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Is A level about learning the mark scheme?

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    I usually learn the textbook really well and do the exam. Would it help if I learnt the mark schemes? I've NEVER done this. (I'm in year 13).
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    Yes, especially with AQA biology/chemistry/physics specs. With biology the questions sometimes hint at an answer that's completely different to the bloody mark scheme.

    Do past papers, learn the mark schemes, get your A grade.
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    Not for everything. Doing past papers obviously helps for basically all the subjects, but for AQA sciences, you would be a bit stupid not to learn from the mark scheme just because it's so specific and I think quite unlike other boards in how they mark.

    But then again, for essay subjects I don't really learn much from looking at the mark schemes.
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    Looking at past papers and mark schemes is really helpful. I found it most helpful for biology when you have to phrase definitions in a certain way to get the correct answer. I used a combination of both; learning the content really well and using the mark schemes.
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    For science it is. For stuff like history and geography,it's more objective because they can't predict what everyone is going to write. So technically you have a better chance of doing well,but also a chance of doing worse if they don't like what you're writing!
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    Learn the content from the textbook and learn to recognise what they are asking for in the exam questions.

    For subjects like Biology and Chemistry questions are repeated ALOT!
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    Yesssss as well as showing you the specific answers that the examiners might want, it also tells you how they would want you to structure your answer and how much detail is needed which i find rather helpful, hence stopping you from losing out on silly little marks (like for not labelling a graph)
    and mark schemes are even helpful for the more subjective subjects (i.e. english literature is just based on AO bandings which you simply need to follow to attain a high grade)
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    Yes, because in my experience the biology mark schemes are written by a cadre of blind gibbons, so it helps to know what outlandish/simplistic bull**** they've packed into the mark scheme.
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    For Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths - Yes, because they're pretty much objective.

    For social sciences/humanities such as History, Economics, Geography, Law, Eng Lit, Politics e.t.c. - No, because they are subjective.
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    I do not I use the MS to check my answers. :lolwut:
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    (Original post by *Hakz*)
    For Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths - Yes, because they're pretty much objective.

    For social sciences/humanities such as History, Economics, Geography, Law, Eng Lit, Politics e.t.c. - No, because they are subjective.
    But, by reading mark schemes, and doing past papers then marking them according to the official schemes, you get a much better idea of the kind of structure that's needed. Humanities are much more subjective, but it's still only A-Level. Teachers should be teaching with mark schemes in every subject, really.

    (Original post by Casshern1456)
    I do not I use the MS to check my answers. :lolwut:
    That's fine, as long as you do plenty of past papers. That way you'll be learning the mark scheme anyway.
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    I think you need to learn the content and then improve on your knowledge my learning how to structure answers and what to include in them by using past papers and mark scheme. Practice makes perfect
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    Go nuts but expect to fail your first year of uni.
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    (Original post by Jace Falco)
    But, by reading mark schemes, and doing past papers then marking them according to the official schemes, you get a much better idea of the kind of structure that's needed. Humanities are much more subjective, but it's still only A-Level. Teachers should be teaching with mark schemes in every subject, really.



    That's fine, as long as you do plenty of past papers. That way you'll be learning the mark scheme anyway.
    I agree that teachers should be doing that. I'm doing pretty much all humanities subjects and mark schemes are just a bunch of crap, hardly helps in anyway. Better to just do your independent learning and then make some use of mark schemes. In maths and the other sciences, similar questions are put forward almost every year but this does not in anyway make them any easier, probably harder IMO.
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    In my experience, I would say it is for psychology (edexcel), but definitely not for other subjects such as English (edexcel) or History (ocr). I suppose it depends on the subject, the exam board and the teachers themselves. I know some teachers spend a lot of time going over mark schemes so that students know how their exams will be marked and how they can pick up marks quicker and others prefer teaching the course content is a lot of depth so student have a lot to say.
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    (Original post by Jimbo1234)
    Go nuts but expect to fail your first year of uni.
    I'd like to see that happen.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I do Psychology, Geography and Philosophy so it may not be as much of an issue for me...

    Thanks for the answers! (I always do past papers though).
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    It depends alot on the subject. For example, in Film Studies and Media, alot of marks are given for opinion and your own examples.
    But some subjects, like I imagine, Maths, Pure Sciences, Psychology etc, it would be useful to know the mark scheme inside out.
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    Hmm, I don't spend time learning mark schemes on principle, and I get through fine.
    You don't HAVE to learn them; though, admittedly, it would probably improve your UMS by a couple of marks if you're really bothered about your exact number.

    I'm speaking very generally here; obviously how helpful they are differs between subjects.
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    Depends entirely on the subject. For subjects where the questions that can be asked are limited, the answers are likely to be more specific (eg chemistry, biology or physics, business, economics, IT, etc. You get the idea.) and so knowing exactly what the examiner wants you to write is going to be advantageous.

    Where there is much more freedom in what can be asked (eg History, maths (though the technique you should be using can often be seen in the mark schemes), foreign languages, literature, philosophy, ethics, etc) then there is not really anything to be 'learned' from the mark schemes other than the correct format or layout of your answer. For these subjects I think it is better to just practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. To be confident with maths you need to understand the concepts, and to be confident with essay subjects you need to have the knowledge, of course, but you need to be able to write like a machine; the ideas are not going to get marks if you cant get them down on the paper!
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    This seems to be the only way for me in Biology, as i discovered after recieving my first results last Jan! Maths not so much i'd say, you just need LOADS of practise, but Biology literally is first understanding in lesson and then a memory test, you need to know HOW they want you to answer

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Updated: May 12, 2012
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