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October 14, 2019, 04:28:16 pm

Author Topic: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱  (Read 1018 times)  Share 

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EllingtonFeint

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🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« on: August 19, 2019, 08:05:18 pm »
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🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱

Hey hey! So, uh, welcome to my biology guide. Iím so clueless about using this forum so this took like forever to figure out how to do but whatever. Itís here now. Have fun reading my lil essay (English is my favourite subjectÖ can you tell??) I remember freaking out about the biology exam and literally opening up tonnes of tabs of guides like this!  (And uh, as PhoenixxFire and a few others probably remember 💌, absolutely SPAMMING the forum with questions in the lead up to exams!) So here, let me divulge my biology ~secrets~. (Hahaha no, these arenít secrets but they are really helpful tips that I wish people told me- I save the secrets for the kids I tutor #ShamelessPlug  ;))

🌱Introduction to biology


First thing first (Iím the realest 🎶- sorry).
I feel like I need to put this here in case I change my signature thing later. I got a 49 RAW in Biology. I was pretty happy with that- for some reason I kept thinking I'd get a 43. I have no idea why, so it was a very pleasant surprise. SERENDIPITY - I adore that word. So I feel like I kinda maybe know what Iím talking about when I say I know how to study Biology. AnwaysÖ

🌱SACs

Theyíre scary, right? I remember starting T W O year 11 subjects in year 10 and not even KNOWING what a SAC even was. Thanks, school for preparing us so well. Speaking of preparation, I donít think I even learned anything in year 9 science so I felt seriously overwhelmed. I remember staring at my teacher as she pointed to the whiteboard and talked about diffusion or whatever and just freaking out. AS far as I knew, osmosis was just some kinda surfie brand?? Whatever. I freaked. I actually had a full on break down and burst into tears in front of my teacher after like the first week cos I was Just. So. Stressed.  :-[ And had no idea about what was going on. That was unfortunate. But thankfully, my teacher was so nice and supportive. She wasnít like the best, content-wise, but she really helped us to do the best we could, SO find yourself a teacher you can spill to. (i.e. donít suffer alone cos biology is Pretty Heavy.) (Also, yes I do randomly capitalise things now, itís a Margo Roth Spiegelman kinda mood 💎 and even though it totally defies everything I believe in English-wise, I do it.)

So, uh, I didnít even know what a SAC was when I started biology and I totally freaked but I soon learned the S E C R E T to like, actually succeeding in SACs in Biology is (dun dun dun (🎶 thatís some dramatic music, probably Mozart cos Iíve got a piano exam going on right now)) Ö
*USE YOUR LOGBOOK.
^Iím just gonna leave that there. Make of it what you will, but Iím telling you right now, Ėand TAKE THIS ADVICE, please- your logbook is a metaphorical lifesaver! FILL IT with information.

I feel like I should probably write out my SAC scores or something cos I have No Humility Whatsoever. Anyways. I was top of the class/cohort/whatever and it was a pretty big class too. Most of my SACs were 100%sÖ I think there were like two SACs where my score dipped down to 97% cos I lost A SINGLE MARK in each (killed me!!) but yeah. (ALSO I feel like I should say that I am THAT kid whoís like guys you put C down for Q4 right?! RIGHT?!)  I donít really understand SAC scores and rankings and whatevs. I just did my best. And this leads to our favourite thing in the history of EVERÖ

🌱T H E   E X A M


You know how when you get your study scores you can get like a sheet where it says oh yeah you got Q 13d wrong? Well, I didnít know that when I was in year 11, but I saw that you can so I bought it and they sent me a letter saying stuff like that. You can drop LOTS of marks. Like I donít remember exactly how many I lost but it was quite a lot, like I think nearly 20?? That could be totally wrong, Iíll try look for the sheet and edit thisÖ if I remember stuff. I lose things. A Lot. But the point is YOU CAN LOSE MARKS so donít freak when youíre doing practise exams.  wish somebody had told ME that! Speaking of whichÖ

🌱Practise Exams.

