FAQ

What are the cognitive processes in the results?

Geography Cognitive Domains

The 2020 Australian Geography Competition (AGC) will report to students, teachers and schools on students’ scores, specifically highlighting achievement in the cognitive domains outlined in the Trends in International Geography Assessment Study’s Framework. These domains are part of a proposal to include geography in the Earth Science strand of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessment from 2023. See www.tigas2023.com for more information.

The cognitive domain is divided into three dimensions that describe the thinking processes students are expected to engage in while studying geography. The first domain, knowing, addresses the student’s ability to recall, recognise, describe, and provide examples of facts, concepts, and procedures that are necessary for a solid foundation in geography. The second domain, applying, focuses on using this knowledge to compare, contrast and classify concepts; relating knowledge of a geography concept to a specific context; generating explanations; and solving practical problems. The third domain, reasoning, includes using evidence and geographic understanding to analyze, synthesize, and generalize, often in unfamiliar situations and complex contexts.

Knowing

Items in this dimension assess students’ knowledge of facts, concepts, relationships and processes. Accurate and broad-based factual and conceptual knowledge enables students to successfully engage in the more complex cognitive activities essential to geographic understanding.

Recall/Recognize

Identify or state facts, relationships, and concepts; recognize and use geographic vocabulary, symbols, abbreviations, units, and scales.

Describe

Describe or identify descriptions of physical and human environments and their interaction.

Provide Examples

Provide    or     identify    examples    of    physical     and    human environments and their interaction.

 

Applying

Items in this dimension require students to engage in applying knowledge of facts, concepts, relationships, procedures and methods in contexts likely to be familiar in the teaching and learning of geography (e.g. global climate zones) or where the item stem contains the essential information that students need to familiarise themselves with a specific spatial example.

Compare/Contrast/Classify

Identify or describe similarities and differences between physical and human environments and their interaction.

Relate

Relate knowledge of an underlying geographic concept to physical and human environments and their interaction.

Use Models

Use a diagram or model to demonstrate knowledge of geographic concepts, to illustrate a process, cycle, relationship, or system, or to find solutions to geographic problems.

Interpret Information

Use knowledge of geographic concepts to interpret relevant visual, verbal, numerical, textual and spatial information.

Explain

Provide or identify an explanation for an observation or a natural or human phenomenon using a geographic concept or principle.

 

Reasoning

Items in this dimension require students to engage in reasoning to analyze data and other information, draw conclusions, and extend their understandings to new contexts. In contrast to the more direct applications of geographic facts and concepts exemplified in the applying dimension, items in the reasoning dimension likely involve more complicated contexts. Answering such items can involve more than one approach or strategy. Geographic reasoning also encompasses developing hypotheses and designing geographic inquiries.

Analyze

Identify the elements of a geographic problem and use relevant information, concepts, relationships, and data patterns to answer questions and solve problems.

Synthesize

Answer questions that require consideration of a number of different factors or related concepts.

Formulate Questions/ Hypothesize/Predict

Formulate questions that can be answered by inquiry and predict results of an investigation given information about the design; formulate testable assumptions based on conceptual understanding and knowledge from experience, observation, and/or analysis of geographic information; and use evidence and conceptual understanding to make predictions about the effects of changes in physical and human environments.

Design Inquiry

Plan (field) inquiries or procedures appropriate for answering geographic questions.

Evaluate

Evaluate alternative explanations; weigh advantages and disadvantages to make decisions about alternative processes; and evaluate results of inquiry with respect to sufficiency of data to support conclusions.

Draw Conclusions

Make valid inferences on the basis of observations, evidence, and/or understanding of geographic concepts; and draw appropriate conclusions that address questions or hypotheses, and demonstrate understanding of cause and effect.

Generalize

Make general conclusions that go beyond the inquiry or given conditions; apply conclusions to new situations.

Justify

Use evidence and geographic understanding to support the reasonableness of explanations, solutions to problems, and conclusions from inquiry based on explicit criteria.

This information has been taken from: TIGAS Draft Framework 2023: Trends in International Geography Assessment Study, 2019, accessed 2/9/20, <http://www.tigas2023.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/ 04/TIGAS-assessment-framework_Final.pdf>.

