This is the first post of a mini-series sort of thing where I am going to give my revision tips for the three subjects I take. If there is any subjects (e.g. Maths) which I took at GCSE that you’d like to see a post on then just let me know in the comments.
Biology is the subject I find the hardest at ALevel but I probably found it the easiest at GCSE (how times change) so this is the way which I revised for my GCSEs just with a few bits added in for ALevels. Personally for me this work but please remember that everyone have different learning styles so don’t worry if this doesn’t work for you.
Something that has really helped me in the last term is just after every lesson when I get home going over anything I was unsure about in the lesson. This can be anything that I found difficult, notes I didn’t quite finish or, we quite often do quizzes or past paper questions so if I struggled on them I go over the content. I usually just spend around fifteen to twenty minutes going over things and making notes or revision aids on them. For me this helps because I’m not leaving it to the test and just sorting out the things I am finding difficult straight away.
The rule of five is something which has definitely made Biology seem a lot more manageable for me. I put the sub topic (e.g. proteins) in the middle and then do five key facts coming off of it. If I can just remember the five facts about each subtopic then I (hopefully) will always have something to write about in the exam. I also find this useful if I just want to quickly recap on a topic.
Throughout my GCSE in Biology I went through so many and it really helps me. It makes you condense your notes down so you only have the important parts and they’re so easy to take around you to revise at school or on the bus. You can add colour to these, make them look attractive and just try to learn as much of the notes as possible.
For revision I really like to use the CGP books, for ALevel I’d say this doesn’t have quite enough detail but it gives the majority of what you need in really simple form which is so much easier to understand and write notes on. Also, the CGP guide is really visual so it doesn’t make it seem as boring.
Maths was never by strong point at GCSE so the Maths within Biology can sometimes prove quite difficult. There is a few equations and just basic Maths knowledge that you need. I decided to put all of the Maths that I need into one A5 notepad then I just add to it every time I learn something new. This really helps me as I can just read though it once a week and just before a test to make sure that I can get all of the marks on the Maths questions.
Past Papers is the best way to learn and practice the exam technique. It helps you understand what the examiner wants and the way in which the questions are worded in your actual exam. My school put them all into books for us to buy but you can just print them off from AQA (or whichever exam board you are doing) or just get them on the screen and write the answers on paper. The mark schemes are also available so you can check your progress.