Koala3
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I’m currently in Year 12, both my biology and psychology teachers are dreadful, is it possible to get a grade A next year ? Will I need to teach myself to do well ?
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PetitePanda
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Yes you can. Is there any other teachers that are good at teaching it though? Also why are they dreadful?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Koala3)
I’m currently in Year 12, both my biology and psychology teachers are dreadful, is it possible to get a grade A next year ? Will I need to teach myself to do well ?
Learn the Biology textbook off by heart and you will do amazing.
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User135792468
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(Original post by Koala3)
I’m currently in Year 12, both my biology and psychology teachers are dreadful, is it possible to get a grade A next year ? Will I need to teach myself to do well ?
Biology is very difficult. I mean most of the content is simple to understand but the exam questions just kill you because the questions have so much context and so forth. That’s why you need a good teacher to prompt you.

In my school we have a website called Kerboodle which allows online access to textbooks. You could use that if your school does it or purchase textbooks.

You could use the school website to look for a bank of biology questions to help train your brain to think like the mark scheme. You could also use Physics and Maths Tutor which allows you to learn when you do questions and look at the answers.

Last but not least. YouTube is your best friend. If you don’t understand something then watch a clip on it but remember to write “A level biology” as you might be directed to degree level biology. Also remember to do extra reading as you have to write an essay for paper 3 AQA

Can’t help with psychology as I don’t do it but in general the same advice applies apart from the extra reading
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learnertank
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I think the best way to learn is to use a variety of methods. Using just one will get you bored and you'll peak way too early. Like User135792468 said, kerboodle is a good way of learning content quickly (one of my favourites). Websites like learnertank.com and alevelbiology.co.uk are good extra reading - no point going and buying books for the sake of it! Make sure to actively write notes in class, as rewording and picking out the main points in class helps to commit to memory...
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stephsmhb
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
Learn the Biology textbook off by heart and you will do amazing.
I dont know anyone that's got an A from learning the textbook. Please don't do this, it's a really bad way to learn
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by stephsmhb)
I dont know anyone that's got an A from learning the textbook. Please don't do this, it's a really bad way to learn
i'm not trying to brag (honestly) but a few years ago i got an A* in AQA A level Biology and was in fact close to 100% UMS. I graduated a couple of years ago with a degree in Biology from St Andrews. The textbook is the same as your course material. You're right it's not enough to learn it, but rather you have to actually know it almost off by heart. Biology learning is about deep detail... the nitty gritty, and your examiners will have a mark scheme that will not include anything not in the official textbook. just avoid CGP guides.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by stephsmhb)
I dont know anyone that's got an A from learning the textbook. Please don't do this, it's a really bad way to learn
I agree - Koala3 please don't waste your time 'learning a textbook' - I can't think of a worse way to spend your time. You need to practice exam-style questions, read around your subject, try to make connexions between different parts of the syllabus...
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Reality Check
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
you examiners will have a mark scheme that will not include anything not in the official textbook. just avoid CGP guides.
Incorrect.

Examiners' mark schemes have various different ways of expressing a 'correct' answer - sometimes a word is 'required', other times variations are allowed. There is no one single 'official textbook' with all the answers you could ever need. Boards provide textbooks, but there are plenty of other ones which cover the same content in different ways. I would always recommend you use a variety of sources such as textbooks, papers, reviewed articles etc to ensure you get a range of options and coverage. One single textbook is never enough, whether it is endorsed by the board or otherwise.

There is nothing wrong with CGP books. We regularly recommend them to students.
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tomk097
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(Original post by Koala3)
I’m currently in Year 12, both my biology and psychology teachers are dreadful, is it possible to get a grade A next year ? Will I need to teach myself to do well ?
If you need help in biology let me know....I can help you out
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A Rolling Stone
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Koala3 , there are indeed official textbooks (AQA approved) with all of the required content, they can be found via the link below.

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/scie...nt-and-digital

i quote "To help you find the right resource for your students, we work with publishers to ensure that their textbooks align with our specifications using our approval process."

hope this helps.
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stephsmhb
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i'm not trying to brag (honestly) but a few years ago i got an A* in AQA A level Biology and was in fact close to 100% UMS. I graduated a couple of years ago with a degree in Biology from St Andrews. The textbook is the same as your course material. You're right it's not enough to learn it, but rather you have to actually know it almost off by heart. Biology learning is about deep detail... the nitty gritty, and your examiners will have a mark scheme that will not include anything not in the official textbook. just avoid CGP guides.
what is wrong with cgp guides
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by stephsmhb)
what is wrong with cgp guides
they are basically a (non-exam board approved) summary of the course - they are like what, 40 pages with about three words on each?

biology is all about depth (sure you know what the Kreb's cycle is, but in how much detail can you explain it?) and so a summary guide cannot help with that. the way to summarise in biology is by memorising 'cues' that lead you to the deeper detail, and you can get that from the official textbook
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by stephsmhb)
what is wrong with cgp guides
i also forgot to add reading around your subject is 100% not required in terms of content for the exam, but is extremely helpful in understanding the textbook. for example if you've ever learnt about the menstrual cycle and wondered how the hell you will remember the difference between LH and FSH in the exam, go onto wikipedia etc. and find out a little more about what FSH. why is it called that, why is it released when it is, what is the history behind it etc. and then suddenly everything will become clearer
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Reality Check
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(Original post by stephsmhb)
what is wrong with cgp guides
There's nothing wrong with them. They're widely used alongside other resources for learning biology and other sciences. No single book is sufficient, but many students find their brevity and straightforwardness helpful for both initiating study into a topic and using them as revision guides.

I am an examiner and have taught Biology at both GCSE and A level - we often recommend these books. Have a look at them and decide for yourself whether or not they suit your learning style - your school library will probably have a copy if you don't want to buy one
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stephsmhb
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what's wrong with cgp guides
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Koala3
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(Original post by tomk097)
If you need help in biology let me know....I can help you out
(Original post by Reality Check)
There's nothing wrong with them. They're widely used alongside other resources for learning biology and other sciences. No single book is sufficient, but many students find their brevity and straightforwardness helpful for both initiating study into a topic and using them as revision guides.

I am an examiner and have taught Biology at both GCSE and A level - we often recommend these books. Have a look at them and decide for yourself whether or not they suit your learning style - your school library will probably have a copy if you don't want to buy one
Thanks for the advice
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vicvic38
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
they are basically a (non-exam board approved) summary of the course - they are like what, 40 pages with about three words on each?

biology is all about depth (sure you know what the Kreb's cycle is, but in how much detail can you explain it?) and so a summary guide cannot help with that. the way to summarise in biology is by memorising 'cues' that lead you to the deeper detail, and you can get that from the official textbook
I did physics, so I might be completely off base here, but I found the exam board specific Physics guide invaluable. I used that in conjunction with Physics and Maths tutor, and did quite well.

They tend to average 100-200 pages, with a good amount on each topic? I wouldn't go for the non-specific ones.

This is my experience for physics, so it might be completely irrelevant.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by vicvic38)
I did physics, so I might be completely off base here, but I found the exam board specific Physics guide invaluable. I used that in conjunction with Physics and Maths tutor, and did quite well.

They tend to average 100-200 pages, with a good amount on each topic? I wouldn't go for the non-specific ones.

This is my experience for physics, so it might be completely irrelevant.
yes! this is the total opposite for physics because biology is a detail-based subject whereas physics is a princples-based subject
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stephsmhb
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
yes! this is the total opposite for physics because biology is a detail-based subject whereas physics is a princples-based subject
I do both alevel physics and biology and I found that the revision guides are helpful for both but just in different ways
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