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    Was the ISA content (coursework) a lot of work, for example would you suggest dedicating a notebook to it?
    Did unit 2 have more content than unit 1?
    Was there a lot of maths to understand?
    Is there anything you wish you'd understood before starting the course?
    Anything you suggest getting the hang of before starting the course?
    Any general tips?

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by iamabbie97)
    Was the ISA content (coursework) a lot of work, for example would you suggest dedicating a notebook to it?
    Did unit 2 have more content than unit 1?
    Was there a lot of maths to understand?
    Is there anything you wish you'd understood before starting the course?
    Anything you suggest getting the hang of before starting the course?
    Any general tips?

    Thank you!
    I've just finished the AS course so I can't talk about A2 but I'll try to be as helpful as possible.

    The main part about the ISA was past papers. It's the same questions over and over again, just worded differently so just practice practice practice! A notebook wouldn't hurt but I wouldn't say its essential.

    Hardest maths was standard deviation and it's not too bad at all, once you've got the hang of it. Typically just percentages, rates of reaction etc. Basic stuff.

    Hmmmmm, not that I can think of. There wasn't anything that I though was very hard to grasp, just lots to remember! If you do have trouble understanding things though, please go over it with your teacher until you understand it well. AQA LOVE "apply your knowledge" questions so if you all you do is memorize the info you'll lose plenty of marks.

    I would say there is more content in unit 2 but not much. More subjects, less info in each subject, and a lot of overlap too. Some of the unit one stuff is needed for unit 2 as well.

    I don't think you need to do anything before staring the course, although I would recommend buying the AQA revision guide. Very condensed info and was so helpful when revising, after looking over notes. It has lots of practice questions too with examiners comments on many of them.

    General tips. DO PAST PAPERS! Use keywords, you can get the right answer and not get marks. The mark schemes are VERY strict. Just revise plenty and ask your teacher if you're stuck and you'll be fine .
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    (Original post by iamabbie97)
    Was the ISA content (coursework) a lot of work, for example would you suggest dedicating a notebook to it?
    Did unit 2 have more content than unit 1?
    Was there a lot of maths to understand?
    Is there anything you wish you'd understood before starting the course?
    Anything you suggest getting the hang of before starting the course?
    Any general tips?

    Thank you!
    The ISAs didn't require a lot of material; probably 1 notebook would fit all of them in. Pay attention and make notes on practicals in class, and look at past ISA papers.

    Yes, unit 2 was more content than 1. Unit 1 didn't fill the (slim) notebook that I used for it by quite a lot. I only just fit unit 2 in one the same size.

    There are some calculations that you will need to learn, just practice them a lot and you'll be ok. As I recall AS included calculating magnification - just learn the formula; converting units; basic stuff involving volumes (for fluid and air); interpreting data in tables and graphs; statistics (mean, standard deviation etc) which is a bit more difficult - just make sure you really understand it and then practice a lot; calculating indices for diversity (just memorise the formula).

    Make sure you understand everything and keep up with class as you go along. Keep good notes, check your class notes against the textbook and then make comprehensive notes that include everything; do this at least once a week, if not after every class; you will need them later for revision, when you can make summary notes from them which makes you go over everything again and gives you key points for quick reference.
    Treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. There is too much material to cram at the last minute. Do the practice questions after each topic (your teachers will probably get you to anyway) as these throw up holes in your understanding that it is important to fill at that stage rather than later. Do ask about anything you don't understand, it will be important later

    Also, the Collins AQA revision books are excellent, I highly recommend! And do lots of past papers to get the hang of exam technique - do them with the mark scheme next to you, it's all about how they like you to answer the question
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    (Original post by Chrasty)
    I've just finished the AS course so I can't talk about A2 but I'll try to be as helpful as possible.

    The main part about the ISA was past papers. It's the same questions over and over again, just worded differently so just practice practice practice! A notebook wouldn't hurt but I wouldn't say its essential.

    Hardest maths was standard deviation and it's not too bad at all, once you've got the hang of it. Typically just percentages, rates of reaction etc. Basic stuff.

    Hmmmmm, not that I can think of. There wasn't anything that I though was very hard to grasp, just lots to remember! If you do have trouble understanding things though, please go over it with your teacher until you understand it well. AQA LOVE "apply your knowledge" questions so if you all you do is memorize the info you'll lose plenty of marks.

    I would say there is more content in unit 2 but not much. More subjects, less info in each subject, and a lot of overlap too. Some of the unit one stuff is needed for unit 2 as well.

    I don't think you need to do anything before staring the course, although I would recommend buying the AQA revision guide. Very condensed info and was so helpful when revising, after looking over notes. It has lots of practice questions too with examiners comments on many of them.

    General tips. DO PAST PAPERS! Use keywords, you can get the right answer and not get marks. The mark schemes are VERY strict. Just revise plenty and ask your teacher if you're stuck and you'll be fine .
    Thank you so much! How much paper would you say you used? I have a 80 page notebook but I feel it won't be enough...
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    The ISAs didn't require a lot of material; probably 1 notebook would fit all of them in. Pay attention and make notes on practicals in class, and look at past ISA papers.

    Yes, unit 2 was more content than 1. Unit 1 didn't fill the (slim) notebook that I used for it by quite a lot. I only just fit unit 2 in one the same size.

    There are some calculations that you will need to learn, just practice them a lot and you'll be ok. As I recall AS included calculating magnification - just learn the formula; converting units; basic stuff involving volumes (for fluid and air); interpreting data in tables and graphs; statistics (mean, standard deviation etc) which is a bit more difficult - just make sure you really understand it and then practice a lot; calculating indices for diversity (just memorise the formula).

    Make sure you understand everything and keep up with class as you go along. Keep good notes, check your class notes against the textbook and then make comprehensive notes that include everything; do this at least once a week, if not after every class; you will need them later for revision, when you can make summary notes from them which makes you go over everything again and gives you key points for quick reference.
    Treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. There is too much material to cram at the last minute. Do the practice questions after each topic (your teachers will probably get you to anyway) as these throw up holes in your understanding that it is important to fill at that stage rather than later. Do ask about anything you don't understand, it will be important later

    Also, the Collins AQA revision books are excellent, I highly recommend! And do lots of past papers to get the hang of exam technique - do them with the mark scheme next to you, it's all about how they like you to answer the question
    Thank you! I'm thinking a 80 sheet notebook for notes I independently take out of the text books. But a 200 sheet for notes in class, would you say that would be sufficient? I will use loOse paper for my ISA notes and store them so I can use them again for A2
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    (Original post by iamabbie97)
    Thank you! I'm thinking a 80 sheet notebook for notes I independently take out of the text books. But a 200 sheet for notes in class, would you say that would be sufficient? I will use loOse paper for my ISA notes and store them so I can use them again for A2
    I did things slightly differently, but it sounds about right.

    I too did the ISA stuff loose leaf, & our teacher gave us loads of handouts for ISA & everything else. In the end I made class notes on loose leaf & kept them in a folder divided by topic (1 small folder for each unit). I had a notebook for each unit (I kept units separate so it was easier for revision) in which I made really detailed notes from the textbook and conglomerated them with notes from class & any other sources (handouts, key points from practice questions etc). I think my unit 1 notebook I 3/4 filled 100 pages, unit 2 completely filled the same size, but I do like to include my own diagrams
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    I did things slightly differently, but it sounds about right.

    I too did the ISA stuff loose leaf, & our teacher gave us loads of handouts for ISA & everything else. In the end I made class notes on loose leaf & kept them in a folder divided by topic (1 small folder for each unit). I had a notebook for each unit (I kept units separate so it was easier for revision) in which I made really detailed notes from the textbook and conglomerated them with notes from class & any other sources (handouts, key points from practice questions etc). I think my unit 1 notebook I 3/4 filled 100 pages, unit 2 completely filled the same size, but I do like to include my own diagrams
    What text books would you recommend? And do you know if this school year there is a new spec for biology?
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    (Original post by iamabbie97)
    What text books would you recommend? And do you know if this school year there is a new spec for biology?

    Someone else asked me this as well, so I've had a quick look at the 2014 spec, it looks to be the same as when I took it (2011/12). While the.y are getting rid of the january exam series, the course content is remaining the same as far as I am aware.

    The AQA official textbook is very good, it explains things clearly & has useful practice questions.
    I also liked the small green Collins revision books - they do one per unit.
    One of the most useful books I came across was for the practicals, it's called AQA AS/A-level Biology Student Unit Guide, Unit 3 and 6: Investigative and Practical Skills in Biology. It's the only revision guide out there aimed specifically at the ISA.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    Someone else asked me this as well, so I've had a quick look at the 2014 spec, it looks to be the same as when I took it (2011/12). While the.y are getting rid of the january exam series, the course content is remaining the same as far as I am aware.

    The AQA official textbook is very good, it explains things clearly & has useful practice questions.
    I also liked the small green Collins revision books - they do one per unit.
    One of the most useful books I came across was for the practicals, it's called AQA AS/A-level Biology Student Unit Guide, Unit 3 and 6: Investigative and Practical Skills in Biology. It's the only revision guide out there aimed specifically at the ISA.
    For the ISA book, there are 2 listed on amazon? 2011 and 2012, which do you reckon is best?
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    (Original post by iamabbie97)
    For the ISA book, there are 2 listed on amazon? 2011 and 2012, which do you reckon is best?

    I'd go with the newer edition, it may have additional material or be more up to date.
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    (Original post by theresheglows)
    I'd go with the newer edition, it may have additional material or be more up to date.
    Do you know which one you had?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Level-Biol...lls+in+Biology

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-Stud...pr_product_top
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    I had the earlier version.
 
 
 
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