thornes
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Hi everyone,

Apologies if a similar thread has been made before. However I am really struggling with A2 Biology and I need a grade B to get into my first choice university.

At the moment it is unit 3 that I just have not understood - Biology for me is one of those subjects that no matter how hard you revise and how confident you feel, you end up with a bad grade. Just recently I did a mock and revised extremely thoroughly, feeling significantly confident for the mock, but still ended up with a poor grade.

I would really appreciate any links to sites that other people have found considerably useful, or any revision notes/pages that would be beneficial to me. I would also be grateful if anyone could suggest revision techniques that work for them: I usually learn things by handwriting them, and sometimes mind-maps are fairly useful to me.

Thank you to anyone that can help!
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rileystringer1
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(Original post by thornes)
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I'm doing A2 AQA Human Biology so perhaps I can give you some advice

First of all go through all of the past papers available and look for definition questions. In HBIO4 (Unit 4) definitions are worth up to 7 marks, and most of them come up year in year out i.e. "What is meant by negative feedback? (2 marks)". I've been through the past papers and gotten the mark scheme answers for definitions and printed a "model" answer for each, I'm going to be learning these as I revise

If you haven't already, print the specification. Then as you do topics in lesson (obviously now you'd have to do it on your own as you it will have already been covered in lesson) make notes on only what the specification states, but use mark schemes to aid you. For example, if you're on homeostasis in your textbook and you're about to write notes on it, look at all the questions in past papers to see what type of questions are asked and what you need to get in there to get full marks: you may need keywords such as 'hypothalamus' for temperature regulation

When you've completed all of your notes using the specification and mark schemes, revise them thoroughly and only move on from a topic when you fully understand it, to the point where you feel confident you could teach it to someone else. To aid you with things you're stuck on, I recommend YouTube videos (namely those of KhanAcademy) as they go through things in a slow pace, and you can pause and rewind where it suits. If this doesn't help, look for other explanations online, as hearing/reading it from different people in different ways can help you to understand

Once you've revised and feel confident, attempt some past papers, mark them and aim for an A. I know you only need a B, but if you are getting As in past papers and you get a bad paper this year, and end up with a B, it won't be a problem for you. Once you've marked them, note the questions you went wrong on. Get a piece of paper and summarise the question i.e. "role of hypothalamus in temp. regulation (2)", then bullet point the mark scheme points.

Regularly revisit these and you should find that by your 3rd or 4th past paper your marks will be increasing significantly. Because you'll be picking up skills as opposed to just answers, like if you get a 6 marker on "Evaluate this conclusion about the effect of statins on the risk of blood pressure" and you got 3 marks and found things on the mark scheme like "small sample size" that you didn't think of, you can then transfer these to other topics such as "Evaluate this conclusion about this new capsule on the effects of cystic fibrosis"

I hope that helps, let me know if you need any other advice.

edit: in terms of sites, I think biologyguide.net is good for AQA but I don't use it so I don't know, try not to rely on these sites too much as they're essentially other people's notes which isn't that great for understanding
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thornes
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(Original post by rileystringer1)
I'm doing A2 AQA Human Biology so perhaps I can give you some advice

First of all go through all of the past papers available and look for definition questions. In HBIO4 (Unit 4) definitions are worth up to 7 marks, and most of them come up year in year out i.e. "What is meant by negative feedback? (2 marks)". I've been through the past papers and gotten the mark scheme answers for definitions and printed a "model" answer for each, I'm going to be learning these as I revise

If you haven't already, print the specification. Then as you do topics in lesson (obviously now you'd have to do it on your own as you it will have already been covered in lesson) make notes on only what the specification states, but use mark schemes to aid you. For example, if you're on homeostasis in your textbook and you're about to write notes on it, look at all the questions in past papers to see what type of questions are asked and what you need to get in there to get full marks: you may need keywords such as 'hypothalamus' for temperature regulation

When you've completed all of your notes using the specification and mark schemes, revise them thoroughly and only move on from a topic when you fully understand it, to the point where you feel confident you could teach it to someone else. To aid you with things you're stuck on, I recommend YouTube videos (namely those of KhanAcademy) as they go through things in a slow pace, and you can pause and rewind where it suits. If this doesn't help, look for other explanations online, as hearing/reading it from different people in different ways can help you to understand

Once you've revised and feel confident, attempt some past papers, mark them and aim for an A. I know you only need a B, but if you are getting As in past papers and you get a bad paper this year, and end up with a B, it won't be a problem for you. Once you've marked them, note the questions you went wrong on. Get a piece of paper and summarise the question i.e. "role of hypothalamus in temp. regulation (2)", then bullet point the mark scheme points.

Regularly revisit these and you should find that by your 3rd or 4th past paper your marks will be increasing significantly. Because you'll be picking up skills as opposed to just answers, like if you get a 6 marker on "Evaluate this conclusion about the effect of statins on the risk of blood pressure" and you got 3 marks and found things on the mark scheme like "small sample size" that you didn't think of, you can then transfer these to other topics such as "Evaluate this conclusion about this new capsule on the effects of cystic fibrosis"

I hope that helps, let me know if you need any other advice.

edit: in terms of sites, I think biologyguide.net is good for AQA but I don't use it so I don't know, try not to rely on these sites too much as they're essentially other people's notes which isn't that great for understanding
Thank you so much!! This will help me loads, I appreciate this so much! I'll let you know how I get on
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