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How to revise: A2 Biology CIE 9700 (paper 5) Planning, Analysis and Evaluation

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    Hi guys. I'm planning to resit my A2 (CIE) Biology this oct/nov. I found out that I've got an overall B (77%) in Biology, but an A in paper 4 (structured questions + essay) and a C in paper 5 (planning,..).

    I really have no idea how to revise for paper 5. I heard ppl saying that lots of lab sessions throughout my A level course would help getting an A, but problem is, i had little to no lab sessions throughout my 2 years any suggestions? i've got about a month left to revise.

    Hey there! I'm in the same boat as you. I got a 78% in Biology 9700 for M/J 2016 session and I needed an A for my desired course. So, I am resitting Biology O/N 2016 as well.I got BABBB in P1-P5 respectively(total score was 169 and 172 was A). The B's were 2-3 marks to A's(dang it!)

    I know I did not get an A in Paper 5 (so close though) and I hope these tips help you.

    1) My first tip would be to START EARLY. I got a B because I only did 5-7 days of past papers and revision. I couldn't cover some topics thoroughly. I got Biodiversity(quadrat sampling) for Q1 and I wasn't familiar with it so lost some marks there. Q2 went good.
    2) Do as many past papers as you can(2008-2016 if you can complete them). Get hard copies and do them under timed conditions. Use the marking scheme to guide you all the way. HIGHLIGHT new things you learn in each paper and you will quickly spot a pattern since they tend to repeat questions a lot. This paper is about spotting patterns because the answers are hidden within the questions and you must be able to see them for yourself by practising.

    3)Read the P1 and P5 chapters in the course book and do the end of chapter questions because they tell you everything you are expected to know and do in the exam. This really helped me as well.

    4)For Q1, make sure your core chapters are strong and you know all the points for the planning of experiment. As you do more papers, you will notice words like colorimeter, thermostatically-controlled water bath and things like 'repeat readings to obtain mean' get emphasised all the time.
    Also, follow this general list as given in the marking scheme. Examiners look for these points to award marks so you should have them in your answer. Here it goes:

    -Manipulated var.
    -Responding var.
    -Standardised var.

    About the lab lessons, P5 tests your understanding about lab work(theory) and not hands-on skills but your practical lessons that you attended in AS will definitely be useful. You don't need to attend lab lessons to get an A in this paper though and you can ace it by doing lots of past papers to spot patterns and improve understanding.

    Congrats on that A in P4. I got a B though. Could you share some tips on how to get an A. Maybe I'm missing something. Good Luck and Thanks in advance. Take care mate!
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