GCSE History vs Geography

(48 Posts)
louisea Thu 20-Dec-12 18:25:59

DTs will probably have to choose between the two. What would be likely considerations? They are more science inclined than English. Don't like writing essays much. Is that something to take in to account when making the choice?

Kathy420 Fri 25-Jan-13 23:10:26

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morethanpotatoprints Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:16

History does have alot of essays and agree that Geography contains more science. My 2 dss took Geography and hated it as they considered it to be everything but Geography. Unfortunately a while ago so can't say which board.
I think they will know for themselves and suggest looking at the content with them and asking teachers to clarify what each one entails.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 22:45:46

Yes, DD1 is dyslexic and History HW seemed to take forever, so she' s opted for Geography.

I did both back in the dark ages of O level, and much preferred Geography. Human geography was dull, but lots of nice sciency physical stuff and no dates.

I actually got A in both, but the History was luck. First two questions were the thing I'd crammed the night before and steel making. DDad worked in a steel works and I'd listened to that bit.

Copthallresident Thu 17-Jan-13 21:37:46

Both DDs did History and Geography and both found Geography easier to get a good grade in, and one DD is now doing History A level. History is heavy on essay writing and the use of historical skills such as use of sources, whereas Geography is more about bitesize learning. Both DDs are dyslexic though so that may be a factor. In the end it is about interest though.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 21:05:13

Geography, Our history is all modern stuff and depressing beyond belief.
Huge unit on the Holocaust and assorted other joyful things.

Important yes, but for revising at 1am, I'd much prefer glaciation.

soverylucky Tue 15-Jan-13 17:44:37

I would strongy suggest that they go for the one that they enjoy the most. If they genuinely like both the same then it comes down to the actual content of each course. I can't believe that people are making assumptions about what will or will not be on the syllabus when each school can do a different exam board and even the same board will have different unit options.

louisea Tue 15-Jan-13 09:28:50

Thanks everyone for your perspectives. We have options evening today for the parents.

Lucycat Sat 05-Jan-13 18:55:50

Ok geography teacher bias here. I am essentially a physical geographer at A Level but the GCSEcourse is much more balanced in terms of content. The best advice I shall give to my year 9s next week is to do the subject that they enjoy as that is most certaianly the one that they will do the best in, don't go for the teacher as a reason but think about your balance of GCSEs and where you want to 'go' after - more boys at our school take geography. I have 32 in my GCSE class (again!) of which 26 are boys.

The longest answer we have at GCSE at the moment is an 8 mark answer (AQA A syllabus)whch requires good exam skills to achieve the high level answer - no waffling time allowed!

Good luck in your choice DTs!

losingtrust Fri 04-Jan-13 08:30:22

You can choose where to do your a'levels and many people do change at 16.

losingtrust Fri 04-Jan-13 08:12:16

I have a history bias as if you love it it is a good one to do and much easier to get a good grade if you are really interested. My ds wants to do both but is always reading either a history or geography book. Career wise history is far better for legal/pension/insurance/financial careers as you need to be able to research and remember old trust agreements/laws etc some dating back to feudal times. Therefore it depends on the type of career and how interested your boys are in the subject but I would not discount history as a bad career subject.

weegiemum Tue 01-Jan-13 13:57:28

I did geog at standard grade cos I liked the teacher better!
Ended up doing higher, csys, degree, teacher training and I've never regretted it!

marriedandwreathedinholly Tue 01-Jan-13 12:43:19

From a slightly different angle, it is worth having a look at the school's a'level results for each subject. If one subject has significantly lower results than another then it is likely that the teaching may be poor and it may be a waste of time if the subject is unlikely to be well taught at a'level where it really matters.

Gasmark4 Tue 01-Jan-13 11:25:43

Geo for my DD was gr8, good teacher, good exam board so good content, enjoyable. It makes holidays interesting as it's all related and easy to see - sea features, rivers, flooding! etc.
History is lots of essays and exams boards content differs alot - not all English history!
Go for Geo!

HettyD Fri 28-Dec-12 19:34:09

History and geography really need to be considered as to both content studied (history will be 4 units, no guarantee of Nazi's!!) and the Skills - controlled assessment is 25% so independent research is important, also forming reasoned arguments, presenting and working in groups, drawing conclusions etc. Both are good subjects and with EBacc are now being pushed by many schools, but consider child's preference for subject at KS3, English/Science is a good guideline but by yr9 presume they will have an idea of teachers and teaching? Think about future plans but I would recommend going with something they enjoy and feel they can do... (But am Hums teacher so biased!!)

amillionyears Wed 26-Dec-12 17:36:10

At age 14ish, some pupils are starting to think more seriously about what they want to do jobs wise.
The op wants considerations for her DTs.
Possible jobs is a consideration.
Gives the op an avenue of discussion about loose discussion of the way the DTs are thinking job wise.

For instance, they may be more thinking of an outdoors job than an indoors. Geography can have elements of outdoors, history mainly indoors.

jinglebellyalltheway Wed 26-Dec-12 14:22:49

Geography counts as a science for lots of sciencey degrees, and there are geography elements in a lot of non sceience degrees

History is IMO more of an arts subject, and even if they want to opt for archaeology in the BSc spectrum of history, geography and survey skills are key for that too!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 26-Dec-12 14:19:59

Its probably only relevant you're likely to want to actually be in something highly related to either subject - which if the child already has an inkling of then they wouldn't be asking the question, it'd be a no-brainer.

seeker Wed 26-Dec-12 07:18:55

Not sure how relevant the "keeping an eye on the jobs market" thing is for GCSE options.

SavoirFaire Mon 24-Dec-12 23:31:30

Apparently about 80% of jobs recruited at 'milk-round' level are entirely non-degree specific. (I was told this by the head of the careers service at an RG University, who speaks to grad recruiters all the time and has research backing up a number approximating to this %). I highly doubt that you are significantly more employable with geography than with history tbh.

amillionyears Sun 23-Dec-12 17:13:09

Always have 1 eye on the jobs market I say.
As far as I know, there are more jobs available, in the UK, as afar as I know, in Geography rather then History.

Is History or Geography likely to be a choice for them at A Level?

BestIsWest Sun 23-Dec-12 17:03:48

vj32 Out of interest, why not WJEC History?

BestIsWest Sun 23-Dec-12 17:02:00

vj32 Out of interest, why not WJEC History?

louisea Sat 22-Dec-12 00:07:33

Thank you everyone for your ideas and opinions. Lots to think about. Will show some of this to the boys and will also check out which exam boards the school uses. Previously they were inclined to take History but after an assembly this week at school they have changed to Geography. They were told that they would have to write lots of 3 page essays in History, not so much in Geography. Neither of the boys like writing essays much.

We have a few things to discuss before they make a decision. Will also be interesting to hear what the school have to say at the parent's meeting in January.

bruffin Fri 21-Dec-12 20:59:52

My ds is much stronger at science and maths but always loved history. My dd is a bit more of an all rounder.

BestIsWest Fri 21-Dec-12 20:40:38

I've got one doing WJEC history too and loving it. The other loved it so much she's doing it at Uni. Both were stronger in English than science. DS took a long time to choose between them but in the end went for History because he liked it more and I think that is the key.

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