Biology A level is known for its vast course content which you’re expected to memorise in order to do well in the exam, but luckily there are many ways to do this. Here are our 5 top tips for making sure that you get that A* in biology:
1. Link the content together
Making links between the content that you are studying now and what you did a few months ago is a great way of reminding yourself of it and developing your understanding. Most of your course content will fit really well together so this is not difficult to do and can be as simple as just noting why plant cell walls are made of cellulose rather than another polysaccharide, for example.
2. Read around the subject
Once again this develops your understanding of what you learn in lessons. Reading around the subject is also a way of engaging more with the content, which makes you more likely to remember it than if you just skimmed over it in the textbook. Reading newspaper articles and magazines about the subject are a great way to do this.
3. Do past paper questions
You hear it constantly, but that’s because it is key to exam success. Applying the content and recalling it often to answer questions will improve your chances of remembering it when it comes to exam time. Also, doing an essay-type question every couple of weeks, as opposed to short answer questions, is a great way of preparing yourself for the exam and learning what they are looking for in your answers.
4. Read the examiner’s report
This is the best way to learn what they are looking for. The reports are usually available for free on your exam board’s website and they detail the concepts and content that students typically got wrong in that exam. Reading this is key to making sure that you don’t make the same mistakes and lose marks when it comes to your exam so you can get that A*.
5. Watch videos
Youtube, TED Talks, Snaprevise videos, anything is good! This is similar to reading around the subject in that it will develop your understanding, but it can also be used as just a quick refresher of things you learnt a while ago, rather than detailed studying. Watching videos can make a nice change to your usual revision session and can be used when you feel like procrastinating rather than just doing nothing.
Remember, with A level biology the main thing is to just go over the content over and over again until it becomes second nature to you. Constantly return to things you learnt a few months ago so that when it comes to exam time you are not starting from scratch and it is just a quick reminder, meaning that you can focus your revision efforts on past papers to make sure that you really nail that exam technique and get that A*!