How much harder is AS Level Biology than GCSE Biology?

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username1763965
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How big is the jump? I'm planning to study it this year- AQA Biology
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raghad.
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i am not doing as biology but my teacher said that biology is mot that hard. but chemistry and physics are extremely hard!!
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RevisionNad
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I did OCR, mainly the jump to A level is just that the content is far more and you need to get to grips with the exam questions and how to answer them correctly. Mark schemes are quite restricted and look for very specific answers. A lot of people who did average in GCSE go on to get As and those who exceled at GCSE sometimes go down some grades at A level. So it's subjective. Good luck
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iss123
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ha
im doing btec level 3 medical science

good luck
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username1763965
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(Original post by RevisionNad)
I did OCR, mainly the jump to A level is just that the content is far more and you need to get to grips with the exam questions and how to answer them correctly. Mark schemes are quite restricted and look for very specific answers. A lot of people who did average in GCSE go on to get As and those who exceled at GCSE sometimes go down some grades at A level. So it's subjective. Good luck
(Original post by iss123)
ha
im doing btec level 3 medical science

good luck
Thanks.
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kkboyk
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(Original post by parrot16)
How big is the jump? I'm planning to study it this year- AQA Biology
A lot harder, due to the amount of content and there are far more application question (especially with AQA, whom I find to be the most annoying exam board).

The exam mark scheme is picky, but as long as you revise a lot (answer lots of questions rather than just read your notes).


There are LOTS of detailed notes you can find on TSR, ao don't spend a lot of time making notes.
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perpetualpaths
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Let's just say I went from A* at GCSE to an E on AS results day...
Put simply, I wouldn't say it's hard, it's just about the amount of effort that you need to put in to learn the amount of content. I'm retaking this year and will hopefully improve now that I know the amount of work that I have to put in. My piece of advice, don't find out the hard way and start working hard from the beginning.
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username1763965
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(Original post by kkboyk)
A lot harder, due to the amount of content and there are far more application question (especially with AQA, whom I find to be the most annoying exam board).

The exam mark scheme is picky, but as long as you revise a lot (answer lots of questions rather than just read your notes).


There are LOTS of detailed notes you can find on TSR, ao don't spend a lot of time making notes.
Thank you. So lots of past papers. I actually like doing them.
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BoriniLFC
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There's alot more to learn, but I wouldn't say it's that bad.

I found the AS to A2 jump more difficult in terms of the exams
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avai
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AS biology is okay and the jump isn't too high but the jump between as and a2 biology is a lot! good luck x
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kkboyk
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(Original post by parrot16)
Thank you. So lots of past papers. I actually like doing them.
Do topic based questions. Around december when you finish unit 1, thenstart past paper for both unit1 and 3 (ISA and EMPA past papers, which you can do without doing the experiment, but just read the methodology).

The website to find topic based question is sciencemathsmaster.weebly (on google).
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TruffleGirl65
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It is quite a big jump tbh. Don't expect to pass by just revising from your revision guide like you probably did at GCSE. It requires a different level of understanding and you need to become very familiar with exam technique when writing your answers because the examiners are extremely picky and will not reward marks for vaguely correct answers.... it has to be spot on. At GCSE level I think examiners are a lot more lenient in how they reward marks. Don't fret though, you will get use to it!


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1338
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Basically there's just a lot more content, for my exam board the concepts were easy to grasp, it was just really about remembering lots of facts. I spent the majority of my revision time at AS doing Biology and ended up with the same grade for everything so it'll probably take up a lot more of your time than other AS levels -_-
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Lemon Haze
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I'm not a Biology student, but from what people are saying here you must use the mark scheme and past papers as a large part of your revision. A lot of A-level subjects seem to require a large amount of remembering the answers to the questions rather than actually understanding the content subject to me..
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rxns_00
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Slightly more complex theory but it's all just a memory game. It's nothing compared to the other sciences so you're good
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spiritless98
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I disagree with the above poster, it's not all about memory anymore
a lot of application is now involved

At first you'll struggle, at the beginning of AS biology I was getting Us because I used the same strategy as GCSE and tried to memorise the content without understanding the concepts, the workload is much more
However once made sure I understood the concepts, biology became my favourite subject and I'm on track to get an A at A2 and even study it at degree level.
Good luck!


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Rorschach II
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#17
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(Original post by raghad.)
i am not doing as biology but my teacher said that biology is mot that hard. but chemistry and physics are extremely hard!!
(From my own experience, I say) that is partially false. I don't know about physics, because I never took it, but chemistry is a lot easier than biology, because many things learnt gives you a better comprehension of the other stuff, it's complementary, and there's far less stuff to do.

I don't think people often go about it the correct way though. In some cases, yes, you must memorise e.g. these "mechanisms" you'll hear about, and only after it's memorised do you understand it easily, or at all, but biology is topic after topic with less things between them (though there are reoccurring themes), and far harder application of knowledge (in the second module.)

