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Planning to switch to AQA?

Switching to AQA: from Edexcel B

To save you time and help you compare our GCSE Geography with the Pearson Edexcel B 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 B

Living with the physical environment

Global geographical issues

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 B

Challenges in the human environment

UK geographical issues

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 B

Geographical applications

People and environment issues – making geographical decisions

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 15 minutes

1 hour (plus 30 minutes reading time)

76 marks (30% of GCSE)

64 marks (25% of GCSE)

Subject content

Paper 1

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography B

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 – hazardous earth

  • 1.1 Global atmospheric circulation
  • 1.2 Climate change
  • 1.3 Global climate change
  • 1.3 – 1.6 Tropical cyclones
  • 1.7 – 1.9 Tectonic hazards

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 – development dynamics

  • 2.1 – 2.3 Measuring development, global inequalities, approaches to development
  • 2.4 – 2.7 Case study of an emerging country

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 – challenges of an urbanizing world

  • 3.1 – 3.3 Global trends in urbanisation
  • 3.4 – 3.7 Case study of a megacity in a developing or emerging country.

Paper 2

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography B

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 – the UK’s evolving physical landscape

  • 4.1 – 4.2 Landscape variation within the UK
  • 4.3 – 4.4 Coastal change and conflict
  • 4.5 Challenges for coastal landscapes and communities
  • 4.6 – 4.7 River processes and pressures
  • 4.8 Challenges for river landscapes, flooding and management.

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 – the UK’s evolving human landscape

  • 5.1 – 5.2 Change in the UK; places and people
  • 5.3 – 5.7 Case study of major UK city

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 – geographical investigations

Physical geography fieldwork:

  • Investigating coastal change and conflict or
  • Investigating river processes and pressures.

Human geography fieldwork:

  • Investigating dynamic urban areas or
  • Investigating changing rural areas.

Paper 3

AQA – GCSE Geography

Edexcel – GCSE Geography B

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 – people and the biosphere

7.1 – 7.2 Importance of the biosphere

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 – forests under threat

8.1 – 8.6 Threats to forest biomes (rainforests and taiga); conservation and sustainability.

Topic nine – consuming energy resources

  • 9.1 – 9.3 Growing demand for energy
  • 9.4 – 9.5 Fossil fuels
  • 9.6 – Changing attitudes to energy and environmental issues.

Geographical decision making: A decision making task based on units 7, 8 and 9 using a booklet of resources issued in the exam.

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