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A Level Biology

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    I have never been amazing at the sciences, in fact I've always been pretty clueless about them if I'm honest, but when taking GCSE science I revised as hard as I possibly could, any chance I got I'd have my head in the textbook ensuring I knew everything I needed to know for the exams. Going into the exams I was super confident because I genuinely felt like I'd be able to answer any question that was thrown at me as I had memorised everything single bit of content - but I couldn't be more wrong. I got in there, opened the first page and I honestly almost started crying. Perhaps about 10% of the exam questions were straight - forward, directly testing my knowledge on the course content. However, the remaining 90% was like another language! I was so angry because instead of the exam board testing me on the content listed in the specification, which I'd spent months preparing for, they were asking me to answer questions about topics I'd never heard of before. Everyone else didn't seem to have a problem with this, even though they hadn't studied anywhere as hard as me, so I thought I'd just thrown all that hard work down the drain. I did actually get a low B in both my papers and thought maybe I was just over exaggerating, so I went on to study Biology at AS level as that is the science which interested me the most.

    This year the exact same thing happened. I studied every opportunity I got and before taking the exams I was feeling extremely confident with the course because I'd memorised all the content needed. Yet again 90% of the paper I was clueless about. This time around I wasn't so fortunate and only scrapped a D in my AS biology, which I was expecting as soon as I came out of the exam.

    I really, really could do with some advice on how I could boost my grade up this year because I am aiming for at least a C and if I achieved a B I'd be ecstatic. My problem isn't learning the content, I can memorise everything that's needed, but I need to be able to do more than memorise to get a good grade - I need to understand it and apply it to these random scenarios that are given to us in the exams. In my lessons other people in my class can answer questions about topics that aren't even in our course and they say 'Oh yeah, I remember all this from GCSE' and it just blows my mind.

    I would LOVE it if all the exams were like this one, 'Explain how cell fractionation and ultracentrifugation are used to isolate mitochondria'. An example of a question that completely confuses me is, 'Attaching lactase to the beads is a more efficient use of lactase than adding the lactase directly into the cow's milk. Suggest three reasons it is more efficient to attach lactase to the beads' .... What! How on earth should I know about cows and beads?

    I know the content, but how do I know what the question is asking me? How do I know whether I'm supposed to be writing about enzymes or not? Do I need to learn more about the general knowledge of biology? Would that help at all? Please help!
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Updated: September 10, 2016
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