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Does reading around a subject often help for those 'strech & challenge' questions? watch

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    Most say that the difference between an A and A* is the ability to answer a 'stretch-and-challenge' question. I'm aiming for many A*'s but I usually tend to follow the specification, but I've been doing some extra reading and research too for subjects like physics and chemistry. Do you think this statement is really true or not so much?
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    (Original post by FutureMedicalDoctor)
    Most say that the difference between an A and A* is the ability to answer a 'stretch-and-challenge' question. I'm aiming for many A*'s but I usually tend to follow the specification, but I've been doing some extra reading and research too for subjects like physics and chemistry. Do you think this statement is really true or not so much?
    LMFAO? Are you serious? You read around a subject to get an A* at gcse? a* can be done with spec
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    (Original post by Extricated)
    LMFAO? Are you serious? You read around a subject to get an A* at gcse? a* can be done with spec
    I've always read around a subject since I was young since I loved reading, then stopped for GCSE as I thought it may be a waste of time, so followed the specification. But after doing my first exams in January, I had gotten the best Mark for Biology, and I had read around for that subject, and I didn't for others.
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    I think the higher marks weren't because of extra research, I think it was more because you're more interested/are more adapted to that subject than others

    it's generally a bad idea to read around the spec in science subjects, at GCSE you might be learning too advanced material which won't register as correct to the examiner. I know it's a horrific system but unfortunately that's how it works.
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    I'm A* for 7 GCSEs out of 10, and I hate all of them besides History. If you look at exam markschemes, they only credit answers you are meant to be taught at GCSE level, so by inserting answers that are out of GCSE level, then you will not get any marks.

    Mark schemes go something like this for a question:
    e.g: Name and explain the factors that are responsible for plant growth

    NPK Fertiliser (1 mark); allow growth of amino acids/proteins (1 mark)
    Sunlight (1 mark); opens stomata (1 mark); Vital in photosynthesis (1 mark)
    Optimum temperature for enzymes (1 mark)
    Ground water presence in soil (1 mark)
    (total: 4 marks)

    So if you insert something like

    "recently in january 2011, the Harvard medical journal published a report that scholars at Harvard medical school were able to isolate the plant growth gene N7GRTU and insert it into plant DNA chains with ligase enzymes. Preliminary results from Chinese medical institutes also indicate that rare nitrogen fixing agents in the Gobi desert are also thought to have a positive effect on the rate of plant biomass increase. Such measures would undoubtedly increase the rate of plant growth"

    Then you get nothing, while the answer may be true. Trust me. I love bio too, and I did this on a recent mock exam, and I got an A when I should've really gotten an A*. Just use the damn specification and syllabus.
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    (Original post by MinorDisaster)
    I'm A* for 7 GCSEs out of 10, and I hate all of them besides History. If you look at exam markschemes, they only credit answers you are meant to be taught at GCSE level, so by inserting answers that are out of GCSE level, then you will not get any marks.

    Mark schemes go something like this for a question:
    e.g: Name and explain the factors that are responsible for plant growth

    NPK Fertiliser (1 mark); allow growth of amino acids/proteins (1 mark)
    Sunlight (1 mark); opens stomata (1 mark); Vital in photosynthesis (1 mark)
    Optimum temperature for enzymes (1 mark)
    Ground water presence in soil (1 mark)
    (total: 4 marks)

    So if you insert something like

    "recently in january 2011, the Harvard medical journal published a report that scholars at Harvard medical school were able to isolate the plant growth gene N7GRTU and insert it into plant DNA chains with ligase enzymes. Preliminary results from Chinese medical institutes also indicate that rare nitrogen fixing agents in the Gobi desert are also thought to have a positive effect on the rate of plant biomass increase. Such measures would undoubtedly increase the rate of plant growth"

    Then you get nothing, while the answer may be true. Trust me. I love bio too, and I did this on a recent mock exam, and I got an A when I should've really gotten an A*. Just use the damn specification and syllabus.
    Lol I think you misunderstood me. I got A* in biology, I DID follow the specification. Trust me. But I don't mean "read around" like watching advanced biology documentaries and reading biology journals...lmfao no. I meant like 'expanding my knowledge on a topic', for example I wouldn't just stick to the textbook, I would read more on each topic on some webpages, or my revision guides. That's what I meant.
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    (Original post by FutureMedicalDoctor)
    Lol I think you misunderstood me. I got A* in biology, I DID follow the specification. Trust me. But I don't mean "read around" like watching advanced biology documentaries and reading biology journals...lmfao no. I meant like 'expanding my knowledge on a topic', for example I wouldn't just stick to the textbook, I would read more on each topic on some webpages, or my revision guides. That's what I meant.
    Well that's extra revision/information, rather than reading AROUND a subject as your original post and title explicitly said..
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    (Original post by Extricated)
    LMFAO? Are you serious? You read around a subject to get an A* at gcse? a* can be done with spec
    This. Follow the specification and the mark scheme and you're done.
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    I got 8A*s 3A 1B without reading anything beyond my textbooks.
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    (Original post by Extricated)
    Well that's extra revision/information, rather than reading AROUND a subject as your original post and title explicitly said..
    Okay okay I think I got the phrasing wrong. I apologise to those I confused.
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    I don't think it would necessarily boost up your mark (for OCR Gateway, even the textbook is too broad for the mark scheme), but I think taking a personal interest could make revising easier - like choosing to read more about a process in the world definitely encourages enthusiasm for the subject, making it easier to revise. Also, Horizon documentaries are gold for coursework :P
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    A Level- Yes, it will help you understand the complexity of the issues much more. It will help you bucket loads for uni when there is no textbook and your whole degree is 'reading around'.
 
 
 
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