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A2-2 Decision Making
Transcript of A2-2 Decision Making
Features of A2-2
Section A: Physical Geography
This presentation is available for viewing online - details at the end.
2 units from the 3 provided
A: Fluvial and coastal environments
B: Nature and sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems
C: The Dynamic Earth
There will be 2 structured questions in each section
Candidates must answer one from each of their two chosen options
about 30 minutes per question
i.e the first hour of the examination
Section B: Decision
Real case study
You should spend at least 25 minutes reading the question and the resources on this section before you start
Worth 50 marks (of the 110 marks for the paper as a whole)
Tests your skills in Decision Making
Geographical Issues are all around us!
Recent contexts include:
Golf course in Co. Clare
Electricity line through the Cairngorms
Terminal 5 at Heathrow
Salt works in Mexico
Pipeline and gas terminal in Mayo
Extension to Panama Canal
Waste to Energy Incinerator, Co. Meath
Bypass around Aberdeen
Hydroelectric plant and aluminium smelter, Iceland
Container port near Southampton
Ecotown near Norwich
Typically you will get:
With each Decision Making Exercise
there are like to be consequences
which can be
These can be positive or negative consequences
These are marks you should not ignore!
Is the role
“My colleagues in the
government have …”
“… I will look at these
in more detail”
“I have addressed this issue in making my decision …”
“I am making this decision
based on the facts
I have been given …”
“After discussion with
my colleagues, we
have decided that …”
“Having gathered all
the facts and arguments,
I have decided …”
“So far as my role is in relation to the proposed Peace River Dam development, it is upon my decision as to whether the development in British Columbia should be permitted to go ahead. I will briefly describe the proposed project and discuss the need for it. I will then weigh up the positive and negative implications on people and the economy, and the impact on the environment and reach a decision as to whether it should or should not proceed to see if there is a need for the development.”
“As Advisor for the Canadian Federal Government, I …”
Do not lift chunks of text from the resources if you want to be considered for all of the marks available
You can use occasional phrases as a quotation but only if you put it in quotation marks, and do not overdo this
Don’t copy out a paragraph changing a odd word here and there - MAKE IT YOUR OWN!
Think in points
… but don’t write
in bullet points
You must use precise figures where you can. Don’t use phrases like ‘lots of’ or ‘a large number’ or ‘quite a few’ if you can retrieve the actual figure from the resources
Quotations can be useful but don’t write them out again in your answer paper.
So don’t just write out
“This development will be a catalyst for growth in this community and is something that people here are crying out for.” Sean Maguire, Local Councillor
If you feel it is helpful, refer to them:
“A local councillor described the development as a ‘catalyst for growth’”
Master the language of the issue and use it!
Agricultural Land Reserve
Draw the graph
Probably worth about 8 marks
so very important …
don’t forget it
Be an A Level
Look at the two graphs and at the table from last year’s paper
One mark for incorporating the graph in the paper
One mark for using an appropriate technique
Three marks for accuracy – lose one for each plotting error
Three marks for conventions:
suitable title = 1
both axes correctly labelled = 1
key or labelled bars = 1
Reference = 1/1 "The graph above shows ..."
Technique = 1/1 (bar graph)
Accuracy = 3/3 (lines on paper used effectively - South Camp Nov 2020 close, but accepted)
Conventions = 3/3 (axes correctly labelled, title, and key)
Reference= 0/1 "This highlights" not enough
Technique= 1/1 Scrappy, but acceptable as a bar graph
Accuracy= 0/3 (None of the first three South Camp deemed accurate - is not helped by top of bar being uneven)
Conventions= 2/3 (Title not accepted - this is not a table - but key present and both axes labelled accurately - years, just about)
Decision/conclusion is important -
leave enough time to do it justice
In this section you are asked to make a decision and to justify it on the basis of the greater overall benefits
This means setting out the arguments and weighing up one against the other
You are likely to be saying things like:
“The developer’s case for employment increases of over 120 for the area is very persuasive, and I was particularly impressed by their commitment to ensuring that these were mainly local jobs. However …”
“The environmental concerns of those who oppose this plan are very clear. I too share their concerns regarding the potential visual pollution such a development might bring to this sensitive area but I am reassured by the …”
Remember - there is no RIGHT answer. Either will be possible to argue. It is the strength and persuasiveness of your argument which is important.
Make a decision based on what is provided - you cannot make up your own
Be an A Level
Look at the Environment - 'Discuss the possible negative environmental effects of the proposed development and the counterarguments' alongside the Levels of Response mark scheme
You have the answers of two candidates (A and B)
Work with a partner or partners to decide Level of Response
Then agree whether it is top, middle or bottom of that level
Then assign a score
First paragraph fine. Commendable use of figures, but ideas were not developed. Second paragraph has two sections which are not environment, or shown to relate to environment: land owners and crop production.
Level 1, Middle: 2 marks
Good use of resources, and a very full answer. The answer is balanced between the arguments and the counterarguments. There are a few places where the content seems close to being verbatim, but it is sufficiently amended to be in the candidate's own words. Fluent and fairly comprehensive.
Level 3, low: 7 marks
To watch this presentation: go to
and search for
"A2-2 Decision Making"
or, if that fails, "Roulston Decision Making"
Enjoy putting YOUR
Finish the paper -
There are 50 marks to be earned in 60 minutes
If you can save a few extra minutes in Section A, even better, but that is unlikey, AND
.... YOU MUST NOT NEGLECT SECTION A
Aim for a mark a minute i.e. as in Section A,
a 6 mark task should take you about 6 minutes
Your graph may take you a little longer than 8 or so minutes – take this into account
Practice a paper on your own – get used to the timings
Note: these videos will not play if YouTube is blocked by your system!
Windfarm in Monadliath
Sigrid Rausing, neighbouring landowner and ecologist: “They are hiding behind the whole language of renewable energy, but I feel very strongly that this is just creeping industrialisation of the landscape. There are very few areas left like this in Europe and it will be great pity if we sacrifice a landscape like that ."
Prof Jeni Royale, blog entry: “What price a few eagles and a few square miles of bog? Compare this to producing environmentally-friendly power for a quarter of a century. We must make these hard decisions and make them quickly. Climate change won’t wait.”
This is a paper you
This is a paper you
This is a paper you
get better at
2 hours and 30 minutes
Worth 25% of the total 'A' Level marks
Section A: Physical Geography
Section B: Decision Making Exercise
Use the structure exactly as provided: do not try to improve on/shorten/make clearer the headings and sub-headings provided
Airport in St Helena
10th May 2017
Access for Cruise Ships in Falmouth
Potash Mine in North York Moors
Peace Valley Dam, British Columbia, Canada