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Author Topic: How I got a 50 in Biology  (Read 29000 times)  Share 

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simpak

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How I got a 50 in Biology
« on: May 03, 2010, 08:02:43 pm »
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Hi.

My name is mavisgibbons.  Otherwise known as Simpak.
A few things I would like to say in the introduction.  First of all, I am female.  For some reason, everyone seems to have this problem with perceiving what my gender may be.  I'm glad we cleared that one up.  I studied Biology in 2009, which was Year 12 for me.  I got A+ on each of the exams, hence a 50.  I got 70/75 on Exam 1, 68/75 on Exam 2 and am still unaware of what my SAC scores were, however, I believe them to be relatively irrelevant.  More on that later.
Biology was my favourite subject in school, I loved it entirely.  After nearly ditching it after Units 1/2 for Psychology 3/4, I am obviously infinitely glad that I continued with it.  Nowadays, I am doing a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Melbourne.
I also tutor in Biology, for anybody who is interested.  Casual tutoring sessions are fine, as well as regular sessions.  Let me know if you're interested!

Okay so.

SACS
In terms of SACs, many of mine were open book.  This made things considerably easier.  Either that, or some of the questions were seen beforehand, and some were unseen.  However, our teachers were very strict.  It was rare to get over about 80% - I averaged around that in my class, with only one score over 90 for my whole Biology SAC career.  We were permitted to see the class SAC average, but no form of class ranking.  Our class usually averaged around 74% on each SAC.  If I had an average of 80%, then that is not too far above average.  This is why I stress that I don't believe SACs to be a fantastic indicator of well...anything really.  Of course, being VCE Notes members we have had infinite discussions about why it's the cohort, and not the individual that counts.  But even still, in other subjects, some of my SACs were very mediocre, often below the average, and I ended up with an A+ for the SAC criteria anyway.
Of course, what I am saying doesn't mean that you should discard your SACs and your SAC study regime.  Studying for SACs is important; their purpose is to keep you working, and prepare you for the exam.  But I am saying that if you get a score that is below average - as I did on my osmosis SAC - it is not the end of the world, by any means.  As long as you attempt to be above the class average in your SACs, and just study and try your hardest, I presume that you will end up doing well anyway.
That's what it's seemed to be with each of my friends, as well as myself.

Tackling each topic

I'm often questioned about which textbook I used.  To be honest, I barely touched my Nature of Biology.  I used it only when there was a definition I wanted to clarify, or that wasn't mentioned in my notes bible (we will come to this later).  I found the questions in the textbook entirely irrelevant for the most part - although some were set, I tended to avoid them, or only do them if I had time.  Which any Year 12 undertaking five or six 3/4 studies knows that they never will do.  My dislike of textbook questions and readings are not, however, to suggest that I didn't do any kind of work in between assessments.  I'm not suggesting, either, that you shouldn't use the textbook if you like to.  I just generally disliked the use of textbooks in high school.  I found them to be an excess to the work that was actually required to do well, and just generally a bit trivial.  However, if you don't have a notes bible, a good teacher (my teacher was the author of Checkpoints, so I had a bit of an advantage), or have missed a few lessons, the textbook can definitely be a valuable resource.  Don't ask me if I have ever used other textbooks - Nature of Biology was the only one I did use.  And really, the only reason my school chose it is because the writer is on the board of assessors and...went to my high school.  Yep, everything is just a game of snobbery in private schools.  But when I did actually open it, it was helpful.  If you like that style of learning, and you see it working for you then I suggest you continue.  If you feel like you're putting in the hard yards, and not seeing the results you like, maybe the combination of Biology and textbook aren't the best for you.  You might do well to consider other learning and revision techniques.  So read on, my fellow biologists...

