Understanding The Depths Of A-level Biology

Cambridge International A Level Biology syllabus is shaped in such a way that it enables students to develop important skills which includes data-handling and application of scientific concepts to solve real-world problems.

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Students learn how to work out solutions with accuracy and precision and be able to also explain concepts with clarity. A-level biology tuition is gaining some attention over the past few years as it seems that students are unsure of how to handle the subject alone.

The concepts that A-level biology students learn in the 2-year journey in junior college are:

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • Enzymes
  • Cell membranes and transport
  • The mitotic cell-cycle
  • Nucleic acids and protein synthesis
  • Transport in plants
  • Transport in mammals
  • Gas exchange
  • Infectious diseases
  • Immunity
  • Energy and respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Homeostasis
  • Control and coordination
  • Inheritance
  • Selection and evolution
  • Classification, biodiversity and conservation
  • Genetic technology

Apart from the theory part of it all, there is also the practical aspect and students need to be able to master those skills as well. All of this can be overwhelming at times and its hence important for students to know how to deal with it in a systematic way.

So, here are some tips and tricks to comprehend topics covered in A-level Biology!

NO.1: UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS

When comparing O-level Biology syllabus with A-level biology syllabus, beyond a shadow of a doubt, A-level Biology has more depth in the concepts that it covers and it requires students to memorise a whole lot of content, especially key words or what we call as scientific terminology.

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For any subject, be it Economics, Chemistry, Physics or Biology, at the level of junior college, students need to cultivate the habit of incorporating key words into their writing and need to learn how to learn succinctly as descriptive writing does not earn marks.

In order to craft perfect answers, students need to have clarity in the concepts they learn. Reading notes over and over again does no good; students need to seek alternative resources such as educational videos in YouTube and should also discuss their doubts with the A-level Biology tutors.

The first step to master is concepts; everything else follows behind a strong foundation.

NO.2: MEMORISATION

Biology is a subject that has lots of nitty-gritty details and requires a whole lot of memorisation. Intrinsic mechanisms at a molecular level may seem to have a plethora of information which can overwhelm students.

The only way to study this is to follow the technique of spaced repetition. The more we reinforce a piece of information in our brain repeatedly, the stronger that it ingrains itself in our mind. Keeping the habit of continuous revision will go a long way in storing this information for long-term memory.

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Some techniques that students can use to memorise information is through,

  • Making their own notes (crafting it according to their own creativity)
  • Mind maps
  • Flow charts

And there are many other creative ways summarisation can be done for easy-internalisation of content.

NO.3: PRACTICE

Everyone knows that practicing is important to succeed in anything that we do. However, practicing with a purpose is important and many students are unsure as to how that can be done.

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Completing one practice paper after another blindly does not help with progress; instead, getting a teacher or an A-level Biology tutor to assess the completed practice paper and identifying knowledge gaps is the way to go. Through this process, students will identify their strengths and weaknesses and be able to find out what they are lacking in.

All in all, seeking help at the right time will save a whole lot of struggle and hence it’s important for students to reach out and ask for guidance when they really need. Biology is a complex and fascinating subject and should students excel in it, they have a bright future ahead of them!