AS and A-level Geography: fieldwork changes for 2022 exams

Monday 12 Jul 2021

Ofqual has published the arrangements for non-exam assessment (NEA) and fieldwork for students entering for exams in 2022. Here are the changes to fieldwork for AS and A-level Geography you need to know about for summer 2022:

  • students won’t need to complete two (for AS) or four (for A-level) days of fieldwork
  • you won’t need to submit a centre declaration form to say that students have been given the opportunity to undertake fieldwork.

AS Geography

  • Students won’t need to answer questions relating to their own fieldwork experience (any sub-questions related the students’ own fieldwork within question 2 in Section B of Paper 2: 7036/2 - Human geography and geography fieldwork investigation).
  • Consequently, Paper 2 will reduce from 80 marks to 65 marks (a removal of 15 marks attached to familiar fieldwork questions).
  • The total time allocation for the 7036/2 paper will reduce from 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.

A-level Geography

  • Students will still need to complete their NEA and there are no planned changes to the assessment criteria.
  • To support students with their investigations, we want teachers, markers, and moderators to understand the variety of different approaches that exist when it comes to collecting primary data. If students are unable to collect primary data in the traditional way (in the field) they can still access the full range of marks.
  • This might mean sourcing data virtually or relying more heavily on secondary data.
  • It’s important that students maintain independence and teachers are still not permitted to provide students with data sets, lists of titles or provide feedback on draft work. If students are collecting data by virtual means, the data must be sourced by the students and not provided by the teacher.

Fieldwork is an important feature of AS and A-level Geography, and in line with Ofqual’s guidance, we’d encourage schools and colleges to engage with fieldwork activities wherever possible. If this isn’t possible, you might consider engaging in the fieldwork enquiry process by virtual means where appropriate, or practising fieldwork skills in the classroom, on school grounds or more locally than you would do normally.

Ofqual is planning a consultation on summer 2022 towards the end of this term. We’ll provide further updates and guidance about the summer 2022 exams as soon as we are able to.