IGCSE Human Biology

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#1
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#1
Thinking of doing IGCSE Human Biology in a year. How hard a GCSE is it?
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Caitgreenwood
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#2
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Hello! I'm currently self teaching myself the edexel IGCSE in human biology. My original plan was to learn most of the content over summer, and learn the rest up until christmas, hence why I was going to take the exam in January 2020, however there's a ton of content that has to be learnt. There's twelve chapters, most of which have around fifteen tasks to do. It's recommended learning time of the whole spec is 120 hours. Although this is just edexel's estimate, I can ensure you that it's going to take me much longer than this! I think that if you're prepared to work hard, you could learn, consolidate and revise the spec in under a year! My current plan is to take the exam in June/July 2020, meaning that I'll have to learn the entire spec in 9 months. If you need any resources, let me know! I'm more than happy to help! Best of luck!
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cirrostratus
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#3
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Hi! I self-studied Human Biology for a little over 1 year [while self-studying 5 more subjects and being online schooled for 2] and sat the exams in 2019. I came seven marks short of a 9. Here are some tips from my experience:


  • I'll tell you this: though the content itself is quite easy to grasp [if you're naturally fascinated by the human body and bacteria etc], the is a lot of content [as Caitgreenwood said] to shove in there. You'll need to make plenty of flashcards etc, and MAKE THEM AS YOU GO ALONG! If you're doing A-Level Biology, I also suggest making Quizlet flashcards with the definitions in the Glossary. Test yourself a few times a week if you want.
  • I studied solely by highlighting and annotating the textbook, making flashcards and answering questions. However, the student book has no answers [unless you wanna spend like £200 on a teacher one] and there's barely any exam papers, so you'll have to economise on your exam questions. You may only have a few past papers from the old spec [though probably from another exam board], our 2019 papers and the specimens.



  • Focus your revision on active recall like flashcards and/or answering the non-exam questions in the book [tho you'll not have the answers so you'll have to check the book].
  • Don't use your exam papers until it's nearer your GCSEs [e.g. March] once you've done most of the content. That way, you can improve your exam skills without worrying about not covering anything.

  • Additionally, you may realise that you don't need to revise as much as you may think. This is because GCSE content is basic and can easily be taught in a year [not to everyone, of course] if you're academic enough. Since the duration of studies is shorter, you'll have less time to forget everything [especially since many Human Biology topics are heavily interlinked]. There's no need to mindlessly stare at your textbook as if nothing will enter it.
  • To continue from my first point, since the spec is relatively simple [if you're good at rote memory and you love human bio], expect high grade boundaries! They're not sky-high but the lack of required maths skills and focus on the familiar human body allow for many other natural fact-recallers to gravitate to the subject. This, coupled with it being both an International and new [and therefore, less popular] subject, creates a greater likelihood of you just missing your coveted grade.
  • It's a great subject for Biology A-Level: You'll familiarise yourself with A-Level concepts and terms like endoplasmic reticulum and polysaccharides and adenosine triphosphates and enzyme inhibitors earlier than your fellow Biology peers. It'll provide a great advantage over many, as long as you put in the effort.
  • Try not to let the lack of resources daunt you. Human Biology is a new subject and there will be no revision books or online questions or videos. Either that or barely any. You'll have to do it yourself. It initally scared me too -- but refer to the fifth point.

I really hope this helped you [and anyone else searching for Human Biology IGCSE advice].


I've just started A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Maths and if anyone's into study accounts, here's my study Instagram:
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Moodynic
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#4
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#4
Hi, I have just taken my 13 year old daughter out of school due to the constant bullying and it's emotional and physical toll. I'm thinking of buying a Math online course (my weak subject) and teaching her English (I have A* A-level and degree) and picking up human biology as a science for her (as I have a diploma in it) So I can teach her the English and HB GCSE syllabus and buy a ICSLearn math course. Hopefully she'd sit exams a year early (year 10) and then we'll move on to next level. So... Have you got any suggestions about resources?Where do you sit your exams as I've struggled to find anywhere that does the HB exam. Every scrap of info is greatly appreciated at this point. It's all rather daunting but I know it's for the best.
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Radish Spirit
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#5
Report 1 year ago
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(Original post by Moodynic)
Hi, I have just taken my 13 year old daughter out of school due to the constant bullying and it's emotional and physical toll. I'm thinking of buying a Math online course (my weak subject) and teaching her English (I have A* A-level and degree) and picking up human biology as a science for her (as I have a diploma in it) So I can teach her the English and HB GCSE syllabus and buy a ICSLearn math course. Hopefully she'd sit exams a year early (year 10) and then we'll move on to next level. So... Have you got any suggestions about resources?Where do you sit your exams as I've struggled to find anywhere that does the HB exam. Every scrap of info is greatly appreciated at this point. It's all rather daunting but I know it's for the best.
could you ask the school to put in an entry for her to sit it there?
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