course would have certainly helped a student. The European financial crisis made an appearance in this section, with students asked to identify the public debt of countries such as Austria and Hungry from a provided map.
Optional Questions (Physical Geography) : Most students would have found the choice of three questions in this section fair. The big topic ‘Landform Development’ was included; this topic has appeared every year since 2006. ‘Weathering Processes’, one of the easiest topics, appeared as a full question for the first time.
Compulsory Section: Regional Geography: This is a section that many students would find very challenging. The mix of questions here might have proved difficult for some students.
Electives: A number of topical issues were raised here: Economic Elective- the impact of the burning of fossil fuels. Human elective- ethnic and religious issues as a result of migration. Options: In the Geoecology Options section there was a very fair question on Biomes, which would have satisfied most students.