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Edexcel igcse biology may 2012 exam discussion

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    Thanks for posting the answers. And btw thats not on the specification we got taught according to it and every paper we have ever done i have done really well and notng about them came up but i will learn it just in case. Good luck! What school do we all go to? All private i presume
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    Also were the second year doing this new specificatn so there are only 2 sets for past papers + specimen material
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    (Original post by sahajkaur)
    Also were the second year doing this new specificatn so there are only 2 sets for past papers + specimen material
    'Do uu have them and specimen papers? can uu upload them plus mark schemes if uu do??? pleaseeee
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    (Original post by TrynaPass)
    'Do uu have them and specimen papers? can uu upload them plus mark schemes if uu do??? pleaseeee
    they are here http://www.edexcel.com/quals/igcse/i...s/default.aspx
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    has anyone else noticed how the questions in the specimen are nothing like the ones in the real paper?
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    has anyone else noticed how the questions in the specimen are nothing like the ones in the real paper?
    Yes specimen material is always harder.
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    it isn't necessarily harder but it seems a lot more tedious and hypothetical. For example, in the B1 specimen there was a question about beetles where the answer was that it "would be cruel to expose beetles to temperatures higher than 35 degrees C". Which, despite being somewhat justifiable, would form the basis of a poor experiment as it would not allow the student to find the optimal temperature of the beetle's enzymes and cellular metabolism. To do that, you would need to go beyond 35 degrees, to the point at which the movement starts to decrease or indeed the point at which the beetle would die.
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    it isn't necessarily harder but it seems a lot more tedious and hypothetical. For example, in the B1 specimen there was a question about beetles where the answer was that it "would be cruel to expose beetles to temperatures higher than 35 degrees C". Which, despite being somewhat justifiable, would form the basis of a poor experiment as it would not allow the student to find the optimal temperature of the beetle's enzymes and cellular metabolism. To do that, you would need to go beyond 35 degrees, to the point at which the movement starts to decrease or indeed the point at which the beetle would die.
    Well yes, it is. Specimen material has very unjust and weird mark schemes, on the whole no one does very good in them but on real papers they do. I got about 85% on the Specimen yet I got 95% on both of the Biology papers.
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    I agree, the mark scheme is really unfair and the questions seem very abstract. I also scored significantly worse in the specimen paper ( 104/120 from 115/120 in the mock) because my answers were simply not on the mark scheme despite being valid. But at the end of the day, the real papers are much easier because at least they do, albeit it to a fairly limited extent, stick to the specification in so far as they assess in-depth knowledge of the stuff on the syllabus.
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    I agree, all papers are written 3 years in advance so the specimen is written with current papers so I don't know why they feel the need to make it so stupid ??
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    (Original post by sahajkaur)
    I agree, all papers are written 3 years in advance so the specimen is written with current papers so I don't know why they feel the need to make it so stupid ??
    I know. They also feel the need to put emphasis on the "Human Influences on the Environment" section which, for all intents and purposes, is basically geography and as such shouldn't make up the majority of a biology exam. Then again we probably shouldn't expect too much from an exam board that allocates 10/60 marks on a paper for a basic english comprehension exercise. Not that I'm complaining
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    I know. They also feel the need to put emphasis on the "Human Influences on the Environment" section which, for all intents and purposes, is basically geography and as such shouldn't make up the majority of a biology exam. Then again we probably shouldn't expect too much from an exam board that allocates 10/60 marks on a paper for a basic english comprehension exercise. Not that I'm complaining
    Yes I know right! But I hope our comprehension isn't a hard one. Are you doing english tomorrow?
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    I know. They also feel the need to put emphasis on the "Human Influences on the Environment" section which, for all intents and purposes, is basically geography and as such shouldn't make up the majority of a biology exam. Then again we probably shouldn't expect too much from an exam board that allocates 10/60 marks on a paper for a basic english comprehension exercise. Not that I'm complaining
    Yeah, that's the weird thing. When I did the past paper for the first time, I was worried there was loads of material I hadn't seen before - and then it turned out that the answers could be quoted directly from the text!

    A question about marking, though. I don't suppose anyone really knows for certain, but what do you think the markers will do if we get the points on the mark scheme, but qualify them wrongly? Or if we cover enough points from the mark scheme (correctly qualified) but then say something wrong (as in, genuinely wrong, not just missing from the mark scheme)?

    An example: the question was "Explain the methods used to produce large numbers of fish in a fish farm". Correct me if I'm wrong, but fish in fish farms are selectively bred to be high quality, not to reproduce in large numbers; would an answer saying "fish are selectively bred to produce large numbers of off-spring" get the mark? (Considering that the question does ask about how fish farms "produce large numbers of fish" rather than high-quality fish, and the mark scheme does include "selective breeding".)
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    Thankfully not, my lit exam is on the 22nd and 24th and language is sometime after that but I am doing it with AQA. How about you?
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Yeah, that's the weird thing. When I did the past paper for the first time, I was worried there was loads of material I hadn't seen before - and then it turned out that the answers could be quoted directly from the text!

