|IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to:
(i) Formulating aims and hypotheses
Candidates should be familiar with hypotheses as statements that form the basis of coursework assignments. The
hypotheses may investigate a geographical concept e.g. ‘A CBD has the highest concentration of comparison shops’. Collecting relevant data, analysis and drawing conclusions using the data as evidence can test these.
(ii) Enquiry skills to collect data
Questions on this paper will test knowledge and application of the methodology used in the following range of data
collection enquiry skills.
Questionnaires – Questionnaires can be oral or written to gain information from an individual or a group ofindividuals. Suitable themes in the syllabus where questionnaires may be appropriately studied include
spheres of influence, use of services, shopping habits, a farm study, a factory or industrial study, leisure
activities, tourism, or attitudes of the public to developments associated with resource development.
Consideration should be given to factors influencing the successful design of questionnaires e.g. layout,
format of questions, the appropriate wording of questions and the number of questions. The practical
considerations of conducting a questionnaire e.g. the sampling methods, pilot survey, and location of
survey should also be discussed.
Observation – Examples of using observations as an enquiry skill to collect data include the recording of
land use in an urban area or observations of river or coastal features. Maps, recording sheets, field
sketches and annotated photographs may all be used to record student observations.
Counts – Pedestrian and traffic counts are two significant examples of this enquiry skill. Appropriate
methods for recording the counts should be discussed including the layout of recording sheets, instructions
and the necessary information required to identify the sheet following the count (i.e. time, date, location
and name of recorder)
Measurement – When recording measurements, due consideration should be given to planning the layout
of the recording sheet, the location of instruments and the sampling methods adopted to provide reliable
data. Knowledge of the equipment used in measurement is required such as the quadrat, the clinometer
and the pebbleometer or callipers. Candidates should be familiar with river measurements of channel
width, depth, speed of flow and the size and shape of bedload; beach studies of beach profile, the size and
shape of pebbles and the movement of beach material and weather study instruments closely linked to
(iii) Data presentation techniques
A knowledge of the illustrative techniques to present data across the topics for Paper 4 is required. This should include,
various types of graphs, maps and diagrams for example line graphs, bar graphs, divided bar graphs, histograms, flow
diagrams, wind rose graphs, isoline maps and scattergraphs.
IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to describe the patterns in data presented in graphs and tables of results. Reference to
relevant geographical knowledge and understanding is often required in the interpretation of the data. Practise of this skill
will improve success in Paper 4 questions.
(v) Formation of Conclusions
Using the evidence from the data, IGCSE Geography candidates should be able to make judgements on the validity of the original
hypothesis or aims of the assignment. Reference is also required of the reliability of the collected data and a critical
evaluation of the chosen data collection methods.