What is the best way to improve exam technique for the AQA IGCSE biology papers?

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Hi guys, 

I have a very good understanding of the biology syllabus, however when it comes to exams, i end up not writing the neccessary points to get marks, even though the answers I give are very valid. I therefore got a B in my mock which was dissappointing as I was predicted an A*, and I also want to study biology for A level.  Since it is a new specification, there aren't many papers to do. Does anyone have any ideas or tips on how I could improve my grade?

Posted Tue 26th March, 2013 @ 21:21 by Sally

1 Answer

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I have the exact same problem, when it all comes done to it you got to think logically. For me I lose marks because I believe the question is too good to be ture (basically the question is too easy so I immediately think its a trick and should put a more indepth answer). This is especially true for a lot of students who are doing the higher papers - which I am guessing you are doing since you a predicted A*. The answers to the questions are particulary straight forward, you just have to stick to the questions aim - as in think they are tricky I sometimes wonder off topic (especially longer questions) and lose marks.

If you look at the marks schemes from past papers notice that they only look for specific keywords. These are essential for getting the marks, its no use doing a good explanation and forgetting to place these words, although long biology questions need full sentences try to think of them as bullet points each relating to how many marks: 5 marks 5 points. Your teacher should have told you this but sometimes it helps to also highlight key words in the question. Highlightly will also help with key words, get a biology texbook and reduce a paragraph to key words to help you remeber points. This will be valuable in exams, since I've started highlighting it has helped me immensely tio keep to topic.

So really all you have to do is look at past papers and particulary mark schemes (it doesn't matter that they are not many go over the ones you have done already and focus on the questions you've got wrong). Highlight see what the examiners r looking for, don't bother with timed conditions right now, it will only worry you.

I hope I haven't wasted your time, you probably heard all this from your teacher already but I hoped hearing it from another person might stimulate you to practice this method again - helps to hear from fellow students.

sorry for such a long-winded answer.

evie

Answered Wed 27th March, 2013 @ 15:45 by evie4learning