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    Tell me about AS Biology as detailed as possible!

    - Did you like it or not?
    - What did you like/dislike about it?
    - Convince me to take Biology AS!
    - Why should I avoid AS Biology?

    The thing is, I made this thread called "Biology or Further Maths". There, I received good amount of convincing opinions as to why I should take FM. However, I didn't get any feedbacks on AS Biology that was convincing!

    Don't care about my career/degree plan and tell me what you thought about it!

    Thanks alot

    P.S. my board is AQA
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    It depends very heavily on the course you would be following - I followed Salters Nuffield for Edexcel, and didn't enjoy it (it was a context-led approach, which I found dull and a little patronising).

    If you're looking at studying any formal science at university, further maths will not only make for a stronger application, but also will make your university studies a lot simpler.
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    Personally, I LOVED AS Biology I wasn't even a big fan of biology at GCSE, but I took the A level which I enjoyed so much that I will now be studying it as part of my degree

    As boring as it is as a reason, I liked how fascinating it was, it really opened up my eyes and I found myself coming out of every lesson feeling as if I had learnt something interesting, something that I could tell people and know they'd find it interesting too I loved learning about protein structure, amino acids, how just one tiny mutation in a base sequence of amino acids can lead to horrible complications. Leading on from that, I loved learning about gene expression, how certain genes are switched on or off etc. I even enjoyed learning about seed banks, it sounded boring at first but knowing there is a massive building filled with the seeds of so many species in case of a disaster is quite intriguing Even the little experiments are fun :teehee: when learning about the heart, we got to dissect an ox heart which was massive, seeing the aorta, atria and ventricles was pretty cool I just liked how you finally understand a bit more about yourself and the world around you, how species have evolved, how our body carries out complex processes in such a short amount of time

    I honestly can't think of anything I disliked about it, I guess application questions in exams can be a bit pain, but that can easily be sorted with practise analysing data is also a bit tedious, but get the hang of what gets the marks and they're easy marks. I don't think there was one AS topic that I didn't enjoy!

    I don't think you should avoid it as it's amazing however, I guess the reality of it is that you need to memorise a lot of processes and steps. People go on about how heavy the content amount is, but I don't think it was too bad at all, keep up with your work throughout the year and you won't struggle to remember things. As it is so interesting at times, you'll find things sticking into your head fairly quickly! AS Biology is full of a wide variety of biological processes from the cardiac cycle, the formation of blood clots to the role of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Obviously the content will vary from exam board to exam board, but 99% of biology is great so that shouldn't be too much of a problem

    It gets so much more interesting at A2 but I'm guessing you'd be dropping whichever one you decide on?

    P.S Biology wins easily over FM :ahee:


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    (Original post by tory88)
    It depends very heavily on the course you would be following - I followed Salters Nuffield for Edexcel, and didn't enjoy it (it was a context-led approach, which I found dull and a little patronising).

    If you're looking at studying any formal science at university, further maths will not only make for a stronger application, but also will make your university studies a lot simpler.
    Mine's AQA
    thanks for the reply btw
    What are you doing/going to do and what other A levels did you do?

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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Tell me about AS Biology as detailed as possible!

    - Did you like it or not?
    - What did you like/dislike about it?
    - Convince me to take Biology AS!
    - Why should I avoid AS Biology?

    The thing is, I made this thread called "Biology or Further Maths". There, I received good amount of convincing opinions as to why I should take FM. However, I didn't get any feedbacks on AS Biology that was convincing!

    Don't care about my career/degree plan and tell me what you thought about it!

    Thanks alot

    P.S. my board is AQA
    Okay so I did Edexcel's context led approach (Salters-Nuffield spec) so it may vary from AQA

    I hated AS biology. I won't lie, I found it completely dull and I just hated every lesson and every second of it even though I liked my teachers and my class. I hated it because it was just so boring, especially when it came to unit 2 and we did the whole conservation/seeds stuff. I hated all of that at AS but I think overall I preferred unit 2 to unit 1. Unit 1 was just all around rubbish, I mean looking back now, it was the easiest thing but I just found it extremely boring.

