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December 10, 2019, 08:59:08 am

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PhoenixxFire

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Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« on: August 26, 2019, 02:49:38 pm »
+18
Hey!

A lot of you will be starting to do past exams soon (donít worry if youíre not though, I didnít start until late September). Something that comes up a lot when people start to mark their own exams for the first time is uncertainty over whether theyíre marking them correctly/harsh enough/how VCAA examiners mark them.

This thread will hopefully help you to learn how to mark your own exams.
As those of you who have been around the forums for a while will know, we want to help you improve in the most effective way possible Ė and this often means that weíll ask you to demonstrate your current understanding so that we know how to help, and that is also true for this thread. Self-marking your exams is a very useful way of learning how to improve your answers, and something I want to encourage you to do, not stop you from doing. For that reason, there are some requirements that you need to meet before you post your exam in this thread, and a few suggestions of what to do after you get feedback on your exam marking.

Requirements for exams posted in this thread:
- Must be VCAA exams (for copyright reasons)
- You must attempt the exam to the best of your ability, obviously that will mean different things to different people, but I donít want to see any exams that have been rushed through in 20 minutes Ė youíre not going to learn anything from doing that.
- You must make an attempt at marking it yourself. This doesnít mean just putting a few ticks in some spots, you need to go through the suggested solutions provided by VCAA and make notes on questions you think you got wrong that include things such as: what else you need to include, what you shouldnít have included (e.g. through putting a line through part of your answer). You can demonstrate that youíve done this in any way you want, it just needs to be clear that you have attempted to mark it to the best of your ability before posting it for feedback.

Other suggestions for how to get the most out of exams you complete:
- Mark all exams thoroughly, donít give yourself a mark if thatís what you meant, give yourself a mark if thatís what you wrote.
- Donít focus on how many exams you get done, how well you do them is far more important than quantity.
- Rewrite your answers to all questions that you donít get full marks for with help from the suggested answers to an answer that would give you full marks.
- Keep track of which questions youíre getting wrong and use this information to guide what you need to revise.

How to post your exams:
- Scan your exam (if you donít have a scanner, there are mobile apps e.g. camscanner that you can use)
- Upload to an external site (e.g. dropbox) and post the link in this thread along with any other comments you want to include (e.g. if thereís some questions youíre particularly unsure about). Please donít use any link altering websites e.g. tinyurl.

Feel free to send me a message if you have questions/concerns or need help with posting your exam :)
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

plubbles

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 12:12:31 am »
0
I really need help.
This is my 10 prac exam I believe,  and I am not improving at all, I think I'm getting worse.
If anyone has advice on how to improve, what to look for in a question, just anything.

And just go over my marking and see what you think. I didn't include any multiple choice, and I crossed some of the questions that weren't relevant.
This is the VCAA 2009 exam 2.

Thank you.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3wrtyqcrvzxg9r2/Help.pdf?dl=0

darkz

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 08:13:03 am »
+7
I really need help.
This is my 10 prac exam I believe,  and I am not improving at all, I think I'm getting worse.
If anyone has advice on how to improve, what to look for in a question, just anything.

And just go over my marking and see what you think. I didn't include any multiple choice, and I crossed some of the questions that weren't relevant.
This is the VCAA 2009 exam 2.

Thank you.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3wrtyqcrvzxg9r2/Help.pdf?dl=0

Attached are some corrections. Note: I only looked at questions where you gave yourself marks. Let me know if you have any questions
**Looking to tutor Biology & Methods in 2020, dm if interested!**
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2019: English, Latin, Chemistry, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics

Bri MT

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 08:14:27 am »
+8
I really need help.
This is my 10 prac exam I believe,  and I am not improving at all, I think I'm getting worse.
If anyone has advice on how to improve, what to look for in a question, just anything.

And just go over my marking and see what you think. I didn't include any multiple choice, and I crossed some of the questions that weren't relevant.
This is the VCAA 2009 exam 2.

Thank you.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3wrtyqcrvzxg9r2/Help.pdf?dl=0
Welcome to the forums!

Good news: There are some cases where I think you have marked yourself harshly

Some of this I'm not going to give feedback on as I'm not up to speed on what the current bio study design does/n't include and it looks like you may have occasionally gotten this wrong.