In my opinion, Biozone is the VCE Biology student's best friend.  Last year, I completed about 7/8 of the Biozone activity book, which is more than most anybody else in my class did, as far as I can tell.  My teacher gave us a list of the Biozone activities we should have done each week, and that made it easier to keep up.  If your teacher doesn't do something similar, perhaps you can make one.  The point is, I actually believe that there is no better source for you to learn and revise.  Well, revise mostly.  I did each exercise AFTER we had learnt it in class, usually all on the weekend to have some kind of massive biology session.  Once you've filled it out, if you see a diagram or explanation that is helpful, use a sticky tab to keep track of it when you come back for exam revision.  If you aren't going to fill out all of biozone - and often my tutees just can't be bothered - then there are certain sections that I suggest are imperative that you attempt.  For Semester 1, those are:
- Neurones, action potentials, the nervous system and all those activities to do with nerve impulses
- The description of processes for both photosynthesis and cellular respiration.  That is, everything about the Calvin cycle, and then the Krebs cycle, Electron Transport Chain etc.
I think that parts of that were made much easier for me to understand once I had attempted them.  They also have a pretty comprehensive section on immunity and disease, which is worth you attempting or having a look at.
If you can't do something in Biozone, you need to do something about it.  Biozone questions are relatively easy comprehension questions - they give you some information, and they ask you to answer questions about it.  Remember AIM testing in primary school?  Right, well, the reading section of that is what you're doing here.
So if you can't answer the question, chances are, you don't understand the information - it probably isn't a matter of forgetting something.
Ask a teacher, ask these boards, ask me if you want.  Organise a tutoring session with somebody who tutors in biology to clear things up.  Just make sure you do clear it up, somehow, and in the end, you should be able to answer the question.

Exam revision

And now, here is the big question.  Exam revision - how did I revise for the exam?

Well, I'm going to do this in two ways.  I'm going to describe to you how I revised in general, and then I am going to discuss alternative ways in which you could revise if those methods don't suit you.

I am somewhat of an awful visual learner.  Similarly, if I'm reading academic information, it's likely to go in one ear and out the other.  For all of my studies, I found reading - even reading with highlighting - to be an ineffective method of revision.  Instead, I have to write and rewrite everything - so called active learning, in comparison to passive learning.  So yes, you might think writing out everything you can see in front of you is a bit redundant.
"But I already have that information, why would I bother writing it out a second time?"
"But isn't it more time effective to skip that part, and just read it if I need it?  Spend my time doing questions?"

You might think this is the case, but from those little exams you do in year 9, right until November 14 2009, I studied through writing first and foremost.  In my opinion, just reading information off a page is a way of trying to convince yourself you're studying without putting in any effort.  If you are a visitor of this study board, and you are reading this thread, you obviously care about your studies and want to do well in Biology.  The study of Biology requires you to memorise and rote learn masses of information.  I memorised more information in Unit 3 Biology alone than I ever had before in any other subject.  Memorisation in Biology is imperative.  If you miss a key word in your definition of a word or term, you are not getting the mark.  If you can't explain something properly, you're not getting the mark.  And if you can't remember what it said in your notes, you're definitely not getting the mark.  The average score in the short answer section of a Biology examination is 19/50.  In my first exam, I got 46/50.  In my second, it was 45/50.  If you want to excel, which you need to do to get a score like this, then you cannot simply do passive study.  With the amount of information you have to learn, it is not sufficient to sit there reading it and hope that it all goes in. Which brings me to my first revision point:

IN THE NEXT POST, THAT IS!
2009 ENTER: 99.05
2014: BSci Hons (Microbiology/Immunology) at UoM
2015+: PhD (Immunology) at UoM

simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 08:03:30 pm »
+7
1.  You must summarise:
Summarising is really important.  I purchased A3 notebooks for Biology and Chemistry.  In those, I summarised my whole course.  I now use those summaries as tutoring handbooks to give people accurate definitions and make sure I cover all parts of the course.  I can't summarise on the computer.  Despite my love of typing for everything ever over writing, to summarize, I need to use my right hand and a pen.  This might not be the case for you!  I'm not telling you you should summarize in a handwritten format necessarily, but you should definitely summarise.  Summarising does not involve simply collecting handouts, and definition sheets and then compiling them into a bound reference.  It does not involve using copy/paste.  It involves rewriting, dot pointing, and actively restructuring information of your own accord.  If you manipulate the information in front of you, you are far more likely to learn it and remember it.
Secondly, it's important that you summaries are not messy.  I am the messiest person alive, I seriously am.  If you could see my room at the moment you would think it was the site of a bombing.  However, when it comes to study, my notes have to be neat.  The same goes for your summaries.  Organise it by topic if you would like to.  Put definitions and a glossary in at the beginning or end and then worry about the other stuff.  Create flow charts if you like to work visually.  Just make sure it's organised in a style that you like.  It can be organised in any manner, as long as it is organised.
I think it's best not to summarise in your Biology notebook.
My summary book became something of a dictionary, separate to general classwork and note taking.  It was away from the clutter and battery of school life and the school bag.  When I was doing some study questions, or got something wrong in a prac exam, I would just look it up in the summary book without trouble.
This is what an ideal life should be like.  Don't submit your summaries to the general coursework - keep them separate and out of the way.  You might think that's trivial but please, trust me, on the day of the exam when you're freaking out, you haven't had breakfast and your mind is racing a mile a minute, you will thank me that you could just pick up that book and
- you knew where it all was
- you didn't get confused by masses of information
- things weren't repeated 500 times in your normal textbook in different places

