The aims of the geography syllabus at SL and HL are to enable students to:-

  • Develop an understanding of the interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment
  • Develop a concern for human welfare and the quality of the environment, and an understanding of the need for planning and sustainable management
  • Appreciate the relevance of geography in analysing contemporary issues and challenges, and develop a global perspective of diversity and change.


  • Locate and differentiate elements of the Earth’s surface
  • Interpret, analyse and, when appropriate, construct tables, graphs, diagrams, cartographic material and images
  • Undertake statistical calculations to show patterns and summarize information
  • Research, process and interpret data and information
  • Collect and select relevant geographic information
  • Evaluate sources of geographic information
  • Produce written material (including essays, reports and investigations.)


There are four assessment objectives (AOs) for the SL and HL Diploma Programme geography course.:-

  • AO1 - Knowledge and understanding of specified content
  • AO2 - Application and analysis of knowledge and understanding
  • AO3 - Synthesis and evaluation
  • AO4 - Selection, use and application of a variety of appropriate skills and techniques.

Students will be formatively and summatively assessed using a wide range of assessment tasks. This may include, for example, essays, presentations, case studies, worksheets, statistical analysis, graphing, past paper questions and tests.

Distinction Between HL/SL

Students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) in geography are presented with a syllabus that has a common core and optional themes. HL students also study the higher level extension. The syllabus requires the development of certain skills, attributes and knowledge as described in the assessment objectives of the course.