Category Archives: OCR A2
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.
Here is the latest revision quiz for A2 Biology. It covers Unit 2 Module 1 – Cellular Control and Variation. It does not have any detailed genetic problems or maths questions as it is purely meant to be for factual recall of the key words and definitions.
Recently in my department we have been using modelling clay to help animate complex biological processes that students find hard to visualise and learn. It’s very simple to do, all you need is some modelling clay, a smartphone or digital camera, some pens and paper and some basic video editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. To make the animations as smooth as possible the students should take as many still frames as they can. These are then put into the software and text, music and transitions are all added. It can be done in the class in small groups or for a homework task. Below are two examples of processes that this works particularly well for meiosis and protein synthesis.
Other biology topics that this technique would be useful for include: movement of substances across membranes, the nephron, genetic engineering of human insulin, action potentials, respiration, photosynthesis, enzymes and many more.
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.
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.