Extended Answer Questions

Extended Answer Question - Marking Short Cuts

Suggestions on how to write a 10 mark Extended Answer Question

This is by no means the only way to structure an Extended Answer Question but it will give you an idea of what needs to be included.

Before you start writing

Before you even start to write your answer you need to 'tackle' what the question is asking of you. To do this I would recommend that you BUG the question.

                • BOX the command term (the doing word). This will inform you on how to approach the question.

                • UNDERLINE the 'geography' within the question. This will help you to focus on what the question is asking you to focus on.

                • GO BACK and re-read the question. It is easy to read what you hope the question is asking on a first glance. By reading the question again it will hopefully solidify in your mind what is being asked.


  • K - What is the KNOWLEDGE? e.g. closing the development gap.

  • F - What is the FOCUS? e.g. social entrepreneurship

  • C - What is the COMMAND TERM? e.g. describe. explain, to what extent

In the summative exams at the end of Year 13, you will have approximately 20-25 minutes to answer a 10 mark Extended Answer Question. Therefore you need to be concise. Between five and six paragraphs is all you will have about time for. So make every word count!


In an introduction it is good to include the following points:

  1. A definition of the key 'geography' terms in the question. This will show that you understand what the theme of the essay is about.

  2. A sentence which highlights why the question is important to be answered. For example, if the question is about resource management then a sentence which highlights how much waste we produce could be useful to give context to the question.

  3. Mention the case study or detailed examples that you are going to use to help illustrate your arguments.

  4. Give your for and against argument - within one or two sentences.

Main Body

Many of the Extended Answer Questions will require that you give balanced arguments (for and against). You should include the structure of PEEL in each paragraph.

  1. Point - What is your main argument?

  2. Explain - Give reasons for your point.

  3. Exemplify - Use either a case study or a number of detailed examples to illustrate your arguments. This grounds your ideas to specific places which is important for a geographer.

  4. Link - Link back to the question as this will encourage you to synthesize your point.


Within a conclusion you should not include any new points. The main aim here is to synthesize your argument and to say if one side of the discussion is more dominant than the other - looking at the evidence you have given.

The Ps

Throughout your essay you should try and include the geographic contexts as these will help you to link the ideas together.

  • Perspectives

  • Place

  • Possiblilities

  • Power

  • Processes

I would also encourage you to consider scale - local, national, regional, global.

Aid to Planning an Extended Answer Question

How to write an essay graphic organizer.doc

Assessment Criteria - 10 mark - Extended Answer Question

Assessment Criteria P1 and P2 10 marks

Command Terms

It is important to understand what the question is asking of you before you begin to plan your essay. Therefore part of this is having a good understanding of what the different command terms mean. Both the Assessment Objective (AO) Categories and the definitions of the command terms can be found in the pdf below.

Assessment Objective 2 (AO2)

For Paper Three Part Two the command terms will often be from the AO2 Application and analysis of knowledge and understanding category which include:





Assessment Objective 3 (AO3)

For the Extended Answer Questions in Paper One, Two and Paper Three Part B the questions will generally require you to know the command terms that fall within the AO3 Synthesis and Evaluation category:


Compare and Contrast






To what extent...

DP Geography Command Terms.pdf

Evaluating an Introduction and Conclusion - Paper Two Example

Anti-Trafficking Essay - Introduction and Conclusion

Evaluating an Introduction - Paper Three Example

Model Introduction - 12 mark EAQ - Power

Goal Setting

DP Extended Response Goals

Practice Paper One Questions - Geographic Themes

2011 Syllabus Exam Question for the 2019 Syllabus

Student Created Questions - Paper One

Student Created EAQ Style Questions - Freshwater

Student Example Answers - Paper Three - Global Interactions

Examples of Paper 3 - Global Interactions - Student Answers.pdf.pdf

Student Created EAQ - Higher Level - 12 marks

Example Geography Paper 3 essay