    A question about marking, though. I don't suppose anyone really knows for certain, but what do you think the markers will do if we get the points on the mark scheme, but qualify them wrongly? Or if we cover enough points from the mark scheme (correctly qualified) but then say something wrong (as in, genuinely wrong, not just missing from the mark scheme)?

    An example: the question was "Explain the methods used to produce large numbers of fish in a fish farm". Correct me if I'm wrong, but fish in fish farms are selectively bred to be high quality, not to reproduce in large numbers; would an answer saying "fish are selectively bred to produce large numbers of off-spring" get the mark? (Considering that the question does ask about how fish farms "produce large numbers of fish" rather than high-quality fish, and the mark scheme does include "selective breeding".)
    The mark scheme rewards for correct answers but does not penalise for wrong ones fortunately
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    Thankfully not, my lit exam is on the 22nd and 24th and language is sometime after that but I am doing it with AQA. How about you?
    Im doing mine with CIE so Ive had my language already thank god and am now worrying for the literature.
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    (Original post by Big-Daddy)
    Yeah, that's the weird thing. When I did the past paper for the first time, I was worried there was loads of material I hadn't seen before - and then it turned out that the answers could be quoted directly from the text!

    A question about marking, though. I don't suppose anyone really knows for certain, but what do you think the markers will do if we get the points on the mark scheme, but qualify them wrongly? Or if we cover enough points from the mark scheme (correctly qualified) but then say something wrong (as in, genuinely wrong, not just missing from the mark scheme)?

    An example: the question was "Explain the methods used to produce large numbers of fish in a fish farm". Correct me if I'm wrong, but fish in fish farms are selectively bred to be high quality, not to reproduce in large numbers; would an answer saying "fish are selectively bred to produce large numbers of off-spring" get the mark? (Considering that the question does ask about how fish farms "produce large numbers of fish" rather than high-quality fish, and the mark scheme does include "selective breeding".)
    "fish are selectively bred to produce large numbers of off-spring" would probably get you one or two marks depending on how many marks are available although in reality fish in fish farms are, as you say, bred to be of high quality and it is the conditions within the farm that ultimately affect the number of offspring. You would, however, be correct in so far as some farms breed their fish so that they grow at a much faster rate and thus their sexual organs mature earlier. I would probably say something about how conditions such as heat and water quality are kept at optimum levels and fish in the farms are protected from natural predators in the sea which leads to an increase in the relative amount of offspring produced.
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    (Original post by Umackjiggles)
    "fish are selectively bred to produce large numbers of off-spring" would probably get you one or two marks depending on how many marks are available although in reality fish in fish farms are, as you say, bred to be of high quality and it is the conditions within the farm that ultimately affect the number of offspring. You would, however, be correct in so far as some farms breed their fish so that they grow at a much faster rate and thus their sexual organs mature earlier. I would probably say something about how conditions such as heat and water quality are kept at optimum levels and fish in the farms are protected from natural predators in the sea which leads to an increase in the relative amount of offspring produced.
    It wont let me rate your post (((((
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    (Original post by sahajkaur)
    The mark scheme rewards for correct answers but does not penalise for wrong ones fortunately
    What if an answer contains the correct key word from the mark scheme but is qualifed wrongly?

    Also, looking back over those posts: isomerase? I never knew we needed anything about isomerase. I've memorized it just in case (well, I've memorized that it is an enyzme that converts glucose to fructose, fructose being much sweeter than glucose), but even so I'd like to ask again if we really need to know it.

    Certain questions that come up a lot tend to include those that ask for examples. If we could get together a set of examples that we can learn from, that would be great. Here goes:

    (I'm going to leave out hormones and enzymes because I think they need to be learnt in a little more detail.)

    Selective Breeding:
    (Give 2 examples of selective breeding as used by humans.)

    Genetic Engineering:
    (Give 2 examples of genetic engineering as used by humans.)
    e.g. Bacteria are genetically engineered to create human insulin (which helps diabetics).

    Fungi:
    (Give 2 examples of fungi, including one with human uses).
    Mucor and yeast (the latter being used to ferment sugar into alcohol)

    Bacteria:
    (Give 2 examples of bacteria, including one with human uses).

    Viruses:
    (Give 2 examples of viruses and state what diseases they might cause).

    Thanks in advance to anyone who might want to pitch in. I've already done one of the 2 for genetic engineering and both for fungi, but if anyone wants to add any others that would be great.
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    Doesn't matter, as long as you think it helped then I'm happy. I have spent the last day revising only "Human influences" so I have a fairly good recollection of the kind of crap they are probably going to ask in the exam

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Updated: November 28, 2012
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