Describe what this subject is about
" Geog in jc entails 3 key themes: tropical environments, development, economy & environment, and finally sustainable development (GI is a separate theme but it’s more skills based than content based) so I would say the first one can be classified as physical, while the other 2 are human! we learn some stuff mentioned in secondary school (but obv to a greater depth), but I would say the bulk of it is still newer knowledge - if you want to know specifics about the content you can check out the h2 syllabus 2021 to give you a better idea of what it’s like (tbh, seems like a lot but jc geog is really about understanding concepts and answering techniques, rather than rote memorisation - which really helped me for promos, and is something I have been emphasising on since sec sch ; geog in jc can seem very overwhelming (yes, we study 50+ topics but you can always find synoptic links which will save you time when trying to mug for exams) and I would say it’s really for the brave at heart. at the same time, if you know you have a passion for it, don’t hesitate honestly because I think something I realised in jc is that to survive the rigour, you really need to be doing subjects you love :) or you’ll be super caught up in the whole “oh I should’ve done XYZ subject it looks easier” and geog in jc is really about consistent work (which I didn’t do enough of initially tbh) + doing practice essays to get used to writing the necessary length and time management. " --- Senior A(HCI)
" There are 2 portions: human and physical geog
physical geog is the study of natural earth processes, while human geog is the study of the impact that people have on the earth, as well as their behaviour! " --- Senior C(SAJC)
What does learning this subject entail?
" Geog cohorts tend to be quite small so we have the luxury of having more individualised attention. For me, my tutorial class has 10 students and my teacher really focuses on having a discussion + going through tutorials / worksheets we’ve done in front of everyone so we can learn from each other’s mistakes etc. My teacher also takes time to bring us out on field trips (esp for GI) and she lets us use equipment that we usually only ever read about in our textbooks! Lectures also tend to be small (probably ~40) but it’s our entire cohort and they happen weekly so we all gather together and are provided lecture handouts to fill in / slides as we go along - not much need for class participation there because jc is much more self driven and the lecturer tends to give a broader, quicker overview, just before your own tutor goes through the topic in tutorials (usually 3x a week i think) at a slower pace to make sure we understand what’s going on! & geog involves reading (some notes can be really wordy but it feels good once you get what’s going on)+ writing + completing tutorial worksheets which are usually filled with past year promos/As questions so we are always reinforcing our knowledge for exam prep specifically too + discussions + peer feedback + occasional field trips! " --- Senior A(HCI)
" It depends on whether you're gonna take h1 or h2 geog, but generally it requires you to think critically (not memorising!!) and using content to back up your argument, so its about explaining and evaluating different processes that occur in our everyday life. generally, you will have to go for alot of consults cos many of the topics and terms that the subj uses can be quite unfamiliar to most!! " --- Senior C(SAJC)
What is the difference in rigour between JC and secondary school?
" i’d say geog remains crazy in terms of the content (jc is indeed more), but the rigour is greater not because of the content, but rather the need to properly grasp concepts + answering techniques before even dreaming about doing “well” in jc geog. And from my experience + what I’ve seen / understood from convos with other friends, it isn’t impossible to do well for geog :) I realised that for tests throughout the year, all of the questions contained resources that were so strange and I could barely understand them (so it was impossible to analyse them deeply :/ ) and that was the first time I realised that jc geog wasn’t simply a “mugging” subject, which is everyone’s impression of it lol. The resources are meant to be there to challenge you to critically analyse them, and you aren’t as able to “wing” the analysis (mostly for the physical geog stuff) so yeah it’s less about memorising everything, but about learning the big concepts that will help you answer more questions in a wide range of topics! That was what helped me through promos hah " --- Senior A(HCI)
" Very different, but it's not just about studying more content! jc requires you to evaluate issues at a much deeper level than sec sch, which can be a challenge at the start as you may not be so used to it, but rest assured ur teachers will help you and ease you into it :) for example, geog in sec sch was more "topicalised" meaning that topics are generally separate from one another, but topics are much more interlinked and related to each other for jc geog, which "forces you" to have a firm understanding of all topics, not just a few! " --- Senior C(SAJC)
Why did you choose to take it? Do you regret your decision?
" I chose to take it because it was something I was quite good at, and something I liked - which I realised is really hard to come by these days! Initially i had a dilemma because I was wondering if i should venture out of my comfort zone and try for literature, and I was quite daunted by the content in geog (which is definitely something to consider, I’d say)! Geog, to me, is something that I can see tangibly everyday, and whenever I see it’s an extra rainy day, I look out and see whether there’s infiltration excess flow HAHA which sounds super noob but I love that it’s something you can apply to your life, and it’s able to explain so many things in the human experience :) I often say I regret when I am writing unbelievably long essays / trying to mug for promos because in the moment, all you can think about is how you wish you weren’t doing it. All the days I spent sitting in the dimly lit canteen poring over some reading that I can’t wrap my mind around - there’s just something in that that makes everyone feel like they regret taking the subject. However, I’d say that this is experienced by all students, regardless of what subject they take! And realising this, it tells you that it’s less about the subject, but simply the fact that not many people would choose to study their butt off, instead of hanging out with their friends, or going home for a nap! This is why I stress that it’s crucial to really pick subjects that you LOVE, and not just think about what you will do well in! So, to answer the question retrospectively, no, i do not regret taking geog because it’s been tough, but it’s been fun, and I am grateful that I took the step to take it in the end! And anyway, there’s no point to regret after you made a decision, so do what feels right, and commit to it as far as possible (unless it makes you crazy unhappy then perhaps find an alternative!) " --- Senior A(HCI)
" I chose to take geog because i was passionate about the subject since lower sec! also, because i got a1 for elect geog so i felt confident that i will be able to do well in jc geog as well!! moreover, geography also gives alot of useful information that u can use for general paper, as well as keeping you informed with current issues that face our planet in this day and age. honestly, it is not as easy to score As or Bs for geog compared to a science subject (at least for me), but i don't regret taking geog at all because of my interest in it as well as the reasons that i mentioned above! " --- Senior C(SAJC)
Do you know what the differences between H1, H2 and H3? If so, can you explain what they are?
" I don’t take h1 geog but to my knowledge, the themes are the same but the overall content is roughly half of / slightly more compared to the h2 syllabus (so many people who struggle with content drop to h1 because it’s better for them and easier for them to score); h2 geog is the one that has 50+ topics (under 4 themes including GI) and what I base all of what I said before on, because I took that in j1! H3 geog (the MOE one) includes a 3500 word research essay on any topic of your choice under the broad scope of sustainable development! It involves independent research with one consultation with a teacher advisor and it acts as an extension to the h2 syllabus! There isn’t an exam for it though so it’s an essay that you submit to be marked and you’re graded with distinction/merit/pass while h1&h2 are A-U grading system! " --- Senior A(HCI)
" Not sure about h3, but h1 and h2 geog skills are very similar, main difference being that h1 has around 2/5 the content of h2 geog!! " --- Senior C(SAJC)