gracemacdonald__
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I am in yr 12 and really struggling with A level Biology my two other A levels are going really well and it worries me that this subject is going to really limit my universitity choices as my predictions and current grades I am getting in exams in so different to my other subjects. Biology is not something I want to take further and it was a big mistake for A level as it is nothing to do with a career I want to go into. I am currently getting grades ranging from C-E in exams in comparison to my other subjects getting A/A*. Any tips and resources I can use to turn this around and get myself through the course and possibly pull my grade up to a B/A.
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CoolCavyyyy123
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Don't give up on yourself. Push yourself to do things you want to do but you can't. Even if your still struggling you'll do just fine, just keep your head up and focus on the future and what you want to do. Make a goal and stick to it and eventually you'll achieve that goal.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by gracemacdonald__)
I am in yr 12 and really struggling with A level Biology my two other A levels are going really well and it worries me that this subject is going to really limit my universitity choices as my predictions and current grades I am getting in exams in so different to my other subjects. Biology is not something I want to take further and it was a big mistake for A level as it is nothing to do with a career I want to go into. I am currently getting grades ranging from C-E in exams in comparison to my other subjects getting A/A*. Any tips and resources I can use to turn this around and get myself through the course and possibly pull my grade up to a B/A.
Hey gracemacdonald__!

For biology I'd recommend printing out the specification and working through it writing out everything you need to know under each point (the info can come from your class notes/ text books)
I found it really useful to put this information on a flashcard and then try to learn it that way.
I also found it helpful to rewrite things until I could remember them.

Another important thing to do is practice questions and look at the mark schemes so you can understand where the marks come from - some marks come from specific key words for example. This would then help you to pick up easy marks just by making sure you use the correct terminology in questions.

Don't forget you can always ask your teachers for help too!

I hope this helps
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liltadora
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(Original post by gracemacdonald__)
I am in yr 12 and really struggling with A level Biology my two other A levels are going really well and it worries me that this subject is going to really limit my universitity choices as my predictions and current grades I am getting in exams in so different to my other subjects. Biology is not something I want to take further and it was a big mistake for A level as it is nothing to do with a career I want to go into. I am currently getting grades ranging from C-E in exams in comparison to my other subjects getting A/A*. Any tips and resources I can use to turn this around and get myself through the course and possibly pull my grade up to a B/A.
www.alevelbiology.co.uk has some amazing revision packs. It includes all the information you need (I am self-teaching from home as I left college a while back but would now like to do an undergrad in marine biology but I need the A level first). It includes PowerPoint Lessons on each topic, mind maps, quizzes, past papers, etc. And it has the specifications for each exam board so you can look specifically as past papers and quizzes from AQA exam boards. It's usually £34 for the whole thing (which is a really good price) but right now, because of Covid-19, it's half price at £17.

Of course, you could have a basic, free membership but that only gives you samples of the material, £17 isn't much for vast amount they give you.

Also, find a study and revision method that works for you, I find colour coded flash cards helpful. I also use Quizziz.com (free to use) and I type in whatever I want to work on, for example, there are multiple quizzes on 'monomers and polymers' and for other aspects of the courses. You can be quite vague and type in 'biological molecules' or you can be really specific and type in 'lipids', they have loads of quizzes!
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emma543
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(Original post by gracemacdonald__)
I am in yr 12 and really struggling with A level Biology my two other A levels are going really well and it worries me that this subject is going to really limit my universitity choices as my predictions and current grades I am getting in exams in so different to my other subjects. Biology is not something I want to take further and it was a big mistake for A level as it is nothing to do with a career I want to go into. I am currently getting grades ranging from C-E in exams in comparison to my other subjects getting A/A*. Any tips and resources I can use to turn this around and get myself through the course and possibly pull my grade up to a B/A.
I think the hardest thing with Biology itself is not understanding the content but the actual application to exam questions- because that mark scheme is SOOO picky!

If your struggling with learning the content, I usually write out the text book till I can memorise it on a word document, and convert each topic to flash card sets. Then my next revision session, I recap one flashcard set and then move on to learn something new, if I get any of the flash cards wrong I write it out again and again until I can do it without looking- this is baso how I memorise the content.