I did like 25+ practise biology exams and it was K I L L E R.
HEY WAIT! (I got a new complaint 🎶 no, not really, but Iím very into Nirvana right now) THIS IS IMPORTANT. Make sure you actually mark your practise exams. Like be WAY HARSH (woah, I sound like Cher Horowitz and sheís like my idol, along with Gustav Nossal WHO I ACTUALLY MET and happens to live a few streets away from me. Sorry I tend to go on irrelevant tangents a LOT.) when you mark. AND Ėthis is very important !- make a note of all your mistakes! Like fill an entire book with this and USE it when you revise. (This is an acceptable form of not taking, in my opinion.) 🔬

I lost motivation so quick and it was awful. All I wanted to do was go lie out in the sun and read Classical English Literature and work on my tan (yeah, thatís the kinda girl I am) and I was stuck inside STUDYING. But you gotta do it.
I felt like I was gonna figuratively die so I was like Okay, you know what, I NEED motivation!! 💎 So I did some online shopping on The Iconic and ordered a designer swimsuit making sure that the arrival of my precious lil parcel coincided with the day of my exam so I could finish the wretched thing and come home to my gorgeous swimwear. ✨

BUT It doesnít have to be something crazy like that. (I have two jobs and Iím training to be a piano teacher too- Donít come at me. I happen to like nice things and I use my own money) It can be a new book (I am alwaysss ordering books around SAC and Exam times), or a chocolate bar, or a day out at the driving range or an episode of your favourite TV show!! Anything- FIND MOTIVATION.💌


🌱NOTE:
Maybe Iím just an oddity, but I actually really enjoyed the exam. It was so chill and nice and I felt really clever after all that revision (STUDY- youíll feel good about it!) Also I finished pretty early so I went back through the exam a tonne, corrected stuff and fussed about that weird algae questionÖ was it algae? I donít remember.

~🌱ALSO DID ANYBODY NOTICE THAT IN THE 2018 BIOLOGY EXAM, IT MENTIONS BILLY AND SHEENA. And theyíre like marine biologists or divers or something??! I mean did anybody ever read Goosebumps?? Billy and Sheena from Creep from the Deep and Deep Trouble?! Like thatís the kinda easter egg you only really get in playstation games. Anyways. I was pretty happy when I saw that. Felt like a sign from the biology gods or Artemis herself that Iíd be okay.~

ALSO It is soooo worth it, all that study. Have you ever had a runnerís high?? Itís like that when you find out that you got a wonderful score. Only thereís no 10 kilometres to get through- all you have to do is open a letter to reveal that your hard work got you into the top 0.04% in the state or whatever it was. Itís such a pure feeling. So think of that as motivation too!

🌱MNEMONICS

OKAY. This is seriously not stressed enough. MNEMONICS are like the best thing ever. Fun fact: Mnemosyne is the Greek goddess of memory. But really, make up stories and stuff to go along with your study. They help H E A P S. And then stick them up all over the place. So for example, to memorise the stop codons I got little sticky notes and wrote UAA, UGA, UAG and stuck them on my mirror. But thatís not exactly easy to remember, right? So I wrote U Are Away, U Go Away, U Are Gone. And so it looks like my mirrorís tryna give me a really bad pep talk or encourage me to run away of whatevs. (My brother used my bathroom once and he was like why is your mirror hating on you?) The point is, thatís easy to remember! It sounds like an angry teacher or a parent or something so if you make a lil memorable sentence like that, I find itís way easier to recall things. So yeah, mnemonics.

🌱Note taking


Okay. This. THIS. Is kinda hard for me to talk about. I remember spending L I T E R A L hours writing out notes from that Heinemann textbook I do NOT recommend it. That textbook was an actual joy to read (yeah, okay whatevs maybe Iím a nerd, but I really do adore biology) but it was so ~voluminous. LIKE superrr heavy and thereís so much Ėtoo much- stuff in there. So, in my humble (HA! Iím like the Least Humble Person Everô!) opinion note taking like that is a huge waste of time. Some resources like the A+ Biol Notes books are brilliant and you can just refer to those to get concisely summarised info (P L E A S E donít kill me here, but I wasnít very into the ATAR Notes summary notesÖ the topic tests were alright though and this forum is utterly legendary- ohmigosh you have no idea HOW grateful I am to the people (hey guys, I'm back at this board (also can I just say that I love you all, particularly PhoenixFire, you utter LEGEND)) on the biology thread who answered all my seventy million questions. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!)

