A-Level Biology Explained

Biology is the study of living things and organisms, and plays a massive part in our understanding of the world around us. If you have a keen interest in animals, plants, humans and anatomy, the environment, conservation, ecosystems and more, then these are just some of the great reasons to choose A-level biology.


A-level biology is a multidisciplinary subject that involves blending the practical and the theoretical in order to achieve a deeper understanding of how living organisms interact with each other, and their environments. There are plenty of different topics you will learn about when you take A-level biology, including things like plants and the environment, transport, genes and health, the natural environment, and lots more besides.


What is A-Level Biology About?


Understanding what A-level biology is all about is really important, and this can help you to get the best possible grade from your studies. A-level biology basically explores the principals and theories involved in living organisms and ecosystems, and this is important. There are a multitude of topics that you can expect to study and learn about, and by the end of the course you’re going to have learned all the vital principles involved in things like natural selection, ecosystems, global warming, bacteria, and evolution.


The core elements of A-level biology that tend to be included in the course are things like biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, ecology, and physiology. If you choose to continue this at degree level there are many more areas that will be introduced as well. Students who choose to study biology at A-level will learn about the fundamentals of biology, biochemistry and physiology.


What Work is Involved?


When you want to be able to study A-level biology, it’s important to make sure you understand the work that is involved in this. Analytical thinking and communication play a major role in studying A-level biology, and it is important that you make sure you undertake field and lab work as well as a big part of your course. You need to develop skills and analysis that helps you to gain a better scientific understanding, and work on how you are able to convey this in a clear and concise way.


What You Need to be Eligible


Of course, you will need to know what it takes to be eligible and make sure you have the necessary qualifications needed in order to take A-level biology. You will need to have a GCSE qualification in biology or double science, at a grade C or higher, as well as requiring a GCSE in English and Maths. Biology supports your study of other science and mathematics subjects, and vice versa, so it is important to make sure you understand the necessary qualifications, and what you need to take this course.


Assessment and Exam Boards


All of the major exam boards offer A-level biology, and they all follow pretty much the same assessment criteria. Grades are determined by student performance in both practical and written examinations, and here are a couple of the major exam boards that offer A-level biology, and what you can expect from them. Of course, you can expect to have a similar experience from exam board to exam board, but it is sometimes useful to know what the different factors are that you need to keep in mind when you want to get the best possible grade.


  • OCR


OCR determines student grade via their performance in three written exam papers, and these contain questions relating to the theoretical and practical components of biology. The first 2 papers contain multiple choice questions, and they account for 74% of the final marks. These papers will generally contain questions that cover around two thirds of the course content. The final paper accounts for 26% of the mark, and this contains synoptic questions which will require more detailed answers.


  • Edexcel


Edexcel offers a 2-year course in A-level biology, which will contain 7 core topics for study. Students will also be expected to carry out 16 practical experiments over the course of the two years. There are three exam papers here as well, and these account for 30%, 30%, and 40% of the final marks. The papers include a mixture of multiple choice, synoptic, open-response, extended writing, and calculations. Again, these questions will incorporate both theoretical and practical elements, and this is something that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to get the best possible outcome from your exam.


Is it Hard?


Determining whether an A-level subject is hard is, of course, subjective. But you will need to put in time and effort if you are going to achieve success in this course. There is a wealth of content to get through here, but there are also a lot of resources available to you that can help with this. Visit alevelbiology.co.uk to find out more about this course, check out the different exam boards, get the lowdown for what to expect, and generally improve your chances of getting a good grade for the future.


What Will You Learn?


Learning is so important and opens up so many doors for you in the future. A-level biology helps you to learn about living organisms, their environments and ecosystems, and improve upon the foundation already laid in GCSE level biology. This is one of the most fulfilling subjects you can study at A-level, and it is important to try to understand the world and the way people, animals, and organisms live.


There are so many ideas you can use that will help you when it comes to making the right decisions regarding A-level biology. This is one of the key A-level subjects you should be taking, and it is one of the best subjects to help you improve your analytical skills and your understanding of interpersonal relationships and the world at large. There are so many things that play a massive part in helping you make the most of A-level biology, and this is a subject that can open up plenty of opportunities for you in the future.



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