therecovery
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Hey guys,

I did my Biology AS units this jan. ill doing my A2 bio units in june(unit 4, unit 5 and unit 6). if I have to repeat any of my bio AS units, ill do them as well.

Anyway, my question for you is, how can I get an A* for biology?
I have finished the syllabus and now im doing topic by topic questions in my gce past paper book. Ill be getting my AS results on march 3rd and if i have to resit any of the AS units, ill do them in june.

plan for February - do all topic by topic questions for all units through past papers.
then i shall do all the ial papers, time them and mark with MS and ER.

March - make as much as model questions as possible.

April and may - not decided yet.

if you guys need more details, please let me know
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sortofmusician
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Hey! Sounds like you've got a decent plan there!

Keep doing what you're doing, and I think you'll be right on track for that A* grade!

I'm aiming for the same grade as you, and some tips I found useful for my AS last year (and I've continued doing for my A2) were:

-using flashcards; I have stacks of them! I ho through my notes and write questions on the front of the card and the answers on the back. Then I test myself or get someone else to test me, and the questions I get wrong go into a separate pile of things I need to look over again. I do a couple of these a night and I just find it helps me to keep everything in my mind

-YouTube is great for going over things, the Crash Course Biology videos are a lifesaver! Even if you already understand the topic, watching videos is just a different way to revise and learn things aside from notes, reading etc.

-past papers: do as many as you can, but one thing I would say is that if it's possible, get someone else to mark it for you like your teacher/tutor. Doing it yourself with markschemes is fine but I find sometimes that the markschemes online are either quite vague or quite complicated, and teachers have more of an insight into where you need to improve etc.

Well done though, you got this!
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rileystringer1
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(Original post by sortofmusician)
I ho through my notes and write questions on the front of the card and the answers on the back
What kind of Q&A do you do? I've thought about doing this myself but when it comes to it, most of the topics we cover I wouldn't be able to write good Q&A for most things :/

the Crash Course Biology videos are a lifesaver!
Ah do you think? I've tried Crash Course for Biology and Psychology (A2) and I find it pretty much useless for both, because Hank clearly doesn't know a thing about either so he's essentially just reading a script and I find it kind of annoying and "over the top". But KhanAcademy videos are really useful I find, I don't know if you've tried them?
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ethanstoddart
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(Original post by rileystringer1)
What kind of Q&A do you do? I've thought about doing this myself but when it comes to it, most of the topics we cover I wouldn't be able to write good Q&A for most things :/


Ah do you think? I've tried Crash Course for Biology and Psychology (A2) and I find it pretty much useless for both, because Hank clearly doesn't know a thing about either so he's essentially just reading a script and I find it kind of annoying and "over the top". But KhanAcademy videos are really useful I find, I don't know if you've tried them?
Oioioi no one disses my bae Hank Green, I love that guy. I've started making really amatuer revision videos for some of my biology revision but I find A2 really simple with low af grade boundaries so hopefully it won't be too bad in the exam this year.
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sortofmusician
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(Original post by rileystringer1)
What kind of Q&A do you do? I've thought about doing this myself but when it comes to it, most of the topics we cover I wouldn't be able to write good Q&A for most things :/
So say I have this section of notes (just a small random section from my A2 guide)...
Spoiler:
Show
The uncontrolled release of energy from glucose would result in an increase in temperature that woulddestroy cells. Instead living organisms use the gradual release of energy in small steps to produce ATP.ADP is converted to ATP by the addition of phosphate molecules. Since energy is used up in theproduction of ATP it is referred to as an endergonic reaction. The amount of energy needed to add eachphosphate molecule is 30 kJ mol-1. The phosphate groups are held in place by high-energy bonds.
ATP is therefore a short-term energy store of the cell and is referred to as the ‘energy currency’ of thecell.

ATP can be hydrolysed to release energy as required. When ATP is broken down to ADP and phosphatethis is referred to as an exergonic reaction since energy is released. The hydrolysis of ATP to ADP iscatalysed by the enzyme ATP ase and the removal of the terminal phosphate yields 30 kJ mol – 1 of free energy.

ATP ----------→ ADP + Pi + 30kJmol-1
...I go through each sentence/paragraph and turn each one into a question, so the cards I would make for this section would be something like:

- Why could organisms not use glucose as a direct energy source?
- How is ATP produced?
- How much energy is needed to add a phosphate group onto ADP?
- How is energy released from ATP?
- Which enzyme is needed to catalyse the hydrolysis of ATP?
- How much energy does the hydrolysis of one ATP molecule yield?