I get that sometimes youíll need to make notes to concisely explain some stuff (DUDE, Transcription and Translation was SO hard to understand first time around and it was so hard to find a good resource that explained it really simply!!) but I always preferred flowcharts and drawings (maybe cos Iím like a part time artist) to hand writing out tonnes of notes (contrary to what this guide suggests haha).

🌱ENJOY STUFF


I despise methods. ❕Sorry. I just do not see the point of integration and differentiation and whatever and if I regret any part of my high school career (? Who says career??) itís picking methods cos I HATE it. With a burning passion. I wish Iíd chosen art or something instead. If youíve chosen biology then I hope you love it as much as I did, as I do. I still reminisce about learning about homo erectus and stuff like all the time and am always interrogating my friends about what theyíre learning in class. I think that itís actually so interesting and ~tangibleÖ not abstract like imaginary numbers or whatever. Sometimes though, when youíre studying heaps, you can get so caught up in that study grind that you forget to take a step back and actually ~enjoy stuff. 🌸

🌱Time

I realise people are gonna be reading this and thinking that Iím some awful narcissistic horrible person but I really want this thing to help someone. Anyone. ATAR Notes was so so so Wonderful for me. Itís such a shame that I only really started getting active on it towards the end of last year. And I want to help other people like that.🌿
ANYWAYS. Time. Everyone- myself included- complains about a total lack of time. But if I can make time, so can you. I work as a baristress (yes, I made that word up, but isnít it gorgeous??), waitress and tutor (hit me up, guys), I have multiple sporting extra-curriculars, as well as music, art and an actual social life. Sorry, high schoolís not taking away my late night froyo dates or ďSMASHED AVOĒ toast and soy spiced chai latte brunches. Thatís kinda a busy schedule. But I still found time to study. (This yearís a bit harder though and I havenít watched Netflix or Stan properly in like agesss and it sucks but oh well).

🌱TUTORING


SO. I did NOT have a biology tutor. 🌿(Or any tutor for that matter.) But I really wished that I had one. My bio teacher had a split class so she was teaching years 11 and 12 in the one lesson and the classes were both really quite big. So there wasnít much time for like one-on-one stuff which kinda sucked. Also biology is SO heavy, I know. So I really wouldíve liked someone who I could videochat or message with random questions whenever and work together on concepts I didnít understand or spend an afternoon revising with before a SAC so I think maybe you should get one. ~Speaking of which, Iím an English tutor (PERFECT SCORE for all my SACs for Unit 3 English and my teacher is a seriously harsh marker, so, uh, if in need of some English help ~~) (Also helped raise a year 12 guyís essays from a C to an A!!) but I would really also like to be a biology tutor too. I help my brother out (help raise HIS grades too!! Natch.) with his Ĺ work and would love to help others too. PM me if interested. I can also do like videochat sessions or like actual real life sessions depending on area, send you my actually really good resources, (give my secrets hahah), one-on-one SAC revision or whatever and you can hit me up with random 3am questions you may have (ATAR Notes is pretty good with those late night questions!!) 🌿

OKAY. Woah. Thatís a LOT of writing. (I'm gonna be so devastated if my emojis don't come through. Really need something to jazz up this tome.) Hope this helps someone!! Excuse the typos- I hate them too, but Iím so dead right now. Maybe Iíll fix them later. Please let me know if this thing helps (cos it took agesss to write) and I really do hope itís even remotely useful! Also, woah, I sound quite aggressive and domineering and whatevs in this thing (sorry ! 💌)- but please donít be scared to message me! I hope you all adore biology 🌱 as much as I do!  ;)



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Surviving and Succeeding in Biology:
https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=187145.msg1129188#msg1129188

J_Rho

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 07:40:46 pm »
+5
I actually love this thread!! I'm competing 3 & 4 Biol as a Year 11 and it's so difficult but this thread honestly helped me especially the parts about practice exams and mnemonics!
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EllingtonFeint

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 11:16:02 am »
+6
I actually love this thread!! I'm competing 3 & 4 Biol as a Year 11 and it's so difficult but this thread honestly helped me especially the parts about practice exams and mnemonics!

