Changes to 2021 exams for AS Geography

Wednesday 23 Sep 2020

We’ve been working hard to make the relevant changes to our qualifications following Ofqual’s decisions on summer 2021 exams, so here are the changes you need to know about for AS Geography.

These changes only apply to the 2021 exam series.

AS Geography (7036)

As you may know, on 3 August, Ofqual published their consultation outcomes, which stated the following with regard to the 2021 series of AS Geography:
Remove requirements for (i) written statement that centres have given students the opportunity to undertake 2 days of fieldwork and (ii) to answer questions in the exam relating to their own fieldwork experience. Retain unfamiliar fieldwork questions in the exams but not require them to cover both human and physical geography.

For summer 2021, we’ve reduced the length of our 7036/2 (Paper 2: Human geography and geography fieldwork investigation) paper, and this will only feature Section A and questions relating to unfamiliar fieldwork in Section B. This means that students still need to understand the fieldwork enquiry process, and able to apply this understanding in unfamiliar fieldwork contexts.

  • Students won’t need to complete two 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.
  • 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). 15 marks will be removed from the assessment.

We’re still finalising the details for these assessments, including length of time students will have to complete the 7036/2 paper given the reduction in marks, and the provision of further guidance to exemplify the changes. We’ll publish more information about this soon.

There are no other planned changes to our AS Geography specification or to the assessments.

  • Component 7036/1 (Paper 1: Physical Geography and people and the environment) and Section A: Changing Places for 7036/2 (Paper 2: Human geography and geography fieldwork investigation) will be assessed as normal.
  • Students will still answer questions relating to unfamiliar fieldwork (answering the sub-questions related to unfamiliar fieldwork in Question 2 and choosing to respond to either Question 3 or Question 4 as normal).

In line with Ofqual’s guidance, we’d encourage teachers to still plan and deliver as much fieldwork as reasonably possible, to consider engaging in the enquiry process by virtual means where appropriate, and consider practising fieldwork skills in the classroom, on school grounds or in the local area.

Students are also encouraged to draw from experts in this field such as the Field Studies Council, the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society.

We’ll be publishing further guidance about the summer 2021 exams over the coming months.