A2 LEVEL BIOLOGY
Your decision to continue Biology at ‘A2’ level is in itself an indication of your commitment to the subject. Your commitment will certainly be tested during this ‘A2’ level course and you will find, as in so many other activities, that the more you are prepared to put into the subject, the more you will enjoy and gain from it. You will soon find that your ‘A2’ level study techniques require far more SELF-DISCIPLINE and ORGANISATION than was the case at ‘AS’ and it is hoped that these introductory notes will help you to settle to an efficient and effective routine which will enhance your appreciation of the subject, enable you to achieve a final grade consistent with your ability, and serve you well in any future studies at University.
One of the secrets of success lies in your ability to organise your work and study effectively on your own. In this respect you will find that your energies fall into the following categories:
REVIEW of notes taken in lessons
WRITE UPS of practical work
READING your text books
NOTE MAKING from extra sources (books, web, periodicals)
WRITING answers to the set essays (one side A4 max.)
REVISING at the end of each topic
NEVER FEEL THAT YOU
HAVE NOTHING TO DO!
If you have completed all written assignments, reading and note making, then you can take the opportunity to review the work again. It is by this sort of consistent and thorough reappraisal that an increasing proportion of knowledge is committed to your long-term memory.
It is common knowledge that you will only remember 10% of what you read or were told 48 hours earlier. It is by effective revision that you will increase the extent of your factual knowledge by committing subject matter to your long-term memory.
Note making: The objective is NOT to rewrite the textbook. Under appropriate headings and subheadings (underlined), make short phrases and words which will serve as memory joggers. Also helpful are simple flow diagrams, annotated diagrams, memory maps, sketches etc. Remember that BREVITY combined with INFORMATION is the objective.
Don’t let assignments of work accumulate – deal with them as promptly as possible, and inform your teacher if you foresee problems.
In reviewing notes from lessons and books, remember to ask your teacher about anything you have not understood.
Try to train yourself to the suggestions outlined above as soon as possible. It will take a week or so of perseverance to achieve the objective but to do so will prove to be an invaluable discipline for the future.