Self-teaching A-Level Biology

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indecisiveteen
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi all,

I am currently in Y13 and take Econ, Maths, Further Maths & Chemistry. I didn't do Biology as I was 50-50 about wanting to study Medicine, and upon doing research, I found that there are a few universities in the UK that only ask for Chemistry and another science out of Maths, Bio or Physics, in which I'd have Maths therefore qualify.

I've already sent off UCAS and hold offers for another course. However, I've recently decided that I want to pursue Medicine 100%, and will be shadowing a neurologist in a few weeks to confirm this. I plan to apply to Australia (which doesn't need biology), but I also want to apply to a couple of Asian universities which do require biology.

As such, as I'm still only 17, I might want to take a gap year and self-teach biology in that year. How hard would that be?
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haleema02
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#2
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A level Biology can be difficult. I did it at A level but I loved it. If you enjoyed biology in high school you'll kinda like it on a level. Here's the thing though it's one challenge teaching yourself biology it's another challenge being able to pass the tests. A level biology is mostly about exam practice memorizing specific phrases that need to be written in order to get the mark. The mark schemes are really tough but the content itself is doable. Considering the fact that you've done 4 A levels id say go for it. You definitely seem able because 4 subjects is a lot. I would suggest going topic by topic and at the end of the topic, you do around 40 exam questions on that topic. You won't find a lot of resources online to help you so ask your current college if they could give you practice question by topic and at the end of the year before your exam just keep doing practice tests over and over. Also, make sure you have a full curriculum and you check it off. There are 3 exams and on the 3rd one, you have to answer an essay question
We practically taught ourselves because our first yr teacher was just really bad at explaining and a really harsh marker. I remember that if you didn't mention 'buzzwords' she wouldn't give you a mark even if you explained it a different way and she marks actual a level exams.
It will probably seem like a lot but if you break it down into certain topics per week you'll get it done. It's like with further maths in 6 months what people in maths learned in a year. If you can go at that speed for maths you can do it for biology. Also, what are you going to do in terms of practicals you won't get a practical endorsement if you don't pass them all and most unis require you to have done them. I don't know if universities in Australia require them so make sure you research that before you continue.
Good Luck
Last edited by haleema02; 1 year ago
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#3
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A major difficulty with self-teaching Biology is completing the assessed practicals - and medicine offers generally require you to pass these. Be prepared for it to cost you £1000 or so to get these done.
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stephenlong1992
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#4
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Self-study, although, might seem to be a not so good idea, it can teach a lot of different skills than otherwise. A student can learn invaluable traits such as taking responsibility for your own education and to motivate yourself.
A lot of students have the idea that self-studying is easier than it seems to be. However, every student needs some help for which you can visit https://www.mytutorsource.com/ to get the intended help or support that you require.
Studying on your own requires sheer focus and intent because if you are not responsible enough to make a study schedule and follow it, then your study plan has begun on the wrong foot. One major challenge of self-studying Biology is that you might come across a lot of questions for which you will need assistance, but if you are motivated to do it and are willing to spend the time, then you can find a solution and get the best grades efficiently.
In today’s world, life is a lot easier as you can find everything online. You should start with the following three things:
  1. Check the syllabus
  2. Go over all the topics and chapters that have been listed in the syllabus and the book
  3. Find past papers and practice them
If you succeed at doing that, a major chunk of your work is already done. And you are ready to sit for the exam. But, don’t forget that videos can also help clarify a lot of your concepts that you have difficulty understanding.
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