Can you do A level geography without GCSE geography?

If you’re a student wondering what A levels to take, certain subjects that you’ve not tried before might interest you. But will this put you at a disadvantage? To learn more about whether you can do A level geography without GCSE geography, read on for more information.

Taking GCSE geography isn’t essential

The bottom line is this: you are not required to take GCSE geography to do A level geography. You might be worried that picking this subject without previously studying it could give you a disadvantage. However, most students observe that GCSE geography is generally common sense. The most important GCSEs to look out for are your maths and English GCSEs. As long as you’ve got a C (4/5) or above in these, you should be okay with certain college courses. After all, after a long summer break between finishing GCSEs and starting college, students forget much of what they’ve learnt.

This means that students who have studied geography don’t have much of a head start on you. This can especially be true when the A level course often teaches different modules to the GCSE course. This suggests that you’ll learn a lot of new stuff as you go rather than relying on your GCSE knowledge. Moreover, there are actions you can take to combat your worry and cement a foundation of knowledge. For example, you could purchase a standard GCSE textbook and take a look at it over the summer.

This should give you a basic understanding before moving on to A level. Furthermore, you could ask your online geography tutor for help. Many teachers will be willing to spend time going over GCSE stuff as a recap. If you’re still concerned, you could hire a geography tutor to assist you through your college learning. Tutors are there to explain things to you and focus on your weak areas.

Why taking GCSE geography could help

Whilst we’ve established that taking GCSE geography isn’t essential for A level geography, this isn’t to say it won’t help. Taking GCSE geography can help you get used to geographical terminology that you may not have known otherwise. Furthermore, you will be more familiar with the kind of topics you will learn about at A level. It isn’t guaranteed, but some of the modules in GCSE and A level do usually overlap.

Additionally, you’ll have a better understanding of the geography exams if you’ve taken some already. Whilst the GCSE and A level geography exams are different, many aspects will overlap. Being familiar with geography exams might make you more prepared for A level, increasing your chances of a higher grade. Moreover, you will develop some geography-based skills at GCSE which you can further develop at A level. This could include cartographic skills, written communication, and the ability to interpret data. You’ll also be familiar with field trips and gathering data at GCSE for coursework, helping you at A level.

Therefore, taking GCSE geography will help you at A level, although it is not essential.

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