In the CBS geography is a core subject for the Junior Cert. It is taught in three class periods per week. See below for sample of some of the topics taught for Junior Cert Geography.

Sample Course Content for Junior Cert.

Physical Geography

Social Geography

  • Population (population make up, migration, distribution,densities)
  • Settlement patterns (Normans, distribution of towns, Dutch polders, functions, communication links and growth of settlements0
  • Urban studies (story of Dublin, land values, urban Problems/ urban solutions)
  • Transport and communications
  • Human geography- life and death in an unequal world)

Economic Geography

Map reading and aerial photographs

The geography exam in the junior Cert is two hours long and is of the following format.

Level Higher and Ordinary. (Each level has a separate exam paper)
Time 2 hours (120 minutes)
Marks 150
Structure Section 1 – Folder (60 marks)All 20 short questions to be answered on the folder provided and returned with your answer-book.There is an either/or choice within 3 of the questions
Section 2 (90 marks)Answer 3 from 5 longer questions. Each question carries 30 marks




Section 1 – Folder

These short questions can range over all sections of the course and will typically examine you on physical geography (including climate), on human geography (including problems of underdeveloped countries), and on the Ordnance Survey map.

When answering these Folder questions, ensure that you answer all 20 of them. If in doubt make your best guess – there are no marks lost for trying.

In the three questions out of the twenty where you are given an either/or choice, answer both parts. A lot of these questions are merely testing if you can read the information given to you in the various lists of statistics or pie-charts or bar-graphs given on the paper. Therefore, it is vital that you stay calm and read each question carefully. At the same time remember that you have to answer 20 questions in approximately 40 minutes, this means that you have just two minutes to answer each of these short questions.



You need a total of 60 marks to pass Junior Cert. Geography. Section 1 (the Folder Section) carries exactly 60 marks. A good performance on this section will see you well on your way to a good grade overall in this exam.


Section 2 – Longer Questions

These general questions will range over the sections on Social, Economic and Physical Geography and you can expect at least one question on Aerial Photographs and Maps.
When attempting these questions, remember:

  1. Choice of questions.

Read all questions carefully at the beginning, then decide which three of the five you are going to answer.

  1. Answering Style

The style of answering will vary a little from question to question. The best way to answer each question is in point form or in short concise sentences which clearly try to answer the question asked. Make a statement and then develop that same statement.

  1. Use of Diagrams

With the exception of the Aerial Photograph and the Ordnance Survey questions, the drawing of maps and diagrams is not especially important at Junior Cert. If you have to draw a diagram it is advisable to always use a pencil. This allows you to erase any mistakes you may have made.


  1. Ordnance Survey and Photograph Questions

Sometimes there are separate questions and sometimes there is an overlap where the map and photo questions are combined. You may be asked to draw a sketch map. If you are follow the guidelines your teacher gave you in class(and again use a pencil).

You will often be asked to give examples of specific features on the Ordnance Survey Map. When referring to these features, make sure to give four-figure grid references if at all possible. Remember to include the sub-zone letter before the four figs (e.g. T273). Or to be more accurate you can give a six figure grid reference.( T4459876).

Remember when answering a question on a map or photo to SEE the answer. I.E

Make a Statement —- Explain the statement and give map or photo Evidence