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How hard is it to get an A* in Biology A-Level? Watch

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    They don't sound like very good teachers.

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    (Original post by spookz)
    I just think to myself, how does the examiner think of such cruel questions.
    Hahaha honestly, I think.. Why.. Why don't you want me to succeed in life?
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    (Original post by Knee Grow)
    They don't sound like very good teachers.

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    Sigh, if only I could get additional help, all the tutors I've contacted don't know what I'm doing wrong either.
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    I find AQA biology pretty ridiculous- i can write a great answer but drop marks because the mark schemes are so 1-dimensional and are purely based on key words. Thankfully i only need 62ums in this last exam to get my B
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    (Original post by lmorgan95)
    I find AQA biology pretty ridiculous- i can write a great answer but drop marks because the mark schemes are so 1-dimensional and are purely based on key words. Thankfully i only need 62ums in this last exam to get my B
    How do you revise and what methods do you think are best?
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    (Original post by Top Queen)
    How do you revise and what methods do you think are best?
    I make detailed notes with pictures- i find it's the best thing for me when it comes to biology.
    There's something about drawing out a concept that helps get it into my head.
    e.g. when doing transcription and translation i drew some cell with the DNA helicase separating the DNA, a diagram showing transcription taking place, the introns being removed, moving out of the nuclear envelope etc.
    I also think it's well worth making a list of all the key words you need to remember the definitions for.
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    I feel your pain...even I find chemistry easier. I'm doing the evil AQA and my strategy is comparing the questions to every exam paper and I noticed they're worded differently but the answers are the same. Learning the key words is crucial. I just learn the mark scheme, that's my game
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    (Original post by lalaland96)
    I feel your pain...even I find chemistry easier. I'm doing the evil AQA and my strategy is comparing the questions to every exam paper and I noticed they're worded differently but the answers are the same. Learning the key words is crucial. I just learn the mark scheme, that's my game
    Does that help you get high grades, I tend to make notes and then try and make them really concise. I do past papers but sometimes the mark schemes vary for similar questions. It's annoying.
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    (Original post by Top Queen)
    Does that help you get high grades, I tend to make notes and then try and make them really concise. I do past papers but sometimes the mark schemes vary for similar questions. It's annoying.
    It has gotten me higher grades because I got used to the mark scheme however depending on how similar the questions are, it depends on the context of the question rather than making it a general answer. When in doubt I write down everything I know about that topic but using key terms just in case. It's very frustrating indeed.
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    Hey.. saw this in the 'popular threads' in the sidebar. I got an A* in Biology A-level last year. (Ocr)

    - Revise from the core textbook but also revise from revision guides (they contain concise info but also extra info - its worth looking at the extra info). Also revise from online resources.. if there is anything you don't understand, look it up online using lots of different sources until you get it. You'll probably expand on the specification too as again, any sources outside of the core textbook would contain extra or detailed info. And don't forget about all the resources you might get from your teachers like worksheets and info sheets throughout the year. Don't forget to use your specification for all your revision/note making.

    - Past papers.. not just the recent ones on the AQA or Ocr website. Try to hunt down papers from way back. My teachers were great in that they made question books for us with questions dating back from early 2000s onwards but I also looked up all of the papers online too to get to the mark schemes. The specification for those papers were different but they should still cover a lot of what you're taught at the moment.

    - Do not waffle in your answers. Be straight to the point with your first sentence for those big 8-10 markers. They're easy marks if you're just stating the steps of a process or 'giving a number of reasons' for something. For 'giving a no. of reasons for something' questions (or questions along those lines), put down all your good points first and leave any points you're not so sure would get you the mark last.

    - Revise from mark schemes.. some questions, especially the long 8-10 marker ones have are repetitive with their mark schemes. (similar questions popping up in different years) Make a note of the mark scheme points and add those to your notes. Try doing this for niche questions too, no harm adding them to your notes if you think it'll help. Use key words that are in the mark schemes in your answers.

    -Revision techniques I used included making revision cards, posters and notes on paper. There is a lot of info to learn with Biology so revision cards were great as I could look at them often. Use colours and visuals if they help. Ask your teachers for help. To test yourself I would also use the specification and ask yourself each point in the spec and see if you're able to answer them all in good detail.

    -Do decently in the A2 practical to give you a boost.

    - And yep.. when really in doubt for a question just list off everything you know about that topic. :P And think before you write for tricky questions.

    I enjoyed Biology so I went all out with the revision. One main point to take from this is to expand from the specification points by using lots of different resources for revision.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by cherryblossom23)
    Hey.. saw this in the 'popular threads' in the sidebar. I got an A* in Biology A-level last year. (Ocr)

    - Revise from the core textbook but also revise from revision guides (they contain concise info but also extra info - its worth looking at the extra info). Also revise from online resources.. if there is anything you don't understand, look it up online using lots of different sources until you get it. You'll probably expand on the specification too as again, any sources outside of the core textbook would contain extra or detailed info. And don't forget about all the resources you might get from your teachers like worksheets and info sheets throughout the year. Don't forget to use your specification for all your revision/note making.

    - Past papers.. not just the recent ones on the AQA or Ocr website. Try to hunt down papers from way back. My teachers were great in that they made question books for us with questions dating back from early 2000s onwards but I also looked up all of the papers online too to get to the mark schemes. The specification for those papers were different but they should still cover a lot of what you're taught at the moment.

    - Do not waffle in your answers. Be straight to the point with your first sentence for those big 8-10 markers. They're easy marks if you're just stating the steps of a process or 'giving a number of reasons' for something. For 'giving a no. of reasons for something' questions (or questions along those lines), put down all your good points first and leave any points you're not so sure would get you the mark last.

    - Revise from mark schemes.. some questions, especially the long 8-10 marker ones have are repetitive with their mark schemes. (similar questions popping up in different years) Make a note of the mark scheme points and add those to your notes. Try doing this for niche questions too, no harm adding them to your notes if you think it'll help. Use key words that are in the mark schemes in your answers.

    -Revision techniques I used included making revision cards, posters and notes on paper. There is a lot of info to learn with Biology so revision cards were great as I could look at them often. Use colours and visuals if they help. Ask your teachers for help. To test yourself I would also use the specification and ask yourself each point in the spec and see if you're able to answer them all in good detail.

    -Do decently in the A2 practical to give you a boost.

    - And yep.. when really in doubt for a question just list off everything you know about that topic. :P And think before you write for tricky questions.

    I enjoyed Biology so I went all out with the revision. One main point to take from this is to expand from the specification points by using lots of different resources for revision.

    Good luck!
    Wow, I honestly could not thank you enough for this,
    You are an angel! I'm so happy for you, you deserved it, it seems like you put in a lot of work! Did you revise hard throughout the whole year?
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    (Original post by Top Queen)
    Wow, I honestly could not thank you enough for this,
    You are an angel! I'm so happy for you, you deserved it, it seems like you put in a lot of work! Did you revise hard throughout the whole year?
    I guess so, it was definitely easier with having January exams as well as summer ones for A2. Not sure if I would have done as well with both in the summer! I guess I did although the practical exams were always unpredictable so hard to revise for.
 
 
 
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