aspiringbiomedic
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I'm going to do this course in September and was wondering if any A-A* students have any tips on how to do well.

I have a few questions:

1. How much of the content is understanding or memorising? From research, I have read that to succeed in A-level biology you only need to have good exam technique (as the questions get repeated sometimes) compared to A-level Chemistry which requires understanding.

My problem is that I try to understand or question what I learn a lot and sometimes that slightly diverges from the specification and so when I revise I try to learn EVERYTHING and then I get information overload.

2. Which chemical structures do I have to know by heart except a-glucose and b-glucose in the AQA Spec?

3. Any other tips/hacks useful for this exam board or general revision tips.
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Doctor2024
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(Original post by aspiringbiomedic)
I'm going to do this course in September and was wondering if any A-A* students have any tips on how to do well.

I have a few questions:

1. How much of the content is understanding or memorising? From research, I have read that to succeed in A-level biology you only need to have good exam technique (as the questions get repeated sometimes) compared to A-level Chemistry which requires understanding.

My problem is that I try to understand or question what I learn a lot and sometimes that slightly diverges from the specification and so when I revise I try to learn EVERYTHING and then I get information overload.

2. Which chemical structures do I have to know by heart except a-glucose and b-glucose in the AQA Spec?

3. Any other tips/hacks useful for this exam board or general revision tips.
Hey, I just finished my A levels and got myself an A in Biology. From my experience, Biology is very much about APPLYING your knowledge, but obviously to apply knowledge, you have to have that knowledge in the first place. If you struggle to apply, I’d work on this.

Biology is very content-heavy. This is where most pupils struggle as they can’t memorise so much. For this I’d say start revising early, as when it comes down to your A2 exams, you want to be focusing on past papers.

Speaking of Past Papers, they’re my number one tip to revise. During my A2 exams I saw quite a few questions that came up in the specimen papers, and so I felt confident enough to answer them. If you do enough questions, you’ll be able to tackle any difficult questions that throw you in the exam.

My top tip would be focus on your evaluation and graph skills. Know that “Describe” questions only want you to “say what you see”, whereas “Evaluate” questions are more about seeing the effectiveness of something, and hence requires your own knowledge combined with the information presented in the graph (hence why these questions are worth 3/4/5 marks.)

As for chemical structures, off the top of my head we had to know DNA, Amino Acid, Lipid and Sugar structure.

Good luck for your exams!
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Ddraigdwr2
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Hi, I just achieved an A* at A level bio doing the AQA spec. As said above, it is very content heavy and the questions are all about application. Im like you - I question everything and want to understand it all. I found this really helped me, especially when it came to the essay. To get top marks in the essay you have to include information from outside the spec that is of high level, and the extra research I did to further my understanding immensely helped with this. If you work hard, Biology is a reasonable A level. If you do chemistry as well, that helps. I would recommend reading ahead in the spec, as the biochemistry at the beginning of topic one is quite a shock to jump into! I would recommend the CGP head start to A level biology book if you haven’t got it already. It really is and excellent course and I’m sure you’ll love it. If you need any advice, I’m always happy to help!
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aspiringbiomedic
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(Original post by Ddraigdwr2)
Hi, I just achieved an A* at A level bio doing the AQA spec. As said above, it is very content heavy and the questions are all about application. Im like you - I question everything and want to understand it all. I found this really helped me, especially when it came to the essay. To get top marks in the essay you have to include information from outside the spec that is of high level, and the extra research I did to further my understanding immensely helped with this. If you work hard, Biology is a reasonable A level. If you do chemistry as well, that helps. I would recommend reading ahead in the spec, as the biochemistry at the beginning of topic one is quite a shock to jump into! I would recommend the CGP head start to A level biology book if you haven’t got it already. It really is and excellent course and I’m sure you’ll love it. If you need any advice, I’m always happy to help!
Is the jump from AS to A-level content quite big?
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Ddraigdwr2
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(Original post by aspiringbiomedic)
Is the jump from AS to A-level content quite big?
I didn’t find the jump in content big, but the questions are harder. So the questions in full A level papers will have AS content but A2 standard questions. I have found that A2 had more memorisation as well - like memorising processes such as the conduction if action potentials, control of heart rate, control of blood water potential etc.
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Nopee19
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Hey guys,

Selling all my notes for £20 (+ shipping if you want physical copies) they worked really well for me and I am also including tons of question packs you wont be able to find online. I can also give specific topics if that is what you need more.

I'm selling Biology, Chemistry and Physics AS/A level notes.

Let me know if you're interested
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