Additional info on exam format:
As seen from the table above, there are major changes in the exam format so one has to be more cautious when using the 10 year series. In particular both papers 2 and 3 will include the complete syllabus versus the clear demarcation of core and application syllabus previously. The essays have been reassigned to paper 3 and for the first time marks will be allocated to language quality in addition to facts. On top of that, paper 3 will also include for the first time stimulus text on which questions will be based. Planning question from paper 3 as well as SPA are removed and combined into a practical paper. Previously, school teachers know which experiments will be tested in advance and prep students to do well. In the new format, the practical papers will be aligned more closely to examination style.
Additional info on assessment rubric:
Referencing from the table above, the new format is definitely making it harder than ever for the students to do well. The percentage of marks allocated for memory work has been further reduced and emphasis placed on higher level critical thinking. In the bigger picture it is a clear move away from rote memorization, however, the reality is that students need to still memorize the basic facts and on top of that be able to tackle questions that might have little or nothing to do with the syllabus and they have to make the connection. If you are looking for help in this area you have to look out for tutors who have adapted to the new scheme rather than those who have just reshuffled their notes trying to recycle as much as they can.
Mr Yang’s classes are very interesting and helpful, it doesn’t just focus on the subject itself, but he also teaches us techniques to study and memorize biology better. During his lessons, he usually recaps on the topics and I find them very useful, especially when coming back from a break after an exam or right before the exam. I am very thankful to Mr Yang, as ever since joining his class in early J1 I have been able to score A for almost every H2 Biology exam in J1 and J2.
Puah Yi Hao (SAJC 2017).
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