Changes for 2022

Because of the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are some changes to how GCSE Geography will be assessed in 2022.

These changes are for 2022 only.

What you need to know

  • Optionality introduced for Paper 2
  • Fieldwork not required
  • Familiar fieldwork questions removed
  • No advanced information on exams


Optionality will be introduced into 8035/2 Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment.

  • Students must answer all questions in Section A: Urban issues,
  • They will then choose to answer either Section B: The changing economic world or Section C: The challenge of resource management.
  • We’re planning to balance the marks between the two optional units (Section B or Section C). Further information on this will follow shortly.
  • We’re also planning to retain the normal rubric in Section C, whereby students must answer question 3 and one from either questions 4, 5 or 6 (food, water or energy).
  • There are no planned changes to Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

Fieldwork not required

Students do not need to complete fieldwork for 2022.

This means you do not need to submit a centre declaration form to say that students have been given the opportunity to undertake fieldwork.

Familiar fieldwork questions removed

Because fieldwork is not required, we’ll remove questions about students’ own fieldwork experience (known as ‘familiar fieldwork’) from the exam.

This means we’ll be making some changes to Paper 3: Geographical applications.

  • Question 5, Section B (on familiar fieldwork) will be removed.
  • There will still be 6 marks of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) available for this 8035/3 paper. The 3 marks of SPaG attached to the 9 mark question in Section B will be re-allocated to a 6 mark question in Section A.
  • The total number of marks available for the 8035/3 paper will reduce from 76 to 56 marks (a removal of 20 marks).
  • The total time allocation for the 8035/3 paper will reduce from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Questions on ‘unfamiliar fieldwork’ (theoretical understanding of the fieldwork enquiry process) will remain.

No advanced information

There will be no advanced information on what exams will cover for GCSE Geography.

Help and support

For further help and support delivering GCSE Geography for assessment in 2022, please contact us.