What will be in the AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1 exam and what time is it happening?

Biology class with human body anatomy model
by Hayley Pearce | 13 May 2019

Date and time of AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1

AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1 (8461/1F and 1H) is on the afternoon of Tuesday 14th May 2019.

Most exam centres will start the exam at 1.30pm, but check with yours in advance as centres can start exams by up to 30 minutes earlier or later than this time. Most exam centres will tell you to arrive at least 10 minutes before the exam starts.

The topics you will be assessed on are cell biology, organisation, infection and response and bioenergetics.

AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1 is being talked about on The Student Room forums.

Official AQA advice states that in the GCSE science exams, you should “make sure you read the question carefully, identifying the correct command word. A common error students make is writing a description when they’ve been asked to explain something – a description alone will not get any marks.”

This article is on the separate science paper. Are you taking the AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy Biology Paper 1 exam?

What to expect from AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1

The paper title is AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1 and the paper lasts for one hour and 45 minutes.

There are 100 marks available in this paper, and it makes up 50% of the whole AQA GCSE Biology exam. Biology Paper 2 makes up the other 50% of the AQA GCSE Biology exam, one of three separate science exams.

AQA GCSE Biology is assessed at both higher and foundation tier. Higher students can achieve grades 9 to 4, and foundation students can achieve grades 5 to 1.

Find out more about the 9-1 GCSE grading system.

Make sure you always know the structure of the paper you are sitting. Read the instructions on the paper thoroughly before you start.

The paper contains a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. For the open response questions, you should make sure your answer is clear, logical, sensibly structured, fully meets the requirements of the question and shows that each separate point or step supports the overall answer.

The marks for each question are shown in brackets, ranging from one to six markers. You should answer all questions.

With maths-based questions, it’s always best to show how you arrive at your answers.

Remember to write clearly and use good English; even though it’s not an English exam, the examiners need to be able to understand what you’ve put.

AQA has given us this advice on what you need to do in your GCSE Science exams.

What to bring with you to the AQA GCSE Biology Paper 1 exam

  • A black ink or black ball-point pen
  • A calculator to use where needed
Be exam smart

TSR community advice on GCSE Biology

TSR member happy.pirhana says: “Make sure you understand ALL the concepts really well because most of the questions are application-based of course and if you've got the understanding it gets really easy to answer questions. 

"Go through your specification and make sure you know everything listed on there.

"Keep doing practice past papers so you can get comfortable with the exam technique because without exam technique its not possible to get more than half the marks.”

And halliethestudent recommends that GCSE biology students “repeatedly draw out a diagram and label [it] until you can memorise and regularly test yourself”, to search for GCSE biology videos on YouTube and to practise biology exam questions.

GCSE results day 2019

If you’re taking GCSE exams this year, results day for you will be Thursday, 22 August.

Most schools and exam centres will be open for students to collect their results from 10am.

Go to our exam results homepage for more info.

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