Press Releases


General Comments

Overall candidates’ performance was depressed compared to that of the previous year. A significant number of candidates showed serious gaps in knowledge in the following topics;


-rocks, weathering and landform development

-slopes and fluvial landforms

-geological structures and processes in landform development.


This is perhaps an indication of highly selective and narrow syllabus coverage at centre level. A significant number of candidates committed rubric errors, only managing to answer three questions. This is an indication of either poor time management or limited syllabus coverage. The most popular questions were 1, 5, 7 and 11.


Question by question analysis

Question 1

This was by far the most popular of the Practical Skills-based questions and was attempted by almost all the candidates. In 1(a), candidates produced sketchmaps of varying quality. The majority of them managed to identify the main three relief regions, i.e. the gentle sloping high plain in the SE, the highland area flanked by steep escarpments trending NE/SW, and the plain with isolated hills in the north and northwest. In 1(b), there was a tendency to describe features of drainage instead of concentrating on relief features. The origins of the landforms of the area were not adequately addressed, with candidates merely referring to theories of pediplanation and etchplanation without giving supportive map evidence. In 1(c), there was also a tendency to describe features of drainage without locating them correctly on the map. A worrying trend is the growing number of candidates who cannot give correct grid references.

Question 2

An unpopular question which produced a wide range of scores. 2(a) and 2(c) proved to be a challenge to the few candidates who attempted this question but 2(b) was competently answered.


Question 3

An unpopular and low scoring question. In 3(a), candidates were expected to draw , in simplified form, the six-factor day model and the four-factor night radiation exchange model. In 3(b), the differences and similarities in temperature anomalies shown on the maps should have been linked to influences of seasons, maritime and land contrasts, ocean currents and the extensive desert areas. In 3(c), candidates were expected to discuss the significance of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas as well as other causes of global warming.

Question 4

Another unpopular question and quite low-scoring. In 4(a),the concept of the ITCZ was vaguely explained while in 4(b),the mechanism of the modification of air masses and the subsequent changes in the weather were not understood. 4(c) was generally well answered.

Question 5

A very popular question which produced a wide range of scores. 5(a) and 5(c) were generally well answered. In 5(b), the majority of the candidatesadopted an “ all I know” approach and thus produced long answers on aspects of channel forms and the long profile of a river instead of focussing on valley cross-profiles.The concept of changes in base level was generally not understood.

Qustion 6

Another popular but low scoring question. The role of joints in weathering and landform development in aresw of crystalline rocks was vaguely understood. Candidates also failed to account for the existence of deep weathered layers in tropical regions.

Question 7

Very unpopular. The few who attempted it performed dismally.

Question 8

An unpopular but high scoring question. The few candidates who attempted this question showed an understanding of the concept of plant successionas well as functional linkages within the TRF ecosystem. Measures to conserve the TRF were well exemplified.

Question 9

Avery unpopular and low scoring question. In 9(a), the diagrams to illustrate the different types of folds were often poorly labelled. In 9(b), the influence of folding on the development of landforms and drainage was vaguely understood.

Question 10

A popular question which produced a wide range of scores. In 10(a), the majority of candidates failed to competently explain how earthquakes occur. In 10(b),there was a tendency to narrate the impacts of earthquakes and volcanoes in general without using the information to address the demands of the question ,i.e. reasons for variations in the impacts of the hazards from country to country.Tectonic hazard prediction methods were understood but evaluation of the methods tended to be superficial.

Question 11

Another popular question which produced a wide range of scores. 11(a) was generally competently answered. In 11(b), candidates gave lists of fluvial landforms found in present-day deserts but failed to link them to past pluvial periods.


Not attempted by a single candidate.

Question 13

Not attempted by a single candidate.


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