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    (Original post by sbscx28)
    Hello,

    I was just wondering if you had any tips for the Biology 'suggest' questions? And the How Science Works/Practical based questions for both Bio/Chem..

    Btw, thank you for all this effort you've put into this thread. You're destined to be a great doctor one day!
    Hi, before I give my advice, it's probably worth noting that I did my A2-levels 2 years ago now (which makes me feel old ) so the course and questions may have changed a little. If you could give me an example of a "Suggest" question that would be great, just to see if they differ much from my day. As for the HSW questions, first of all, don't worry if you struggle with them, I did too, and so did most people, the grade boundaries for biology are usually considerably lower for biology compared to other sciences because of these questions. My best advice is to write whatever comes to mind first and whatever seems logical, but also keep in mind what you know about science. For example, in my Biol 4 exam, we had a question a long the lines of "Why is global warming increasing the amount of salt in low lying farm land", and you know, you can quite easily realise that the land is being flooded and the water is evaporating leaving behind the salt. Just because you're doing a biology exam doesn't mean that you can't apply primary school level physics :P. These questions are tricky, and hardly anyone gets full marks in them, just try your best to pick out a few points that seem to make sense. There isn't much more to say tbh other than practise them with past papers. You will often find that there are similar questions year on year. Also remember that with describe questions you simply write what you see, with explain questions, you must give a reason why you see what you see, and for evaluate questions, you must give reasons for and against. With suggest questions, just write whatever seems right, there's no point trying to overthink. If nothing comes to you in the exam, then leave it and come back to the question at the end with a clear head. This is a really good tactic that I used a lot in all my exams, you often think of some good stuff when you're more relaxed and not worrying about finishing the exam. As for the practical questions, unfortunately I didn't do those in my exams (it's a recent change to the syllabus), so I can't help you there
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    (Original post by kailuhan)
    How did you revise for your A levels (biology and chemistry)?
    When making notes I'm usually just copying and don't know if this is effective
    I got bad grades in AS so really need to do well to get A's
    Please give me LOAAADDDDSSSS of advice!!!!!
    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    I know what you mean! I didn't do too well at AS for Biology either. It must be my studying technique! Writing up notes and just reading through them doesn't work for me at all!
    Hey guys, I understand your concerns, so I'll try my best to help! So, I personally revised by making notes from a textbook and then learning them, but if that isn't working for you, then I recommend flash cards. I now only make flashcards for my revision at medical school because the workload is 1000x heavier than A-level, and they are an efficient and effective way of memorising information. So it might be worth making some and testing yourself on them. Once you're pretty confident in the content, then do past papers, I did all my past papers in the 2 weeks of study leave that we had, this is particularly good for chemistry. My final bit of advice would be to revise with friends on facebook and explain things to other people. A facebook group chat can be fun, you can have banter and it breaks up the monotony of revision a bit, and explaining things is one of the best ways of consolidating what you've learnt. Trust me, I used to struggle academically, in years 8, 9 and 10, I was getting E's, D's and C's, but I turned it around half way through year 11 and started putting the work in and now I'm on my way to becoming a doctor (if I can pass my exams!), so if I can do it then you guys can too, you just have to work on it. If there's anything else then let me know
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    Hey guys, I understand your concerns, so I'll try my best to help! So, I personally revised by making notes from a textbook and then learning them, but if that isn't working for you, then I recommend flash cards. I now only make flashcards for my revision at medical school because the workload is 1000x heavier than A-level, and they are an efficient and effective way of memorising information. So it might be worth making some and testing yourself on them. Once you're pretty confident in the content, then do past papers, I did all my past papers in the 2 weeks of study leave that we had, this is particularly good for chemistry. My final bit of advice would be to revise with friends on facebook and explain things to other people. A facebook group chat can be fun, you can have banter and it breaks up the monotony of revision a bit, and explaining things is one of the best ways of consolidating what you've learnt. Trust me, I used to struggle academically, in years 8, 9 and 10, I was getting E's, D's and C's, but I turned it around half way through year 11 and started putting the work in and now I'm on my way to becoming a doctor (if I can pass my exams!), so if I can do it then you guys can too, you just have to work on it. If there's anything else then let me know
    These are some good suggestions. We'll be posting new threads and resources about revision soon, so please stay tuned!
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    Could I ask that posts regarding UKCAT and applications to medicine are made in the award-winning Medicine forum and associated sub-fora. AortaStudyMore is doing a great job with this thread and we don't want to dissuade anyone from posting, but by putting your questions in the correct forum will allow you to benefit from the experience of lots of fellow TSRians and will allow other people to benefit from your experiences - they might well miss it if you post here.

