(Original post by Tullia)
I wouldn't say that the content was much more difficult than GCSE, but it's rather that there is much more content to learn. I found it to be a smooth transition from GCSE to AS. The fact I've got a good memory helped as well, because as I've said, there is much content to be learnt and key terms that are needed in particular.
You'll be introduced gently to AS, and the topics likely to be covered first as they're foundation topics are biological molecules and cells. Really simple topics to get you settled down, but also very important topics that will crop up now and again in other topics.
AQA GCE Biology specification can be found here: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce/pdf/AQA-2410-W-SP.PDF
As with most subjects, you'll have topics you prefer and topics you're not so keen on. You've got to take the rough with the smooth, as is life. Personally, there were topics I was less interested in than others, but nothing I found boring as such. I have an interest in biochemistry, and so genetics and biological molecules for me was interesting and perhaps a highlight.
You'll either do ISAs or the EMPA, but I did the ISA and so can only really comment on those. Here is a brief overview of the structure of the ISA: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...027&highlight=
From my own experience, I didn't do many practicals other than those given as preparation for the ISA. We did a couple of practicals that involved dissecting animal organs to reinforce theoretical content for the lung function and heart structure and function topics. That was it really.
I'll likely get an A at AS. To be honest, I just attended all my lessons and listened and got involved in class discussions. I completed all of my homework on time and acted upon feedback and was active in my own learning. I then set my stall out for some cramming nearer the exams.
I don't which to comment on hours of this and hours of that though, as it is each to their own. However, doing what I've said above shouldn't tax much of your time and you'll likely get an A if you're comfortably working at A*/A at GCSE. Just do what you need to do when the time comes to get the grade is all I'll say to you.
I'm going to be studying Chemical Engineering.
If you're looking at reading ahead, then I would recommend the AQA AS Biology by Nelson Thornes. I could recommend bridging material, but I don't think it is necessary in your case.
Not perfect by any means, but a website to check out: http://www.biologyguide.net/
Hope this has helped, and if you have any more questions on what I've written or otherwise then please do ask!