Specifications that use this resource:

Planning to switch to AQA?

Switching to AQA: from Edexcel A

To save you time and help you compare our GCSE Geography with the Pearson Edexcel A specification, we’ve created some comparison tables.

These tables highlight the content and requirements side by side, so you can make the right choice for your students.

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Assessment structure

Paper 1

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

Living with the physical environment

The physical environment

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 30 minutes

1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (35% of GCSE)

94 marks (37.5% of GCSE)

Paper 2

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

Challenges in the human environment

The human environment

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 30 minutes

1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (35% of GCSE)

94 marks (37.5% of GCSE)

Paper 3

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

Geographical applications

Geographical investigations and UK challenges

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 15 minutes

1 hour 30 minutes

76 marks (30% of GCSE)

64 marks (25% of GCSE)

Subject content

Paper 1

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

3.1 Living with the physical environment

3.1.1 – the challenge of natural hazards

  • 3.1.1.1   Natural hazards
  • 3.1.1.2   Tectonic hazards
  • 3.1.1.3   Weather hazards
  • 3.1.1.4   Climate changes

Topic one – the changing landscapes of the UK

  • 1.1 and 1.2 Overview of the   UK’s physical landscape

Candidates two of the following optional topics:

  • 1.3 – 1.6 Optional topic 1A. Coastal landscapes and   processes
  • 1.7 – 1.10 Optional topic 1B. River landscapes and   processes.
  • 1.11 – 1.14 Optional topic 1C. Glaciated upland landscapes   and processes.

3.1.2 – the living world

  • 3.1.2.1   Ecosystems
  • 3.1.2.2   Tropical rainforests
  • 3.1.2.3 Hot   deserts or
  • 3.1.2.4 Cold   environments

Topic two – weather hazards and climate change

  • 2.1 – 2.4 Climate change
  • 2.5 – 2.6 Tropical cyclones
  • 2.7 – 2.8 Drought

3.1.3 – physical landscapes in the UK

  • 3.1.3.1   Overview of UK physical landscapes

Two from:

  • 3.1.3.2   Coastal landscapes in the UK
  • 3.1.3.3   River landscapes in the UK
  • 3.1.3.4   Glacial landscapes in the UK

Topic three – ecosystems, biodiversity and management

  • 3.1 – 3.3 Ecosystems, global and small scale
  • 3.4 – 3.5 Tropical rainforests
  • 3.6 – 3.7 Deciduous woodland.

Paper 2

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

3.2.1 Section A – urban issues and challenges:

Including case study of major city in an LIC or NEE and a case study of a major city in the UK.

Topic four – changing cities

  • 4.1 – 4.2 Overview of urban patterns and processes
  • 4.3 – 4.5 Case study of a major UK city
  • 4.6 – 4.8 Case study of a major city in a developing   country or an emerging country

3.2.2 Section B – the changing economic world

Including development indicators, causes of uneven development and a case study of a LIC or NEE.

Topic five – global development

  • 5.1 – 5.4 Global development; definitions, global   variations, uneven development, strategies to address uneven development
  • 5.5 – 5.8 Case study of development in a developing or an   emerging country

3.2.3 Section C – the challenge of resource management

3.2.3.1 Resource management. Overview of resources in relation to the UK. One from:

  • 3.2.3.2 Food
  • 3.2.3.3 Water
  • 3.2.3.4 Energy

Topic six – resource management

  • 6.1 – 6.2 Overview of the global and UK distribution of   food, energy and water

One of the following optional topics:

  • 6.3 – 6.7   Energy resource management or
  • 6.8 – 6.12   Water resource management.

Paper 3

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography A

3.3.1 Section A – issue evaluation

Using pre-release resource issued 12 weeks before the date of the exam. Theme based on compulsory part of the specification.

Topic seven – geographical investigations; fieldwork

  • 7A Investigating physical environments (river landscapes or   coastal landscapes)
  • 7B Investigating human environments (central/inner urban   area or rural settlements).

3.3.2 Section B – fieldwork

Assessment based on two geographical enquiries completed by candidates and on fieldwork materials from an unfamiliar context. One enquiry must focus on human geography and the second enquiry must focus on physical geography. One of the enquiries must show an understanding about the interaction between physical and human geography.

Topic eight – UK challenges

  • 8.1 Resources consumption and environmental sustainability   challenges
  • 8.2 UK settlement, population and economic challenges
  • 8.3 UK’s landscape challenges
  • 8.4 UK’s climate change challenges.

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