When to start this step:  NOW.  RIGHT NOW.  Sorry guys I had like seven assignments due at once for Uni it was a bit of a downer in terms of my time so I wanted to write and post this earlier but I couldn't.  GET ON THIS IMMEDIATELY.  "Oh but we haven't finished the course".  Yes I'm aware you're still doing immunity or signal transduction.  But you just summarise what you do know, and then you go back and summarise those two when you're finished with them.
For semester 1:
- At the beginning of immunity

For semester 2:
- The very first weekend of your September break if you have a three week break
- The weekend before your September break if you have a two week break
(not including practice exam week at school)

2.  Your flip folder, your new study mate
It was my Biology teacher that decided that my school should supply its students with a flip folder in which we could place handouts, flowcharts and important sheets we had received during the semester.
Not usually one to like reading things I didn't write - as before stated - and not usually one to be organised in general, I was initially skeptical.
However, I put my A3 summary book in the flip folder, and suddenly, life became easy.
Your flip folder is the home of three things.
1.  Your summary.
2.  Your sheets that you find important - diagrams of things that you cannot write down - SACs that you have gotten back with corrections so you can go over them if you need to.
3.  Most importantly, your completed and corrected practice exams.
That last one is important.  You do not want to lose your completed practice exams.  Because if there is something you cannot understand, it is easy to ask the teacher.  Aaaanyway.

When to start this step:
As soon as possible!  Once you have the summaries done, these are little additives, so it goes along in that way.

3.  The practice exams
Okay so this is the most important point I come to.  Make sure you have completed steps 1 and 2 before you get to it, for the love of God.

Different schools do practice exams in different ways.  I got my practice exams in a folder, there were about 50 in it.  Some people get their practice exams on a cd.  Some people pay for their practice exams, some don't.  Some schools don't give their students practice exams and it's up to them to source them.  Whatever you get and do, there are some important points I have to make before we begin this section.

1.  Defining a practice exam - a practice exam is an exam that covers the course content in the style and manner in which the VCAA can be expected to cover that content, asks exam style questions and is generally of the same study design as this year.  (However, some 2001-2003 exams are useful as fresh material if you run out of exams, so don't rule them out right away).  A practice exam is not just a 'past exam' written by the VCAA.  In fact, here I will be treating that as an entirely different entity, and for good reason.  A practice exam is an exam either written by the VCAA or by an external company like Insight etc. which can be used as the best form of study revision you will ever, ever get.

2.  I don't care how you received your practice exams, you should have them as a fresh material copy in which you can write when you sit down to do one.  That is, if you have a cd of practice exams, do not do your practice exam reading off the computer and then writing into a book.  Similarly, if you are given template exams and told you can't write in them, don't just write into your book and read off the sheet.  It can be tiresome and time consuming, but please, please, please if I stress one thing in this post it will be that you should take the time to print them all off so that you can write on them under exam conditions.  Exam conditions are not exam conditions if you're not writing on the actual paper.  It is actually an entirely different experience and one that is nowhere near as real as going the exam without the distractions of changing from one medium to another (computer to paper) or one paper to another (paper 1 and paper 2).  Okay so, you might be saying, yeah Simpak but that's expensive.  Most people should be able to print free at their high school (or at least that's the case for private schooling, not sure about public).  If you can't, most people have a printer at home where they can buy a new black ink cartridge, a new packet of A4s and pop them in the printer for the sake of proper exam preparation.  Do not just discard this point, please.  If there's anything that I think is inefficient, it's going to the trouble to do exams without really doing them the way they were intended.  You might also be thinking that it is better to use your time studying instead of photocopying, as I did.  I spent about 6 spares (or six hours) photocopying exam papers in the library before my Biology and Chemistry exams.  It is worth it.  Doing it this way also allows you to organise your exams properly into the flip folder.

