Abbreviations and Acronyms

In geography, we use many acronyms and some abbreviations. The GCSE syllabus requires that you know and understand some of the most important ones and how to use them appropriately and correctly in the particular topic you are studying. Unfortunately, a few of them are not exclusive and sometimes different sources will use a different term to mean the same thing. You therefore need to learn as many as you can, so keep your eyes open when researching topics for essays or fieldwork.

You will find that the majority of abbreviations are used during your studies of human geography for example, you may have been taught about the differences in response to a natural hazard in an LEDC compared to an MEDC. Could you do the same if asked about an LIC and an HIC?

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The answer is yes, but only if you recognised that LEDC and LIC (and MEDC and HIC) are effectively the same. It is also handy to know some examples of LEDCs, MEDCs, LICs and HICs.

When discussing globalisation, you will come across NEEs, TNCs, the EU and the IMF so it is essential that you know they stand for newly emerging economies, transnational corporations, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. You may also need to consider the main reasons why some countries have a low GDP or a high GNI per capita. And then there are the BRICs countries ... When studying international aid, particularly that which is given following a natural disaster such as an earthquake, do you know who or what the WHO is?

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  1. The term CBD would be applied to which of the following?
    It is the acronym for the Central Business District of a city and is usually represented as the inner circle on an urban model
  2. What term and acronym is used to describe countries that have begun to experience high rates of economic development, usually with rapid industrialisation?
    They differ from LICs in that they no longer rely primarily on agriculture, they have made improvements in infrastructure and industrial growth, and are therefore experiencing an increasing GNI per capita and investment from overseas. Examples of NEEs are the so-called BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa
  3. A method of measuring development based on the GDP per person, life expectancy and adult literacy is the definition of the:
    The HDI uses economic and social indicators to produce an index figure that allows a comparison between countries to be made
  4. GNI is a measure of what?
    The World Bank uses the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita to classify if a country is an LIC or an HIC
  5. The GDP of a country measures what?
    It is the acronym for Gross Domestic Product
  6. Which of the following is true?
    LIC stands for Low Income Country
  7. What does the M stand for in IMF?
    The IMF is the International Monetary Fund. Countries contribute funds from which other member countries with balance of payments problems can borrow money
  8. The abbreviation R&D stands for:
    Research and development is a quaternary sector industry
  9. TNC stands for:
    A company that has operations (factories, offices, research and development labs, shops etc.) in more than one country. Many TNCs are large well-known brands
  10. The acronym LEDC stands for:
    A characteristic of an LEDC is that a large proportion of the rural population are subsistence farmers and a lot of the export economy depends on agriculture

Author: Kev Woodward

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