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How to do well in a-level biology

Hey all , I'm sort of struggling with a-level biology atm (i'm in yr 12) and i find myself getting mostly C's and D's in topic tests and sometimes just struggling as what to do. Does anyone have any tips or advice i an use to raise my grade up a little (i'm aiming for an A or B by the end of this year) thanks.

edit: my parents/teacher thinks i should i get a tutor for biology , is this is a good move
(edited 6 years ago)

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Reply 1
Im doing A-level biology too and in my first year aswell, i used to get C, Ds and sometimes even Es, but i think what helped me the most in improving my grades was that my teacher made a pack of all the past paper questions on the topic we’re studying , and this improved my grades massively , which resulted in me getting Bs and even As which a surprised me. Hope this helps 😊
Original post by West.B
Im doing A-level biology too and in my first year aswell, i used to get C, Ds and sometimes even Es, but i think what helped me the most in improving my grades was that my teacher made a pack of all the past paper questions on the topic we’re studying , and this improved my grades massively , which resulted in me getting Bs and even As which a surprised me. Hope this helps 😊


right ok so i need to do more past papers , i guess the problem is the mark scheme is so relentless and brutal that i lose marks for forgetting one or two key words , how to avoid this
Reply 3
Yh i know exactly how that feels , its actually quite annoying ,and i used to make stupid mistakes by not using scientific vocabulary in my answers which was the major reason for my low grades , so you need to make sure that you have a keyword bank, maybe you could stick it on your book or your wall so you could keep referring back to it , to ensure you keep using the proper words so they fit. Hope this helps 😊
Original post by West.B
Yh i know exactly how that feels , its actually quite annoying ,and i used to make stupid mistakes by not using scientific vocabulary in my answers which was the major reason for my low grades , so you need to make sure that you have a keyword bank, maybe you could stick it on your book or your wall so you could keep referring back to it , to ensure you keep using the proper words so they fit. Hope this helps 😊


thats a good idea actually , thanks :smile:
Reply 5
Make notes on the mark scheme answers of the questions you got wrong or missed marks, revise the notes before each paper you do and see if that makes a difference, hopefully it will help.
Typically for science the answer requires specific wording or key words, if you do as many papers as you can and make notes of your mistakes that should highlight key exam techniques you should get down.
Good luck!
Original post by Kumamon
Make notes on the mark scheme answers of the questions you got wrong or missed marks, revise the notes before each paper you do and see if that makes a difference, hopefully it will help.
Typically for science the answer requires specific wording or key words, if you do as many papers as you can and make notes of your mistakes that should highlight key exam techniques you should get down.
Good luck!


ok i will do that , in terms of revising for AS exams , what's the best way to cover a years worth of work
Im in year 12 . Im not a genius at Biology but I get consistent Bs and sometimes As
Past papers
Teach others
Understand the content
Use key language - no waffle
mind maps - summarise each topic on A4


:smile: that’s what I do I have mock coming up hoping for an A ( pray for me lol )
Reply 8
Ah, I'm not doing A levels, I'm still in GCSES, this is just the way I cover exam technique, so I don't know about how to revise for AS exams, sorry
Original post by Kumamon
Ah, I'm not doing A levels, I'm still in GCSES, this is just the way I cover exam technique, so I don't know about how to revise for AS exams, sorry


oh ok , well thanks anyway :smile:
Original post by Medicine4ever
Im in year 12 . Im not a genius at Biology but I get consistent Bs and sometimes As
Past papers
Teach others
Understand the content
Use key language - no waffle
mind maps - summarise each topic on A4


:smile: that’s what I do I have mock coming up hoping for an A ( pray for me lol )


thank you friend and gl to you aswell :smile:
My advice is make sure you properly understand something instead of just memorising the process in sentences. Once you’re able to picture a process in your mind it and fully understand all parts it becomes easier to apply it to new circumstances, which is what is needed at alevel
Original post by Ray_Shadows
thank you friend and gl to you aswell :smile:


I believe you want to do medicine aswell ( I think I saw one of your post about medicine ) . If you are , good luck and wish you the best , get them A*s I believe In u!
Original post by Medicine4ever
I believe you want to do medicine aswell ( I think I saw one of your post about medicine ) . If you are , good luck and wish you the best , get them A*s I believe In u!


i'm too dumb to do medicine , you must be mistaken
Original post by COYS...TTID
My advice is make sure you properly understand something instead of just memorising the process in sentences. Once you’re able to picture a process in your mind it and fully understand all parts it becomes easier to apply it to new circumstances, which is what is needed at alevel


yeh thats a good point , i understand the topics we did at the start of the year e.g cells , biochem molecules

just the new stuff like DNA and enzymes with all the new a-level context throws me of from time to time
Original post by Ray_Shadows
i'm too dumb to do medicine , you must be mistaken


Don’t say that anyone can do Medicine if they set their hearts to it . TBH to get through Medicine you don’t need to be smart , you need to be hard working which eventually will reflect on your faces . Never say you are dumb , you CAN do it . This is coming from someone who was in bottom set for the majority of high school :smile: and proved my friends and teachers I can get As at gcse
Original post by Medicine4ever
Don’t say that anyone can do Medicine if they set their hearts to it . TBH to get through Medicine you don’t need to be smart , you need to be hard working which eventually will reflect on your faces . Never say you are dumb , you CAN do it . This is coming from someone who was in bottom set for the majority of high school :smile: and proved my friends and teachers I can get As at gcse


well i only got 1 A in gcse ,which was maths :/
Hi I'm a year 13 student and got an A at AS Biology last year, make sure you defo learn all your practicals (I do OCR and practical examination q's are very common), if you learn all limitations to practical investigations and also control variables etc you can gain lots of marks as these q's can be upwards of 6 marks, especially questions involving tests for proteins, lipids etc and investigations into rate of transpiration, you are guaranteed really to have q's on practicals in your exam so make sure you revise them
(edited 6 years ago)
Original post by Joemassey1
Hi I'm a year 13 student and got an A at AS Biology last year, make sure you defo learn all your practicals (I do OCR and practical examination q's are very common), if you learn all limitations to practical investigations and also control variables etc you can gain lots of marks as these q's can be upwards of 6 marks


i think so far my practicals have been ok but our mock coming up is gonna be practical heavy questions so i need to look at those again :/
Bang out your textbook and do past papers. I think tutors are a waste of money personally. They don’t teach you anything beyond the specification and probably don’t care about how you get on outside of your tutoring hours.

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