Category Archives: Revision
For most students you will be enjoying a well earned break over Easter weekend after what I’m sure has been a busy and frantic school term. However, when it comes to Monday or Tuesday you will probably be searching for some motivation to start your revision. Getting started can be the hardest part of revision, my advice is to plan plan plan. You can spend a lot of time procrastinating otherwise but if you wake up and you know exactly what you are meant to be studying that day you will get started much quicker. You can also tick off tasks as you complete them throughout the day. I recommend three sessions of revision per day, with decent breaks in between and two at the weekend.
Spend this weekend planning what you want to achieve over the next three weeks. Make sure all your subjects are covered in the right amounts and write specific tasks, such as ‘complete paper 1’ or ‘notes on bonding’ rather than just the subject name.
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.
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!
I know a lot of recent visitors to the website have enjoyed using Quizlet to help with their revision. For anyone who hasn’t used Quizlet before you can learn what it is, and how to use it, by clicking here. There are now two new quizes available to help you revise Food and Digestion, just click on the links below to access them:
For anyone studying this topic I’d recommend watching Hank Green’s YouTube video below. He will take you on a crash course through the bowels of the human digestive system and explain why it’s all about surface area!
Hank’s YouTube channel is a great resource for anyone studying Biology, it has 40 different videos covering topics such as photosynthesis, meiosis, natural selection and ecology. Why don’t you check it out!
The last three revision tests for IGCSE have now been uploaded to the IGCSE revision page. Download them from SlideShare, complete them, use the textbook to mark them, write out anything you get wrong on the revision tracker, and then repeat the test every couple of days until you are getting close to full marks!
Click here to find a test for Section A: Organisms and Life Processes.
Click here to find a test for Section E: Variation and Selection
Click here to find a test for Section F: Microorganisms and Genetic Engineering
As always these tests have been created using the relevant textbooks so the answers should be easy to find. However, if you’d like the answers for any of the tests available on mrexham.com just send me an email.
Bored of making flash cards? Tired of writing out notes? Why not try mind mapping? There are many reasons why drawing a mind map can be a useful way to learn. Just look at this list of the top 100 reasons to mind map compiled by mind mapping guru Paul Foreman. Paul has made a great mind map to give you some help getting started. You can also see more of Paul’s mind maps by visiting his website: http://www.mindmapinspiration.co.uk/#.
Why not choose a topic for yourself and see if you can make a mind map using all the key terms, you could even add some diagrams as well. Alternatively, if you want to do a mind map on the computer there is plenty of mind mapping software available, but a good free one is FreeMind. You can watch this YouTube tutorial to help you get to grips with the FreeMind software.
Here is the latest IGCSE Revision Quiz on Section D: Ecology and the Environment. With the first IGCSE Biology paper being only 9 days away a test like this can really reveal your weaker topics. The ecology and the environment section can often be overlooked as many students think it’s easy and there is not much to learn. However, it’s clear from the test that there are still many facts that you need to commit to memory.
This test along with the others for IGCSE can be found on the IGCSE revision page.
Keep checking mrexham.com for the next test on Section E: Variation and Selection, which will be posted in a few days time.
Three more revision tests have now been uploaded to the website, one for IGCSE, one for AS, and one for A2. Download them from SlideShare, complete them, use the textbook to mark them, write out anything you get wrong on the revision tracker, and then repeat the test every couple of days until you are getting close to full marks!
Go to IGCSE revision to find a test for Section C: Plant Physiology.
Go to AS revision to find a test for F211 Unit 1: Module 2 – Exchange, Animal Transport and Plant Transport.
Go to A2 revision to find a test for F214 Unit 1: Module 2 – Excretion.
As always these tests have been created using the relevant textbooks so the answers should be easy to look up. However, if you’d like the answers for any of the tests available on mrexham.com just send me an email.
Over the next month I will be posting various resources to help you revise for your exams. This will include hints, tips, videos, summaries, tests and planners. Once they have been posted you will also be able to find them on the relevant pages.
The first resource, available to download now, is a revision tracker. It can be used for any subject but is particularly useful when revising for a factual subject such as Biology. Every time you complete a test or a past paper question, you should write down anything you get wrong on the tracker. This will allow you to keep a note of your weakest topics and help you to focus your revision in the weeks leading up to your exam or test.
I have also posted an IGCSE revision quiz for the whole of Section B: Human Physiology. The quiz takes about 30 minutes to complete and I’d recommend doing it several times as it’s a really effective way to improve your factual recall. I wrote the the quiz using the Edexcel textbook so all the answers can be found there.
Please write in the comments below if you’ve found these helpful, or if there are any other revision resources that you’d like me to create.