Question 3 - Sample Answer

Q3 (a) Litter management helps to maintain a vibrant retail experience within the Central Business District (CBD) Figure 3 shows the location and results of a survey of discarded chewing gum along four shopping streets in a Central Business District. Describe the relationships between the number of pieces of chewing gum recorded and the distance from the centre of the CBD. (7 marks)


The number and pieces of chewing gum decreases as you move further outwards from the CBD.

This is a negative correlation as distance increases (in 50 metre intervals), generally the number of pieces of chewing gum decreases.

Point 1 for each of the four streets, radiating outwards, north (A), south (C), east (B) and west (D), tends to have the most amount of chewing gum, with street A, Point 1 has 5 times more chewing gum than Point 5, that is only 200 metres further north.

The trend is slightly different for street C, where a much lower amount of just 7 pieces of chewing gum was counted at Point 1, whereas at Point 3, 12 pieces were counted, this street does not fit the general trend recorded.


The Exam Board Mark Scheme suggests you could answer this by breaking your description down street by street. These are the points they are looking for:-

Street A has a strong negative correlation meaning that as distance from the CBD increases the number of pieces of chewing-gum decreases. It is not a perfect correlation as at point 3 and 4 the identical value of 7 occurs.

Street B has a negative correlation as there is a strong correspondence between increasing distance and decreasing gum.

Street C has a weaker negative correlation: one reason being an anomaly of value 12 at point 3. This value represents an increase in gum which is against the general trend.

Street D shows a moderate negative correlation as another anomaly is present. This time it is point 4 with 12 pieces of gum.


How your marks are awarded

Level 3 response: 6-7 marks

Recognises correlations and anomalies and systematically applies the answer to all four streets using appropriate terminology.

Level 2 response: 3-5 marks

May recognise correlations and/or anomalies, but may not have full coverage of all four streets.

Level 1 response: 0-2 marks

Sketchy and/or confused suggestions. Limited ability to recognise correlations or anomalies.




Q3 (b) Suggest and justify two other methods of obtaining information for a fuller investigation of litter within this CBD. (8 marks)


Two other methods to be used could be questionnaires – asking at least 100 people to get at least 60 responses and an assessment of other litter dropped (apart from chewing gum) linked to the number of litter bins provided.


1. Questionnaires – questions asking whether individuals have had their vibrant shopping experience damaged by litter present. The questionnaire should be tested on a pilot study first and then the methods of sampling the people you are going to question decided – e.g. asking every third person, that would be systematic sampling. You could get them to assess their experience on a 1 to 7 scale (1 – good) and correlate that with amount of litter (rubbish and gum) present.

2. Bins – a litter bin survey could be made seeing if they are in the correct position for people to use (e.g. at the exit of indoor shopping centres or outside take-away restaurants). You could also assess how many times they are emptied throughout the day and whether it is sufficient for the number of shoppers and the amount of litter they may drop.


Hint – in addition to questionnaires and bins – other ideas could be interviews with shopkeepers, structured interview with the city centre manager, sample more streets, sample for litter on different days………


The Exam Board Mark Scheme suggests any two of these, and remember to justify them!

• Alternative methods of sampling.

• Questionnaires for shoppers in the CBD to establish their views on the issue with piloting and sampling information, perhaps with examples of questions.

• Interviews with shopkeepers to discover their views.

• Photographs to visually demonstrate the distribution.

• A litter bin survey to discover the convenience of environmentally friendly disposal.

• Structured interview with the city centre manager. Perhaps to discover any plans to tackle the issue.

• Email to chewing-gum manufacturer regarding developments to help in the litter issue.

• Local council website investigation.


How your marks are awarded

Level 3 response: 7-8 marks

Full appreciation of the study and fully comprehensive accounts of two additional methods to extend the study.

Level 2 response: 4-6 marks

Two methods given and justified, but without a complete appreciation of how these methods might aid the study.

Level 1 response: 0-3 marks

Sketchy response, perhaps only one method with limited justification.




Q3 (c) Outline the planning stages of an investigation that you have undertaken into a changing human environment. (10 marks) 


The Sphere of Influence and Pedestrian Flows of an 8km2 area of the CBD of Birmingham was investigated. (Hint – you must state this at the start of any fieldwork answer!). In the planning stages the first things to be considered were issues of:-


(i) Health and Safety – people should work in groups of three and stay together. As the 8km2 area is so large, seven groups were divided and given a sector each within the CBD – these groups considered the risks they might encounter in their sector – some had busy roads, others canals and open water.

(ii) Recording Sheets were planned and then given out to each group to ensure reliability of primary data recording.

(iii) the methods of sampling as where to stand in your sector and when to count, and for how long in minutes to count your pedestrians passing by was discussed and times decided – so they would be the same for each group.

(iv) the types and wording of the questions on the questionnaire was planned so the Sphere of Influence could be assessed – so questions such as ‘how far have you journeyed here today?’ and, ‘how did you get here?’ (train, car, bus etc) and ‘how long has it taken you to get here?’ and what is the reason for your visit? – the planning idea here was to try to work out if people had travelled to Birmingham to buy something expensive and if they had travelled a long way to do so.



The Exam Board Marking will depend on the quality of response and must be adjusted to suit individual studies presented in our case the study would be the Sphere of Influence and pedestrian flows in Birmingham’s CBD.

An expectation would be a discussion of the need to devise a question, a hypothesis (positive or negative) or investigate an issue.

Discussion of where, when and how might include the construction of recording sheets and a discussion on sampling. The discussion should be about planning, not describing what actually happened.

A risk assessment may involve identifying specific risks, judging the outcome if the risk factor actually materialised and assessing the probability of the risk

factor occurring.


How your marks are awarded

Level 3 response: 8-10 marks

Fully appreciates the need to plan and discusses the issue of question setting, as well as a detailed review of locational planning and/or risk assessment for a specific study.

Level 2 response: 4-7 marks

A good account, but incomplete in detail.

Level 1 response: 0-3 marks

Sketchy and perhaps confused, maybe only addressing one element of the question.