    I must say that the only thing I liked much was unit 2 topic 3 when we looked at mitosis, cell structure and classifications (and William witherings digitalis lol). They were quite enjoyable topics I think because I'd never done them before and you only had to logically think about it to understand.

    I won't convince you to take it, but I definitely would advise you to consider all your options first. As opposed to what rumours would have you believe, it's not an easy AS and just memorising key words and concepts wont guarantee you a semi decent grade. As I said before, I hated AS and always considered dropping it but I actually worked hard and got an A in it (over 90% in all modules and no resits) so I kept it on because it was my best chance of making sure I get an A and I've got to say A2 biology is SO MUCH BETTER. It's by far my favourite A2 and I've enjoyed every second of it this year so I'm happy I kept it on! I guess that may be something to take into account when considering your choices because at the end of the day, you really don't know what you will end up dropping.
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Tell me about AS Biology as detailed as possible!

    - Did you like it or not?
    - What did you like/dislike about it?
    - Convince me to take Biology AS!
    - Why should I avoid AS Biology?

    The thing is, I made this thread called "Biology or Further Maths". There, I received good amount of convincing opinions as to why I should take FM. However, I didn't get any feedbacks on AS Biology that was convincing!

    Don't care about my career/degree plan and tell me what you thought about it!

    Thanks alot

    P.S. my board is AQA
    Did you like it or not / Convince me to take AS Biology
    I just finished AQA AS-Biology and I've got to say I did enjoy some of the content. Some of the content is boring as is everything in life. There is always the positivies and the negatives. There is so much content to learn compared to Physics, Chemistry, Maths & FMaths which I also did....The only way to make sure you get your grade A is by sticking with it right from the start. Realistically speaking with Jan exams gone you can afford to mess up in sep & oct but I will NOT advice that.

    What did you like & dislike about it / Convince me to take AS Biology
    Like I saw someone say in the posts above the application in Biology with AQA is ridiculous when you start doing past papers but you get use to it. The best way to deal with this is to read ahead of the class understand the topic and try exam questions on that topic before you get tested on it if you do end of chapter tests in your college. However if not near exams when revising you just have to take it steadily with the past papers and understand what AQA are looking for and learn how to properly analyse the information in the question which is a key skill you will need to lean for university anyway

    What I did enjoy about it though was heart & disease mitosis etc its just interesting to know how the body works. I also liked the challange of the questions that they simply weren't route answer. However it becomes
    frustrating when you can't do them. I however did get the hang of application and was able to score 90ums+ in all the practise papers I did. However the exam this year for BIOL2 was ridiculously hard and I think Ive failed after all that work. BIOL1 was good enough though I thinkI got 90+ on that.

    Convince me to take AS Biology
    It seriously is your decision but you should bear in mind that there is no University that currently requests for FMATHS as a compulsory component in their entry requirement although most say it is beneficial. However for most medicine courses Biology is needed to at least AS Level and for other courses so by doing Biology instead of FMaths you are keeping your options open. FMaths is easy to self learn compared to AS Biology so if you really want to do it then pick Biology and speak to your maths teacher about doing possibly 2modules out of 3 of the FMaths modules this year eg D1 & S1 then do FP1 in year 13 and you will still have a FMaths AS.
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    (Original post by Changing Skies)
    Personally, I LOVED AS Biology I wasn't even a big fan of biology at GCSE, but I took the A level which I enjoyed so much that I will now be studying it as part of my degree

