Best of luck to all the geographers in both Leaving & Junior Cert tomorrow. As I tried to stress in class, time management is critical to doing well in long exams like geography. My suggestions are to do the short questions, then the Global Interdependence question and then the Physical, Regional and Economic questions in whatever order you like. Suggested times are outline below. As long as you number your questions clearly, you can do them in whatever order suits.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Junior Cert Geography

You must answer all 20 short questions and three long questions. Students who do very well normally secure almost full marks in the short questions answer four long questions. Below is a suggested time management plan:

  • Read over exam & pick questions – 5 minutes
  • Short Questions – 25 minutes
  • Question 5 (Map & Photo Skills) – 25 minutes
  • 1 other long question – 25 minutes
  • 1 other long question – 25 minutes
  • 1 other long question – 15 minutes

Karst Areas

New information of both surface and underground feature of Karst areas has been added to the Physical Geography page. Remember, the exam questions on this topic normally focus on either surface or underground features – both are covered in the notes.


New Stuff

Notes on some topics have been added to the website or existing ones improved slightly over the last few days. For Leaving Certs, the topics are:


  • EU enlargement and it’s effect on Ireland
  • Paris as an urban centre a European Region
  • Sao Paulo as an urban centre in Brazil
  • Secondary Activity in Brazil
  • Sample answer on cultural groups in Brazil


  • Intel as a multinational company
  • How the CAP affects Ireland

Global Interdependence

  • Sample Answer on multinational companies and globalisation

Further stuff on Physical Geography will be added tomorrow, especially the development of Karst landscape. For ordinary level students, the Guide to the ordinary level exam has been uploaded.

For Junior Certs, I have added the Quick Guide to the Exam and improved the notes on earthquakes and volcanoes, which you will find in Junior Physical Geography.

Global Interdependence

Question on Global Environmental Issues

Note: This question is also useful in Economic Geography.

Q. Examine the causes and impacts of global warming.

Answer Outline:

  • Aspect 1: Fossil Fuel use

  • Aspect 2: Agriculture and Deforestation in the rainforests

  • Aspect 3: Impacts – Desertification in the Sahel & Climate Change effects

  • Aspect 4: Possible Solutions – more global co-operation on climate change agreements etc

Recently, the blog of the Financial Times newspaper wrote about cities around the world with the most millionaires and billionaires. Below is a map showing the 20 cities with the most billionaires. It does seem to show the rise of the fast developing BRIC countries as they are all represented here, especially China (5 cities). Obviously, the USA is also well represented with New York as global top dog. Two Western European cities make the list. There is still a north/south divide of the world’s very wealthy – Africa has no cities in this list.

Cities with the most billionaires (Map: B Cronin)

Cities with the most billionaires (Map: B Cronin)

Mr Tomi Reichental, one of the last survivors in Ireland of the Holocaust will visit Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai on Thursday 2nd of May. It will be a rare privilege for the staff and students of the school to hear from someone with a direct and personal experience of this terrible evil. As the last survivors of the Holocaust fade from view, opportunities such as this will be impossible.

tomi reichental

Mr Reichental grew up in Slovakia and was imprisoned at nine years of age when the country was taken over by Nazi Germany during World War two. Along with his family, he was sent to Bergen – Belsen concentration camp where he saw members of his family die. He has written a book about his experiences “I was a boy in Belsen”, which is available to buy from O’ Brien Press.

In Global Interdependence, we looked at how multinational companies use the various parts of the world economy for different purposes, e.g. poor developing countries are often used as “producer regions” where mass produced items such as clothing or phones are manufactured cheaply and rich developed countries are seen as “consumer regions” where people have disposable income to buy lots of “stuff”. This morning we learned that a clothing factory in Bangladesh that supplies clothes to the giant retailer Penney’s collapsed killing at least 250 workers. Some say that Western companies should not do business at all in countries like Bangladesh given the lack of regulation  and low wages. However, many Bangladeshis say that the jobs are needed, especially for women, but regulations and wages should improve. What’s the true price of cheap clothing for Western consumers? Textile workers in Dhaka have paid with their lives.

Collapsed Clothing Factory in Dhaka (image via bbc.co.uk)

Collapsed Clothing Factory in Dhaka (image via bbc.co.uk)

Dhaka, Bangladesh (map via openstreetmaps.org)

Dhaka, Bangladesh (map via openstreetmaps.org)