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NSW Syllabuses

Geography Years 7–10 assessment strategies

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Well-designed assessment is central to engaging students and should be closely aligned to the syllabus outcomes within a stage.

Years 7–10 assessment strategies

Teachers provide a range of assessment opportunities to gather and evaluate evidence of a student's learning.

The following assessment for, as and of learning approaches are relevant to all learning areas:

  • collaborative activities
  • peer assessment
  • self-assessment
  • teacher observations.

Detailed advice on these strategies is available in:

Years 7–10 assessment strategies.

Additional Geography strategies

Some additional strategies that are particularly relevant to Geography include:

Inquiry-based research activities

Inquiry-based research provides students with opportunities to investigate places, communities and environments, to develop skills to undertake the processes of geographical inquiry, and to communicate their understanding of Geography.

These activities involve students:

  • identifying geographical issues
  • developing questions about places, communities and environments
  • planning a geographical inquiry
  • collecting, interpreting and representing geographical data and information
  • analysing geographical information to draw conclusions
  • communicating geographical information appropriate to the audience
  • proposing actions, predicting outcomes and where appropriate taking action.

Assessment activities may include:

  • research assignments involving the collection of data and information on the internet and other ICT resources
  • formulating questions for, and conducting, surveys and interviews undertaking fieldwork
  • representing and interpreting geographical data using spatial technologies such as a Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • participating in a teacher or student-moderated forum discussion
  • samples of students’ oral, recorded and written work
  • inquiry and design projects (eg personal interest projects and investigations involving teamwork)
  • developing questions, explanations or evaluations
  • designing and/or producing visual representations of geographic phenomena
  • game-based learning opportunities.

When inquiry-based research techniques are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • locate, select and organise relevant information
  • interpret, compare and evaluate geographical information for usefulness and/or reliability
  • use data and information and relevant geographical terms and concepts appropriately in a geographical inquiry
  • select appropriate digital, oral, written and other communication forms to present the findings of their investigation to different audiences
  • choose appropriate secondary sources of information and critically analyse these to provide explanations and evaluations
  • establish interconnections between phenomena.

Fieldwork investigations

Fieldwork investigations are a particularly important aspect of inquiry-based research in Geography.

Assessment activities may include:

  • participating in fieldwork to observe, measure and record data and information outside the classroom
  • fieldwork visits to collect, organise, analyse and present information.

When fieldwork investigations are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • develop questions to explore a contemporary geographical issue
  • devise a plan for investigation involving the collection of geographical data
  • collaborate with others at various stages of an investigation (eg planning the inquiry, collecting data and proposing action)
  • make and record accurate observations by describing, comparing and contrasting geographical features
  • use and apply geographical tools for fieldwork (eg maps, charts, graphs, photographs, spatial technologies)
  • interpret, analyse and draw conclusions about data
  • evaluate information, including ICT information sources, relevant to the investigation
  • examine relevant community issues
  • identify and explore differing perspectives, predictions and proposals
  • analyse interconnections
  • justify their predictions, proposals and actions using geographical data and information.


Presentations provide students with opportunities to engage actively in their study of Geography while developing and demonstrating their skills to undertake the process of geographical inquiry and to communicate their understanding of Geography.

Assessment activities may include:

  • prepared and impromptu oral presentations (eg role-plays, debates, dramatic presentations) to demonstrate geographical understanding
  • poster presentations
  • prepared visual/audio digital displays and multimodal presentations capturing evidence of student performance through web publication of learning (eg participation in learning blogs, student-created websites)
  • observation of real or simulated situations
  • storyboard reports
  • planning, creating and publishing ebooks.

When presentations are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • communicate their understanding of Geography
  • use appropriate geographical terms and concepts
  • effectively present information to a range of audiences.

Collections of student work

Assessment can enhance student engagement and motivation, particularly when it provides opportunities for interaction with teachers, other students and a range of resources. Collections of student work may be reviewed at specific points in the learning process to inform future teaching and learning opportunities or as summative assessment at the conclusion of a unit of work, term, semester or year.

Assessment (formal and informal) activities may include:

  • constructing, revising and extending
  • note-making exercises or summaries
  • literacy in Geography (eg dictagloss, mind maps, fact-opinion charts, three-level guides)
  • numeracy in Geography (eg graphs, statistics)
  • identifying, gathering and analysing geographical data and information
  • research tasks using information drawn from a variety of sources, including surveys, interviews, data collected during fieldwork, online simulations, satellite images
  • drafts and completed versions of student work
  • written tasks (eg short- and long-answer responses, written reports and student-produced overviews and summaries)
  • investigation presentations (eg development of multimedia texts and presentations)
  • fieldwork journals
  • student discussions with the teacher about their geographical learning
  • student self-reflections and evaluations.

When collections of student work are used for assessment purposes, evidence can be gathered about students’ ability to:

  • use appropriate geographical terms and concepts
  • select effective strategies to plan, design and present oral and written work
  • effectively communicate their understandings
  • justify and support ideas
  • respond accurately to stimuli such as maps, diagrams, charts, photographs, spatial technologies
  • evaluate a range of data and information sources, including ICT sources.