    As boring as it is as a reason, I liked how fascinating it was, it really opened up my eyes and I found myself coming out of every lesson feeling as if I had learnt something interesting, something that I could tell people and know they'd find it interesting too I loved learning about protein structure, amino acids, how just one tiny mutation in a base sequence of amino acids can lead to horrible complications. Leading on from that, I loved learning about gene expression, how certain genes are switched on or off etc. I even enjoyed learning about seed banks, it sounded boring at first but knowing there is a massive building filled with the seeds of so many species in case of a disaster is quite intriguing Even the little experiments are fun :teehee: when learning about the heart, we got to dissect an ox heart which was massive, seeing the aorta, atria and ventricles was pretty cool I just liked how you finally understand a bit more about yourself and the world around you, how species have evolved, how our body carries out complex processes in such a short amount of time

    I honestly can't think of anything I disliked about it, I guess application questions in exams can be a bit pain, but that can easily be sorted with practise analysing data is also a bit tedious, but get the hang of what gets the marks and they're easy marks. I don't think there was one AS topic that I didn't enjoy!

    I don't think you should avoid it as it's amazing however, I guess the reality of it is that you need to memorise a lot of processes and steps. People go on about how heavy the content amount is, but I don't think it was too bad at all, keep up with your work throughout the year and you won't struggle to remember things. As it is so interesting at times, you'll find things sticking into your head fairly quickly! AS Biology is full of a wide variety of biological processes from the cardiac cycle, the formation of blood clots to the role of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Obviously the content will vary from exam board to exam board, but 99% of biology is great so that shouldn't be too much of a problem

    It gets so much more interesting at A2 but I'm guessing you'd be dropping whichever one you decide on?

    P.S Biology wins easily over FM :ahee:


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    Hi, I'm just curious what grade you got in AS Biology and GCSE Biology?
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    (Original post by Sacred Ground)
    Hi, I'm just curious what grade you got in AS Biology and GCSE Biology?
    I did core and additional science and got AA, got a B at AS level (though had I actually revised enough, I think I could have got an A )
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    (Original post by Changing Skies)
    I did core and additional science and got AA, got a B at AS level (though had I actually revised enough, I think I could have got an A )
    Oh great, thanks! I got an A in triple science in year 10, and I plan to pursue a degree in biology, I was just wondering if it would suffice bearing in mind I am yet to do A level biology.

    Kind regards,
    Ben
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Mine's AQA
    thanks for the reply btw
    What are you doing/going to do and what other A levels did you do?

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    No problem. I've just completed a physics degree and am about to embark on teacher training to become a teacher of physics and maths.

    At AS, I did biology, chemistry, physics, maths and further maths; at A2 I continued physics, maths and further maths. Of all of these it was further maths that was most beneficial on my physics degree (yes, even more than my physics A-level).

    Personally (I've taught a bit of AQA biology), I would say biology was the least interesting of the three sciences and maths. This is subjective, however, as I know a lot of people hate physics but have enjoyed biology.
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    What about OCR AS Biology? Has anyone studied it on this exam board? I'm starting in September and I'm very excited for the course but I would like to know what I'm getting into and I'm a little worried about the continuously assessed practicals we have to do. I'm not a math/science guy but I do have a natural flare with Biology. My other options are History, English Literature and Philosophy.

    I am hoping for an A/A* in Additional but I got lower in Core because I was placed in the wrong class that only had me sitting higher and they didn't prepare us properly. I was moved up two sets to top-class after core science.
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    (Original post by Changing Skies)
    Personally, I LOVED AS Biology I wasn't even a big fan of biology at GCSE, but I took the A level which I enjoyed so much that I will now be studying it as part of my degree

    As boring as it is as a reason, I liked how fascinating it was, it really opened up my eyes and I found myself coming out of every lesson feeling as if I had learnt something interesting, something that I could tell people and know they'd find it interesting too I loved learning about protein structure, amino acids, how just one tiny mutation in a base sequence of amino acids can lead to horrible complications. Leading on from that, I loved learning about gene expression, how certain genes are switched on or off etc. I even enjoyed learning about seed banks, it sounded boring at first but knowing there is a massive building filled with the seeds of so many species in case of a disaster is quite intriguing Even the little experiments are fun :teehee: when learning about the heart, we got to dissect an ox heart which was massive, seeing the aorta, atria and ventricles was pretty cool I just liked how you finally understand a bit more about yourself and the world around you, how species have evolved, how our body carries out complex processes in such a short amount of time

    I honestly can't think of anything I disliked about it, I guess application questions in exams can be a bit pain, but that can easily be sorted with practise analysing data is also a bit tedious, but get the hang of what gets the marks and they're easy marks. I don't think there was one AS topic that I didn't enjoy!

