The most common mistakes made by H2 BIO students

I prefer writing about education than my subject expertise, H2 Biology. Because I already spend most of my waking hours on it and prefer to let the mind wander elsewhere.

Nevertheless, I also realize that there is a sizable cohort that I may not be able to help when my classes get full – especially the later part of the year when the major exams all stack up. It can get pretty scary. So here’s a little bit of something that I hope will be helpful to all H2 biology students out there.

First, a lot of students don’t realize that biology requires one to be really good with the language. Most of the time, even my own students wrongly interpret the exam questions leading one to lose precious marks. The biology concepts are quite straight forward so most people have no difficulties trying to grasp the information. But information recall and answering questions are a very different matter. One past year example I would quote all the time is this question: Explain the significance to the alpha and beta cells of their blood supply [3]. If your focus is on the alpha and beta cells, then your answer will be completely off-tangent. And the A level examiners love setting these kinds of questions.

Second, beware of 10 year series assessment books on sale at various bookshops. The questions usually come with answer keys. These are not the official answer keys and there have been multiple errors across different topics. Be cautious when you are using one of these and they might do more harm than good.

I hope this little note is useful. COMMENT.


  • On June 13, 2016