3.  Exam conditions do not mean, while I am on Facebook, while I have my phone next to me, while I go to get dinner in the middle of it then come back to it later, while I am on VN asking a question and refreshing the page.  Clear a space on your desk, turn off the electronics and sit down for 15 minutes reading time, and 1.5 hours writing time just as you would as if it was the day.  Acting as if you're under real time and exam constraints is imperative.

4.  Write in pen.  You will be asked to on the exam, so for the points mentioned above and your own practice, just do it anyway.  They get mad when you don't do it on the exam and it's good practice.

Okay so now the general housekeeping is out of the way...
I completed 50 practice exams per semester for Biology alone.
This meant that at the beginning of my practice exam study period, I would do 3 exams a week.  And then later on and about 3 weeks from the exam, it was 1-2 a night.  Each under exam conditions.  Then I would correct, go through what I got wrong and add those things to the end of my summary so the next time I read over it I would be reminded of what I had done wrong the last time.
Make sure you correct and go through your work, of course, we're all told this from day one of high school.
And make sure you're ready to work.  I mean really work.  That amount of exams may seem like a lot at first but it's really okay once you get into the swing of things.
This exam period you have an advantage - most of you will have one exam, some of you two, some of you three.  It's still nothing like the five or six you're going to have at the end of the year.  So this is good practice to start working hard when you have the time to dedicate to your cause.
If you can't do that many, I would say at least 20 exams is a minimum if you want to do really well in Biology.  You need to know that you can answer all types of questions, figure out what all the key points are etc.

This is why practice exams are such a good form of revision.  You are familiarised with almost everything they will throw at you (see the next point for more on this) and you have made sure you know where the marks are.  What key words were they awarding the mark for?  Pay attention to the exam report (for VCAA) and the answers (for other companies) and make sure you identify where you got the marks.  That way, when you come to answering a certain question, you're going to be much better off because you already know exactly what they want you to say.

Now I come to the types of exams.  Do not think it's sufficient to just do the VCAA exams and be done with it.  That said, they are the best resource you have.  In one way...and not...in another.
The best: they are the best because they are written by the people who will be writing your exam.  Obviously they use the same format every year.  You can see a pattern in what they will usually ask you and what it is unlikely that they will ask if you have done enough exams.
Not so good: in that they have already used the questions in previous papers, so they're not going to use them again.  This reinforces the importance of secondary exam company choices - these questions are all possibilities (as long as you choose reputable companies).

The way I tend to tell people to go about this is to do this:
Take the 2009 Biology Exam under exam conditions, see how you went.  You won't have gone well.  (see the next point).  But now, this is the most recent idea about what will be asked of you, and you can clear everything up with a teacher or a tutor.
Take a good number of secondary company exams, or non-VCAA exams, with a VCAA exam every now and then.  However, choose older exams, like those from 2003 or 2005.  Not the more recent from 2007 and 2008.
Save your 2008 exam for the night before!
Use your 2007 exam in the last leg of revision to make sure you understand the way in which the VCAA words questions, marks, etc.

This way you're not clumping all your VCAA exams into one section and then forgetting about them.  Similarly, you have the ability to clear up problems with these valuable examples well before the day.
You also have a good representation of what you will experience that fateful next morning if you do the 2008 exam (or 2007 if you want I don't mind) right before your 2010 exam (that is, your exam).

Of course you don't have to follow that.  That is just how it made sense to me...
Do all VCAA exams.
Do as many secondary company exams as you possibly can.
And yeah, being all "I can only do 2 a week no more!" isn't really realistic.  I have a social life, by the way.  And I kept it in VCE.  It's harder to keep in Uni, so have fun with that  ;D

Okay so, doing well and not doing well.  The reason that I stress that you need to do so many exams, is really because the more you do the better you do.  And that might be obvious, but really.  Sometimes when you start off under exam conditions with practice exams, you get around 69%.  At least I did, at first.  After doing as many exams as I said, and the week before the real exam, I was up to 97% averages on all of my Biology practice exams.  And of course in the real exam, I didn't get 97% I got a bit below that but it was enough!  Or I wouldn't be writing this for you today.
The point is that the people I know who did about ten or so, just seemed not to reach their full potential.
You're never good at a Biology exam the first time.  It's the practice in the practice exam that makes you good in the assessment.  Don't be discouraged if you're not doing so well at first.  If you stick at it, and do much more in quantity, you will succeed.