Something I would be wary of is circular definitions: e.g. if you were asked what growth is, it's not very useful to say that it's the process of growing
You've done this with part of your answer to 4a

With 4a ii we know it's talking about relative dating using stratigraphy and not absolute dating using isotope dating because it's sedimentary rock. In sedimentary rock you'd expect many of the different particles making it up to have been created at different times and not at the same time as fossilisation, so absolute dating of the rock would be inappropriate

4b ii. VCAA doesn't care too much whether you refer to genetic drift or natural selection but remember that it's unlikely to be 1 selective agent that differentiates them. You'll have random changes (genetic drift) and also a range of differences in selective pressures that will create changes in allele frequencies, until eventually the species are so different that if individuals were brought together from the two populations they would be unable to produce viable offspring.  I doubt they'd penalise you for this but I hope receiving this feedback is useful for your understanding.

5c i isn't your study design so don't stress on that one

5e : all of the DNA samples travel in the same direction in gel electrophoresis - check that you understand the process.

6c cave painting may have lost you the mark in previous years as it would have been considered cultural evolution but iirc you don't need to worry about that. I would say that in general, it's better to do what the question wants (i.e. give 1 example only) than risk it by providing extra.


I think you're doing better than your mark would seem to indicate. At this point, I would try not to focus on the percentage and make sure you're doing quality over quantity. This exam is quite far outside of your study design so even though it's useful practice it's not great as a predictor of your marks.

Good luck!
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plubbles

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 11:57:07 am »
+3
Attached are some corrections. Note: I only looked at questions where you gave yourself marks. Let me know if you have any questions

Thank you so much, I didn't even notice that I accidentally used transcription instead of translation, that was really stupid of me. The suggestion for the isolation question was great to!

Welcome to the forums!
Good luck!
haha, thank you.
Wow thank you for this!
I haven't had anyone else look over my practice exams so your analysis of mine is really helpful!
I will probably post another more relevant practice exam so really see where I am at, as these older ones do look for a few different things.

plubbles

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 06:08:46 pm »
0
I think the best thing for me at the moment is feedback, especially on my expression.

Here is today's attempt:
I really struggled with the fish question, and is the out of Africa hypothesis and the question on neurons irreverent for this study design.

Exam: VCAA 2015
https://www.dropbox.com/s/awie7e5sdq6bi5d/help%202.0.pdf?dl=0

PhoenixxFire

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 07:27:17 pm »
+7
1b - This isn't entirely irrelevant, however many of the suggested answers aren't things you'd be expected to know anymore, which makes it difficult to answer. Your answer is fine given the changes to the study design.

2aii. You're right, this isn't in the study design. All you're expected to know is that neurotransmitters are released from one neuron, diffuse across the synapse, and attach to another.

5b. Your answer is correct, but probably not the best cell to pick because you ended talking about antigen presentation which is part of specific immunity.

6c. This isn't really in the study design anymore. You need to know what translocation mutations are, but this question is more about meiosis.

7c. Don't worry about this question. The suggested answer that VCAA gives is fairly useless and not something that you should be expected to work out.

9cii. You've wasted too much of your space talking about divergence, common ancestors, and naming species indiviudally.
You need to group them by how many differences they have e.g. C, A, & D all have thick limb bones and so are more closely related to each other than they are to B which has thin limb bones. A & D both have thick inner ear bones and so are more closely related to each other than they are to C which has thin inner ear bones.

10aii. Your answer is longer than needed, but correct.

10b. This is also correct, you could shorten it by not mentioning the predators (you can just say they had a selective advantage due to being faster and growing quicker).

11b. This isn't specifically in the study design, however it could come under this dot point
Spoiler
the human fossil record as an example of a classification scheme that is open to interpretations that are contested, refined or replaced when new evidence challenges them or when a new model has greater explanatory power, including whether Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred and the placement of the Denisovans into the Homo evolutionary tree.
It's possible that you could get a question like this on the exam.

fwiw no one gets 100% on vcaa exams (well, some people do, but not many). Assuming you're getting all or almost all of the multiple choice correct, then you're on the border of A/A+ here.
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

hogp321

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 10:37:59 pm »
0
This is my 2017 vcaa sample exam. I'm not entirely sure if my solutions are correct, I've checked with my teachers (corrections are in red pen/blue pen) but I just wanted to confirm a few questions, especially the experimental design ones.
I'm not too sure how harsh i mark myself too so yeah.

