AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2: Key facts
When is it? Friday 7th June in the afternoon
How long is the exam? One hour and 45 minutes
How many marks are available? 100
How many people sit it? Nearly 278,000
Date and time of the AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2 exam
AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2 (8461/2F and 2H) is on the afternoon of Friday 7thJune 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 homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; and ecology.
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.”
What to expect from AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2
The paper title is AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2 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 1 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.
What to bring with you to the AQA GCSE Biology Paper 2 exam
- A black ink or black ball-point pen
- A ruler
- A scientific calculator
TSR community advice on GCSE Biology
TSR member liamlarner says: “My teacher is an examiner for separate sciences and tells our class, ‘we love examining triple only content on the triple papers to test the students who want a high grade in separate sciences’.”
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.