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Geography case studies on Urban environments

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I am taking IB geography and I am struggling on case studies.

I know which case studies we should do, like the names of the places and the countries. But once given a text or a reference page, I don't know how to structure a case study and use it on the actual exam.:help:

Help please!!!  (Any tips on getting high scores on Geography HL is appreciated too!!!!)

Edited by chocos

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The IB exam questions for Geo across all 3 papers are pretty straight forward, they are just worded slightly different from the syllabus. In the syllabus, when you see words like 'discuss' and 'evaluate' thats the hint of an essay question. 

I don't think you would be penalised if you don't know all of the case studies, as there is quite a lot to remember, but in each paper you're given options to select from, so you can use this to your advantage. :D I would focus on the parts I find interesting or know quite well, and know enough for at least 3 body paragraphs, remember the command terms require you to talk about both positive and negative aspects. 

Geography SL and HL are literally the same for Paper 1 and 2. I haven't started the Paper 3 extension yet, so I can't give tips on that yet, but in general you should look at the mark scheme of past papers to pinpoint what the IB wants. Not much thinking is required, and if you have a good memory and know your content well, the non-essay questions are easy marks. It's not too difficult to get into the top mark bands for the essay questions, you just need to structure it well, have concise and BALANCED arguments, with supporting evidence; having statistics are particularly useful. A good introduction and conclusion are paramount. Introduce the topic and case study at the beginning, and have an interesting final sentence at the end, something like a statement of global significance. I you somehow can't remember the info you need, you can always get by using common sense. 

Good luck!

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What deftdog said is really good. Just to add, I always made the distinction between case studies and examples. Examples were just short little facts about places. E.g. Gilgarganbone (in Australia) is experience rural->urban migration. It's really just name dropping, one sentence in a paragraph and is good -- but doesn't require you to know to much about the place. Case studies go into much more depth. Exactly what you need to know depends on the actual case study, but I always tried to structure them to answer the following questions:

Where is it located?

When did the event of interest occur (is it ongoing)?

What happened? What are some interesting facts, statistics, etc. about the case study?

How does it relate to the theory? Does it support one theory, many theories, or is it an anomaly? Why is this?

Why does it support my argument?


In an exam, to get the highest grades you need to answer the 4th and 5th questions, with evaluation is important. In general, I think focusing on how theories and ideas interrelates is more important than reciting facts.Using diagrams are often overlooked, but are valuable for getting high marks.


You need case studies (rather than examples) for some things specifically stated in the syllabus and need to be able to write a whole essay on just that case study. Other areas, case studies are useful, but not required. My advice is to use theory to learn case studies or case studies to learn theory (by seeing the interrelation between the two), to save you doubling up on learning theory twice and building connections. Also try to get case studies to be useful for multiple syllabus areas. For example, I used the Newfoundland fisheries conflict to count as a conflict over a fish resource, and environmental resource and something else I can't remember.


Let me know if you have more queries :)


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