In Paper 3 for Geography (HL Extension), you have a choice of one of three sets of questions. Each set has two parts:

  1. The 10-mark essay
  2. The 15-mark essay

In this post, I’ll show you a simple formula you can use to score high on the 10-mark essay and leave enough time for the 15-mark essay.


For Paper 3, you should absolutely be familiar with the concepts of the HL extension. For example, you should be able to compare the idea of time space convergence to Marshall McLuhan’s concept of a global village, and constrast these with frictional effect of distance by Tobler.

In other words, as you are revising the topics from the syllabus, connect new ideas with previously covered topics and don’t rote learn! One convenient way to avoid this is by using the Q/E/C method.

Time management

You’ll have 22 minutes maximum to complete the 10-mark essay, as the you’ll need the remaining 38 minutes for the 15-mark question.

In these 22 minutes, you should jot down a brief plan (1-2 minutes) and then write. Once you finish, give yourself 2-3 minutes to reread and check your response.

This means, that you’ll have around 17 minutes for your writing. To cover all necessary aspects, it is imperative that you write concisely.

Writing clearly and to the point can learned by practise (which you should already have from your English class) and by attempting to reduce the word counts of your texts by 20-50% without a loss of meaning.

Overall structure

In the introductory paragraph:

  • Define the key term(s)
  • Link the definitions to the relevant concept

In the body:

  • Explain your concept in detail (how it works, its historical development, give theoretical background etc. depending on the essay question)
  • Include facts and figures, and annotated diagrams to support your ideas.
  • Include case studies, if relevant.
  • New idea = new paragraph
  • Finally relate the essay prompt to the concept studied in the geography course.

In the conclusion:

  • Summarise the main points
  • End on a positive note

While you are not being marked for excellent syntax and grammar, you should be able to express your ideas in a logical manner, by linking sentences and connecting related ideas.

Here’s an example of how you could structure your essay:

Annotated Digital Divide Essay

Annotated Digital Divide Essay Part 2Annotated Digital Divide Essay Part 3