Anyone else finding OCR AS Biology Hard?

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TheAlphaParticle
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#1
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#1
The content and stuff is all ok, but in like every single mock we did everyone flops and the grade boundaries end up being lowered. The questions are all from OCR's specimen papers and practice papers for the new spec. Most of the questions are very twisted in the wording and the mark scheme comes up with obscure answers. Is this how the real exam is going to be or is our school purposely making the mocks hard. Also how are you preparing for it because just knowing the content only gets like 65% at maximum, and the old past papers are different and easier.
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doc.dolittle
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#2
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#2
Yeah I have the same problem as well- most of the time with the how science works questions. No matter how much I look I can't find those questions specifically online either. However the best way is to just learn some pros and cons of the practicals you do in lesson!
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IRoranth
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#3
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#3
Yes! I totally get you- in fact even today we just got our Breadth in Biology practice past paper from the new spec back, it wasn't good- literally everyone in my year got under 60%, and apparently 75% could be an A. I'm so worried about the actual exam- do you think the questions will be as hard as they are in the practice ppqs, easier or in the middle? Also- there is a ridiculous amount of maths in the new spec, I despise all statistical tests and am sooo worried. Overall, though, I agree the content is easier, but the questions they pose are just soooo twisted?

Edit; Also, to prepare for these hard questions, I guess you just need to practice, practice, practice-especially for maths, in my case. Otherwise, just learn every detail of the content and you shouldn't trip up on any questions- good luck ✔️
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cleggj88
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#4
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#4
Is this OCR A?
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steph0468
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#5
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#5
Um I just recently did the Breadth and Depth mocks I was a good Biology student at GCSE and I understand everything. I got a 33% in the Breadth and 35% in the Depth. This has greatly demotivated me. Most people got about 50% in my school.

I honestly can say that I did not know the answer to a single question in both of the mocks (ok, maybe I did for a few questions but you know what I mean).

My teacher who worked with the people who wrote the OCR textbooks said that it was a "very, extremely challenging test" and that she "expects the majority of the country to get 30-40%".

I may be dumb or something, I don't know, but I think the tests are bs. Mentally scarred. Lmao.
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TheAlphaParticle
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#6
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#6
(Original post by cleggj88)
Is this OCR A?
Yes OCR A
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Parabrad
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#7
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#7
Don't worry, you're not the only one.
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TheAlphaParticle
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#8
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#8
(Original post by stephaniecheung)
Um I just recently did the Breadth and Depth mocks I was a good Biology student at GCSE and I understand everything. I got a 33% in the Breadth and 35% in the Depth. This has greatly demotivated me. Most people got about 50% in my school.

I honestly can say that I did not know the answer to a single question in both of the mocks (ok, maybe I did for a few questions but you know what I mean).

My teacher who worked with the people who wrote the OCR textbooks said that it was a "very, extremely challenging test" and that she "expects the majority of the country to get 30-40%".

I may be dumb or something, I don't know, but I think the tests are bs. Mentally scarred. Lmao.
I wouldn't mind if the real test was hard because then the grade boundaries will be lowered but then all the smart arses in the country(like private and grammar school students) will make OCR think this was not a hard exam and not lower the grade boundaries
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steph0468
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#9
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#9
(Original post by TheAlphaParticle)
I wouldn't mind if the real test was hard because then the grade boundaries will be lowered but then all the smart arses in the country(like private and grammar school students) will make OCR think this was not a hard exam and not lower the grade boundaries
My school is a grammar school and we were one of the top schools in the country a few years ago. BUT this doesn't necessarily mean anything because there are a lot of people struggling (50%) in Biology. Honestly dude, I usually get 50-60% in biology topic tests but in this mock i got 33%. I'm really upset.
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cleggj88
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#10
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#10
(Original post by TheAlphaParticle)
Yes OCR A
In my mock i got an A by making notes, then doing questions from the textbook and then making notes of the questions i got stuck on, i wrote the question and then the answer from the mark scheme.
I hope this helps, good luck
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whydoidothis?
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#11
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#11
I did OCR biology last year.
The actual grade boundries were 68% for an A.
Its so low because OCR give ambiguous questions.
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algerianstar23
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#12
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#12
aqa as biology is harder theres soo much content and both exams cover all topics (so mixture of units 1-4)
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TheAlphaParticle
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#13
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#13
(Original post by algerianstar23)
aqa as biology is harder theres soo much content and both exams cover all topics (so mixture of units 1-4)
Its the same for OCR now, A breadth and depth paper with content from module 1-4
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M0nkey Thunder
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#14
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#14
I did alright in the breadth and got 70%, but the depth was something else. The classification questions put me off, hence why I found it quite a bit harder.

There's a biozone biology OCR A book I'll link below that I've ordered. There's only about 3 weeks left but since we are all re-doing the papers, it's still worth a try. I'm going to do questions in the book and focus on my weak points in the course, mainly biodiversity and classification...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology--Le...+biology+ocr+a
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TheAlphaParticle
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#15
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#15
(Original post by cleggj88)
In my mock i got an A by making notes, then doing questions from the textbook and then making notes of the questions i got stuck on, i wrote the question and then the answer from the mark scheme.
I hope this helps, good luck
Are you talking about the practise questions at the end of each topic or the summary questions at the end of each page
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TheAlphaParticle
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#16
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#16
(Original post by M0nkey Thunder)
I did alright in the breadth and got 70%, but the depth was something else. The classification questions put me off, hence why I found it quite a bit harder.

There's a biozone biology OCR A book I'll link below that I've ordered. There's only about 3 weeks left but since we are all re-doing the papers, it's still worth a try. I'm going to do questions in the book and focus on my weak points in the course, mainly biodiversity and classification...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology--Le...+biology+ocr+a
You could see the whole book online-https://issuu.com/biozone/docs/ocr_b...94344/12371130

however I don't really like this book, my teacher uses it in class and its a bit too extra and the answers to the questions are obscure most of the times. But still useful, this exam is probably all about exam technique
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M0nkey Thunder
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#17
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#17
(Original post by TheAlphaParticle)
You could see the whole book online-https://issuu.com/biozone/docs/ocr_b...94344/12371130

however I don't really like this book, my teacher uses it in class and its a bit too extra and the answers to the questions are obscure most of the times. But still useful, this exam is probably all about exam technique
I think it'd be better to get the book anyway to be honest seeing as I'll be writing during my exam tbh. Thanks though

Yeah. I think the questions in the book would be harder and that's really the closest I feel the exam would get to. Also, I still feel doing the past papers are worth it. After having done the specimens' in lesson and then doing past papers after, I noticed that some of the questions that I did in the specimen were in past papers.
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Cherx
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#18
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#18
(Original post by TheAlphaParticle)
You could see the whole book online-https://issuu.com/biozone/docs/ocr_b...94344/12371130

however I don't really like this book, my teacher uses it in class and its a bit too extra and the answers to the questions are obscure most of the times. But still useful, this exam is probably all about exam technique
Oh wow. Thanks

Is there answers?
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isabellacappio
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#19
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#19
I am, I got a B in my mock (just scraped it) but whenever I look over the content and do practice questions I think I know it all back to front then the specimen papers are like what the questions are just so much applied knowledge and it's so hard urg


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oni176
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#20
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#20
(Original post by TheAlphaParticle)
The content and stuff is all ok, but in like every single mock we did everyone flops and the grade boundaries end up being lowered. The questions are all from OCR's specimen papers and practice papers for the new spec. Most of the questions are very twisted in the wording and the mark scheme comes up with obscure answers. Is this how the real exam is going to be or is our school purposely making the mocks hard. Also how are you preparing for it because just knowing the content only gets like 65% at maximum, and the old past papers are different and easier.
I have no idea as well. Apparently they want us to apply our knowledge to unfamiliar situations by giving you lots of information etc. This means that the exams will no longer just be based on fact recall. I'm at the moment looking at the specification and highlighting the important information that needs to be known.
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