You don’t need me to tell you that things are a little different this year! The usual anticipation of exam season and the anxious wait for results has been swept aside by the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving GCSE and A Level students rather high and dry! Now we’re facing a long gap, and for those moving to A Level studies, things are going to be considerably more challenging. In this article we briefly discuss some key differences in the progression from GCSE to A Level Biology.
In your school career up until the GCSE exams, your days have been laid out for you. You follow a timetable, get yourself to the required lesson location, neither of which requires much thought or planning.
The transition to studying at A Level can come as a bit of a shock! There’s considerably less structure and as the student, you must assume more responsibility in planning your days and your study time. Each subject required 4 to 5 hours of lesson time and if you’re studying 3 A Levels, that can be a lot of seemingly spare time on your hands.
Without guidance, that useful study time becomes wasted. It may not feel like it initially, but that extra time is meant for independent study and learning your subject in true depth.
It’s no longer about being simply taught and given information for you to be able to digest and recall. Although I should point out that the sheer volume of content in A Level Biology, for example, is a huge step up from what you’ll have experienced at GCSE.
A big difference is understanding concepts and being able to apply your knowledge to different scenarios. You’ll experience synoptic questions which draw together the various aspects of the A Level Biology syllabus and must have a thorough understanding of the core concepts: Biological molecules, cell structure & division, cell membranes & movement across membranes, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis… As well as needing to interpret data, graphs and drawing your own conclusions. Maths also plays an important role in A Level Biology.
As you can see, there’s quite a step up from GCSE to A Level and for this reason I provide both refreshers and A Level preparation lessons, all held online, to ensure you get off to the best and most confident start possible.
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