    Thanks (and thank you, AortaSM for the great thread)
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    #aortastudymore just got reality checked!

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    Im currently revising for my A level in Biology and I'm having trouble writing notes. It takes me an hour do make notes on 2 pages of the textbook and I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Is it normal to take this long to write notes and if not what am i doing wrong and how could I make it quicker? I dont want to miss out important details. Also if I dont feel like writing out notes what other revision methods could I use other than exam papers? Thank you for your time AortaStudyMore
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    (Original post by Logic4Life)
    Im currently revising for my A level in Biology and I'm having trouble writing notes. It takes me an hour do make notes on 2 pages of the textbook and I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Is it normal to take this long to write notes and if not what am i doing wrong and how could I make it quicker? I dont want to miss out important details. Also if I dont feel like writing out notes what other revision methods could I use other than exam papers? Thank you for your time AortaStudyMore
    Hey man, it depends what's making you take so long. If you're writing out 2 pages of notes and commiting them to memory in an hour then that's good. If it physically takes you an hour to write 2 pages of notes, e.g. if you have dyslexia or something a long those lines, then there isn't really much anyone can do. However, if you're writing 2 pages of notes but not memorising it, then here's my advice:
    The reason it might be taking you so long is because you might be getting distracted, e.g. by your phone or laptop, and don't worry if this is the case, everyone does it, infact I'm in the middle of revision now yet here I am writing this instead of working! If this is the case, then there's a number of ways to try and fix it. Firstly, try and get into the topic you're studying, the more interested you are in it, the less likely you are to get distracted. Secondly, try and remove distractions, such as hiding your phone etc etc, and thirdly, take regular breaks, this really helps trust me, no one can concentrate for that long without getting bored, I definitely can't! One more thing I just want to add, try making flashcards, I didn't do this at A-level, because I could cope with notee, but flashcards are a very very proactive and efficient way of memorising stuff. If you spend an hour making flashcards on 2 pages of a textbook, then that's better than spending an hour making notes on 2 pages, because when you come to memorise this stuff closer to the exam, you'll memorise it easier than reading notes.

    tl;dr
    make flashcards and take regular breaks

    I hope that helps, sorry for the essay, I should get back to work :P if you have any more questions then feel free to ask
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    Hey man, it depends what's making you take so long. If you're writing out 2 pages of notes and commiting them to memory in an hour then that's good. If it physically takes you an hour to write 2 pages of notes, e.g. if you have dyslexia or something a long those lines, then there isn't really much anyone can do. However, if you're writing 2 pages of notes but not memorising it, then here's my advice:
    The reason it might be taking you so long is because you might be getting distracted, e.g. by your phone or laptop, and don't worry if this is the case, everyone does it, infact I'm in the middle of revision now yet here I am writing this instead of working! If this is the case, then there's a number of ways to try and fix it. Firstly, try and get into the topic you're studying, the more interested you are in it, the less likely you are to get distracted. Secondly, try and remove distractions, such as hiding your phone etc etc, and thirdly, take regular breaks, this really helps trust me, no one can concentrate for that long without getting bored, I definitely can't! One more thing I just want to add, try making flashcards, I didn't do this at A-level, because I could cope with notee, but flashcards are a very very proactive and efficient way of memorising stuff. If you spend an hour making flashcards on 2 pages of a textbook, then that's better than spending an hour making notes on 2 pages, because when you come to memorise this stuff closer to the exam, you'll memorise it easier than reading notes.

