Perhaps you can dissect any cultural process at the drop of the hat, maybe you’re really great at labelling any natural process. Do you know the difference between spatial and temporal? Or, are you really effective at developing your own data and mapping out some great diagrams or charts? Well if you are, this is great news, because these important skills can be applied to your NCEA Geography scholarship exam. Anyone can apply for the scholarship but to gain the money you will need to have enrolled yourself in tertiary education. Your NCEA marks throughout the year will have to be maintained at a B grade average. Having a scholarship can really make you stand out at university and set you apart from other students.

If you are wanting tips for the year's achievement standards then check out this study guide. There are also some handy tips for you to help with your exams here. If you're needing a refresher, you can access all past papers for geography here, to get you on top of the year's work.  If you are wanting an overview of the year then look here.

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But what exactly is expected of you when you sit the exam for the NCEA Geography scholarship

For the NCEA Geography scholarship, you will complete 3 sections, that are each unique from each other and designed to test you on various topics that you would have come across in your internals.  These topics will be at a higher level to your internals, but they will be familiar. In the exam, there will be a question on either natural processes or cultural processes. Then there will be a question on a geographical idea like ‘perspectives’ for example. Thirdly you will look at the topic of climate change and unpack a question surrounding this. For all three questions, you will have access to a resource booklet that is there to help you along with providing examples as well as data that you can turn into maps and diagrams.

What do you need to expect for the NCEA Geography Scholarship? (Unsplash)

Why should I do NCEA Scholarship English? Here are some benefits:

NCEA Geography can get you ahead and help secure financial help towards your university enrolment. If you get this scholarship chances are you’ll feel more confident going into your university class, as you’ll know your skillset and understandings are up to date and worthy of an award. Gaining that money is so helpful when you’re negotiating a rather large loan. Even if you have other scholarships, you can still add this on and take off some costs for you. Another plus to getting your NCEA Geography scholarship is that you’ll have access to a whole community of other students who also have achieved scholarships. Finally, by securing your scholarship you’ll be able to kickstart your career. If Geography is something that you’re really passionate about, then having this scholarship will really set you apart when you go to university.

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So, what can I expect in these exams, details wise?

You will be provided with a resource booklet that will give you insight into, for example, a cultural process like climate change. It will then be your job to provide specific information from the booklet and work it into a convincing argument. To further establish your points you’ll use maps, graphs and diagrams. For question two, it’s similar but you will be given either a question or a statement that covers a geographical idea, that you will need to unpack. Looking back on the years of NCEA scholarship, it looks like they change the geography idea each year, but it has in the past talked about perspectives as well as cultural processes. Let’s deep dive into these now

Large land mass showing geograohical process
Natural processes deal with our environment and the affects on it (Unsplash)

For question one, the biggest thing to remember is a large amount of completing the question is to be able to think back to what you learned during the year. That’s including how you have memorised all the relevant terminology or are very familiar with cultural and natural processes. Also your ability to assimilate the data and resource booklet provided. If you have revised what you covered in the year then this will help you with answering the question

Question two will have you talking about a geological concept and, similar to question one you will be using all the prior knowledge learned throughout the year and then apply that to this question. Don’t forget also that it’s your job to create tables, graphs and charts to support your claims. 2020’s past exemplar asked for the student to talk about fossil fuels and if the negative perspectives outweighed the positives. To complete this the student simply grabbed information from the resource pack and used their prior knowledge to answer. If you want to see how they answered you can look at the NZQA website where they put previous exams up, even scholarships too.

Question three finally gives you a statement that you need to prove and support with evidence throughout your argument. As with questions one and three you will use your prior skill-based knowledge and be given a resource book to pick and choose relevant data to showcase for your argument. Really focus on being as convincing as you can using persuasive language but also key relevant data that has an impact and helps to answer your statement in a good light.

The achievement standards show that to gain excellence you will need to have a really good stance at analysis as well as be on top of your game at critical thinking, this means no waffling or vague answers and instead, some well thought out arguments backed up in detail by your resource pack and data. An excellence answer will also have a good sense of synthesis and a great understanding of complex situations. The argument will be coherent, logically minded and have a clear clarity of ideas as they are brought up.

High earning marks from students will show sustained insight, independent reflection as well as the ability to construct a clear argument and be convincing.

You’re ready to study? Here’s where you can get good resources:

The absolute best place to start looking for resources is on the NZQA website. You’ll have instant access to all the past papers, plus achievement standards to look at. Check out this blog here where past papers are discussed.

Past papers are a great start for revision as they help build your confidence up. You are able to see clear patterns as to what questions were similar for what years and see outlier questions also. It’s great to familiarise yourself with these and then take a stab at making a mock-up exam for yourself. Set a timer, grab some spare paper and tackle one of the questions. Make sure you spend 5 minutes planning and you're allowed to use high lighters to really unpack and understand the question.

As well as past papers you can find achievement standards for each external. These can be good as they can really help get your head around exactly what you will need to put into each paper. What is expected for each mark is included, you will find requirements for achieved, merit and excellence.

If you’re really wanting to see how to answer the externals then have a look at the exemplars also. These will give you specific insights into what an achieved, merit and excellence student wrote. Here you will see all the notes that students have made, their plans and then their answers. This can be good too as you will see the case studies that they used and might gain further insight on what to learn for your own externals. As these are marked you really can hone in on the excellence exemplar and use it as a lifesaver when you’re learning all your case studies.

Where is a good place to get resources? Plus tips to make resources. (Unsplash)

Does this seem like something for you? Here are tips to get the ball rolling:

For starters what you will want to do is express to your geography teacher that you are wanting to complete your Scholarship Geography. They will organise everything from there and get the ball rolling for your next step. Perhaps you can take this opportunity to ask your teacher if they have any more resources lying around or online for you to utilise- you never truly know until you ask! This will also link you up with all the other students who are doing NCEA Geography Scholarship as well. You could start a study group or get some tips from them about what they are studying. Even if you just meet up together and quietly put your head down and work, that’s still a positive. Those past papers and exemplars are waiting!

Still, need more support?

Superprof is an online tutoring website that is full of tutors who are all equipped to helping you get to your next step with your studies. Simply browse through all of the tutor options and find the tutor that best suits you. Remember you can grab your first lesson for free so it’s definitely worth your time having a look through. Mention to your tutor that you are doing an NCEA scholarship and they will be able to help you with resources, to make sure you are feeling confident for the exam. There is a huge range of tutors so if you haven’t found one that suits you completely do not worry, there will be someone who can help you.

 

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