(Quite a few) past papers get you mostly sorted for chemistry.

Just saying, for example, chemical calculations can be summarised in like five calculations.

Though there are perhaps one or two hard(er) concepts in chemistry, at the beginning.
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Araishu
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#18
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At GCSE I managed to come through with an A in Biology, but at A-level I only achieved grade C. At AS, I managed to get around 3 marks off an A but it was A2 that tripped me up. The difference is not really too large as you learn to up the pace a little bit so you're not exactly thrown straight into the deep end. I'd say the biggest difference is the amount of information you have to memorise. If you thought memorising all those names at GCSE was difficult then you're really gonna have to get on top of your specialist terminology here. It also depends on what other subjects you're taking, I struggled with taking Chemistry and Physics alongside Biology because all 3 require a tremendous amount of work, but I'd say Biology is definitely the easiest to get your head around concepts. Good luck with your A-levels, work hard and I'm sure you'll get the grades you want
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username1763965
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#19
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(Original post by kkboyk)
Do topic based questions. Around december when you finish unit 1, thenstart past paper for both unit1 and 3 (ISA and EMPA past papers, which you can do without doing the experiment, but just read the methodology).

The website to find topic based question is sciencemathsmaster.weebly (on google).
(Original post by BoriniLFC)
There's alot more to learn, but I wouldn't say it's that bad.

I found the AS to A2 jump more difficult in terms of the exams
(Original post by avai)
AS biology is okay and the jump isn't too high but the jump between as and a2 biology is a lot! good luck x
(Original post by TruffleGirl65)
It is quite a big jump tbh. Don't expect to pass by just revising from your revision guide like you probably did at GCSE. It requires a different level of understanding and you need to become very familiar with exam technique when writing your answers because the examiners are extremely picky and will not reward marks for vaguely correct answers.... it has to be spot on. At GCSE level I think examiners are a lot more lenient in how they reward marks. Don't fret though, you will get use to it!


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(Original post by 1338)
Basically there's just a lot more content, for my exam board the concepts were easy to grasp, it was just really about remembering lots of facts. I spent the majority of my revision time at AS doing Biology and ended up with the same grade for everything so it'll probably take up a lot more of your time than other AS levels -_-
(Original post by Lemon Haze)
I'm not a Biology student, but from what people are saying here you must use the mark scheme and past papers as a large part of your revision. A lot of A-level subjects seem to require a large amount of remembering the answers to the questions rather than actually understanding the content subject to me..
(Original post by RonnieRJ)
Slightly more complex theory but it's all just a memory game. It's nothing compared to the other sciences so you're good
(Original post by spiritless98)
I disagree with the above poster, it's not all about memory anymore
a lot of application is now involved

At first you'll struggle, at the beginning of AS biology I was getting Us because I used the same strategy as GCSE and tried to memorise the content without understanding the concepts, the workload is much more
However once made sure I understood the concepts, biology became my favourite subject and I'm on track to get an A at A2 and even study it at degree level.
Good luck!


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(Original post by XcitingStuart)
(From my own experience, I say) that is partially false. I don't know about physics, because I never took it, but chemistry is a lot easier than biology, because many things learnt gives you a better comprehension of the other stuff, it's complementary, and there's far less stuff to do.

I don't think people often go about it the correct way though. In some cases, yes, you must memorise e.g. these "mechanisms" you'll hear about, and only after it's memorised do you understand it easily, or at all, but biology is topic after topic with less things between them (though there are reoccurring themes), and far harder application of knowledge (in the second module.)

(Quite a few) past papers get you mostly sorted for chemistry.

Just saying, for example, chemical calculations can be summarised in like five calculations.

Though there are perhaps one or two hard(er) concepts in chemistry, at the beginning.
(Original post by perpetualpaths)
Let's just say I went from A* at GCSE to an E on AS results day...
Put simply, I wouldn't say it's hard, it's just about the amount of effort that you need to put in to learn the amount of content. I'm retaking this year and will hopefully improve now that I know the amount of work that I have to put in. My piece of advice, don't find out the hard way and start working hard from the beginning.
Thanks for your advice everyone!
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username1763965
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#20
(Original post by Araishu)
At GCSE I managed to come through with an A in Biology, but at A-level I only achieved grade C. At AS, I managed to get around 3 marks off an A but it was A2 that tripped me up. The difference is not really too large as you learn to up the pace a little bit so you're not exactly thrown straight into the deep end. I'd say the biggest difference is the amount of information you have to memorise. If you thought memorising all those names at GCSE was difficult then you're really gonna have to get on top of your specialist terminology here. It also depends on what other subjects you're taking, I struggled with taking Chemistry and Physics alongside Biology because all 3 require a tremendous amount of work, but I'd say Biology is definitely the easiest to get your head around concepts. Good luck with your A-levels, work hard and I'm sure you'll get the grades you want
Thanks.
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