I swear I replied to this comment but apparently not!
Thank you so much for reading and replying- it means so much to me that it's helpful! I put in so much time making this thing, so it's nice to know that SOMEBODY out there thinks that it's useful!  ;D
Are you doing any other 3/4 subjects this year or just biology??
Good luck with all your VCE studies! :)
2018: Biology 🌱 [49] |  Second Language: [40]

Offering biology tutoring! PM for details.

Surviving and Succeeding in Biology:
https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=187145.msg1129188#msg1129188

J_Rho

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2019, 09:10:16 am »
+2
I swear I replied to this comment but apparently not!
Thank you so much for reading and replying- it means so much to me that it's helpful! I put in so much time making this thing, so it's nice to know that SOMEBODY out there thinks that it's useful!  ;D
Are you doing any other 3/4 subjects this year or just biology??
Good luck with all your VCE studies! :)

Im only completing 3/4 Bio this year as my school restricts how many 3/4 subjects you can do in year 11.
Keep up the great work! I told some of my fellow biol students about this and they got a lot from reading it!
 If you don't mind me asking what were your SAC scores as exam score?
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Joseph41

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2019, 12:29:50 pm »
+2
I swear I replied to this comment but apparently not!
Thank you so much for reading and replying- it means so much to me that it's helpful! I put in so much time making this thing, so it's nice to know that SOMEBODY out there thinks that it's useful!  ;D
Are you doing any other 3/4 subjects this year or just biology??
Good luck with all your VCE studies! :)


Can guarantee it's helped a lot of people!
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colline

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 12:58:31 pm »
+4
Hey! Thank you so much for this guide, it is definitely incredibly helpful ^-^

Regarding practice exams, did you only complete VCAA ones, or did you do any company ones as well? If you did company exams, which ones did you find to be the most helpful or most similar to VCAA's exams?

Congrats on your amaaaazing score and thanks so much for taking the time to write this!
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EllingtonFeint

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2019, 09:58:02 am »
0
Im only completing 3/4 Bio this year as my school restricts how many 3/4 subjects you can do in year 11.
Keep up the great work! I told some of my fellow biol students about this and they got a lot from reading it!
 If you don't mind me asking what were your SAC scores as exam score?

Awh you're so nice :)

Sooo, according to that official 3/4 study score document thing, I got...
Grade 1: A+
Grade 2: A+
Grade 3: A+

And that all came out to be 49 :)

BUT I think it can vary slightly
2018: Biology 🌱 [49] |  Second Language: [40]

Offering biology tutoring! PM for details.

Surviving and Succeeding in Biology:
https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=187145.msg1129188#msg1129188

EllingtonFeint

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Re: 🌱Surviving and Succeeding in Biology🌱
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2019, 10:05:53 am »
+1
Hey! Thank you so much for this guide, it is definitely incredibly helpful ^-^

Regarding practice exams, did you only complete VCAA ones, or did you do any company ones as well? If you did company exams, which ones did you find to be the most helpful or most similar to VCAA's exams?

Congrats on your amaaaazing score and thanks so much for taking the time to write this!

OooOOooohh I have multiple replies! How wonderful! You're the sweetest!

I completed a bunch of different exams; I'll list them below. :)

-VCAA ones
-ATAR Notes topic testsssss
-STAV Units 3/4 Exam
-NEAP exams
-QATs
-Those ones in the lil green Biolnotes summary books

I think that I thought that the NEAP ones were good? I can't exactly remember. I adored those small green books though. THEY were good !
I think the best part about utilising  (what kinda kid says utilising ?!  ::) ) a whole bunch of different 2018 company ones was that they were all relevant to the new study design as opposed to sifting through past study design exams and finding you got like 30% cos everything's irrelevant now??
Just try expose yourself to a tonne of them.
Also, I hated the Checkpoints book for some reason (honestly, it is very good for PE) but it's good in the way it arranges questions according to the topic so maybe try that?? :)

2018: Biology 🌱 [49] |  Second Language: [40]

Offering biology tutoring! PM for details.

Surviving and Succeeding in Biology:
https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?topic=187145.msg1129188#msg1129188