(Original post by rileystringer1)
Ah do you think? I've tried Crash Course for Biology and Psychology (A2) and I find it pretty much useless for both, because Hank clearly doesn't know a thing about either so he's essentially just reading a script and I find it kind of annoying and "over the top". But KhanAcademy videos are really useful I find, I don't know if you've tried them?
I don't do Psychology so I can't comment on those ones, but the thing I like about the Crash Course videos is the animations - I don't use them to learn anything new, rather I use them to get a different perspective on what I already know. I'm pretty indifferent to what's actually being said, but I find them useful to visualise things e.g. the biochemistry of photosynthesis.

Yeah, I've tried the KhanAcademy videos too and find those great too, forgot to mention those!
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rileystringer1
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(Original post by ethanstoddart)
Oioioi no one disses my bae Hank Green, I love that guy. I've started making really amatuer revision videos for some of my biology revision but I find A2 really simple with low af grade boundaries so hopefully it won't be too bad in the exam this year.
Ah are they on YouTube?

Yes they are so low, for my A2 Human Biology exams on AQA, you need around 63 marks out of 90 on each paper to get A*s in them - 70 marks in full UMS
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ethanstoddart
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(Original post by rileystringer1)
Ah are they on YouTube?

Yes they are so low, for my A2 Human Biology exams on AQA, you need around 63 marks out of 90 on each paper to get A*s in them - 70 marks in full UMS
Unfortunately they are, they're embarassing as hell haha, it's the first time I've made videos like that. I have like 7 that need uploading though.

Jesus that is crazy low :O
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rileystringer1
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(Original post by ethanstoddart)
Unfortunately they are, they're embarassing as hell haha, it's the first time I've made videos like that. I have like 7 that need uploading though.

Jesus that is crazy low :O
Ah could you link one? :lol: I like to hear people explaining things in their own way
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ethanstoddart
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(Original post by rileystringer1)
Ah could you link one? :lol: I like to hear people explaining things in their own way
Can do, I recommend pressing the 1.5x speed cause I get annoyed at my speed of talking haha...
Videos on the light dependent reaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiL7oxcCvSQ & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBDUZ4gHX8
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therecovery
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(Original post by sortofmusician)
-using flashcards; I have stacks of them! I ho through my notes and write questions on the front of the card and the answers on the back. Then I test myself or get someone else to test me, and the questions I get wrong go into a separate pile of things I need to look over again. I do a couple of these a night and I just find it helps me to keep everything in my mind

-YouTube is great for going over things, the Crash Course Biology videos are a lifesaver! Even if you already understand the topic, watching videos is just a different way to revise and learn things aside from notes, reading etc.

-past papers: do as many as you can, but one thing I would say is that if it's possible, get someone else to mark it for you like your teacher/tutor. Doing it yourself with markschemes is fine but I find sometimes that the markschemes online are either quite vague or quite complicated, and teachers have more of an insight into where you need to improve etc.

Well done though, you got this!
thank you so much :3
as for flashcards, i use this site called goconqr. it allows you to make flash cards digitally and sort them in an organized manner.
it works for me, so i shall stick with it. i will check out the bio videos, thank you
as for the papers, my tutor takes time so i think its best if I mark it
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therecovery
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(Original post by sortofmusician)
So say I have this section of notes (just a small random section from my A2 guide)...

...I go through each sentence/paragraph and turn each one into a question, so the cards I would make for this section would be something ..
agreed. i personally think that this is the best way to make flash cards rather than pasting information directly from notes or the textbook
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PsychoD
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Are you edexcel salters?


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therecovery
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(Original post by PsychoD)
Are you edexcel salters?


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Yes

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sortofmusician
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(Original post by therecovery)
agreed. i personally think that this is the best way to make flash cards rather than pasting information directly from notes or the textbook
yes! it means you're constantly testing yourself, really helps things to stick
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PsychoD
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Work through every question in the book and past papers to nail the exam technique. I also made a table and included all past papers, completing each until I had >90% in each. Ace your coursework and understand the pre release when it comes out. Remember all of your as content, as in unit 5 they can ask questions from AS aswell.

Forgot to mention, for me the biggest asset was printing off the syllabus and learning every point. They will never ask off spec questions, ended up with 95% ums across a2.
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heshamkisher
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I use the flash card method. It's effective but the problem is I'm sometimes rushing to make as many as possible too quickly in order to get through the topic quickly and I end up making them poorly. I've got an exam pack with all exam questions and mark schemes sorted topic by topic into a booklet. No idea how to make the most of these methods. I'll give Hank another go! We need a Bio group chat on FB.


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