When to start:
Semester 1: When you start immunity.*  Not after you have finished summarizing.
Semester 2:  When you have finished summarising, in your September break, and before practice exam week.

When to stop:
Don't stop.  Do as much as you can, right up until the night before.

*A word on this.  You won't have finished immunity but it's advisable to start when you start immunity.  Just leave those questions out if you can't answer them because you haven't covered the content, and come back to them when you have.

CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST! O:
2009 ENTER: 99.05
2014: BSci Hons (Microbiology/Immunology) at UoM
2015+: PhD (Immunology) at UoM

simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 08:03:53 pm »
+6
A word on other methods of revision

Checkpoints
I do not personally recommend using Checkpoints during the general school year.  Checkpoints collects and presents to you VCAA exam questions.  Despite me being bad at remembering loads of information, I am extremely good at remembering information that I have seen previously in terms of a question.  So, if I had seen a question in Checkpoints, and went to do the exam, I already knew the answer.  This is inefficient because it ruins the exam conditions for that exam.  Instead, I recommend Checkpoints as a revision resource if you run out of practice exams, or if you want to look through for questions <2003.

Revision lectures
I personally never used them for Biology, I personally wouldn't.  But if you're a person who likes learning in that kind of environment, perhaps this works for you.  If you're not sure/just want to do as much as possible, don't pay the money.  Instead, seek a one on one tutoring session, some extra help from your teacher in a lunchtime or sit at home with your books and summarise and answer questions until you get it right.  I always saw those three options as the best ones.

Tutoring
Now, I know I tutor so I'm biased and all.  But really, if you're finding the exam is a couple of weeks away, and you're not getting something at all, you keep losing marks in the same situations and you're not sure what you're doing wrong, you need another perspective to help you understand or remember something, try to find a tutor to help you out.  This board is full of people willing to help you, I know.  But I had serious trouble with Maths Methods, and getting tutoring was the best thing I ever did.
I went from getting a 5/10 on SACs to getting a 9/10.  Similarly with English, I fixed up my scores on Language Analysis to get a 45, which is something I'm pretty proud of.

Continued in the next post…

Exam techniques, a quick run down

So now we're reaching the territory I charge for, so I'm going to be brief with this bit, sorry guys!  But there would be zero percent reason for you to come and see me if I gave away all my secrets.  I have been pretty open though, so far, I feel.

1.  Comparison questions:
Always remember
Definition of A whereas Definition of B.
That is, if they ask you to compare osmosis and diffusion, you would give a definition of osmosis with the keyword WHEREAS in between a definition of diffusion.  Use this structure for full marks, every time.

2.  Experimental design questions:
Remember the formula of good experiments.  Make sure yours:
- is able to be measured (you have used a form of measurement)
- has a large sample size (you have a sample size of 10 or more but it's okay to be illogical so yeah, 100 testtubes is fine)
- is controlled (you have controlled the variables, and have a control group)
- repeated (you have simply stated that the experiment should be repeated on different days or something to that effect)

3.  Diagrams:
Always remember to label, even if you aren't asked!
If a question says 'you may use a diagram', there is almost always a mark for the diagram.  So the may is kind of deceiving.  Use one.

4.  Questions about what happens in diffusion/osmosis/active transport or similar models:
Use the definition, and slot in the specifics of the question.
Your definition of osmosis, for example, should be:
The net movement of free water across a semi permeable membrane, from and area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration.  If you can't recall that one, get to work revising osmosis, please.
If you were asked what happened when you placed a cell with the interior concentration of 0.02M in a solution with a concentration of 0.3M, you would say:
'There will be a net movement of free water across the semi permeable membrane of the cell, from an area of low solute concentration - inside the cell - to an area of high solute concentration - the solution the cell is placed in.  As a result, the cell will shrivel'.

