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A2 3 Decision Making

A guide to the CCEA Decision Making Paper for 'A' Level Geography

Stephen Roulston

on 15 December 2017

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Transcript of A2 3 Decision Making

A2 3
Decision Making
in Geography
Features of A2 3
Geographical Association
Stephen Roulston
This presentation is available for viewing online - details at the end.
What is a Decision
Making Exercise?
Real case study
Geographical Issue
Conflicting values
You are strongly recommended to spend 30 minutes reading the question and selecting the appropriate information before attempting to write your answers
Tests your skills in Decision Making
Geographical Issues are all around us!
Third Runway
Recent contexts include:
Golf course in Co. Clare
Electricity line through the Cairngorms
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
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 development at Dun Laoghaire, it is upon my decision as to whether the development at the port 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 Chief Planning Officer, 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.
Master the language of the issue and use it!
Agricultural Land Reserve
First Nations
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

Candidate A
Reference =
1/1 "Table 1 shows ..." No mark, but reference on the next page
Technique =
1/1 (bar graph)
Accuracy =
0/3 (lines on paper used effectively - but Do Nothing 2017 and 2036 well out, as is Best-case 2036)

Conventions =
2/3 (axes not correctly labelled, but a title and key present)
Candidate B
Reference= 1/1
"The graph on previous page..." on next page
1/1 (bar graph)
0/3 (Similar to other candidate: 2017 is more like 230-235, and both of the 2036 bars were more than 410 and 810 in each case)
3/3 (Acceptable title, key present and both axes labelled accurately)
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
The Likely impact on the Environment: 'Discuss the potential negative environmental effects of the proposed development and the counterarguments' 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
Candidate A
This, at first seems a promising answer. There is a commendable use of figures, and some specific detail.
However, much of this is taken directly from the Resource Booklet. The first paragraph, after the role, is all from the booklet, apart from three words ('such as', 'furthermore' and 'soil', instead of spoil). The second paragraph, apart from the 'However' at the start, is also directly from the booklet, finishing with a quotation.
Excessive verbatim use of resources
Level 1, 2 marks
Candidate B
The first paragraph is not an environmental point. The candidate shows this when saying 'the people socially'. There are some valid points made in the second paragraph regarding water and air pollution, although these lack detail. A counterargument is made in the last sentence.
Simple understanding but sketchily dealt with, many resources omitted.
Level 1, 2 marks
To watch this presentation: go to


and search for

"A2 3 Decision Making"
or, if that fails, "Roulston Decision Making"

Stephen Roulston
Enjoy putting YOUR
geographical skills
on show!
Finish the paper -
There are 60 marks to be earned in 90 minutes, with around 30 minutes reading the question and Resource Booklet and planning your answer

Aim for a mark a minute in your writing time,
so 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
Mountains, Scotland
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
prepare for
This is a paper you
This is a paper you
get better at
1 hour and 30 minutes
Worth 12% of the total 'A' Level marks
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
5th December 2017
Access for Cruise Ships in Falmouth
Potash Mine in North York Moors
Peace Valley Dam, British Columbia, Canada
Heading Subheading

Look at the Levels of Response
Mark Scheme first
Arguments for
These are marks you should aim to get!
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’”
If it is from the previous Spec - check the marks - this one is out of 50 marks
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

Proposed new pier for cruise ships in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
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