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How to pass in Geography


Date Posted: 12/17/2017 12:24:43 AM

Posted By: ESTHER STEVE  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 247

Many students ask me the secret to passing in geography. The first thing I ask them is, do you love it? Whether this article helps you or not will depend on your attitude towards geography first.
The very first secret to getting those high scores in geography is a positive attitude towards it.
Geography is a beautiful subject. The beauty of it lies in the fact that it is so practical and so near us. Things around us always have something geographical. Take for example the reason someone woke you up and said good morning, simple, there was light. This reminds me of a geographical fact: the earth is rotating! The bed you sleep on is made of timber which was once a tree in a forest. The house you live in built with stones tells you of uses of rocks. When tilling land do you ever remember you contribute to mechanical weathering? Everyday it is either cold or warm, either windy or calm, rainy, there is sunshine or cloudy. Does this remind you of weather elements? The list is long. Look around and list other lessons in geography that are around you. There is no reason whatsoever to make you hate geography. When you start loving it, you realize you long for the lessons and you even want to learn more about phenomena.

Now let's get to the practical bit of scoring high in geography.
1. Understand examination language in geography. This is key in answering correctly. For example there is a difference between state and name in geography. State requires a student to write a short statement. Name may require a one word answer. If a question asks you to state then you name

or asks you to explain and you state without giving full details, you will not score.

2. Learn how to draw and label diagrams. Geography has quite a number of questions requiring one to explain a certain phenomena using well labelled diagrams. Well drawn and labelled diagrams earn full marks even without text. However if a student answers such a question with text only, the score will be below half or fail to score completely.

3. Give satisfactory answers always. Avoid giving scanty details. For example, a question on significance of trona mining in kenya is very simple. However, students lose marks for being too general or giving scanty answers. A student may say: it creates employment opportunities. This answer is correct but won't score. Why? You have not given any example that can be associated with Trona.its simple, say it creates employment opportunities. The local community ( maasai) work as casual labourers, drivers are employed and engineers who mine among others.
In a past kcse paper students were required to explain factors favouring growth of coffee in a certain map. Many students mentioned presence of transport and communication as was evidenced by many roads. They never scored full marks since they never said how availability of transport would favour growth of coffee. Simple details like saying availability of transport to transport coffee from the farms to the factory in good time cost them half a Mark. Always give full details. Do not assume the examiner will understand what you meant.

4. Master compulsory and most common areas that are tested. Getting below a C+ in geography should be a thing of the past. You can predict questions, well over 50 marks in every paper.
In paper one for example, you know 25 marks will be tested from mapwork. I advice students to master all possible questions in mapwork. Start from form one work all the way to form three.
If you have been keen, you have noticed that every year there must be a question on internal land forming processes. Vulcanicity, faulting, folding, and earthquakes are topics you should be very good at.
Fieldwork is another topic you need to understand very well. This forms the last parts of most questions and can earn you over ten marks in a paper. Grab that form one text book and revise thoroughly. Fieldwork is tested in both papers.
In paper two, you know either photograph work or statistics will be compulsory. Revise thoroughly.

5. Make use of past kcse papers. Every year a question or more than one question is repeated. Revising past papers will do you good. For example, kcse 2016 had more than 80 percent repeated questions. Browse a list of past papers at and you won't regret. Other papers will equally help.
6. Be keen in class, ask teachers for clarification anytime you do not understand. Make teachers your friends.

7. Make use of group work. Be the active member. Act as a teacher. Set tests for your friends and Mark. Let them do the same for you. Later involve your teacher as an external examiner for guidance.
All the best.

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