    I don't think you should avoid it as it's amazing however, I guess the reality of it is that you need to memorise a lot of processes and steps. People go on about how heavy the content amount is, but I don't think it was too bad at all, keep up with your work throughout the year and you won't struggle to remember things. As it is so interesting at times, you'll find things sticking into your head fairly quickly! AS Biology is full of a wide variety of biological processes from the cardiac cycle, the formation of blood clots to the role of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Obviously the content will vary from exam board to exam board, but 99% of biology is great so that shouldn't be too much of a problem

    It gets so much more interesting at A2 but I'm guessing you'd be dropping whichever one you decide on?

    P.S Biology wins easily over FM :ahee:
    Oops, my phone lied to me so I didn't notice your message :P

    I didn't enjoy GCSE biology much - well I enjoyed in a way that I gained a lot of knowledge which I could apply in a placement at medical analysis lab or the fact that it made me realise I don't know A LOT about myself as a human. I enjoyed enzyme, osmosis, tropism, genetics, these tiny world topics but not much with environment or lungs etc...whereas I enjoyed almost every topic in chemistry and physics (except already-known-this-for-five-years velocity calculation)
    But yeah as you were not a fan of GCSE biology I'd never know what happens to me in A levels ._.

    What's that application question everyone's talking about?

    Well yes I'm planning on dropping bio at A2 if I choose Bio unless I suddenly start to love bio which isn't very likely but not impossible lol. And I HATED environment stuff in GCSE which is a large part in AQA A2 I believe so yeah...
    If I take FM I might drop or keep it, depending on what I decide to do as degree. If I decide on doing chem I might drop it, but if I decide on doing phy/maths I will keep it. Might keep or drop it either way who knows lol



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    (Original post by mynameisntbobk)
    Okay so I did Edexcel's context led approach (Salters-Nuffield spec) so it may vary from AQA

    I hated AS biology. I won't lie, I found it completely dull and I just hated every lesson and every second of it even though I liked my teachers and my class. I hated it because it was just so boring, especially when it came to unit 2 and we did the whole conservation/seeds stuff. I hated all of that at AS but I think overall I preferred unit 2 to unit 1. Unit 1 was just all around rubbish, I mean looking back now, it was the easiest thing but I just found it extremely boring.

    I must say that the only thing I liked much was unit 2 topic 3 when we looked at mitosis, cell structure and classifications (and William witherings digitalis lol). They were quite enjoyable topics I think because I'd never done them before and you only had to logically think about it to understand.

    I won't convince you to take it, but I definitely would advise you to consider all your options first. As opposed to what rumours would have you believe, it's not an easy AS and just memorising key words and concepts wont guarantee you a semi decent grade. As I said before, I hated AS and always considered dropping it but I actually worked hard and got an A in it (over 90% in all modules and no resits) so I kept it on because it was my best chance of making sure I get an A and I've got to say A2 biology is SO MUCH BETTER. It's by far my favourite A2 and I've enjoyed every second of it this year so I'm happy I kept it on! I guess that may be something to take into account when considering your choices because at the end of the day, you really don't know what you will end up dropping.
    AQA Unit 1 is biology and desease. It's about digestion, heart, lung and desease or so I read in specification. Unit 2 is like variation stuff so I guess they're on DNA meiosis all these stuff. Classification is also in it if I remember correctly. How did you these Unit 1 topics?