 

Classification of 2020 Australian Geography Competition Questions

Q

Domain

Skill

1

Applying

Interpret Information

2

Applying

Interpret Information

3

Applying

Interpret Information

4

Reasoning

Analysing

5

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

6

Applying

Interpret Information

7

Reasoning

Analysing

8

Reasoning

Analysing

9

Reasoning

Analysing

10

Applying

Interpret Information

11

Applying

Interpret Information

12

Applying

Interpret Information

13

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

14

Applying

Interpret Information

15

Applying

Interpret Information

16

Applying

Interpret Information

17

Applying

Interpret Information

18

Applying

Interpret Information

19

Applying

Interpret Information

20

Applying

Interpret Information

21

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

22

Applying

Interpret Information

23

Reasoning

Analysing

24

Reasoning

Analysing

25

Applying

Interpret Information

26

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

27

Applying

Interpret Information

28

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

29

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

30

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

31

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

32

Reasoning

Analysing

33

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

34

Knowing

Recall/Recognising

35

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

36

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

37

Applying

Interpret Information

38

Reasoning

Analysing

39

Reasoning

Analysing

40

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion

41

Applying

Interpret Information

42

Reasoning

Analysing

43

Applying

Interpret Information

44

Applying

Interpret Information

45

Applying

Using Models

46

Applying

Interpret Information

47

Reasoning

Analysing

48

Reasoning

Analysing

49

Applying

Interpret Information

50

Reasoning

Draw Conclusion



 

After I’ve entered, what happens; how do I run the Competition in my school?

Running the Competition

  1. We send you a question booklet and answer sheet for each participating student. Schools should receive the Question packs by Friday 13 March 2020.
  2. You run the Competition under test conditions over a 35-minute period between Wednesday 18 March to Wednesday 1 April 2020. The multiple-choice questions test knowledge and skills, within the time constraints of responding to stimulus material.
  3. You send the completed answer sheets to AGC by Wednesday 22 April, 2020. Answer sheets received by the Competition Office after Wednesday 22 April may not be eligible for prizes.
  4. The answer sheets are computer marked.
  5. Students’ individual results and certificates - high distinction, distinction, credit or participation - are returned to you from 8 June 2020. All students correctly filling in their identification receive a certificate.

Due to COVID-19 the cut off for entries was 14 August 2020 eligible for prizes. If you still wish your students to sit in the 2020 Competition Questions, please do so and return answer sheets by the middle of Term 4, 2020 so we are able to scan, mark and geneate Certifcates and results sheets to be returned to schools before the end of Term 4, 2020

Do I have to choose a specific date between 18 March and 1 April?

We recommend that all students from one school complete the Competition on the same day. It is up to the school which of the days between 18 March and 1 April is chosen. We realise that not all schools can arrange to have all their students compete on the same day so, if necessary, schools may spread the Competition over two or more days.

Due to COVID-19 the cut off for entries was 14 August 2020 eligible for prizes. If you still wish your students to sit in the 2020 Competition Questions, please do so and return answer sheets by the middle of Term 4, 2020 so we are able to scan, mark and geneate Certifcates and results sheets to be returned to schools before the end of Term 4, 2020

Can I make changes to my school’s entry?

If a school wishes to increase or decrease the number of students entered, or to withdraw its entry, the organisers must receive notification of this by email or fax by 10.00 am Monday 2 March 2020. If required, a refund will be made, less a $30.00 handling fee. No refund will be given if notification is received after this time.

 

What are the age levels for the Competition?

Age levels

Students are graded at high school Year levels. The students’ printed scores, percentiles and certificate categories are calculated within their Year cohorts.

The highest-scoring student in each Year in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a prize as follows:

  • Years 7 and 8 in 2019. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-30. Prizes include a book voucher and special certificate. Students younger than Year 7 may enter as Year 7.
  • Years 9 and 10 in 2019. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-40. Prizes include a book voucher and special certificate.
  • Years 11 and 12 in 2019. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 16-50. Prizes at this level use scores with a weighting on the final 10 questions. Prizes include: a medal, a book voucher and special certificate.

For students in Year 11 who are between 15 and 18 on 30 June, the highest-scoring male and female students in each State and the combined Territories each win a place at Geography’s Big Week Out. Two other high-scoring students are also awarded this prize. Tied students may be separated using school assessment.

