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Worried about essays... Any tips and advice?


Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:45 PM

Hey guys! With only 4 days until the exam... :| I'm getting a bit panicked about the essays, simply because they could come up based upon anything! Lol

I can do all the essays in the past paper books well, but I'm just worried that none of the ones I know are going to come up lol.

Any tips and advice would be helpful - cheers.


Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:52 PM

I don't write eassays, I just do bullet points under headings. It's allowed, hence it's much better. smile.gif Less time wasted on rambling.

Oops. That is totally unrelated!

I don't know how to help except to say that you should learn your notes on the following, word for word:

Chemistry of Respiration
Chemistry of Photosynthesis
Cell Organelles (Structure Relating To Fuction)
Artificial Selction/Genetic Engineering
Transpiration Stream
Osmoregulation in Fish
Effects of Light on Growth/Development
Physiological Homeostasis

Should have time for that in 4 days. That's my intention, anyway.


Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:54 PM

Lol yeh well it's the same diff really! tongue.gif

I know I goota use the headings and everything for my coherance marks! tongue.gif

I'm just worried essays are gonna come up that I won't be able to do lol


Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

Hi mate, I edited my post with some advice which will hopefully be more helpful.


Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:56 PM

I find them hard also. As far as I can see you could look over the past papers and see if there are any relatively similar questions appearing every year, and perhaps try and focus on those ph34r.gif . I'm sorry if my useless adice doesn't help, only I'm stumped myself!


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:00 PM

Lol well my teacher advised using the marking schemes to write out all the essays which came up in the pastpapers and learn them all, along with the ones we did in class...

I did so and I now kow all the ones that came up... but they differ quite a bit every year... I obviously don't expect the exact same question to come up but I'm just hoping for something similair...

Not long to go now! ohmy.gif


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:01 PM

They seem to like asking about the cellular defence mechanisms and viruses, because they've come up in a couple of past papers. I have no idea, but i think my plan is to go to the essays first and see if i can do them, then go back and do the rest of the paper. i dunno if that'll work but i'm gonna try it! lol so i don't feel so panicked.

I think i'll just need to take a very deep breath and just go for it wink.gif


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:05 PM

Same. Biology is my worst subject (and that's not saying much, lmao).

I always do the essays first just to get them over with - whether I can do them or not, haha tongue.gif.

Yeh viruses has came up twice in the past 4 years... It last came up in like 04 I think, so I'm hoping it might crop up again this year!


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:10 PM

Y'see i thought i was alright with it. i even thought that after the prelim i was going to be alright, but oh nooo, i got a C so that was unexpected. It gave me a right kick up the butt to get studying lol. and i am wanting to do advanced higher so it depends on what i get. My teacher doesnt seem to have much faith in me. He's always been so negative about my grades and how well im going to do - he even discouraged me to take advanced higher! the cheek of him - honestly!!! but we'll just have to wait and see i suppose tongue.gif


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:10 PM

What to do is look at the essays first, but don't touch them. That way you know what you should expect in a little under two hours' time. You then use the questions in the paper to your advantage, as they are very good at refreshing your memory on a particular topic so you perform better in the essays.


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:35 PM

Nah pete... If I just looked and they were rubbish I'd panic and it'd put me off for the full paper cause I'd be worrying about them. I just like to dive in and get them done and gone with!


Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:51 PM


well i have sat higher biology last year. So my advice is tht you know your knowledge really well. And make sure tht you keep on practising past papers essay cuz they will really help you.

good luck!!!

And i think tht this years biology exam will be sooooooooooooooo much easier than the one i sat in 2006 tht exam was a beast blink.gif lol

im sure you will all do great


Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:16 AM

hi, i do human biology but my teacher said to always state the obvious no matter how simple it is as when you look at the answers they are always pretty straightforward . . hope this helps rolleyes.gif


Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:36 AM

As far as I know bullet points aren't allowed, at least they weren't when I did Higher.

Make sure you take your time and read the question carefully and try to set out in your mind how you're going to tackle it. (I know it sounds obvious but I always used to start a question, read it again and realise I was talking crap!).

Try to start off with the basic points and then expand upon them later. If you do that it should trigger your memory.
Make sure you know processes like translation and transcription, respiration, meiosis and photosynthesis off by heart. They come up as essays a lot or always as short answer questions.

Use the rest of the paper: if you're not sure how to spell a biological word or if you remember a question from earlier on that could help, look back, it could get you an extra mark.

Look at the questions from the past few years and look at the marking guide. Remember that longer doesn't mean better!

As for what to learn... no one knows what will come up! As long as you can write something you'll get a few marks out of it. I'd try not to learn things word for word (that's just me though) but try to understand it and it'll be easier to remember. If you can talk yourself through something without looking at the notes you're doing well. That said if it's a topic you really don't understand, word for word is the best way. Don't avoid something you don't like- it always comes up!

That was longer than I meant! It's probably all obvious but hope some of it helps a bit!


Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE(xpurple_starsx @ May 18 2007, 11:36 AM) View Post
As far as I know bullet points aren't allowed, at least they weren't when I did Higher.

Hmm... That's weird as that's what I've always done and I get full marks for them, like in the prelim. sad.gif
You've made me super nervous smile.gif


Posted 18 May 2007 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE(englisher @ May 18 2007, 04:56 PM) View Post
QUOTE(xpurple_starsx @ May 18 2007, 11:36 AM) View Post
As far as I know bullet points aren't allowed, at least they weren't when I did Higher.

Hmm... That's weird as that's what I've always done and I get full marks for them, like in the prelim. sad.gif
You've made me super nervous smile.gif

I didn't think you were either, it'd be safer just to stick the bullet points as sentances, it's the same stuff just written in a straight line. Don't worry about it.

I'd agree with Pete about looking at the essay question first, then doing the paper. often some of the questions in the earlier part of the paper will trigger your memory. Also you might be subconciously sorting it out in your brain while you do the rest of the paper.

If you tend to go off on a tangent or loose marks for irrelevancy try writing a few key points down before doing the essay. A little list of things important to the question should help you stay on the right track and answer the question even if you know more about something related.

I think if you've looked over all the questions from previous papers you're doing better than I did last year. If you're worried about essays on certain areas coming up, make a question about it up. Or get someone to make it up, I expect someone on the forum could.

But don't worry too much about the essays, just learn up your notes and itll be fine. You lot sound much more prepared than I was.


Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:50 PM

Hi there,

Just had confirmation from someone in the head of department's class - you can do bullet points. This teacher is one of those "wow, he knows everything" teachers, so I'm definitely doing them. Thank goodness, I literally would be lost without them.

Thanks for the warning, anyway. Luckily I found out, but if they hadn't been allowed and I hadn't looked into it I would have been in trouble! smile.gif


Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:54 PM

I'm just hoping there arn't any questions on the enviormental side. I HATE it...ahem.

Yeah I'm looking forwards to getting the exam over and out the way its the only one I'm not that nervous about.

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