    tl;dr
    make flashcards and take regular breaks

    I hope that helps, sorry for the essay, I should get back to work :P if you have any more questions then feel free to ask
    Thank you for taking time to respond I appreciate it. I guess the reason I'm taking so long is because I'm trying to understand what I'm writing and not just blindlessly copying. Also I'm constantly switching between coloured pens because I heard colour is good for memory. Also when making flashcards what do I put on them? Do i write a question on the front like "What is the function of the Glomerulus" and then on the back write the answer or do I write notes on them?
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    (Original post by Logic4Life)
    Thank you for taking time to respond I appreciate it. I guess the reason I'm taking so long is because I'm trying to understand what I'm writing and not just blindlessly copying. Also I'm constantly switching between coloured pens because I heard colour is good for memory. Also when making flashcards what do I put on them? Do i write a question on the front like "What is the function of the Glomerulus" and then on the back write the answer or do I write notes on them?
    It's good that you're taking the time to learn as you go, that's very effective, especially at A-level where (relatively) you don't have that much to remember (although it probably seems like you do at this stage). As for the colours, if you think that helps then keep doing it, each to their own, everyone has a preference, personally I don't think it helps but if it helps you then keep doing it. I mean, realistically you need to find a way of revising that suits you. Everyone has different methods, and you kind of need to experiment to find the one that is best for you. I have recommended flashcards because I used them last year in my first year of medical school and did very well in my exams, but it took me the whole year to discover what the best way of me studying was, and because I discovered it last year, I'm actually finding this year of medical school easier,even though the work is much harder. If you are interested in trying flashcards though, then what I recommend doing is looking through the textbook and gathering lots of relevant information into one place so that you can make a flashcard that summarises one thing. For example, you might have like 5 pages dedicated to the autonomic nervous system or something and it'll contain lots of information that you don't need, so you need to pick out the relevant information and summarise it into a flashcard, and then on the back of the flashcard write "what are the components of the autonomic system and what is its function" or something like that. Your example was good aswell. Basically, make notes on one side of A4 but make them relevant to a specific question, for example, at the top of a page of A4, write a question like "What is the function of the glomerulus", then underneath that question, write all your notes on the glomerulus, and then on the back of that page of A4, re-write the question. Then, when you come to revise, you can read your notes and then turn over the page, read the question, and then test yourself to see how much you remembered. I hope that makes sense, I've rambled on a bit, I've spent the whole day doing pharmacology and I'm pretty tired haha. One more thing you could do, and this would be extra cheeky if you did this, is go through the specification, and use that to make your flashcards. For example, if a bit of the specification says "Students should be able to understand the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction" then you can make a flashcard titled "Explain the sliding filament theory". That way, you'll make sure you have covered all of the relevant information, and would be the most efficient way of revising. But try things out, see how you get on. I'm going to bed now. hahaha
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    It's good that you're taking the time to learn as you go, that's very effective, especially at A-level where (relatively) you don't have that much to remember (although it probably seems like you do at this stage). As for the colours, if you think that helps then keep doing it, each to their own, everyone has a preference, personally I don't think it helps but if it helps you then keep doing it. I mean, realistically you need to find a way of revising that suits you. Everyone has different methods, and you kind of need to experiment to find the one that is best for you. I have recommended flashcards because I used them last year in my first year of medical school and did very well in my exams, but it took me the whole year to discover what the best way of me studying was, and because I discovered it last year, I'm actually finding this year of medical school easier,even though the work is much harder. If you are interested in trying flashcards though, then what I recommend doing is looking through the textbook and gathering lots of relevant information into one place so that you can make a flashcard that summarises one thing. For example, you might have like 5 pages dedicated to the autonomic nervous system or something and it'll contain lots of information that you don't need, so you need to pick out the relevant information and summarise it into a flashcard, and then on the back of the flashcard write "what are the components of the autonomic system and what is its function" or something like that. Your example was good aswell. Basically, make notes on one side of A4 but make them relevant to a specific question, for example, at the top of a page of A4, write a question like "What is the function of the glomerulus", then underneath that question, write all your notes on the glomerulus, and then on the back of that page of A4, re-write the question. Then, when you come to revise, you can read your notes and then turn over the page, read the question, and then test yourself to see how much you remembered. I hope that makes sense, I've rambled on a bit, I've spent the whole day doing pharmacology and I'm pretty tired haha. One more thing you could do, and this would be extra cheeky if you did this, is go through the specification, and use that to make your flashcards. For example, if a bit of the specification says "Students should be able to understand the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction" then you can make a flashcard titled "Explain the sliding filament theory". That way, you'll make sure you have covered all of the relevant information, and would be the most efficient way of revising. But try things out, see how you get on. I'm going to bed now. hahaha
    Thank you so much!! I think what you said will really help and I will start making flash cards. Good look with your med school work I hope it goes well for you!
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    (Original post by Logic4Life)
    Thank you so much!! I think what you said will really help and I will start making flash cards. Good look with your med school work I hope it goes well for you!
    No problem mate, good luck
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    Ok so the amount of content for A-level Biology is completely overwhelming me again! I've made tonnes of flashcards and have gone through them a few times and I'm starting to be able to recall the answers on the reverse side of the cards but then when it comes to past paper exam questions I breakdown and almost seem to forget everything or don't really know how to structure an answer if I'm not sure what a question is even asking.
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Ok so the amount of content for A-level Biology is completely overwhelming me again! I've made tonnes of flashcards and have gone through them a few times and I'm starting to be able to recall the answers on the reverse side of the cards but then when it comes to past paper exam questions I breakdown and almost seem to forget everything or don't really know how to structure an answer if I'm not sure what a question is even asking.
    Hey, so first of all, you're making good progress if you're remembering stuff at this time of year (it's still march!!), I didn't really know anything at this point of the year, and I definitely wasn't doing past papers.

