A2 Unit 4B The Process of Issue Evaluation (1). This demands the development of the range of geographical skills, knowledge and understanding identified in the Specification. Unit 4B allows candidates to extend the content of the specification within the specialised context of issue evaluation.
To enable candidates to address issue evaluation they must:
· interpret a range of data and resources provided for them in an Advance Information Booklet (AIB)
·use techniques to present and analyse data from the AIB
·consider how additional information could be collected using fieldwork, internet research and other methods
·relate the data to the body of geographical knowledge and understanding developed through their AS and A2 studies
·where necessary, carry out further research into the issue or the area referred to in the AIB
·be able to recognise and define an issue
· consider evidence from different points of view
· recognise shortcomings of the data and consider other possible sources through which those shortcomings could be remedied
· establish criteria for evaluation of the issue or for decision making
· evaluate a range of options concerning the management of an issue or of a decision
· identify and analyse potential areas of conflict
·consider ways of resolving or reducing conflict
·recommend a way of managing the issue or make a decision – and justify their recommendation
·suggest the possible impact of action that could result from their recommendation
·review the process of issue evaluation.
It is envisaged that, over time, a variety of scales will be
used from local to regional, to national, to international.
The context will also be varied from the UK, to other
countries, thus representing countries in various stages
of development. Where the context is drawn from those
areas of the AS or A2 specification which are optional,
material will be provided in the AIB in such a way as to
enable all candidates to be assessed to A Level
The Advance Information Booklet (AIB) is issued 8 weeks prior to the examination (in November for the January exam, April for the June exam).
Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the material, but not to learn it or do extensive research on it.
However – this does not mean that no work should be done!
Read and re-read the booklet to become absolutely familiar with the content and layout – know what is there and where it is. Perhaps even produce a short summary of each page.
Look up the meaning of any unfamiliar words and phrases – ask a teacher for help!
Use an atlas/other sources to ensure a working knowledge of the geographical area under consideration.
List the concepts, theories, processes etc. which are referred to in the AIB – do you understand them all?
Students should also think about ways of manipulating data; looking at proportions, percentage changes etc. (has anything doubled/tripled/halved?)
However, they must beware of ‘data waffle’ – describing masses of data rather than actually utilising it.
The key as always is to look for trends, choose one or two pieces of data to illustrate the point (but not too many) and identify any anomalies that may be apparent.
In the context of an issue evaluation exercise, candidates may or may not have to come to a decision, but will certainly have to undertake some evaluation.
Remember that there is not usually a ‘right answer’ – it is how well candidates can support their arguments that is the key factor.
NB: if candidates are asked to make a choice, it is essential that they explain why they have rejected other options rather than concentrating solely on the merits of their option.
Students should also be careful not to argue against something they have already supported in an earlier question.
There are roughly 2 minutes per mark…so, a part (a) worth 10 marks, should be completed in 20 minutes.
Students must look at the mark allocation and plan their time carefully – candidates gain most marks in the early part of each of their answers – it could be better to move on to the next bit!