Friday, January 11, 2013

Biology Exam

I sat my first exam of my exam period today. AQA Biology Unit 4 (A2). In my opinion, it wasn't that bad. There was only one question on water potential (an AS concept which I'd forgotten about) I wasn't expecting and it was only worth 2 marks.

One thing I have noticed is that those who found the exam hard or unfair are more vocal than those who thought the paper was, on the whole, reasonable. Remember people who don't have a problem aren't going to rush to their computers to complain. So, if you didn't take the exam you may get the impression online that people thought it was a really unfair paper. It wasn't. The paper tested the majority of the specification.

Those who do vocalise about the unjustness of AQA produce funny videos like this:

To be honest the 2010 paper was weird and I would've been annoyed at the randomness, though it wasn't too difficult a paper, and I got a good mark when I did it as a past paper.

One thing common amongst the majority of students is they like to know how each other revise. So, I guess I could add in my methods. I read the text book and do past exam papers. Whilst reading the text book I make posters that I stick on my wall and then talk myself through them at random times in the day. Some may think this is excessive but it seems to be working thus far:

If you are interested the image top left with the tree is the Carbon Cycle, beneath that is the Nitrogen Cycle. Then the top row of diagrams shows respiration. The first one is anaerobic, and although in reality follows Glycolysis (the second image on that row) it is far easier to understand traditional, aerobic respiration with it laid out like that. After Glycolysis is the Link Reaction (the big arrow) then the Krebs Cycle and finally the electron transport chain. On that row I made all the images except the anaerobic diagram.

The row beneath is photosynthesis starting with the Light Dependant Reaction, then the Calvin Cylce. The last image on that row is the Lollipop Experiment testing the Calvin cycle. I didn't make the diagram for the Lollipop experiment.

And the bottom row is a mix of stuff. The first being the equations for the Hardy-Weinberg Principle in genetics. Then is the equation and information for the Mark-Release-Recapture mehod. The final graphs/charts are for populations (population growth curve, population pyramids, demographic transition model).

I do posters like these for Physics and Chemistry too. I may upload images of those at some point if I get time.

Matt B


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