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    (Original post by the81kid)
    I work about 25 hours/week average. Although I'm trying to cut down my hours even more. I teach English in Madrid, so it might be possible to cancel some classes for a few months. Maybe I can work less than 20 hours/week.

    I've been checking the Edexcel website, and I'm reading through a book for the Unit 3 and 6 exams. I've looked on the Edexcel website, and it only seems to list core practicals as something you need to do in front of a teacher. But as far as I know, since I'm only taking the exams, I don't need to do this. So I'm still not sure what the core practicals are for. At the weekend I'll look through more past papers, maybe I'll see something in them. But I haven't seen anything yet.

    http://qualifications.pearson.com/content/demo/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/biology-a-2015.coursematerials.html#filter Query=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FTeaching-and-learning-materials&filterQuery=category:P earson-UKocument-Type%2FCPAC-guidance-and-tracking
    Oh I see!! I thought as an "international student" you would be given a paper where you are examined on the practicals instead of physically doing the practicals and being marked on your competency. You need to check this with Edexcel otherwise you might not obtain the full A-level!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Oh I see!! I thought as an "international student" you would be given a paper where you are examined on the practicals instead of physically doing the practicals and being marked on your competency. You need to check this with Edexcel otherwise you might not obtain the full A-level!
    This has me a bit worried. I asked the school and they said that taking all 6 exams was all I needed. The first 2 exams are practical biology exams. In the international specification, it says that knowledge on the core practicals will be tested in the first question of the Unit 3 exam. Elsewhere it just says "recommended core practicals".

    The specification says:
    "Practical-related questions will be asked in the written examination papers and will be based on the knowledge and understanding of the recommended core practicals."

    I've sent an email to the school : / It calls them "recommended" all through the specification. As though the only mandatory thing is to answer questions in the Unit 3 exam (the first exam here).
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    This has me a bit worried. I asked the school and they said that taking all 6 exams was all I needed. The first 2 exams are practical biology exams. In the international specification, it says that knowledge on the core practicals will be tested in the first question of the Unit 3 exam. Elsewhere it just says "recommended core practicals".

    The specification says:
    "Practical-related questions will be asked in the written examination papers and will be based on the knowledge and understanding of the recommended core practicals."

    I've sent an email to the school : / It calls them "recommended" all through the specification. As though the only mandatory thing is to answer questions in the Unit 3 exam (the first exam here).
    Yeah you're most likely right tbh! Just make sure you know a bit about the practicals as they can come up in your exams!

    Sorry for the late reply (was a late one at work last night!!)

    How's the studying going? Are you doing Maths AS as well as A2 this summer too?
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    How well do you know your core practicals btw? I'm really struggling with them
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Yeah you're most likely right tbh! Just make sure you know a bit about the practicals as they can come up in your exams!

    Sorry for the late reply (was a late one at work last night!!)

    How's the studying going? Are you doing Maths AS as well as A2 this summer too?
    Hey
    Sorry for the late reply. Having a math crash course yesterday and today. At least the calculus is making a lot more sense now. I'm still waiting for a reply from the school, I suppose next week I'll hear something.

    Yep, I'm doing the Maths AS and A2 also. Nearly 2 months until the exams for things I haven't learned yet : / I'm not sure I'm expecting a good mark, but I couldn't expect it, when starting to learn it all only a couple of months ago. It's just to get me to university.

    The core practicals have been okay when I read them in the book. And I watched a few videos (should watch those a lot more though). What are you having difficulty with?
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    Hey
    Sorry for the late reply. Having a math crash course yesterday and today. At least the calculus is making a lot more sense now. I'm still waiting for a reply from the school, I suppose next week I'll hear something.

    Yep, I'm doing the Maths AS and A2 also. Nearly 2 months until the exams for things I haven't learned yet : / I'm not sure I'm expecting a good mark, but I couldn't expect it, when starting to learn it all only a couple of months ago. It's just to get me to university.

    The core practicals have been okay when I read them in the book. And I watched a few videos (should watch those a lot more though). What are you having difficulty with?
    For Maths this website has free e-books (of the Edexcel Modular Maths textbooks) which give you worked examples to help you learn better if you need them?
    http://www.examvault.net/edexcel.html

    That's good that you're getting to grips with the core practicals!! I'm still struggling as I have no resources about them apart from the videos I found on youtube but I don't understand a lot of it What book is it you use again? Any chance of scanning a few of those pages over? :/
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    For Maths this website has free e-books (of the Edexcel Modular Maths textbooks) which give you worked examples to help you learn better if you need them?
    http://www.examvault.net/edexcel.html

    That's good that you're getting to grips with the core practicals!! I'm still struggling as I have no resources about them apart from the videos I found on youtube but I don't understand a lot of it What book is it you use again? Any chance of scanning a few of those pages over? :/
    Hey
    Ah, thanks for that link! It has videos for the mechanics module, which is the only module I haven't found good tutorials for yet. I've been using this website, with lots of videos and worked examples. But there are no videos for the mechanics which I'll be starting soon.

    http://mathswebsite.com/

    I don't have many more resources either to be honest. And frankly I'm still a bit confused as to if or how I need them for the exams. I'll let you know what the school tells me this week (although this is the international Biology, so perhaps it's different to yours). I've been looking through a few A-Level Biology course books too, and they barely mention it. I have a book specifically on the Unit 3 & 6 exams, and this is most of what it says (I've copy-pasted):

    "Each unit has a number of core practical exercises that you are expected to complete. These are not assessed as part of an AS/A2 award, but you and your teacher have to sign a verification form confirming that you have undertaken all the practicals. The most important p art of this form is the list of skills addressed."

    It seems to me that the core practicals are something that you normally do in class, the teacher needs to know that you can do it. And you use these skills especially in the Unit 6 exam, where you design and interpret experiments. The information I have in the books I have is very slight, less than a page for any of the practicals.

    I couldn't go into the academy office last week, but I'll do it this week. I'm sorry about that. I'm just so crazy busy. I should be going in on Tuesday, perhaps Wednesday. I've been using the CGP Biology AS/A2 revision and practice books. They're pretty good, but I'm watching videos and reading around also. Otherwise it would just be a long list of things that do other things and sometimes there's no real context.

    PS. Thanks a lot for that link again, I think it's helped me a lot. If I have time to watch more videos that is.
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    For Maths this website has free e-books (of the Edexcel Modular Maths textbooks) which give you worked examples to help you learn better if you need them?
    http://www.examvault.net/edexcel.html

    That's good that you're getting to grips with the core practicals!! I'm still struggling as I have no resources about them apart from the videos I found on youtube but I don't understand a lot of it What book is it you use again? Any chance of scanning a few of those pages over? :/
    By the way, I don't know how you're planning to revise the biology. I still haven't finished the 2nd book (I'm nearly 50% through). My plan for now, is when I've covered the book and understand everything (but don't remember it all), I'm going to watch the 2 video series on biology that I found, find which parts of the A-level biology syllabus they match up with, and make notes on them.

    And they seem to match up pretty well. I suppose the a-level biology is a pretty standard pre-university level in most Western countries. Both series cover more or less the same material as what we're doing. I figure that should help, and then after that I'll use flashcards (if I have time to make them), and do lots of practice exams. Any thoughts?

    (I recommend the video series by the way, they explain better than any teacher I ever had.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnQe...ED4C1D684D3ADF

    https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    For Maths this website has free e-books (of the Edexcel Modular Maths textbooks) which give you worked examples to help you learn better if you need them?
    http://www.examvault.net/edexcel.html

    That's good that you're getting to grips with the core practicals!! I'm still struggling as I have no resources about them apart from the videos I found on youtube but I don't understand a lot of it What book is it you use again? Any chance of scanning a few of those pages over? :/
    One more link! In case it helps. A glossary of biology terms for quick reference. I think there are too many included for A-level, but you can look up what you need to know for a-level biology. Also has a "process" (e.g. heart beat cycle) and concept (e.g. osmosis) sections, on the left hand side (under biocoach and labcoach). Gonna be using all of these to revise (if I have time)!

    http://www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/glossary/
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    By the way, I don't know how you're planning to revise the biology. I still haven't finished the 2nd book (I'm nearly 50% through). My plan for now, is when I've covered the book and understand everything (but don't remember it all), I'm going to watch the 2 video series on biology that I found, find which parts of the A-level biology syllabus they match up with, and make notes on them.

    And they seem to match up pretty well. I suppose the a-level biology is a pretty standard pre-university level in most Western countries. Both series cover more or less the same material as what we're doing. I figure that should help, and then after that I'll use flashcards (if I have time to make them), and do lots of practice exams. Any thoughts?

    (I recommend the video series by the way, they explain better than any teacher I ever had.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnQe...ED4C1D684D3ADF

    https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology
    Nice one. Yeah you've got to love Crash Course!! But I don't think I have enough time to watch all the videos from the series I've literally got to read through all my notes over and over again and try to learn about these core practicals, then carry on doing loads of past papers. Waaaaaa!
    (Original post by the81kid)
    One more link! In case it helps. A glossary of biology terms for quick reference. I think there are too many included for A-level, but you can look up what you need to know for a-level biology. Also has a "process" (e.g. heart beat cycle) and concept (e.g. osmosis) sections, on the left hand side (under biocoach and labcoach). Gonna be using all of these to revise (if I have time)!

    http://www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/glossary/
    Awesome link!! Thanks. I always need definitions of biology terms so this is very useful to me!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Nice one. Yeah you've got to love Crash Course!! But I don't think I have enough time to watch all the videos from the series I've literally got to read through all my notes over and over again and try to learn about these core practicals, then carry on doing loads of past papers. Waaaaaa!

    Awesome link!! Thanks. I always need definitions of biology terms so this is very useful to me!
    Hope it helps!
    Re-reading my notes alone just doesn't sink in for me : / lists don't help unless I can visualise it. Diagrams of processes help me. And just reviewing but in a different way. Same for definitions, I'm no good at memorizing lists : / flashcards are better though.

    How many past papers are you doing? I always figured that 2 or 3 practice exams for each exam would be about the minimum, but I won't have time to do many more. That's in addition to just general reviewing, testing myself, getting my girlfriend to ask me questions and definitions and processes etc..
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    Hope it helps!
    Re-reading my notes alone just doesn't sink in for me : / lists don't help unless I can visualise it. Diagrams of processes help me. And just reviewing but in a different way. Same for definitions, I'm no good at memorizing lists : / flashcards are better though.

    How many past papers are you doing? I always figured that 2 or 3 practice exams for each exam would be about the minimum, but I won't have time to do many more. That's in addition to just general reviewing, testing myself, getting my girlfriend to ask me questions and definitions and processes etc..
    For Biology I've only done like 4 past papers (two for Unit 1, and two for Unit 2) but not under timed conditions just yet, it was mainly to test how much I can remember. I actually remember quite a fair bit but obviously the practicals have been letting me down. When I read over my notes I don't mean read word for word, I sort of test myself so I'd read the title about the notes I've written (for example the transcription process of protein synthesis) then I'll describe the process out loud from memory. You should do that when you've made your flashcards. Speak out loud and repeat any processes that you struggle on! I'm also half way through making flashcards, I find making the flashcards themselves is jogging my memory of difficult processes even more and hopefully when I've condensed all the processes onto flashcards I won't be needing all them pages of notes that I have! :P
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    For Biology I've only done like 4 past papers (two for Unit 1, and two for Unit 2) but not under timed conditions just yet, it was mainly to test how much I can remember. I actually remember quite a fair bit but obviously the practicals have been letting me down. When I read over my notes I don't mean read word for word, I sort of test myself so I'd read the title about the notes I've written (for example the transcription process of protein synthesis) then I'll describe the process out loud from memory. You should do that when you've made your flashcards. Speak out loud and repeat any processes that you struggle on! I'm also half way through making flashcards, I find making the flashcards themselves is jogging my memory of difficult processes even more and hopefully when I've condensed all the processes onto flashcards I won't be needing all them pages of notes that I have! :P
    I'll make flashcards if I have time. I'm finding that just repeating the same material in a different way - reading through another a-level biology website, watching biology class series, or just using previous stuff on a new subject - is jogging my memory. It's all starting to make more sense now. I haven't done any past papers, although I do the practice questions at the bottom of each page (they're taken from test papers), and I flick back to test myself on past material too.

    I think I'll make a list of all the processes, concepts, vocab (glossary) and then core practical steps, when I've finished this book. I've got a pretty good idea already. Drawings seem to be helping me visualise - I'm going to be making more of those!
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    I'll make flashcards if I have time. I'm finding that just repeating the same material in a different way - reading through another a-level biology website, watching biology class series, or just using previous stuff on a new subject - is jogging my memory. It's all starting to make more sense now. I haven't done any past papers, although I do the practice questions at the bottom of each page (they're taken from test papers), and I flick back to test myself on past material too.

    I think I'll make a list of all the processes, concepts, vocab (glossary) and then core practical steps, when I've finished this book. I've got a pretty good idea already. Drawings seem to be helping me visualise - I'm going to be making more of those!
    That's great!! Yeah learning in a variety of different ways is the best way of making things stick in your head especially if you're someone like me and hasn't found their most efficient study method!! I'm thinking of recording myself reading through my notes at some point too so I can listen to it back as part of revision when I'm driving to work each day!! :P Just trying to make the most of all the time I have left haha! Pictures help me too, not so much actually drawing them but just looking at them helps me visualise!

    Sorry for the late reply again! I've been really busy trying to fit in studying around work and having a girlfriend :P

    How's the studying going on your end? Them Maths equations sticking better now? You got the calculus stuff down yet?
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    Hey
    No problem. My replies might be slow at times. I'm working about part-time hours, and the rest of the time every day I'm fighting with A-Level Maths and Biology, and trying to write my last master's project. Sometimes I just switch off from everything else. I'm about 20% into the A2 biology now.

    I have this book to help with the Units 4 and 6. I'm reading through it slowly. I'm doing the last batch of exams for the 2009 exams. They're the only exams they offer in the school here.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-Biol...+unit+4+unit+6

    I have it in pdf, if you'd like it? I haven't gotten to the scanner yet, but later this week I should go into the office and I'll scan the sections from my biology book for you.

    I don't know if you already know this series, but this is very good for biology revision (and they're fun/easy to watch). It seems to cover most or all of the points covered in A-Level (let me know if he misses something). I'm using them for revision as I go:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnQe...&nohtml5=False

    And this series, by the same guy, for ecology (which is what I want to study more in the future) if you're having trouble with this part of the a-level:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjE-...GiIYXpV9w4WxbX

    hey! could you please send me the pdf copy of the bio book?? i dont really understand bio unit 6 and im hoping it would help....thank you
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    (Original post by daredevils)
    hey! could you please send me the pdf copy of the bio book?? i dont really understand bio unit 6 and im hoping it would help....thank you
    Hey, sure, what's your email?
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    That's great!! Yeah learning in a variety of different ways is the best way of making things stick in your head especially if you're someone like me and hasn't found their most efficient study method!! I'm thinking of recording myself reading through my notes at some point too so I can listen to it back as part of revision when I'm driving to work each day!! :P Just trying to make the most of all the time I have left haha! Pictures help me too, not so much actually drawing them but just looking at them helps me visualise!

    Sorry for the late reply again! I've been really busy trying to fit in studying around work and having a girlfriend :P

    How's the studying going on your end? Them Maths equations sticking better now? You got the calculus stuff down yet?
    I've found that simple sketches with movement (arrows) seem to help me. I should finish the A2 book by the weekend, then I'll start grouping the things I need to remember. I'm actually getting into it more now, because I've discovered the link between biology and the areas of study that interest me - ecology, society and energy. The carbon cycle has made some things clearer for my other subjects actually! It's interesting. The ecology and society sections I'm good with. The concepts and terms I'm getting better. The biological processes are getting better, but still need more work. But I think the chemistry sections are my weakest points, I'll have to find something different to do with those.

    I've finished C2 mathematics. I'm understanding the calculus much better, about 2 weeks ago it finally clicked. Have you done A-level math? Hoping to get through the statistics and mechanics in a few weeks. I'll have to do C3 and C4 through next month. At least I have about 1 1/2 month til they come around.

    Yeah, my girlfriend's being patient : / have no time for anything these days. I just work, then when I'm home I'm at my desk every day. Sorry for my late reply too.
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    I've found that simple sketches with movement (arrows) seem to help me. I should finish the A2 book by the weekend, then I'll start grouping the things I need to remember. I'm actually getting into it more now, because I've discovered the link between biology and the areas of study that interest me - ecology, society and energy. The carbon cycle has made some things clearer for my other subjects actually! It's interesting. The ecology and society sections I'm good with. The concepts and terms I'm getting better. The biological processes are getting better, but still need more work. But I think the chemistry sections are my weakest points, I'll have to find something different to do with those.

    I've finished C2 mathematics. I'm understanding the calculus much better, about 2 weeks ago it finally clicked. Have you done A-level math? Hoping to get through the statistics and mechanics in a few weeks. I'll have to do C3 and C4 through next month. At least I have about 1 1/2 month til they come around.

    Yeah, my girlfriend's being patient : / have no time for anything these days. I just work, then when I'm home I'm at my desk every day. Sorry for my late reply too.
    Yeah you sound like a very visual learner which is great for A-level Biology!

    Yeah I'm just doing AS-Maths this summer, I've covered all three units (C1, C2 and S1) but I'm still not very confident with statistics so I've still got a lot of learning to do for it. Luckily though I have a whole week in between my exams in the build up to the S1 paper so hopefully I'll be able to use that week to study hard for it!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Yeah you sound like a very visual learner which is great for A-level Biology!

    Yeah I'm just doing AS-Maths this summer, I've covered all three units (C1, C2 and S1) but I'm still not very confident with statistics so I've still got a lot of learning to do for it. Luckily though I have a whole week in between my exams in the build up to the S1 paper so hopefully I'll be able to use that week to study hard for it!
    Hey

    Sorry for the late reply. I'm on page 75 of the A2 book, and I want to finish it by tomorrow. That'll give me 2 weeks before the 1st exam. Half the material is easy for me, and I've read about it before. The other half is processes (did aerobic respiration yesterday), and that's new for me and it's gonna take some practice to remember them all. Also I'm a bit worried about the answering format. It's mostly a memory exercise, but they seem to mark on key words, so I'm already thinking about HOW I'm answering questions, how much detail to include, what key words to remember.

    Sorry I haven't scanned the pages yet, in the end I still couldn't get into the office. But I received the other biology revision book (this one by edexcel) so when I finish this CGP book I'm going to read the edexcel revision books as half my revision (other half will be watching all the episodes of both biology series I found on YouTube). I'll look out for any pages about core practicals.

    Although I've already skimmed it looking for those, and it still doesn't mention any specific core practicals questions. Unless I'm mistaken (I'm going to contact the school again or even phone edexcel themselves) I think the core practicals are mainly to learn about the scientific process, how to design experiments, interpret results and describe them.

    How is your study going?
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    (Original post by the81kid)
    Hey

    Sorry for the late reply. I'm on page 75 of the A2 book, and I want to finish it by tomorrow. That'll give me 2 weeks before the 1st exam. Half the material is easy for me, and I've read about it before. The other half is processes (did aerobic respiration yesterday), and that's new for me and it's gonna take some practice to remember them all. Also I'm a bit worried about the answering format. It's mostly a memory exercise, but they seem to mark on key words, so I'm already thinking about HOW I'm answering questions, how much detail to include, what key words to remember.

    Sorry I haven't scanned the pages yet, in the end I still couldn't get into the office. But I received the other biology revision book (this one by edexcel) so when I finish this CGP book I'm going to read the edexcel revision books as half my revision (other half will be watching all the episodes of both biology series I found on YouTube). I'll look out for any pages about core practicals.

    Although I've already skimmed it looking for those, and it still doesn't mention any specific core practicals questions. Unless I'm mistaken (I'm going to contact the school again or even phone edexcel themselves) I think the core practicals are mainly to learn about the scientific process, how to design experiments, interpret results and describe them.

    How is your study going?
    No problem man!! We're both very busy people at the moment, especially as our exams are literally just around the corner! eeeeek
    Have you managed to finish the rest of A2 Biology now? Also did you contact the school or ring Edexcel in the end?

    Hope all is well!
    Keep staying motivated!!!
 
 
 
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