My notes bible

As previously discussed in my other thread about the 'notes blackmarket', AOS1 notes were distributed.  Use these to summarise if you have them, I did.  This section is basically just to tell anybody that has not received the notes yet to PM me again please because my stress levels lately have not permitted me to keep track of who I have sent to and who I have not sent to.  If you do not have the notes, or don't know what they are, they are merely a couple of documents that describe AOS1 that I used as a study guide, and if you PM me you are welcome to them also.
2009 ENTER: 99.05
2014: BSci Hons (Microbiology/Immunology) at UoM
2015+: PhD (Immunology) at UoM

slothpomba

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 08:14:07 pm »
+1
Some great tips, id also like to mention that biozone covers some things and offers a different point of view from your textbook so it is also valuable in that regard.

I did a practice exam a while back and fractioning was on it, as far as a quick look through the text book showed me, there was no section on fractioning but suprise in nature of biology there was. So, thats the kind of thing im talking about.

When do you think it is the best time to do biozone? Because, ive been personally delaying using it untill a couple weeks before the exam where i improve my summary notes and then id use it. The summary notes now im making are roughish and not totally complete so i was planning to sort of make a version 2 of them later. Do you think i should start doing biozone as of now?

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2011-15: Bachelor of Science/Arts (Religious studies) @ Monash Clayton - Majors: Pharmacology, Physiology, Developmental Biology
2016: Bachelor of Science (Honours) - Psychiatry research

crayolé

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 08:25:48 pm »
0
+1 karmaed even before i read it because I knew it was going to be good ;D

This will be my bible for the rest of the year ;]

Thanks a lot Mavis,

akira88

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 08:59:30 pm »
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Thanks a lot Mavis, your advice is much appreciated! :)
2009: Further Maths | Literature
2010: English | Biology | Chemistry | Methods | Psychology
94.50
2011: Pharmacy/Commerce Monash
2012: Second year yo!
Certificate III in Business
Certificate IV in Business Adminstration
Feel free to ask or message me for anything, I don't bite :]

Hongld

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 09:11:51 pm »
0
You're awesome. Thanks Mavis!

happyhappyland

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 09:17:38 pm »
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Wow.. I have some questions...

50 exams? did you repeat some of them? I only have around 20 for unit 3.
When did you start past papers? Ive started now an Im getting very low marks? Is it because I dont know the content well enough? ( I did 2006 vcaa and I was in the A+ range but it was a new study design so i guessed people were a bit shitty at that time.. insights,tsfx etc ones im doing bad
Concerning summarising, do you summarise your textbook? or just you look at a keypoint on the study design and extrapolate whats on there?
At this point in time, do you think its more important for me to go back to summarising or practise exam questions?
2011: Bachelor of Science (Melbourne)

vea

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 09:37:32 pm »
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+1. I think you just inspired me to continue bio 3/4 next year even if it means I will be doing 7 subjects in total (I am currently doing bio 1/2). :)

Read through the whole thing and some of the advice given is genius. I will definitely remember this stuff and bookmark this post so I can refer to it next year too.

2011: ATAR 99.50
2012: Bachelor of Biomedicine, UoM
2015: Doctor of Dental Surgery, UoM

teebagger*

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 10:41:27 pm »
0
mavisgibbons is a very masculine sounding username LOL. 1+ karma. I don't even work half as hard as you did. x__x

simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 10:43:01 pm »
+1
Some great tips, id also like to mention that biozone covers some things and offers a different point of view from your textbook so it is also valuable in that regard.

I did a practice exam a while back and fractioning was on it, as far as a quick look through the text book showed me, there was no section on fractioning but suprise in nature of biology there was. So, thats the kind of thing im talking about.

When do you think it is the best time to do biozone? Because, ive been personally delaying using it untill a couple weeks before the exam where i improve my summary notes and then id use it. The summary notes now im making are roughish and not totally complete so i was planning to sort of make a version 2 of them later. Do you think i should start doing biozone as of now?

Biozone is more of a classwork thing in my point of view; it's something I did routinely every week throughout the school year.
People do like keeping it for revision but I think because you don't have much time (especially in midyears) it's probably better to do it as a progress kind of thing and spend as much time as possible on practice exams!
But yeah, I do know people who liked to do that; I think that ideas like that (at least for me) work in my head but when I realise there are only 24 hours in a day, it becomes more difficult!

