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    I got 2 A's in my AS level exams and they were the easiest exams I had last summer. I've studied the entire A2 syllabus and have done all but one of the past papers for unit 4 and unit 5 and I cannot for the life of me get anything over a B...

    I'll write an answer which I think answers the question perfectly and then I'll read the mark scheme and they'll be on about something completely different, god help me when I'm actually in a stressful exam environment rather than at my dining room table :mad:

    Does anyone have any tips?
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    Your probably don't read the question properly. Read the question twice and underline what its exactly asking therefore you have relevant information. Even after doing that you get the answer wrong try to understand where u went wrong and see why that answer was relevant and not yours.
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    (Original post by jf1994)
    I got 2 A's in my AS level exams and they were the easiest exams I had last summer. I've studied the entire A2 syllabus and have done all but one of the past papers for unit 4 and unit 5 and I cannot for the life of me get anything over a B...

    I'll write an answer which I think answers the question perfectly and then I'll read the mark scheme and they'll be on about something completely different, god help me when I'm actually in a stressful exam environment rather than at my dining room table :mad:

    Does anyone have any tips?
    You have A's for bio1 and bio2 right? How did you revise for those exams and get A's? You must have been doing something right then and maybe try what you done last time. Since you said you have studied all the content i am guessing where you are struggling is understanding how to answer the questions.

    I would say read the question more than once and underline KEY points, because many times people read the question and jump straight to the answer without understanding what they are asking for. So for example when they say use the data you have to link the data given or else you won't get any marks.

    Another thing i would do is to remember to throw in key words into your answers when you can, because mark schemes can be strict and want specific wordings to get the mark. So go through mark schemes and look for underlined words. Especially for the 5/6 markers learn the points from the mark scheme as some of those questions do come up again and are repetitive.

    The most important thing is to practice. Get as many past papers as you can find and go through them over and over until you feel you can get 100% but do save a couple to do in the weeks before the exam if you want to judge how well you are doing.
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    (Original post by ~amethyst~)
    You have A's for bio1 and bio2 right? How did you revise for those exams and get A's? You must have been doing something right then and maybe try what you done last time. Since you said you have studied all the content i am guessing where you are struggling is understanding how to answer the questions.

    I would say read the question more than once and underline KEY points, because many times people read the question and jump straight to the answer without understanding what they are asking for. So for example when they say use the data you have to link the data given or else you won't get any marks.

    Another thing i would do is to remember to throw in key words into your answers when you can, because mark schemes can be strict and want specific wordings to get the mark. So go through mark schemes and look for underlined words. Especially for the 5/6 markers learn the points from the mark scheme as some of those questions do come up again and are repetitive.

    The most important thing is to practice. Get as many past papers as you can find and go through them over and over until you feel you can get 100% but do save a couple to do in the weeks before the exam if you want to judge how well you are doing.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll just have to try to memorise the mark scheme for certain answers...

    Are the examiners strict on marking exams? Do they need candidates to more or less say exactly what the mark scheme says in exactly the correct order?

    I've got an example which I've just done on this paper: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...W-QP-JUN10.PDF

    The question is 1 (b): Explain what the results from group A suggest about the factors controlling the behaviour of winged termites.

    The answer I wrote was this : Group A with eyes covered were unable to detect light and phototaxis was prevented. The control group exhibits both positive phototaxis and positive geotaxis. Therefore the termite's eyes detect light and their antennae detect gravity. Hence light levels and gravity influence their behaviour.

    And the mark scheme says:

    Gravity;


    Antennae involved;


    Doesn’t show light is involved/doesn’t respond to light as
    they are unable to see/as eyes are covered

    It's for three marks. Would I have got them? It just seems like my answer is kind of messy and incoherent, maybe I'm over thinking
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    (Original post by jf1994)
    I've got an example which I've just done on this paper: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...W-QP-JUN10.PDF

    The question is 1 (b): Explain what the results from group A suggest about the factors controlling the behaviour of winged termites.

    The answer I wrote was this : Group A with eyes covered were unable to detect light and phototaxis was prevented. The control group exhibits both positive phototaxis and positive geotaxis. Therefore the termite's eyes detect light and their antennae detect gravity. Hence light levels and gravity influence their behaviour.

    And the mark scheme says:

    Gravity;


    Antennae involved;


    Doesn’t show light is involved/doesn’t respond to light as
    they are unable to see/as eyes are covered

    It's for three marks. Would I have got them? It just seems like my answer is kind of messy and incoherent, maybe I'm over thinking
    You would've definitely gotten 2 marks at-least, but i think it should get you the 3 marks

    I'd suggest excluding bits like: "The control group exhibits both positive phototaxis and positive geotaxis" That kind of stuff is your thought process, you don't need to write that down unless you feel it's completely relevant (ie: Question asks you to state why it is so) - it uses up precious time.