    Here's my advice; keep up doing the flashcards if you think they're working (if they're not working then obviously stop doing them and we'll think of something else). Also, maybe don't do the past papers? I refused to do any past papers until the 2 weeks before my exams.. this is because I would also kind of breakdown and forget everything when I did them. I mean, you can't have finished being taught everything yet, and also, you can't have done a lot of proper revision yet, so doing past papers is a bit risky because you won't be able to do your best and then you'll just get flustered when you can't do them. The reason you can't do them is because you're doing them too early in my opinion. Leave them until you're confident that you know everything and them do them.

    Just focus on making your notes/flashcards for now, and if possible, maybe ask your teacher for some advice on how to do the HSW questions. Do the past papers closer to the exams, you will do better in them I promise
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    Hey, so first of all, you're making good progress if you're remembering stuff at this time of year (it's still march!!), I didn't really know anything at this point of the year, and I definitely wasn't doing past papers.

    Here's my advice; keep up doing the flashcards if you think they're working (if they're not working then obviously stop doing them and we'll think of something else). Also, maybe don't do the past papers? I refused to do any past papers until the 2 weeks before my exams.. this is because I would also kind of breakdown and forget everything when I did them. I mean, you can't have finished being taught everything yet, and also, you can't have done a lot of proper revision yet, so doing past papers is a bit risky because you won't be able to do your best and then you'll just get flustered when you can't do them. The reason you can't do them is because you're doing them too early in my opinion. Leave them until you're confident that you know everything and them do them.

    Just focus on making your notes/flashcards for now, and if possible, maybe ask your teacher for some advice on how to do the HSW questions. Do the past papers closer to the exams, you will do better in them I promise
    Thank you! I just worry that I won't be prepared in time for the exams. Especially with these new Linear A levels, we have to remember all of the AS and A2 content which is spread over three exams!

