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How to revise for biology and chemistry A level?

How do I revise for these two sciences? I'm in AS currently, and have exams approaching mid November.

My exam boards are CIE biology and AQA chemistry.

I really want a good start and to do well from now, so any advice would be great!
how do you normally revise?
Reply 2
Original post by CaptainDuckie
how do you normally revise?


I just read notes for gcse exams and got 999888775A* but I know that reading wont cut it for a levels.
Original post by Joseph182
I just read notes for gcse exams and got 999888775A* but I know that reading wont cut it for a levels.




Yeah, you’re right, that definitely won’t cut it. There’s just so much content to go through.

Many people swear by doing exam questions as there primary source of revision, have you ever done these before?
Reply 4
Original post by CaptainDuckie
Yeah, you’re right, that definitely won’t cut it. There’s just so much content to go through.

Many people swear by doing exam questions as there primary source of revision, have you ever done these before?


Not really ig, I answered some past papers but didn't do it religiously during GCSE's, hence why I wanted thorough advice for a A levels.
Reply 5
Original post by Joseph182
Not really ig, I answered some past papers but didn't do it religiously during GCSE's, hence why I wanted thorough advice for a A levels.


Past papers are going to be really useful. There's a lot of content for biology, so memorising it is important obviously. But that won't be enough, because the mark schemes are horribly specific, so you need to do a LOT of questions and past papers to get used to writing what the mark scheme is looking for. Chemistry is a lot more application based at A level. There are tons of new calculations that come in plus a lot of merging topics in the questions. PMT is a great place for both chemistry and biology questions, so I'd advise you start there.
Original post by Joseph182
Not really ig, I answered some past papers but didn't do it religiously during GCSE's, hence why I wanted thorough advice for a A levels.




Yeah, so pretty much, it’s that. It’s more about getting used to how the questions are going to be displayed to you at A-level, really. Especially Biology, the mark schemes are very specific, and picky, about wording and phrases.

I personally used that in accordance with flashcards, made my life a lot easier identifying what I know with what I don’t know. Then working on the areas I struggle on the most. if you think about it right.. it’s no good spending lots of time doing what you know, you don’t learn.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
Original post by CaptainDuckie
Yeah, so pretty much, it’s that. It’s more about getting used to how the questions are going to be displayed to you at A-level, really. Especially Biology, the mark schemes are very specific, and picky, about wording and phrases.

I personally used that in accordance with flashcards, made my life a lot easier identifying what I know with what I don’t know. Then working on the areas I struggle on the most. if you think about it right.. it’s no good spending lots of time doing what you know, you don’t learn.


Did you make flashcards or find them online? I'm doing 4 a levels and have a lot of co curricular commitments in addition to my heavy workload and so I don't have time to make resources really
Reply 8
For chemistry doing lots and lots of exam questions really helped me last year in AS. Also a tip I would suggest when doing topic papers is doing a question and marking it before doing the next question rather than completing a whole paper and marking it all afterwards. This is because if you mark after the entire paper and realise you made a recurring mistake you acknowledge it once and move on but if you mark after each question - the mistake is constantly acknowledged until you get it right. Eventually however once you are confident with a topic in its entirety you can do whole papers - at this point if you make some mistakes you may want to write them down in a mistakes book that you look over every week or so.
I did this and did a lot of chemistry questions and found that I rarely needed to look back at old notes as this basically built mark schemes in my head as a sort of muscle memory (though looking back is can be useful too at times).
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Joseph182
Did you make flashcards or find them online? I'm doing 4 a levels and have a lot of co curricular commitments in addition to my heavy workload and so I don't have time to make resources really




I went to the gym 4x a week, had to do some housing stuff, played for a basketball team, went out on most days, but still managed to find the time to make resources at A-level. We are all given 24 hours in a day, you choose how you would want to spend that time really.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 10
Original post by CaptainDuckie
I went to the gym 4x a week, had to do some housing stuff, played for a basketball team, went out on most days, but still managed to find the time to make resources at A-level. We are all given 24 hours in a day, you choose how you would want to spend that time really.


My school day is from 9-5 and I suffer from a condition which means I'm often fatigued by the end of the day and don't really have all that much time or energy to get stuff done 😢
Original post by Joseph182
How do I revise for these two sciences? I'm in AS currently, and have exams approaching mid November.

My exam boards are CIE biology and AQA chemistry.

I really want a good start and to do well from now, so any advice would be great!

Heya!
Chem and Bio are known to be challenging subjects. the jump from GCSE to A-levels is big so you'll need to work harder for them. First, make a revision timetable and dedicate specific days and time to each subject. I would recommend approaching both subjects slowly by topic until you fully understand them. I would recommend prereading the material before the lesson and making notes so that during the lesson you can ask your teacher for any clarification. Make use of flashcards, spider diagrams etc. Personally, I found it helpful to draw out diagrams for bio and chem :h:

Make sure to use the free resources available to you online as well! Study mind offers free past papers, mark schemes and revision notes for chem and bio all by topic to help you with your revision. After you are done making notes for a topic, make sure to practice answering the questions for it using past papers! Once you have done more topics, you can attempt doing a past paper by year ( a mock) to see how well you are doing. Youtube is also a great place to find extra material for bio and chem :smile:

I hope this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Original post by Joseph182
How do I revise for these two sciences? I'm in AS currently, and have exams approaching mid November.

My exam boards are CIE biology and AQA chemistry.

I really want a good start and to do well from now, so any advice would be great!


I find the best way to revise is by recalling information or answering questions. Suppose you've just read a chapter of your chemistry textbook and made some notes. Without looking at your notes, try and write down and explain some equations/definitions/theories. Alternatively, try and answer the end-of-chapter questions. This will help identify what topics you need to focus on. I hope this helps.

Rob
Chemistry PhD student (year 1)
(edited 1 year ago)

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