ahb386
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Hiya!
Currently choosing sixth forms and one of the main deciding options is between OCR biology and Edexcel biology.
@ Anyone studying Edexcel, is it a common board ( as in is there enough resources online and an online community studying edexcel )?
Also is it that different from other boards?

Thanks!
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p_helena
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Sup, Salters-Nuffield Edexcel A-Level Biologist here XD

I did the context-based approach (it is harder but makes a better scientist).
The textbooks come with a link to an online portal of resources, but they have an expiry date, can only be used for one person, and the books are expensive. There's also a SNAB website for all the core practicals:

https://snabbiology.wordpress.com/tag/core-practicals/

There are also a few documentaries floating around on Youtube that went really well with some of the topics.
For example, Topic 6 (Immunity Infection and Forensics) has a lot of entomology in it (insects), and there's this documentary where scientists left a kitchen full of food for a couple of months (gross I know) and they explained all the growths. Warning it is disgusting but very interesting. I can't remember what it's called but I've emailed my teacher so hopefully he will let me know.
There's a lot of similar documentaries for other topics too- anything by Dr Michael Mosley should help
(Original post by ahb386)
Hiya!
Currently choosing sixth forms and one of the main deciding options is between OCR biology and Edexcel biology.
@ Anyone studying Edexcel, is it a common board ( as in is there enough resources online and an online community studying edexcel )?
Also is it that different from other boards?

Thanks!
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anonymoussse
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hiya! im soooo glad u are asking this!! so important. u need to pick up the two diff textbooks for urself and compare them. maybe choose 1 chapter (e.g cardiac cycle) and compare how the textbooks teach u. i have both txtbks as online versions. pm if u wanna hava look

i did EDEXCEL (...A which is called "salters-nuffield. there's edexcel B too)


i loved edexcel biology. i found some great A2 resources (there's LOADS online. i found 5 really useful A2 pdfs which were quite nice for mocks)



OCR:
+the textbook: has lots of end-of-chapter questions. like loooads. not like Edexcel. Edexcel only has like 3 short questions per chapter...u cant test urself without questions so that really sucked hm...however this may not be that great. the practice Qs might be totally diff to the exam questions so are these questions even useful?

+ better structure/layout in the textbook than edexcel. OCR has many chapters, like 27?. this is good and allows u to see the course with clarity. Edexcel only has 8 topics and teachers and students complain about how unclear the transition from 1 subject to another is.. it just has NO headings! like OCR will have soo many headings so u realise when u move from meiosis to mitosis but not with edexcel! it just...drifts into a new subject...hard 2 explain

+OCR has 15 multiple choice Qs in paper 1 and 2, edexcel has like 5 per paper...idk if this is something u want

+ shorter exam for paper 3. 1 hour 30 mins vs 2 hours for edexcel...idk u might find that it's harder to focus and write like the speed of lightening for 2 whole hours.

+OCR has no article u need to study for paper 3. the article for edexcel for paper 3 is like 5 double pages and u need to annotate it, learn some definitions etc...it's really not a big deal. but u might like that there's no article. the article is worth 30/70 marks. i prefer the article over the pictures in OCR paper 3


edexcel:
+i loved edexcel bio because once u do soo many exam questions, u will begin to think like the examiner...this is bc edexcel are pretty consistent. idk about OCR consistency though, never tried it... lol not a great comparison but this is one thing i loved about edx bio.


+smaller exam board. dont take my word for it....just based off tsr and how many ppl voted on the 2019 exams ...if it's smaller, in the exams, there's less pressure on u. idk how relevant this is for u.

-the article. i already mentioned this but i prefer the article over the pictures u get for paper 3 u need to answer questions on. altho i like the article over the pictures, for u, it may be different. have a look at the questions.

-the timing is awful..THIS IS FOR ALL BIOLOGY BOARDS. but for edexcel..i had to literally write soooooooooo quickly in the exam in order to finish the paper. i try to never waffle. i try to only get the mark scheme points down. it was ridiculous how quickly i had to write...check to see if ppl complain about ocr timing too. edexcel is just crazy with the timing.
................
for biology, just bc an exam board is smaller...it doesnt mean that it has less resources. all biology is taught the same imo, unlike chemistry where the content is taught specific to exam boards at certain times. so dw! the only resources u need are CGP, official textbook, past exam papers and online vids....(bozeman science)

i better get a lot of rep for this!!!! took me FOREVA!! ask me Qs if u have any ill be happy to answer. i loved a level bio oddly enuf...
Last edited by anonymoussse; 1 year ago
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anonymoussse
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also, biology on tsr is quiter than chemistry...so idk how active the diff board communities are on here! i think ocr is a lil bigger????
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