ii. GCSE Geography Exam Preparation: Paper 4

GCSE Geography Paper 4

The alternative to coursework paper tests your understanding of how Geography fieldwork is carried out and consists of two questions which you must answer using a combination of knowledge and skills. The questions usually focus on coursework to do with; coasts, rivers, settlements or weather, so it would be good to give extra emphasis to revising and reviewing these topics before the exam. Note: your case studies will not be of any use for this paper: the fieldwork examples are given to you as part of the questions.

Useful preparation for Paper 4:

On the Greenfield Geography website there are some useful resources for looking at the range of questions you may be asked in Paper 4.  The areas commonly covered in Paper 4 are: Rivers, Coasts, Settlement and Weather.

Settlement questions often revolve around change: for example changes in land use, changes in traffic (maybe CBD to rural-urban fringe), changes in pedestrian patterns, number and type of tourists, changes in the quality of the environment or pollution levels, etc.  Comparisons of land use with Burgess or Hoyt Model have sometimes been rquired. Sphere of influence of settlements or services is a common subject.  In all of these topics, the data will be given to you and you will simply have to analyse it and draw conclusions.


The human geography question on Paper 4 is most frequently about settlement and it is therefore a good place to begin .  We shall explore a selection of settlement questions to start our preparation for Paper 4.  No special knowledge is required for this but you need to be aware of the skills required to answer successfully.

Common Paper 4 questions deal with beach profile measurement, coastal processes such as longshore drift, and sediment analysis.

Measuring beach profile: video showing the use of ranging poles and clinometre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_kzuEnpz10

Beach measurements PPT USED IN LESSON


Common Paper 4 questions deal with measuring a stream cross-section and stream velocity. Follow these links:

River Measurements powerpoint used in lesson to explain Paper 4 river measurements questions.  These instructions explain in detail the way to answer Question 1 on Paper 4 Winter 2013. Here is the paper 0460_w13_qp_42, the insert 0460_w13_in_42, and the mark scheme 0460_w13_ms_42.

The river measurement videos used in the lesson on 29 May are here:


A recommended web page covering all aspects of this topic can also be found at the Royal Geographical Society website here:

The weather questions in Paper 4 tend to revolve around data collection regarding microclimate.


Here is a sample Paper 4 weather question.  (Printer working!  All of you now have copies of this apart from Maksim who I couldn’t find!)  Use the insert and mark scheme provided:

0460_y16_sp_4  You may like to also try the tourism question (question 1) if you want further practice from a sample of human geography on Paper 4.



We looked at another weather question in the last lesson before Paper 4:

0460_w11_qp_41 The weather question (we did this in lesson) is question two.  There is a settlement question on this paper which may also be good practice. Also – if you have not done it yet – look at the sampling techniques on the web page below.

Insert for question 1 on this paper is not in my files (you had a paper copy for Q1). Cambridge site no longer has the 2011 papers.  See if the settlement question works without the insert, or just do questions where it is not needed.  Mark scheme below should help fill in any gaps.


That is it!  Good luck with the Paper 4 exam tomorrow.  I look forward to some feedback on it when I see you.

Sampling techniques:
All Paper 4 questions are about sampling in some form or other. Make sure you are aware of the differences between sampling techniques.



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