Cheers

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8ufgcn2qzapbo5/new%20doc%202019-10-23%2022.14.57-20191023222614.pdf?dl=0

plubbles

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2019, 09:43:20 am »
+1
1b - This isn't entirely irrelevant, however many of the suggested answers aren't things you'd be expected to know anymore, which makes it difficult to answer. Your answer is fine given the changes to the study design.

2aii. You're right, this isn't in the study design. All you're expected to know is that neurotransmitters are released from one neuron, diffuse across the synapse, and attach to another.

5b. Your answer is correct, but probably not the best cell to pick because you ended talking about antigen presentation which is part of specific immunity.

6c. This isn't really in the study design anymore. You need to know what translocation mutations are, but this question is more about meiosis.

7c. Don't worry about this question. The suggested answer that VCAA gives is fairly useless and not something that you should be expected to work out.

9cii. You've wasted too much of your space talking about divergence, common ancestors, and naming species indiviudally.
You need to group them by how many differences they have e.g. C, A, & D all have thick limb bones and so are more closely related to each other than they are to B which has thin limb bones. A & D both have thick inner ear bones and so are more closely related to each other than they are to C which has thin inner ear bones.

10aii. Your answer is longer than needed, but correct.

10b. This is also correct, you could shorten it by not mentioning the predators (you can just say they had a selective advantage due to being faster and growing quicker).

11b. This isn't specifically in the study design, however it could come under this dot point
Spoiler
the human fossil record as an example of a classification scheme that is open to interpretations that are contested, refined or replaced when new evidence challenges them or when a new model has greater explanatory power, including whether Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred and the placement of the Denisovans into the Homo evolutionary tree.
It's possible that you could get a question like this on the exam.

fwiw no one gets 100% on vcaa exams (well, some people do, but not many). Assuming you're getting all or almost all of the multiple choice correct, then you're on the border of A/A+ here.
THANK YOU! This is amazing feedback, I really appreciate it! I'll take what you said for question 9cii into account, that was a really helpful answer.

PhoenixxFire

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2019, 12:09:07 pm »
+3
This is my 2017 vcaa sample exam. I'm not entirely sure if my solutions are correct, I've checked with my teachers (corrections are in red pen/blue pen) but I just wanted to confirm a few questions, especially the experimental design ones.
I'm not too sure how harsh i mark myself too so yeah.

Cheers

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8ufgcn2qzapbo5/new%20doc%202019-10-23%2022.14.57-20191023222614.pdf?dl=0
This has been marked well. I don't see any issues with the corrections that have been added.

Try and be more succinct - there are a lot of answers where you've included unnecessary words which is costing you time and space -  you've gone outside the box in a few places, do not do this in the actual exam as anything written outside may not be scanned and may not be visible to your examiners.
Also be careful that you know what the question is asking, this is what's led you astray in a few places for example in 9dii you've said what the promoter is, not what its role is.
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

ephillips

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 03:42:15 pm »
+1
Just finished the 2017 VCAA exam and I am a bit unsure about some ofmy  responses, so any feedback would be amazing! In particular, I am unsure of my responses to questions  4c and e, 7a, 8, 9a, 10b and 11d. Apologies in advance for my handwriting, it's a lil bit of a mess

Thanks heaps!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5cq5zfy2wx1keyd/AACk_iFbGWLlCCIhM9duXqURa?dl=0

paulthekiller123

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2019, 05:38:01 pm »
+1
Hey this me again, this time its the 2018 nht exam. There's a lot of question I'm unsure about even though I looked at the solutions, I feel like the marking scheme of the assessor's report for nht is a bit off. The marks that I haven't circled in red means that I'm unsure if my answer would suffice any marks at all. Overall, I felt like i did pretty poorly on this exam and I'm not sure if normal VCAA bio exams would be this 'hard', any help would be appreciated :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4pizdgebvxkmohg/new%20doc%202019-10-26%2017.16.22-20191026172347.pdf?dl=0