If you can memorise the content and understand it, your problems lies in applying it. When I first started year 12 I got an E in biology- which I was really shocked about it and it made be worry that I had picked the wrong subject. I went into the first end of assessment test feeling very prepared. But, I never got an E since then (in fact I have straights As- I don't mean to brag) and that's because I realised the key to biology is to do every exam questions ( which I didn't do in the first test). Be really harsh when using past exam questions and their mark scheme, if it is not exactly what the mark scheme wants DO NOT give it to yourself. When you get a question wrong, or even drop 1 mark, I would then add it to my flash card set for that topic. You'll find the mark scheme repeats itself and there are patterns, take for example the enzyme topic, I can guarantee if it is a 3 marker it will probably want you to say enzyme-substrate complex.

If your school doesn't provide you with exam questions- physicsandmathstutor is great and all the questions are organised in topics.

Hope this helps!!! If you have any questions ask a way.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi Grace,

If I may point you in a particular direction that will make biology a piece of cake for you:

With due respect to her, although working hard instead of smart might have worked for Emma as above, the best, easiest and most efficient way to learn and understand biology is to emulate the [admittedly teleologically thinking] strategies used by evolution [or, if you are so inclined to believe, those used by an elaborate figment of the imagination called the tetragammaton].

Learning by rote is never an easy way to progress in science - it is only useful for actors/actresses, [and perhaps in law] who are more likely to be only pretty faces [and maybe bodies], and who just memorize word to word and vomit it out in front of the camera or on stage. Believe me, try out my time-tested technique of learning the subject from first principles simply by using logic and rationale, and you will sail through and excel in your A level exams. To illustrate what I mean, I am going to try and direct you to just a couple of my posts here on TSR as below:-

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...Greek%20eryth=
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...Greek%20eryth=
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...am%20technique

Best of luck - go on you can do it; use your brain to THINK not just to memorize, and for the latter [which you need just a tiny bit of] read "Use Your Memory" by Tony Buzan, the psychologist/author who could recite out exactly 104 playing cards i.e. two packs [shuffled at random then shown to him in order in a minute or two].

M [specialist biology tutor]
Last edited by macpatgh-Sheldon; 7 months ago
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gracemacdonald__
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(Original post by emma543)
I think the hardest thing with Biology itself is not understanding the content but the actual application to exam questions- because that mark scheme is SOOO picky!

If your struggling with learning the content, I usually write out the text book till I can memorise it on a word document, and convert each topic to flash card sets. Then my next revision session, I recap one flashcard set and then move on to learn something new, if I get any of the flash cards wrong I write it out again and again until I can do it without looking- this is baso how I memorise the content.

If you can memorise the content and understand it, your problems lies in applying it. When I first started year 12 I got an E in biology- which I was really shocked about it and it made be worry that I had picked the wrong subject. I went into the first end of assessment test feeling very prepared. But, I never got an E since then (in fact I have straights As- I don't mean to brag) and that's because I realised the key to biology is to do every exam questions ( which I didn't do in the first test). Be really harsh when using past exam questions and their mark scheme, if it is not exactly what the mark scheme wants DO NOT give it to yourself. When you get a question wrong, or even drop 1 mark, I would then add it to my flash card set for that topic. You'll find the mark scheme repeats itself and there are patterns, take for example the enzyme topic, I can guarantee if it is a 3 marker it will probably want you to say enzyme-substrate complex.

If your school doesn't provide you with exam questions- physicsandmathstutor is great and all the questions are organised in topics.

Hope this helps!!! If you have any questions ask a way.
That’s really helpful thanks. I found the same at the beginning of year 12 I would learn all the content and yet still get an E on the exams because the mark schemes and actual questions are so picky and hard. I have tried doing a lot of questions on physics and maths tutor but I end up just looking at the mark scheme. I need to find ways to make biology interesting cause I get bored way too easily 😂
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emma543
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(Original post by gracemacdonald__)
That’s really helpful thanks. I found the same at the beginning of year 12 I would learn all the content and yet still get an E on the exams because the mark schemes and actual questions are so picky and hard. I have tried doing a lot of questions on physics and maths tutor but I end up just looking at the mark scheme. I need to find ways to make biology interesting cause I get bored way too easily 😂
I just stick some music on in the background whilst working through the exam questions. I tend to do 5 questions (not counting all the abc ones in between as my five) and then mark them, and then move onto learning new content.
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