LC Biology

Ailbhe (Higher Level)



Biology, biology, biology… where do I start? Needing a much sought after A in this subject, I subjected myself to a heavy night of studying. Thanks God this is my favourite subject or those 11 hours at work yesterday would have been rather tiresome. I fell into bed at 1am and rose at 7.30. “Just. Two. More. Chapters.”

I was ready to drop as I sat myself into the chair. In my state of hazy drowsiness, I had forgotten to bring a ruler and calculator into the hall with me. They were sitting comfortably in my schoolbag outside the door. Great. No capture recapture method for me then. No graphs either by the looks of it.

Opened the paper. All predictions rang through. There were no nasty surprises lurking in the depths of the pink booklet. My confidence was greatly restored as I began to write. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Surprisingly all the experts were wrong. You can cram. And cram I did.

What I loved about this paper was that it had evolved (geddit) from its earlier ancestors. Now that the species of question has grown more complex, a new breed has developed. I like to call it homo-think-for-yourself-erectus.

The second short question was a fine specimen all together. Instead of employing the old genetics-for-Long-Q3 method, genetics were slipped into the short questions. This caused a slight ripple of surprise but calm waters were restored after I realised it was easier than it looked.

Ecology moved to a whole new (trophic) level. There were graph-like creatures roaming the territory of long Q3. These questions really exemplified the whole concept of what biology is about – applying your knowledge. You had to read, understand, interpret and apply your knowledge to the graph in order to answer the question.

I was disappointed to see that Protein Synthesis had devoured the usual inhabitant of long Q1 but the question’s bark was worse than its bite and was easy enough to pin down.

The final long question was another of the new generation progeny. You had to give reasons for statements. I know that questions like this have come up before but this year, they really broke through their endosperms of dormancy and made a remarkable comeback. Another breed of this organism was in the Ecology Question where taxonomy had to be applied. Sentences had to be declared true or false.

The experiments were as predicted. I have always hated that experiment on the heart. The day we did this I spent more time butchering my heart with the scalpel than I did admiring the tricuspid valves. