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How do you get A-A*s in science A-levels? watch

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    Hi guys
    I've been revising really hard and keep thinking that I've cracked the revision formula each time but still end up getting good or high Bs in my exams - (despite getting As in mocks and class exams)
    For all of you who get high As and A*s in these subjects especially Biology and Chemistry
    How do you revise for it?
    Do you have a particular method or any good advice you can give me on how to attain A-A*s in these subjects?

    And it's not that I don't revise enough or do exam practise - I do, I revise for hours everyday - but perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way

    So any wise suggestions would be great guys and sincerely appreciated
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    The trick is to get the questions right. It's not English where there is no definitive right answer. You can learn everything on the syllabus and then write about it. For the longer answer questions (descriptions of practical techniques etc.) then look through past paper mark schemes. There will often be things that come up for every question of that type (to use the practical technique example there will nearly always be a mark for describing a safety measure and for how you'd present your results). Good luck
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    read the spec back to front...up and down...left to right
    Basically READ it and make notes
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    (Original post by nmiah)
    And it's not that I don't revise enough or do exam practise - I do, I revise for hours everyday - but perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way

    So any wise suggestions would be great guys and sincerely appreciated
    I just think you need to know what the examiners are looking for and really prove you understand what you're talking about, I'd say practice papers and comparing them to the mark scheme really is the best thing to do in the lead up to the exam (e.g closer to the time or you'll run out of past papers ) but otherwise just going over class notes and making sure you don't have any uncertainties about them, which I assume you do anyway if you're doing hours everyday? I couldn't do that much tbf, maybe give yourself some days off, honestly, I find if I swamp myself with remembering things I get burnt out, then you can be relaxed about your revision? :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    The trick is to get the questions right. It's not English where there is no definitive right answer. You can learn everything on the syllabus and then write about it. For the longer answer questions (descriptions of practical techniques etc.) then look through past paper mark schemes. There will often be things that come up for every question of that type (to use the practical technique example there will nearly always be a mark for describing a safety measure and for how you'd present your results). Good luck
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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    The trick is to get the questions right. It's not English where there is no definitive right answer. You can learn everything on the syllabus and then write about it. For the longer answer questions (descriptions of practical techniques etc.) then look through past paper mark schemes. There will often be things that come up for every question of that type (to use the practical technique example there will nearly always be a mark for describing a safety measure and for how you'd present your results). Good luck
    Thank you - I have tried stuff like this - I have gone through mark schemes and made sure that I have memorised certain answers or answer structures because I know they'll come up again - but I'm still lacking something lol


    (Original post by Aishie)
    read the spec back to front...up and down...left to right
    Basically READ it and make notes
    Yes - one of my friends has told me to do this also and I'm definately going to do this and maybe try to directly answer the objectives in specifications - so little time though but I'm determined thank you
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    I used to have this problem for biology - mainly that I knew the answers to the questions, but it wasn't the answer they want to be given. Practise exam questions and reading examiners reports might help for that kind of thing. I still find it difficult sometimes, but once you get the hang of it its fine. And also, I know lots of people probably won't agree with me on this, but I write down EVERYTHING that I think might be relevant. That avoids any of these 'don't accept unless its preceded by X word' marks.

    What are you actually losing marks on on your past papers?
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    The key to the science A levels isn't memory, it's understanding.

    If you can understand the mechanisms involved in organic chemistry, then you will remember it better, and if you don't remember, you can work it out.

    Biology is a bit different, because a lot of the work can't be understood to the level it's looked at at A level. For example, the whole respiration thing with the electron transport chain and the Kreb's cycle (or do I mean Calbin cycle?)... I'm pretty sure if I understood at a greater depth what's actually happening, I'd actually have some clue about it all, but I don't. :p:
    But it is worth looking into topics in more detail to get a more thorough understanding. Take genetics; most boards require you to know the Hardy-Weinberg principle and be able to use it to calculate frequency of alleles - but much of the time, students are only taught how to use the equation, and not what it actually means. If you know why the quantity p^2 represents the frequency of homozygous dominant/recessive genotypes, then how will you forget what to do in an exam?

    Try looking at older textbooks that go into just that little bit more detail to read about topics you are unsure of!
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    (Original post by Cariie)
    I just think you need to know what the examiners are looking for and really prove you understand what you're talking about, I'd say practice papers and comparing them to the mark scheme really is the best thing to do in the lead up to the exam (e.g closer to the time or you'll run out of past papers ) but otherwise just going over class notes and making sure you don't have any uncertainties about them, which I assume you do anyway if you're doing hours everyday? I couldn't do that much tbf, maybe give yourself some days off, honestly, I find if I swamp myself with remembering things I get burnt out, then you can be relaxed about your revision? :dontknow:
    Yep you're right - I've been doing all of that and my teachers aren't much help - my chemistry teachers only care about their pay - not the student
    But one of my good biology teachers told me to teach someone of lower academic ability in the course - the content - because even if you have memorised the stuff they will ask you questions that you had never thought of and make you link together other stuff on the course and analyse the topic more - that has helped quite a bit - but mainly for biology
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    (Original post by twelve)
    I used to have this problem for biology - mainly that I knew the answers to the questions, but it wasn't the answer they want to be given. Practise exam questions and reading examiners reports might help for that kind of thing. I still find it difficult sometimes, but once you get the hang of it its fine. And also, I know lots of people probably won't agree with me on this, but I write down EVERYTHING that I think might be relevant. That avoids any of these 'don't accept unless its preceded by X word' marks.

    What are you actually losing marks on on your past papers?
    I think it's more my wording in the exams - My english is good but like you said - they want key words and I can tend to beat around the bush sometimes lol and also silly mistakes (like not reading the full question properly and noticing all the info given) - but I have worked on those considerably
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    (Original post by nmiah)
    Yep you're right - I've been doing all of that and my teachers aren't much help - my chemistry teachers only care about their pay - not the student
    But one of my good biology teachers told me to teach someone of lower academic ability in the course - the content - because even if you have memorised the stuff they will ask you questions that you had never thought of and make you link together other stuff on the course and analyse the topic more - that has helped quite a bit - but mainly for biology
    That's definitely a good idea, you find you'll remember something better after having to explain it to someone else! I did that for some of my GCSE's and it really helped See if you can do the same in Chemistry perhaps? or offer to help out with AS lessons? Otherwise the only other thing I could think of is just asking for more homeworks of topics you feel you could improve on? :/ OH and if you have to do ISA exams then try to gain as many points as possible in those, they can make the difference between an A and B in your final grade because they're such a bugger to do well in sometimes
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    If you are achieving high A's on mock papers, perhaps it's not your revision technique or knowledge of the subject that is lacking but how nerves affect you in the real exam? Maybe this is what you need to look at, rather than revision?
    For me, I think you reach a point before the exam when you have been through old mark schemes (something that is so useful in science as questions that require the same set of responses occur again and again) and have looked at the spec as much as you possibly can. You have to give yourself a chance to have a break and just calm down. Stress is one of the main things that brings down exam performance, and perhaps this is your problem?
    Hope you find something that works!
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    (Original post by Cariie)
    That's definitely a good idea, you find you'll remember something better after having to explain it to someone else! I did that for some of my GCSE's and it really helped See if you can do the same in Chemistry perhaps? or offer to help out with AS lessons? Otherwise the only other thing I could think of is just asking for more homeworks of topics you feel you could improve on? :/ OH and if you have to do ISA exams then try to gain as many points as possible in those, they can make the difference between an A and B in your final grade because they're such a bugger to do well in sometimes
    thank you I'm doing Edexcel Chemistry and OCR Biology and so far my practical grades are high As, so in that sense I'm good - my chemistry teachers wouldn't let me do that - they're rubbish tbh but I think I can try teaching chemistry to someone - thanks
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    (Original post by nmiah)
    thank you I'm doing Edexcel Chemistry and OCR Biology and so far my practical grades are high As, so in that sense I'm good - my chemistry teachers wouldn't let me do that - they're rubbish tbh but I think I can try teaching chemistry to someone - thanks
    Ah then I think it will just be down to keeping those nerves down on exam day because you know you can get A's in mock papers and knowing how to answer the questions by looking at mark schemes :/ you know those annoying marks where you've written essentially the correct answer but the examiners has 'do not allow such and such to gain a mark without such and such being mentioned' Don't worry about it too much, you clearly can get A's and I bet you will get them in the summer
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    (Original post by annabition)
    If you are achieving high A's on mock papers, perhaps it's not your revision technique or knowledge of the subject that is lacking but how nerves affect you in the real exam? Maybe this is what you need to look at, rather than revision?
    For me, I think you reach a point before the exam when you have been through old mark schemes (something that is so useful in science as questions that require the same set of responses occur again and again) and have looked at the spec as much as you possibly can. You have to give yourself a chance to have a break and just calm down. Stress is one of the main things that brings down exam performance, and perhaps this is your problem?
    Hope you find something that works!
    Thank you - that is actually very true for me because I did that in my psychology AS exams and became soo nervous despite memorising the whole course back to front that I forgot the meaning of a word soo simple such as Physiology and ended up writing the 10 mark question on Pyschological treatments of stress instead O_O lol needless to say when I retook my grade went up by 15 marks so I've definately been working on the nerves - I used to be scared of plain lined paper at GCSE during history exams I would be so scared to write something - atleast I can delete and alter on a computer without too much hassle - so yeah - nerves have improved BIG TIME over the years lool
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    I agree with AnonyMatt, it's about understanding

    you can make notes/posters/whatever to memorise the whole textbook - which will work for a lot of questions - but if you don't understand any of it then if the question goes a bit in depth you'll not have a clue what to put
    also (for biology anyways) go through the textbook and make sure you can explain all the page headers, for example we were doing past papers the other day and one of the question was 2 marks and said "what are chromosome mutations?", we all knew but none of us got the 2 marks!
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    rather easily
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    (Original post by Cariie)
    Ah then I think it will just be down to keeping those nerves down on exam day because you know you can get A's in mock papers and knowing how to answer the questions by looking at mark schemes :/ you know those annoying marks where you've written essentially the correct answer but the examiners has 'do not allow such and such to gain a mark without such and such being mentioned' on't worry about it too much, you clearly can get A's and I bet you will get them in the summer
    yeah that is essentially one of my biggest enemies thank you - I will definately use all the suggestions given and carry on with the teaching method aswell - because it has really helped - and I'll try and get one of my nice teachers to really sit down and help me with exam technique if they have time - thank you
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    in chem im onto an A*, we usually finish the topics so early and then go through them all again
    plus we end up doing all past papers twice at least.. everything is drummed in by the end. i got full marks on the jan paper
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    Past. Year. Papers.
    Tried & Proven. :borat:
 
 
 

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