What type of classroom supervision is needed for the Competition?

Students will complete the answer sheets individually under test conditions, that is: they will be supervised at all times; the time limit will be adhered to; no access to external resources is allowed; no advice on the content of the test is to be given to students after the test has been seen by teachers/supervisors.

What is the school-assigned code on the answer sheet?

This optional code is for use by schools that are entering large numbers of students and want their results sorted by Year and Class. If you choose to use this code, your school results will be returned sorted first by Year level and then by School Assigned Code. This allows a school to sort their students first by Year Level (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and then by 11 class sets (A - K). Otherwise students should leave this blank.

What if I haven't received the question pack by Friday 13 March?

Please check that you have received the right number of question booklets and answer sheets when they arrive. We are not infallible. If your school has not received its question pack by Friday 13 March, 2020, double-check with the school office as to whether the package has arrived. If not, notify us by 1.00 pm on Friday 13 March, 2020 and we will send a replacement set express mail. Schools that do not notify us of non-arrival of material by Friday 13 March, 2020 will not be eligible for any refund.

Do I need to keep the question booklets secure?

Competition question sets must be under the teacher’s control until Wednesday 10 May and should be returned to the teacher's control after the students sit the test. Although the possibility exists of a student hearing some questions from another, such a student would not succeed in the selection processes for the international teams. On balance, we believe that the disadvantages of insisting that the Competition be held everywhere at the same time outweigh the problem of possible cheating.

Is there any flexibility with dates for distance education schools?

We can be more flexible with dates for Schools of Distance Education. For distance education students to be eligible for prizes they must complete the Competition under test conditions. Teachers should contact us to discuss any problems.



Due to COVID-19 the cut off for entries was 14 August 2020 eligible for prizes. If you still wish your students to sit in the 2020 Competition Questions, please do so and return answer sheets by the middle of Term 4, 2020 so we are able to scan, mark and geneate Certifcates and results sheets to be returned to schools before the end of Term 4, 2020

Is there any special accommodation for visually impaired students?

We don’t have a braille version but we can assist in other ways. Teachers of visually impaired students should contact us to discuss options.

Can home schools enter the Competition?

Yes, we accept entries from home schools and there is no minimum entry fee. Home schools should use the online entry form and pay online at the same time as entering. For students to be eligible for prizes they must complete the Competition under test conditions.

What can Year 7 and Year 8 students win?

For students in Year 7 and Year 8. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-30. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book voucher and special certificate. Students in classes lower than Year 7 may enter as Year 7.

What can Year 9 and Year 10 students win?

For students in Year 9 and Year 10. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-40. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book voucher and special certificate.

What can Year 11 and Year 12 students win?

For students in Year 11 and Year 12. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 16-50. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book voucher and special certificate.

For students in Year 11 who are between 15 and 18 years old on 30 June, the highest-scoring male and female students in each State and the combined Territories each win a place at Geography’s Big Week Out. Two other high-scoring students are also awarded this prize. Tied students may be separated using school assessment.

What can schools win?

A book voucher and framed certificate will be awarded to the top school in Australia, each State and the combined Territories, based on the scores of the school’s best 5 students from each of Years 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is Geography’s Big Week Out?

The 2020 Geography’s Big Week Out will be held in Perth, Western Australia from Sunday 27 September to Friday 2 October. The Geography Teachers' Association of Western Australia are the host and organisers of the 2020 Geography's Big Week Out. The event is a mix of stimulating and hands-on geography activities designed to challenge and extend high-performing senior students. Costs (airfares, accommodation, meals, and activities) of participation in the Big Week Out are met by the organisers. The four members of Australia’s team to the 2020 International Geography Olympiad, to be held in Istanbul, will be selected based on students’ performances during the 2019 Geography's Big Week Out. Australia’s team to the 2019 Olympiad in Hong Kong, China, have been selected from participants in the 2018 Geography's Big Week Out. Geography’s Big Week Out and Australia’s participation in the International Geography Olympiads are supported by the Australian Government, Department for Education and Training.

Can I get paper copies of past question booklets?

Past Competition questions are on our website - see under Practice Questions - or schools can obtain single copies from past years by sending us an A4-sized stamped envelope addressed to a school. Low resolution versions of past Competition questions can be downloaded.