And yes you're very right about the different perspectives, fractioning was nowhere, NOT EVEN IN THE NOTES BIBLE but then yes, Biozone had it and CHECKPOINTS HAD A FEW, I think.
And I think they were ones from before 2003 also.  Fractioning is uncommon but I don't think it was on my exam so it might be on this years.
2009 ENTER: 99.05
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simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 10:43:43 pm »
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mavisgibbons is a very masculine sounding username LOL. 1+ karma. I don't even work half as hard as you did. x__x

Mavis Gibbons was my Biology alias!
In year 11 I mucked around so much I just fluked Biology, and my friend and I used to make up aliases on worksheets and stuff, yeah, I was epic back then.
2009 ENTER: 99.05
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simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 10:51:04 pm »
+1
Wow.. I have some questions...

50 exams? did you repeat some of them? I only have around 20 for unit 3.
When did you start past papers? Ive started now an Im getting very low marks? Is it because I dont know the content well enough? ( I did 2006 vcaa and I was in the A+ range but it was a new study design so i guessed people were a bit shitty at that time.. insights,tsfx etc ones im doing bad
Concerning summarising, do you summarise your textbook? or just you look at a keypoint on the study design and extrapolate whats on there?
At this point in time, do you think its more important for me to go back to summarising or practise exam questions?

:) Yes I repeated a couple I could have put that in there but then I didn't think it was entirely necessary.
I repeated ones I did during immunity, pretty much.
So anything I hadn't done entirely the first time and which had been ages away I thought it would be beneficial to redo; also some where I mucked up questions entirely, left them for a while and came back later to see if I had learned from my mistakes.
But mostly no; our school gave us the biggest bundle.  Unfortunately I had to return them, which was a pain in the ass.
I should have just kept them.

As I said in one of the three posts, you have to expect to do not so well at the beginning, you will definitely get better as you go through the content in more exams.  And those exams you don't feel you're doing well on - come back and do one of them in two weeks time and see if you've improved.  If you're working properly, I think you will have.  And yes, now is when you should start if you have started immunity.

I summarised from my class notes which is the notes bible I refer to at the end of the post, which is different to my summary.  My school is hardcore about biology because they're obsessed with doing well in it, so they provide each student with this note pack that basically subsidizes the textbook and cuts out all the crap - kind of like a course guide with 'fill in the gap' bits.  However, you can summarise from the textbook, or class notes.
If you want the notes bible (if you do not already have it) I can send that to you and you can use that for some help as well!

By summaries I literally mean things that take at least a day and a half of serious work to do.  Mine were about 50 A5 pages long?
Hence expanding on the study design key points probably is too risky - you might forget something.
If you wanted to work off that as a guide and use the textbook to fill in all the information, then that is probably a good idea, though.

I think it's important to do summaries before you do practice exams, however if you feel like you're short on time, then perhaps go right to exams.
However; considering what you told me before about how you don't feel you're doing well in the practice exams, I would go back to summarising.
You should always 'revise' in the sense that you recap course content before you try and test yourself on it, or you end up going in circles.
2009 ENTER: 99.05
2014: BSci Hons (Microbiology/Immunology) at UoM
2015+: PhD (Immunology) at UoM

slothpomba

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 11:46:30 pm »
+1
What i think is good for biology also is learning a lot of the greek/latin roots of the words, eg auto, pan, ect

Its useful for things like autoimmune disease or autocrine hormones, if you forget what they are but you know auto means "self", you can semi deduce the meaning from that.

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simpak

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Re: How I got a 50 in Biology
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2010, 11:55:22 pm »
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Excellent post :O.. stuck!

TY.  Yeah I had to put it in Word because it was like 'it's too long' and it turned out to be nine pages.  Wtf, no life.

What i think is good for biology also is learning a lot of the greek/latin roots of the words, eg auto, pan, ect

Its useful for things like autoimmune disease or autocrine hormones, if you forget what they are but you know auto means "self", you can semi deduce the meaning from that.

That is a handy tip; I personally did not do this, all I remembered was whateverase.
Lazy!
But I remember we learnt some of the ones for bacteria.
2009 ENTER: 99.05
2014: BSci Hons (Microbiology/Immunology) at UoM
2015+: PhD (Immunology) at UoM