A Level Biology is a step up from previously studied Biology. Having an A Level Biology Tutor can really excel your learning and understanding of A level Biology.
A Level Biology is the study of living systems in all their forms. Biology spans a wide array of varied topics- from the molecular processes of cells to the huge time spans of evolutionary theory. A Level Biology complements students wishing to pursue any science or technical subject and is nearly always required for further education in medicine and biological sciences.
It’s important to identify which exam board your child’s school is following for A Level Biology as they do vary. For example, syllabuses and examination structures do differ slightly between boards. Having some knowledge of exam boards is great information to give to your A Level Biology Tutor. This will help them tailor their lessons with your child, to include relevant syllabus content.
The main exam boards for A Level Biology are:
Though syllabuses and prescribed materials do vary, an A Level in Biology is generally intended to:
Students of A Level Biology need to retain a lot of information that covers very different living systems- from cell structure to genetics to trees. Students also need to be confident and succinct in defining various key concepts, terms, and processes: mark schemes for definitions can be particular and unforgiving.
Though there is some degree of emphasis on fact retention in A Level Biology, students should not learn by rote! Examinations are designed to test understanding as well as knowledge. So, to do well you’re A Level Biology Tutor will spend a lot of time in the run up to the exam going through past papers. Going through past papers means you’re A Level Biology Tutor can help your child master each style of exam question. This will help your child to obtain higher marks.
It is important to understand how your child’s A Level Biology exams will be marked. Understanding this can help to provide the right support throughout your child’s revision. All the exam boards publish detailed guidance on what they are looking for. Your A Level Biology tutor will know this like the back of their hand.
Your child needs to know what the examiner wants from them in every type of question. They then need to learn how to ‘tick the boxes’ on the mark scheme to ensure they pick up the most marks they can. Knowledge of command words is vital for this. Learning different exam question styles will be an essential part of your child’s time with their A Level Biology tutor.
It is important that your child allows enough time for the revision process. They need to do their work properly. You’re A Level Biology tutor will have a structured revision plan by the January of their exam year.
Organisation is vital! Making sure your child has all their class notes and revision notes sorted is the first step. It is often helpful to check off notes against the requirement of a syllabus as the year goes on. Once your child and their tutor are confident, they have covered the whole syllabus, they can start to make revision notes. They may make notes based on things such as biochemical processes, genetic classifications, or features of the cell. The skills developed in this re-noting and reformulating are very helpful for reinforcing knowledge and understanding.
Before exam season, however, it is important for your child to liaise with their A Level Biology tutor about any material that they are finding difficult.
Throughout the academic year and revision period, it is helpful to think about how your child learns. Do they like the pressure of a memory test or flashcards? Or is mapping out key ideas helpful? They could try challenging themselves to write everything they know about a topic on one side of A4. Maybe talking things over with a parent, sibling, or their A Level Biology tutor is helpful We all learn differently, so it is good to be aware of how best your child learns.
According to a Department for Education assessment released on 30 September 2021, “exam boards will provide advance information about the focus of the content of the exams for all GCSE, AS and A level subjects… for the summer 2022 exams”. This information will be released by 7 February 2022. If the information is released sooner than 7 February, DfE will give schools and students “at least a week’s notice”.
Even after navigating the demands of GCSEs, students can feel immense pressure around the time of public exams and it is part of your job as a parent to help them navigate this. On a positive note, this can be a time of great personal growth for teenagers, as they specialise in academic interests, sustain hard work over many months and push through exam nerves. Talk to your child about managing their emotions and introduce important elements of self care, such as sufficient sleep and good nutrition.
The best way to support your child through their A Level Biology is to give them the tools and skills to succeed. Some targeted intervention with an experienced A Level Biology tutor can make all the difference. Our A Level tutors are experienced, qualified teachers, Heads of Department and Examiners who know the A Level Biology syllabus back to front. They can teach your child in the manner they learn best, explain the latest mark schemes, help them understand complicated processes, and dramatically improve their exam technique.
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