GCSE Biology: Key Skills Pack – Providing Essential Exam Practice and Preparation
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The most effective way of preparing for an exam is to use repeated practice testing – it has been proved to produce far better results in the final exam than any other recognised revision technique.
Past papers and exam-style questions play an essential role in this process as, not only do they test and improve recall of key ideas, they also help to build essential exam skills.
In this article, ‘GCSE science: exam board tips’, published by Tes (formerly the Times Educational Supplement), the head of curriculum for science at exam board AQA spoke about the importance of developing exam technique and incorporating as much practice as possible into exam preparation.
Our new GCSE Biology: Key Skills pack is designed to be used alongside exam board past papers to provide an excellent, comprehensive programme of exam practice and preparation.
GCSE Biology: Key Skills – Main Features
The GCSE Biology: Key Skills pack is designed for students preparing for the higher tier exam papers (grades 4-9). It is suitable for use for students studying GCSE Biology as a separate science or as part of combined science course.
Here are just a few reasons why the pack is completely invaluable when it comes to successful exam preparation:
- it is packed with over 150 exam-style practice questions
- each question is accompanied by a detailed video tutorial in which an experienced GCSE teacher explains exactly how to approach and answer the question
- it is suitable for all exam boards – each question is labelled with the relevant exam boards, so that you can easily see which ones are relevant to you
- it provides coverage of the complete GCSE specification, including topics identified as ‘Higher Tier only’, ensuring that you focus on relevant content without straying off topic
- it is informed by examiners’ reports from previous years, providing crucial practice in subject areas and question types that have caused problems for students in the past
- the questions are organised by topic for flexibility – you can used them for focused practice in a particular topic or pick and mix across the specification
- it includes all of the main question formats that commonly appear on GCSE papers, so that you can familiarise yourself with them and be assured of no nasty surprises in the exam
- individual questions allow you to practise applying your knowledge across the specification in different contexts, including unfamiliar situations (this is an essential exam skill that revision guides and revision quizzes just don’t support!)
- the answers and mark scheme are student-friendly (unlike past papers) and show exactly what the examiners are looking for and how the marks are awarded, so you will understand where you went wrong and how to avoid losing marks in future.
Using the Pack
The GCSE Biology: Key Skills pack is designed to be flexible, so that it can be easily integrated into your personal revision programme.
However, to maximise its benefits, we highly recommend that it is used in conjunction with exam board past papers to provide short, frequent practice sessions throughout your revision period.
The results will provide a benchmark against which you can monitor your progress and will help you to prioritise your revision by identifying the topics that you know, the topics that you are uncertain about and the topics that you don’t know. Learn how to do this here.
Schedule in some time to revise the topics that you don’t know first. Read through your existing notes and refer to your text book or revision guide if necessary. End each revision session with a quick test to check understanding. The exam-style practice questions in the GCSE Biology: Key Skills pack are perfect for this. They are organised by topic, so you can quickly and easily identify which questions to use.
Repeated Practice Testing
Once you have revised any problem areas, you should use the exam-style practice questions for frequent, short practice sessions throughout your revision period. You can just focus on one topic per session or pick and mix questions across all topics.
The Importance of Feedback
It is really important to mark your answers at the end of each session, whilst they are still fresh in your head. Don’t panic if you get a question wrong or drop some marks – look at the mark scheme and make sure you understand what the correct answer is and how the marks are allocated. If necessary, do a bit of focused revision. This process will improve your subject knowledge and ensure you don’t miss out on any marks or get similar questions wrong in the future.
Check Your Progress
At regular intervals throughout your revision period, it’s a good idea to complete a full past paper from the relevant exam board. This will help you to track your progress by comparing scores and identify any persistent problem areas.
Repeating this process, using the exam-style questions from the GCSE Biology: Key Skills pack and exam board past papers, will ensure understanding of the complete specification, improve recall and hone your exam skills, so that you can walk into the exam hall feeling confident and happy that you know exactly what you need to do!
Click here to purchase the GCSE Biology pack and gain immediate access.