    One of the things that seem so to be happening to me is that I get confused between a lot of the processes because they can be so similar. I mean processes that's involve things like sodium channels, potassium channels, calcium channels, NADP, NAD, receptors, concentration gradient, ATP etc its all these simple elements that hold the same function/purpose just in different cases. So it gets difficult distinguishing between some processes etc

    Also, just to let you know, I'm self taught *embarrassed*
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Thank you! I just worry that I won't be prepared in time for the exams. Especially with these new Linear A levels, we have to remember all of the AS and A2 content which is spread over three exams!

    One of the things that seem so to be happening to me is that I get confused between a lot of the processes because they can be so similar. I mean processes that's involve things like sodium channels, potassium channels, calcium channels, NADP, NAD, receptors, concentration gradient, ATP etc its all these simple elements that hold the same function/purpose just in different cases. So it gets difficult distinguishing between some processes etc

    Also, just to let you know, I'm self taught *embarrassed*
    Yh I understand what you mean, I can imagine it is hard for you, but it's far from impossible. Realistically, at A-level, you shouldn't have to know multiple functions of the same thing, and if you do, everything will do its multiple jobs via the same mechanism. For example, ATP may be involved in substrate level phosphorylation as well as providing energy for muscle contraction, but it does both by losing an inorganic phosphate. Opening of sodium channels allows sodium to move into or out of a cell etc etc, and this allows depolarisation of a cell as well as reabsorption of sodium in the nephrons. If you understand the principles, you don't even need to learn specific details because you can work them out! You'll be okay, come to me if you need any help on anything, I didn't realise you didn't have a teacher, so I can go through anything with you, whether it be exam related or stress related or whatever, I'll be hear to listen (or read should I say)
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    Yh I understand what you mean, I can imagine it is hard for you, but it's far from impossible. Realistically, at A-level, you shouldn't have to know multiple functions of the same thing, and if you do, everything will do its multiple jobs via the same mechanism. For example, ATP may be involved in substrate level phosphorylation as well as providing energy for muscle contraction, but it does both by losing an inorganic phosphate. Opening of sodium channels allows sodium to move into or out of a cell etc etc, and this allows depolarisation of a cell as well as reabsorption of sodium in the nephrons. If you understand the principles, you don't even need to learn specific details because you can work them out! You'll be okay, come to me if you need any help on anything, I didn't realise you didn't have a teacher, so I can go through anything with you, whether it be exam related or stress related or whatever, I'll be hear to listen (or read should I say)
    Glad you understand what I mean! I think next week I am going to make further condensed notes on the difficult processes and literally write things out briefly like...

    Neurones (cell membrane):

    When NOT being stimulated - resting potential (-70mv)...
    • Potassium ion channels open - facilitated diffusion of potassium ions out of cell.
    • Sodium-potassium pumps - 3 sodium ions out for every 2 potassium ions into cell.
    • Sodium ion channels closed.
    • Polarised - difference in charge.
    • Electrochemical gradient - more positive ions outside of cell than inside.


    When being stimulated...
    • etc etc etc


    Hopefully doing this will help!

    Thanks a lot AortaStudyMore
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Glad you understand what I mean! I think next week I am going to make further condensed notes on the difficult processes and literally write things out briefly like...

    Neurones (cell membrane):

    When NOT being stimulated - resting potential (-70mv)...
    • Potassium ion channels open - facilitated diffusion of potassium ions out of cell.
    • Sodium-potassium pumps - 3 sodium ions out for every 2 potassium ions into cell.
    • Sodium ion channels closed.
    • Polarised - difference in charge.
    • Electrochemical gradient - more positive ions outside of cell than inside.


    When being stimulated...
    • etc etc etc


    Hopefully doing this will help!

    Thanks a lot AortaStudyMore
    Yh perfect! That's the level of detail you need to know, good job, and good luck :P
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    (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
    Yh perfect! That's the level of detail you need to know, good job, and good luck :P
    Seriously do appreciate your help! Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Seriously do appreciate your help! Thank you so much!
    No problem buddy
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    Hey! Not sure if you can explain what heritable variation is? Whole genetics unit is making my head spin
 
 
 
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