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    Hello everyone,

    just wondering for A level biol and chem, can anyone recommend any resources that i can go and do some wider reading on to try and just push my grades up that little bit further.

    Thanks in advance ^_^
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    (Original post by nymaphadora)
    Hello everyone,

    just wondering for A level biol and chem, can anyone recommend any resources that i can go and do some wider reading on to try and just push my grades up that little bit further.

    Thanks in advance ^_^
    This is what I've done:
    • Read Nature and New Scientist weekly- I've found that if you know more about what biology and chemistry are like in the real world, you're more motivated to pay attention and make connections in classes. Also, you can learn about actual applications of your school knowledge, which both gives you confidence and helps you to memorise things easier!
    • Play trivia games! I play the chemistry and biology topics on QuizUp, and I've actually learnt a LOT that has come up in exams!
    • Try and go for some work experience with a uni or research centre near you. I went to the John Innes Centre for a day, and everyone was surprisingly lovely and they even let me remotely operate the particle accelerator in Oxford!! I now seem to be really knowledgeable about X-ray diffraction, which I wouldn't have even come close to understanding if I hadn't learnt it with a real researcher. (I know that this isn't really 'further reading')
    • Chemguide really helps! Learning a little bit beyond the syllabus helps me to understand what I'm writing in answers a lot more.
    • Take classes on Coursera! I'm doing Genetics and Evolution currently, and while it isn't actually in the syllabus, I really like it
    • Read actual books! I recommend Lives of a Cell and The Selfish Gene, which are kind of old, but there's loads of different inspiring science-y books out there
    • I also would advise exploring the Biology/Chemistry categories in Wikipedia, because I always end up finding things I never know existed!

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by nymaphadora)
    Hello everyone,

    just wondering for A level biol and chem, can anyone recommend any resources that i can go and do some wider reading on to try and just push my grades up that little bit further.

    Thanks in advance ^_^
    Extra reading isn't necessary to get top grades at A level. If anything, trying to incorporate too much extra information into exam answers will impede your grade because A level mark schemes are very, very specific - if you don't write the exact thing they're looking for, you don't get the marks.

    If you want to read out of genuine interest, then the person above me has suggested some really good sources. But for exam purposes, just learn the text book and you'll be fine.
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    I agree with Kanra, if this is in an attempt to increase your grades you're simply going on the wrong path.

    The difference between people who get things like Bs, As and A*s is usually down to exam technique rather than raw knowledge of the subject. It's sad but at A-level the underlying idea is to be prepared to answer questions you've read before in papers that have already been released to make sure you answer their sometimes frankly ridiculous mark schemes. I used to write large paragraphs with nice language and punctuation at the beginning of sixth form, by the end of it I was writing short bullet points using as many abbreviations as possible with as many therefore symbols as I could use.

    Do not, of course, let it sour your lust for extra knowledge, that is absolutely brilliant and is something I did to improve my knowledge and passion for the course I'm currently doing, but don't be under the impression it is going to explicitly help push up your grades.
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    (Original post by kawehi)
    This is what I've done:
    • Read Nature and New Scientist weekly- I've found that if you know more about what biology and chemistry are like in the real world, you're more motivated to pay attention and make connections in classes. Also, you can learn about actual applications of your school knowledge, which both gives you confidence and helps you to memorise things easier!
    • Play trivia games! I play the chemistry and biology topics on QuizUp, and I've actually learnt a LOT that has come up in exams!
    • Try and go for some work experience with a uni or research centre near you. I went to the John Innes Centre for a day, and everyone was surprisingly lovely and they even let me remotely operate the particle accelerator in Oxford!! I now seem to be really knowledgeable about X-ray diffraction, which I wouldn't have even come close to understanding if I hadn't learnt it with a real researcher. (I know that this isn't really 'further reading')
    • Chemguide really helps! Learning a little bit beyond the syllabus helps me to understand what I'm writing in answers a lot more.
    • Take classes on Coursera! I'm doing Genetics and Evolution currently, and while it isn't actually in the syllabus, I really like it
    • Read actual books! I recommend Lives of a Cell and The Selfish Gene, which are kind of old, but there's loads of different inspiring science-y books out there
    • I also would advise exploring the Biology/Chemistry categories in Wikipedia, because I always end up finding things I never know existed!

    Hope this helps!
    wow that is brilliant thank you so much, its not necessarily so i can boost my grades but as you said - its very interesting and it helps with better understanding :-)
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    awh thank you all, this is very helpful! so just another quick question, you say that exam technique is key (especially in biol) how do you improve on this? because the thing is i know the content pretty well tbh however i very much struggle to apply my knowledge and use all the correct words they look for in the EXTREMELY specific mark schemes:L

    Thanks again people ^_^
 
 
 
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