PhoenixxFire

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2019, 07:03:39 pm »
+6
Just finished the 2017 VCAA exam and I am a bit unsure about some of my  responses, so any feedback would be amazing! In particular, I am unsure of my responses to questions  4c and e, 7a, 8, 9a, 10b and 11d. Apologies in advance for my handwriting, it's a lil bit of a mess

Thanks heaps!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5cq5zfy2wx1keyd/AACk_iFbGWLlCCIhM9duXqURa?dl=0
1c. The golgi apparatus does alter proteins a bit, but you're not really taught that in VCE so it's possible it wouldn't be accepted.

4c. You've included 2 extra lines at the bottom of the given space which is a pretty good indication that you've written too much. You need to pay attention to how the question is worded - it asks how this form of immunity is beneficial - it doesn't ask why it's beneficial, which is what you've talked about in too much depth by discussing how long it takes for their own immune system to develop. You've then talked a bit about how specific immunity works so it sounds like you didn't really understand what the question wanted. It was worth 3 marks - the marks would have been for saying that it's passive, provides antibodies, and that the joeys own immune system was underdeveloped/insufficient.

4e. Your answer is *almost* detailed enough to get the mark, vcaa did say that they accepted similar answers if good understanding was shown. Your answer was too broad - you don't necessarily need testing to turn that antibiotic into a drug, but you do need testing to turn it into a safe drug.

7a. Probably not the best examples to use - these are both things associated with bipedalism - both homo and Australopithecus were bipedal. Although it's likely that these things were comparatively better adapted for bipedal motion in homo than in Australopithecus, there are other features that would have shown greater difference.

7b. As well as mentioning that homo species appeared prior to 900 000 years prior, you should also mention that australopithicus species had entirely disappeared by then.

8a. Not necessarily before symptoms appear - some genetic conditions have symptoms present at birth. Would be better to say provides information on any genetic conditions the baby has and therefore allows for treatment/prevention.

8b. Your first point is correct, your second point is more of a social implication than an ethical one (although the line between them is quite blurry).

9a. Given it says "in the context given", saying bacteria rather than cell is fine. Your answer is correct.

9bi. You've written too much again, there's no need to restate the stem - you could get rid of most of that first line and just start with "They cut the plasmid..."
You don't need to talk about DNA ligase. You would have just about got the mark just from your first dot point - you just need to add a few more words to say that cutting them with the same enzyme means that the human gene can be inserted.

9bii. Your diagram should look exactly like the one given previously, just with the human gene inserted where the BamH1 recognition site was, and with a BamH1 recognition site at either end of the human gene.

10a. You've got the right idea but you need to be more specific to the scenario eg. say what damage the fire might have done specifically rather than just saying that it damaged the environment (e.g. damaged habitat/resulted in loss of prey).

10b. Your answers for this are fine - too long, but you've included the important information.

11c. Careful with your accuracy/validity. Accuracy is about how close a measurement is to the true value - this part had nothing to do with accuracy, only validity.

11d. What you've written in black isn't really a control - it's a way to improve accuracy, controls are normally about improving validity.
What you've written in blue is correct.
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

ephillips

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2019, 08:03:38 pm »
+1
1c. The golgi apparatus does alter proteins a bit, but you're not really taught that in VCE so it's possible it wouldn't be accepted.

4c. You've included 2 extra lines at the bottom of the given space which is a pretty good indication that you've written too much. You need to pay attention to how the question is worded - it asks how this form of immunity is beneficial - it doesn't ask why it's beneficial, which is what you've talked about in too much depth by discussing how long it takes for their own immune system to develop. You've then talked a bit about how specific immunity works so it sounds like you didn't really understand what the question wanted. It was worth 3 marks - the marks would have been for saying that it's passive, provides antibodies, and that the joeys own immune system was underdeveloped/insufficient.

4e. Your answer is *almost* detailed enough to get the mark, vcaa did say that they accepted similar answers if good understanding was shown. Your answer was too broad - you don't necessarily need testing to turn that antibiotic into a drug, but you do need testing to turn it into a safe drug.