    By the way, congratz on getting A's last year. just wondering, you're doing A2 now; generally people would be STARTING Unit5's at this time. you already finished the whole syllabus? :eek:

    I think that might be part of the reason. It's not a bad thing. I suggest just doing more exam practice and various top centered questions. I revised loads on chemistry and but did very little exam practice. Failed my mock. Same thing for maths, but as maths revision IS exam practice, I got an A*.... so yeah. For me at-least, exam practice and thoroughly examining the mark scheme is the best way to go.
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    (Original post by Prismere)
    You would've definitely gotten 2 marks at-least, but i think it should get you the 3 marks

    I'd suggest excluding bits like: "The control group exhibits both positive phototaxis and positive geotaxis" That kind of stuff is your thought process, you don't need to write that down unless you feel it's completely relevant (ie: Question asks you to state why it is so) - it uses up precious time.

    By the way, congratz on getting A's last year. just wondering, you're doing A2 now; generally people would be STARTING Unit5's at this time. you already finished the whole syllabus? :eek:

    I think that might be part of the reason. It's not a bad thing. I suggest just doing more exam practice and various top centered questions. I revised loads on chemistry and but did very little exam practice. Failed my mock. Same thing for maths, but as maths revision IS exam practice, I got an A*.... so yeah. For me at-least, exam practice and thoroughly examining the mark scheme is the best way to go.
    Thanks for the reply

    I'm self taught so I've been finishing one unit and moving on to the next rather than doing all my units simultaneously. Started with Maths, just about finished Biology and gonna move onto Physics soon, so I'm not as ahead of everyone as you might think

    Congrats on the A* in Maths! I agree, there's not really much else you can do with Maths except memorise the obscure way that they word the questions and hope they don't trip you up. I only got ABB on my 3 AS Maths units last year so I'm retaking the two this summer
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    (Original post by jf1994)
    Thanks for the reply

    I'm self taught so I've been finishing one unit and moving on to the next rather than doing all my units simultaneously. Started with Maths, just about finished Biology and gonna move onto Physics soon, so I'm not as ahead of everyone as you might think

    Congrats on the A* in Maths! I agree, there's not really much else you can do with Maths except memorise the obscure way that they word the questions and hope they don't trip you up. I only got ABB on my 3 AS Maths units last year so I'm retaking the two this summer
    Thanks! I also got ABB in maths last year too heh. Retaking C1 and C2 (AB respectively) as I can't be bothered revising S1 again ._. But seeing as I understand C3 much more (shown by the A*) C1 and C2 shouldn't be hard to pull up.

    It's good that your'e covering the topics yourself though. It will pay off greatly. Iv'e been slacking this year but recently I've started picking myself up so hopefully I can get a minimum of 3 A's this year. Going to try and cover all the unit 5's myself as-well. Got my Biology mock tomorrow morning.... yet here I am on TSR
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    (Original post by Prismere)
    Thanks! I also got ABB in maths last year too heh. Retaking C1 and C2 (AB respectively) as I can't be bothered revising S1 again ._. But seeing as I understand C3 much more (shown by the A*) C1 and C2 shouldn't be hard to pull up.

    It's good that your'e covering the topics yourself though. It will pay off greatly. Iv'e been slacking this year but recently I've started picking myself up so hopefully I can get a minimum of 3 A's this year. Going to try and cover all the unit 5's myself as-well. Got my Biology mock tomorrow morning.... yet here I am on TSR
    I took C3 last year and got a B, can't remember what exactly I messed up (think it was a trig question) and I completely flopped on C2 even though it was my favourite unit Good luck in your mock, let me know how it goes!
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    Exam practice, in my personal opinion, is the ONLY way to achieve an A* in biology.
    The issue is, many people see it as the geography of the sciences, a bit wishy washy and a lot of comprehension.
    That is the trap that many people fall into.
    It is necessary to get to grips with knowledge base of the syllabus, but what you'll actually find is that a lot of the stuff present in textbooks appears incredibly sparsely or never in past papers.
    Simply go over papers again and again, you'll notice that they ask questions in slightly different ways, but the answers are the same, even for graph questions, they can only show a few different correlations and there can only be a few different things behind it, regardless of if they're using snow geese or shrews.
    In terms of your example answer, it sounds great, is correct and would get the marks, but you don't want to take a chance, don't make the examiner have to think and try to extract the words he's got written from your answer. Make use of bullet points and through experience get used to the wording they want from you, memorise a few sentences that you regurgitate for incredibly common questions, tailor these answers so they can't take the marks off you.

    I experienced a very similar learning curve entering A-level, I used these methods and it saw me through, best of luck!
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seem like you are a) wasting resources by not making corrections and going back to questions you are getting incorrect or b) you haven't done all the past papers. I say this because examiners ALWAYS RECYCLE QUESTIONS.
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    You should read the question twice at least to make sure you understand the question,
    Learn some back round information on websites or videos etc,
    Get a book specifically for the exam border your doing so when you revise you get an understanding of how the questions are going to be like,
    If your getting disturbed in your learning area try ask the people around you to be quieter politely, try listening to some study aid sounds on youtube so you can't hear much of your background or just go the library.
    Go on google, and research answering exam question techniques which can help you.
 
 
 
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