“Geography is about memorising facts!”
Let’s face it. Studying for Geography doesn’t seem to be as easy as what your parents said.
I totally get it.
Distinctions for Geography tests and exams used to be attainable as long as you attempt to accurately regurgitate definitions and paragraph-long explanations. Not forgetting the element of luck in the multiple-choice section if you hadn’t been hardworking… Yes, there used to be MCQ in O-level Geography.
So let’s understand why it seems so tedious to obtain a distinction for Geography in today’s context. Apart from the removal of MCQ and the decrease in emphasis on students’ ability to memorise definitions and facts, Geography assessments now focuses on your ability to apply your Geographical understanding to address the question demand.
So how then should you be studying? Here are 4 essential steps that you can consider as you flip open your Geography textbooks.
Step 1: Break down the inquiry and guiding questions for each chapter.
The main inquiry question of the chapter and the guiding questions for each Gateway can give you a glimpse of the focus of the chapter. By breaking down these questions to understand what is required to address them, you can pay close attention to the geographical terminologies and highlight information that are actually important.
Step 2: Work backwards with the end in mind.
Since the end goal is for you to be able to answer the main inquiry question of the chapter, work backwards and ask yourself, “What are some information that I have to gather in order to craft the answer to the inquiry question?" Through this thinking process, you can better understand of the sequence of the content within the chapter, and most importantly, make sense of what you are reading in the textbook.
Step 3: Identify the key geographical terminologies.
Recognise that not every word in the textbook is important! Teachers are primarily looking out for your ability to craft an answer with the use of geographical terminologies to address the question demand. They are not looking out for your ability to regurgitate textbook information. Remember this!
So first, read through the textbook content to understand the key ideas underpinning the geographical issue. Next, re-read the content again and carefully identify key terms that you know must be included in your answer.
Step 4: Craft your answer by linking key ideas.
After identifying the key geographical terminologies and understanding the key ideas of the geographical issue, you can now easily craft your explanation by linking the key ideas together while ensuring that the key geographical terms are embedded within your answer. Not only is this a more efficient and effective way to study, you now have the ability to be more flexible in adjusting your answer to address the question demand.
For a detailed breakdown of the above steps, please click here to read about the study tips.