Welcome to MrExham.com, an online blog designed for students, teachers and anyone who loves anything Biology!
The primary aim of my blog is to create an information resource for pupils studying Biology IGCSE, A Level and the International Baccalaureate (IB). I will also be regularly posting links to anything in the Biology world that I find interesting, be it news stories, articles, videos, or games, in the hope that Mr Exham will inspire YOU to Make Sense of Biology.
If you have any questions please email me.
Some of the hardest questions in IGCSE Biology are the 6 marker questions and the paper nearly always finishes with one which is more than often about carrying out an experiment. As there is no coursework for this course they must make sure they test you on your experimental knowledge throughout the paper.
If you can master these questions you are giving yourself a good chance of achieving a top grade.
In my new revision resource I have written 10 original example 6 marker questions followed by a mark scheme for each one. You can download it here:
Note carefully how many of the answers are looking for the same things, especially in the practical questions. The key is to think about the variables.
Remember that the aspect the scientist is altering is the independent variable. Whatever they measure or record in the experiment is the dependent variable and all other variables in the experiment must be controlled. If you explain how to vary the independent variable, how specifically to measure the dependent variable and how to control the other variables then you should do well.
It looks like mrexham.com will be specifically making resources for the Edexcel Biology B course starting in 2015. Many of the courses have overlapping topics so many of the resources will be relevant for other courses as well. For now please enjoy this useful outline I have made for the Edexcel Biology B course.
One of the most important parts of IGCSE Biology is to be familiar with the key diagrams. I have therefore created a great revision PowerPoint that contains the 25 most important diagrams on individual easy print slides. Also included are all the answers. If you are a teacher these are great for testing your class, if you are a student you can print multiple copies and try them until you get them all right. Click on the image below to purchase this new resource:
You can download a free diagram of the heart by clicking this link.
Included in the presentation are diagrams for: the kidney, urinary system, digestive system, reproductive system, the leaf, the eye, a motor neurone, the circulatory system, plant cell, animal cell, sperm cell, menstrual cycle, nitrogen cycle and many more.
By now I’m sure you will have all looked at the various options for which specification to choose from. For my department the first question was did we want to choose a context based or content based course. The traditional courses are content led, this means that the topics are discreet and are just taught as individual topics, rather than the context based courses which give a context to each section of the specification. For example, the context may be the blood and you would teach various topics from that context, such as cells, immunity and hormones.
As teachers we always give context to what we are teaching and in this way the content based courses are more flexible as you can arrange topics how you want and apply your own contexts where relevant. However, the content in the context based courses seems to be more current and interesting.
Once you decide which approach to take, the task of deciding which exam board to choose is actually quite tricky. Now that coursework as such has been removed from the qualification, the differences between the options are very slight. The content is much the same across all exam boards and so it just comes down to the type of assessment, style, resources, loyalty and personal preference.
Please fill in this poll and write in the comments your opinions and thoughts regarding this important decision.
I have just uploaded a new video and TEDEd lesson on the digestive system which I have been putting together for a while. I am also planning on updating my older video resources to bring them more up to date.
I will be posting a Christmas Special video in the next few days so subscribe on YouTube to see it first.
I am pleased to announce that I have now completed a PowerPoint for every topic in the Edexcel IGCSE Biology Course. They can be conveniently downloaded in one file containing over 750 original slides.
Click on the image to download it now!
Over the next few months I will be checking the IGCSE pages and updating video links. I will then begin work on the new linear A Level for 2015.
Any feedback or requests for new resources please email me
I have been meaning to write this post for a while in order to let you know what the plans are going forward for mrexham.com, and this week seemed like as good a time as any with the GCSE results coming out and a new academic year starting.
Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has used the website in the last year, I have received some great emails and tweets and I am really glad that it’s been useful to so many people. I’ve now decided to take mrexham.com in a few different directions. Firstly I am making some of my key resources, which take the most time and effort to make, available to purchase through sellfy.com. This has meant spending more time on these resources to make them as clear and informative as possible, and it has also given me the impetus to make more of them! There will soon be a PowerPoint for each section of the IGCSE course along with revision quizzes.
I will continue to make free resources as well, including Quizlets, revision sheets, YouTube dissections, practical demonstrations, worksheets and I also intend to write Socrative quizzes for teachers.
Given that there will be a new A-Level starting in 2015 (read the Ofqual announcement here) I will no longer be adding to the current A-Level pages and resources. Instead I will focus on making new resources ready for the launch of the new linear A-Level next year. I will also be blogging about the various courses and exam boards offering Biology A-Level as my department make their decision about which to choose.
Thank you once again for all the positive feedback and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see on mrexham.com!