Get an 'A' for Biology in 5 Steps

August 31, 2020

Biology is hardly a subject that you can pick up in 2 seconds. It incorporates a little bit of Chemistry and Mathematics, mixed with its own principles – which makes it complex to say the least!  How to get an A in Biology is to understand that is the foundation of how we understand all living things.  That’s a pretty amazing subject to study.

 

How a new protein is catalysed in the muscle or how your DNA replicates itself can stick easily since you’ll see it when your body operates and moves. If one of your friends or family gets sick, Biology explains how it happened and what the treatment options are.

In the long run, you become more understanding and appreciative of the world around you, and how it works.

Through all the complex processes and knowledge that you’ll face in Biology, always relating the concept back to its relevance in life and how it can help people is a great way to maintain motivation throughout the year. Maintaining that motivation, plus utilising all of the following 7 key tips, will guarantee your stance as an expert A-level Biology student!

 

 

 

Step 1. Know your language

There will be many terms that you need to learn. Are all of them important?

The answer is, unavoidably, yes. 

 

The difference between a chromatid and a chromosome or hominin and hominid may seem minuscule, but confusing those terms can make your responses nonsensical and may cost you some serious marks.

It also goes beyond just knowing the language, as you need to understand the key concepts to perform better in assessments.

 

“Isn’t knowing and understanding the same thing?”. Nope! There is a distinct difference between knowing a concept and understanding the concept. Knowing often means simply memorising a flow chart or paragraph that relates to the concept, and how it works. Understanding is knowing how a concept applies in every cont

ext; knowing why something happens, and what would happen to each factor if something changed, etc

 

Step 2. Diagrams and flow charts are your best friend

One of the best ways to retain a lot of information about biological principles is to create diagrams and flow charts. It can often be very hard to remember a lot of information if it’s simply written out onto a page. Often the words will start to blur and you won’t want to remember anything that you learn.Instead of making a hard subject even harder for yourself, make it easier by using these visual aides to guide you through the more difficult concepts:Flow chart of all subheadings and headings Definitions of broad concepts, and their effects on other concepts (use different colours for differentMind maps Knowing the headings and subheadings for concepts is critical, since it helps your flow of thought when answering long and broad response questions.Having visual aids allow you to see the process to an answer in your mind, making it easier to retain the information (especially if you’re a visual learner).Visual study techniques are also advantageous for studying in time-stressed situations. If you’re about to head into a test, it can be difficult to write out full answers to questions and revise in that way. With diagrams and flow charts, you can still bring back to mind certain content, and process a far larger amount of information in that short time.In saying all of this, visual information can be less in depth – which is why the next tip is so important:

 

It can often be very hard to remember a lot of information if it’s simply written out onto a page. Often the words will start to blur and you won’t want to remember anything that you learn.

Instead of making a hard subject even harder for yourself, make it easier by using these visual aides to guide you through the more difficult concepts:

  • Flow chart of all subheadings and headings

  • Definitions of broad concepts, and their effects on other concepts (use different colours for different

  • Mind maps

 

Knowing the headings and subheadings for concepts is critical, since it helps your flow of thought when answering long and broad response questions.

Having visual aids allow you to see the process to an answer in your mind, making it easier to retain the information (especially if you’re a visual learner).

Visual study techniques are also advantageous for studying in time-stressed situations. If you’re about to head into a test, it can be difficult to write out full answers to questions and revise in that way. With diagrams and flow charts, you can still bring back to mind certain content, and process a far larger amount of information in that short time.

In saying all of this, visual information can be less in depth – which is why the next tip is so important:

 

Step 3. Be aware of everything – attempt to know all things

 

I know, it’s a little intimidating being asked to know everything in a subject. Ultimately, though, to get an A, that’s the mentality you have to develop. There isn’t a drastic difference between those who get B’s and those who get A’s, but there are a few key things that mark that grade increase. B-grade students:

  • Know the content well

  • Can deliver on the briefs in assignments

  • Can analyse situations effectively

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

This is the one key difference between an A and B student – going the extra mile.

In this case, it’s in your knowledge and understanding. It’s vital for your understanding, as well! Even knowing only 75% of the overall content is better than someone who knows the major 10% of the 5 different topics that have been covered.

 

Step 4. Plan for the assignment and exams coming up – long term

Since there’s so much you need to know and so many notes you’ll need to make, planning is the key to knowing when and how much work you need to do throughout the term. You need to study in a way that allows for you to work hard in the lead up to exams and assignments, without you burning out due to over-stressing and pure exhaustion. The best way to do this is to plan before the term starts what the intensity and frequency of work for each week of term will be, based on the amount of school work that you’re going to get. You also then allocate time to get ahead with content if you have spare time before exams or assignments. In saying this, the best planners can work with a holistic plan that covers all their subjects – meaning that they know when to up the intensity of their study of subjects individually. These people are those who seem to have a lot of time. Realistically, they’re just in control and know exactly what is needed from them at any given point in time. They don’t do any more or any less, and that reduces stress for them. You definitely want to get to that state, and early preparation is key in that regard! If you struggle to keep up with your studies and require extra help keep up with your peers, Sophia Education welcomes all student and provides highly personalized tuition guaranteed to have you improve by at least 2-Grades in just 12 weeks.

 

Step 5

 

. Summaries – make them good, make them often

Last but not least, putting time into your study notes allows you to keep track of what you’ve learnt and when. If you’re not making summaries and revisiting the concepts that you learn in class within the next week, it becomes very challenging (as in almost impossible) to learn all concepts to an A level in the limited time that you have during the term.

This is a challenge for all of your subjects, but especially for Biology, as you will be overloaded with content on a day to day basis. This content can’t simply be learnt and then forgotten – every day following, the content you previously learnt will be expanded on. Therefore, you need to find a place to store daily information, so that you can return back to it.

The best way to do this is to write out summaries. HOWEVER, it’s not enough to only write it – you need to make it appealing to look at. Use diagrams when describing mechanisms or labelling things, flow charts when there’s a process you’re summarising, and make sure you highlight your written concept notes so that the main points jump out at you from the page.

 

After this, studying becomes merely rewriting what you have highlighted into more succinct sentences until you understand the concept completely – and that’s how to get an A in biology, or any other subject.

Setting aside time every week to do this specifically will allow you to stay on top of your work, but you must develop a habit of doing it. Healthy habits like this will help you absolutely ace Biology, and might even flood over into your other subjects, propelling you towards success in all areas of your education!

 

 

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