    Well my other choices are maths chem and phy and I think I will drop bio anyway unless I suddenly bloom in it but A2 bio has a large portion of environment food web stuff which isn't quite my interest so yeah

    Sadly there seem to be a lot of ppl thinking bio is the easiest science at my school lol. Bio class is full and takes up 2 blocks but phy/chem only got 1 block each and not full yet XD


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    (Original post by AhmedDavid)

    What I did enjoy about it though was heart & disease mitosis etc its just interesting to know how the body works. I also liked the challange of the questions that they simply weren't route answer. However it becomes
    frustrating when you can't do them. I however did get the hang of application and was able to score 90ums+ in all the practise papers I did. However the exam this year for BIOL2 was ridiculously hard and I think Ive failed after all that work. BIOL1 was good enough though I thinkI got 90+ on that.

    Convince me to take AS Biology
    It seriously is your decision but you should bear in mind that there is no University that currently requests for FMATHS as a compulsory component in their entry requirement although most say it is beneficial. However for most medicine courses Biology is needed to at least AS Level and for other courses so by doing Biology instead of FMaths you are keeping your options open. FMaths is easy to self learn compared to AS Biology so if you really want to do it then pick Biology and speak to your maths teacher about doing possibly 2modules out of 3 of the FMaths modules this year eg D1 & S1 then do FP1 in year 13 and you will still have a FMaths AS.
    Thanks for the tips
    Hm im not sure what application questions are?

    Welllll I'm not interested in medicine whatsoever. I am not really into big scale biology field and I might go for biochemistry or some bacteria stuff but that's about it. I really liked chemistry in GCSE (though I hear A level chemistry is nothing comparable to it) and been interested in physics for very long time but that's because schools never taught what I wanted to know so it's maybe just the mystery that's keeping me into physics and not because I like it :P - idk really

    And I know I can self teach FM and maths department can support me for that but these talks are for my Bio or FM thread and I just wanted to know about bioAS here
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    AQA Unit 1 is biology and desease. It's about digestion, heart, lung and desease or so I read in specification. Unit 2 is like variation stuff so I guess they're on DNA meiosis all these stuff. Classification is also in it if I remember correctly. How did you these Unit 1 topics?

    Well my other choices are maths chem and phy and I think I will drop bio anyway unless I suddenly bloom in it but A2 bio has a large portion of environment food web stuff which isn't quite my interest so yeah

    Sadly there seem to be a lot of ppl thinking bio is the easiest science at my school lol. Bio class is full and takes up 2 blocks but phy/chem only got 1 block each and not full yet XD


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    No, our unit 1 is called lifestyle, transport genes and health. I imagine it'll be quite similar however we the only diseases we cover are CVDs and cystic fibrosis (and other genetic diseases). But there's a lot more to unit 1 than that

    Must say that even though I hated plants at AS, I loved the ecology stuff in A2 and its really pushing me towards being an environmental chemist haha but yeah, it is quite a popular subject but it's definitely not easy. You'll hear people say it's the easiest yet it's the one they'd get the lowest in (sciences btw) because they do underestimate it and if you do go for it, don't make that mistake
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    (Original post by tory88)
    No problem. I've just completed a physics degree and am about to embark on teacher training to become a teacher of physics and maths.

    At AS, I did biology, chemistry, physics, maths and further maths; at A2 I continued physics, maths and further maths. Of all of these it was further maths that was most beneficial on my physics degree (yes, even more than my physics A-level).

