Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19

Frequently Asked Questions


When are the first examinations for this specification?

The first examinations at AS level are in Summer 2017. At A2 level they are in Summer 2018.

Are the examinations available in January and summer?

No, examinations at both AS level and A2 level are only available in the summer series.

What range of grades will be available for AS and A2?

We award AS qualifications on a five grade scale from A to E with A being the highest.
We award A level qualifications on a six grade scale from A* to E with A* being the highest.

Is it possible to repeat any AS units to improve my grade?

It is possible to resit individual AS and A2 units once and count the better result for each unit towards an AS or A level qualification.

How is Grade A* awarded?

We award an A* grade to students who have both:

  • gained an A grade overall at A level; and
  • gained 90% or more of the maximum uniform marks available for the A2 units.

We award the A* for A level qualifications only. It is not available at AS level or for individual units.

What are the requirements for Unit AS 3: Fieldwork Skills and Techniques in Geography?

This unit requires students to collect geographical data first hand through fieldwork. They choose an issue, hypothesis or question for investigation related to or arising from their study of AS Unit 1 or 2. They identify appropriate sources and methods for collecting data. They can do this individually, in small groups, or as a class.

Students must bring a table of data and a summary statement to the exam, covering the aims and context for the fieldwork. See the specification for more details.

Tell me more about Unit A2 3: Decision Making in Geography.

The decision-making exercise is a case study based on a real world scenario. We present students with a variety of resources, and they must analyse, interpret and evaluate the information provided:

  • taking on a particular role;
  • examining conflicting values that are apparent in the case study; and
  • considering choices, making and justifying recommendations.

Can I see specimen papers?

Yes, there are specimen assessment materials covering all six units on this microsite.

How recent should my case studies be to be considered relevant?

Case studies should be chosen to meet the spatial context requirements, and they should be as recent as possible.

What type of careers can geography lead to?

Geography is highly regarded as an excellent qualification that enables students to develop a wide range of transferable skills valuable for the world of work. These include:

  • investigative skills;
  • working as part of a team;
  • problem solving;
  • decision making;
  • creative thinking; and
  • managing information, including collecting and recording data accurately, collating and evaluating information.

Many of the topics or issues studied are reported in the media, for example environmental concerns such as flooding, earthquakes and global warming, as well as human issues including migration, conflict, terrorism and war. This close link between geography and global issues could lead to careers in aid work, environmental management or governmental occupations.

Many geography students go on to have successful and interesting careers in a diverse range of areas such as urban planning, cartography, GIS applications, climatology, environmental management, weather forecasting, research, teaching and demography.