GCSE 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 GCSE Geography:

  • Students won’t need to complete two occasions of fieldwork for their exam.
  • 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 because question 5 will be removed from 8035/3 Paper 3: Geographical applications.
  • Consequently, 8035/3 Paper 3: Geographical applications will reduce from 76 marks to 56 marks (a removal of 20 marks attached to familiar fieldwork questions).
  • There are three SPaG marks in question 5 and these will be moved to one of the 6 mark questions within Section A (issue evaluation) so that students can still access these marks.
  • The total time allocation for the 8035/3 paper will reduce from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Fieldwork is an important feature of GCSE 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’d 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.

Autumn exam series

For those schools who may have students wanting to enter in the autumn 2021 exam series, the changes for fieldwork and assessment for GCSE Geography will be the same as those outlined for 2022.

For the autumn series, Paper 3: Geographical Applications is taking place on 1 December 2021. The pre-release material for this exceptional exam series will be published on 8 September 2021 (12 weeks prior to the exam) on Centre Services and on e-AQA secure key materials. No hard copies will be sent to schools and colleges.