    Personally (I've taught a bit of AQA biology), I would say biology was the least interesting of the three sciences and maths. This is subjective, however, as I know a lot of people hate physics but have enjoyed biology.
    Ohhh cool I didn't know you were that much older i'm sure you'd be a great teacher haha

    Oh really. Is it the Mechanics modules that were beneficial or the pure stuff? This makes me think about taking FM because although I don't know all the maths behind physics I watch a lot of physics videos (without maths because I won't understand lol) on Youtube or TED talks so I think I like physics

    Yeah it depends on the person. I ve been tilting towards physical sciences for quite long time now but I am really afraid of shuttering my path to biological sciences yu know. There isn't a huge possibility but there is still bigger than 0% of possibility that biological science is what I really like
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    Ok so cab reading all of the above posts to see if it has already been read..sorry.. here's how I would probably summarise from experience/what i've been told: Further maths will involve endless hours of maths, you will hone your problem solving skills if you do the work, potentially making you into a far more academic individual. (Huge sweeping statement I know, and I also know tonnes of super intelligent people that study Biology) but generally AS biology is quite..fluffy and memorise things, far less application. On the other hand, further maths is quite unnecessary for most options and not taking biology may close any of the life science routes. Hope you make a decision you won't regret.
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    (Original post by mynameisntbobk)
    No, our unit 1 is called lifestyle, transport genes and health. I imagine it'll be quite similar however we the only diseases we cover are CVDs and cystic fibrosis (and other genetic diseases). But there's a lot more to unit 1 than that

    Must say that even though I hated plants at AS, I loved the ecology stuff in A2 and its really pushing me towards being an environmental chemist haha but yeah, it is quite a popular subject but it's definitely not easy. You'll hear people say it's the easiest yet it's the one they'd get the lowest in (sciences btw) because they do underestimate it and if you do go for it, don't make that mistake
    Oops i forgot "find" in "how did you these Unit 1 topics?" :P

    I actually found bio hardest in GCSE sciences so won't underestimate it I guess well not exactly "hard" content wise (i think chem content is hardest in GCSE imo) but ew these names -_-

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    I did OCR. I loved biology in school, a-level put me off studying anything further. Turns out chemistry is where its at :cool:

    My frustrations:
    Exam content - I didn't feel like enough of the module contents were covered in the exams. I'd spend half of the class time learning about the heart and how it works to then be asked barely anything or a simple two mark question. Instead, there's a six or eight mark question on something that's about three lines in the text book. A2 actually I felt was a bit better, but AS felt horrible for this.

    Too much churn content. All about the memorising processes or key words - it's a very general problem with some a-level courses but it felt particularly poor at AS. Again, I felt A2 was somewhat better but it still suffered from this. I understood how things worked, but without using two or three exact words you just couldn't score full marks on questions.

    Basically: it's a 'wordy' science. You don't need to be particularly mathematical or logical in your thinking (like physics/chemistry tends to lend itself to more). The content is usually quite interesting but you'll never enjoy it all, and actually I even rather enjoyed lots of the ecology at A2. AS I felt did do a good job of providing grounding knowledge, although things you learn in modules may never cross over again which I always felt was a shame. I think it's easy enough to do well in if you devote the time to it (i.e. learning particular phrases). I think students who feel they are naturally smart and need not work so hard can fall down on this point because it just simply doesn't work in the same way as maths, chemistry... where you can get by very easily by having a good grasp on the techniques and understanding what's happening. It's not difficult to understand, just sometimes difficult to decipher the question and articulate an answer appropriately.

    If you're just doing a range of subjects, or more arts based courses then it's probably a pretty good shout for giving you a rounded background. If you're into heavy science then it might frustrate you at times. I'd argue it's somewhat useful to have biological knowledge for studying chemistry at degree level/beyond, but something like further maths will always benefit you more if you study physics/engineering type courses.
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Oops i forgot "find" in "how did you these Unit 1 topics?" :P

    I actually found bio hardest in GCSE sciences so won't underestimate it I guess well not exactly "hard" content wise (i think chem content is hardest in GCSE imo) but ew these names -_-

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    Ohh lol yeah it's pretty standard. Not too hard, the struggle is mastering exams with unit 1. The content itself is very straight forward

    Yeah bio GCSE was my worst GCSE after I flopped B7 so bad but it shouldn't stop you from progressing through A-level. I never really understood chem at GCSE, yet I managed an A* in it lol, those were the days
 
 
 
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