7a. Probably not the best examples to use - these are both things associated with bipedalism - both homo and Australopithecus were bipedal. Although it's likely that these things were comparatively better adapted for bipedal motion in homo than in Australopithecus, there are other features that would have shown greater difference.

7b. As well as mentioning that homo species appeared prior to 900 000 years prior, you should also mention that australopithicus species had entirely disappeared by then.

8a. Not necessarily before symptoms appear - some genetic conditions have symptoms present at birth. Would be better to say provides information on any genetic conditions the baby has and therefore allows for treatment/prevention.

8b. Your first point is correct, your second point is more of a social implication than an ethical one (although the line between them is quite blurry).

9a. Given it says "in the context given", saying bacteria rather than cell is fine. Your answer is correct.

9bi. You've written too much again, there's no need to restate the stem - you could get rid of most of that first line and just start with "They cut the plasmid..."
You don't need to talk about DNA ligase. You would have just about got the mark just from your first dot point - you just need to add a few more words to say that cutting them with the same enzyme means that the human gene can be inserted.

9bii. Your diagram should look exactly like the one given previously, just with the human gene inserted where the BamH1 recognition site was, and with a BamH1 recognition site at either end of the human gene.

10a. You've got the right idea but you need to be more specific to the scenario eg. say what damage the fire might have done specifically rather than just saying that it damaged the environment (e.g. damaged habitat/resulted in loss of prey).

10b. Your answers for this are fine - too long, but you've included the important information.

11c. Careful with your accuracy/validity. Accuracy is about how close a measurement is to the true value - this part had nothing to do with accuracy, only validity.

11d. What you've written in black isn't really a control - it's a way to improve accuracy, controls are normally about improving validity.
What you've written in blue is correct.

Thank you so much! I struggle a bit with keeping concise so I'll definitely take the feedback on board.

PhoenixxFire

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Re: Feedback thread for self-marked exams
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2019, 09:22:08 pm »
+6
Hey this me again, this time its the 2018 nht exam. There's a lot of question I'm unsure about even though I looked at the solutions, I feel like the marking scheme of the assessor's report for nht is a bit off. The marks that I haven't circled in red means that I'm unsure if my answer would suffice any marks at all. Overall, I felt like i did pretty poorly on this exam and I'm not sure if normal VCAA bio exams would be this 'hard', any help would be appreciated :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4pizdgebvxkmohg/new%20doc%202019-10-26%2017.16.22-20191026172347.pdf?dl=0
2b. I think you'd get at least one mark for this.The part you haven't really addressed is the bit about eliminating the infection - just saying that B cells/antibodies can't be produced doesn't really explain why the infection can't be eliminated.

3a. You would have gotten at least 2 marks for this - losing one for not saying it's complementary and maybe losing another for putting the first two points the wrong way around.

5a. You've gotten close to getting both marks, your answer isn't set out very clearly though so it would depend on how carefully your examier was reading/how generous they were feeling. The parts that were worth a mark were were you said that there's "more healthy Th cells that the HIV can infect" and the bit at the bottom that says "there are no more Th cells" - although this isn't exactly true, HIV+ people end up with a lot of immature Th cells because their body is trying to replace them.

5bii. Inflammation doesn't cause high blood pressure - focus on what you know it causes (heat, redness, swelling, increased phagocytes) and then the consequential effect of that.

7a. You might have gotten the mark for your answer, but maybe not because you did need to mention that the presence of a pelvis meant that an ancestor had legs.

8b. Your answer is generally fine but you've gone into too much detail. e.g. you don't need to give examples of selection pressures, it's fine to just say that they're present.

8c. You've over complicated this, make sure you read the question carefully - it told you what you needed to talk about in the stem. For a question like this that's only worth two marks you just need to say how they're determining relatedness (DNA) and what it means (more similar=more related).

9a. Your answer for this is fine, repetition within an experiment is the same thing as having a large sample size.

9f. You probably would have gotten 2 marks for this. You needed to be a bit more detailed about how primers work - that they provide a starting point for the addition of nucleotide bases to create a complementary strand.
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU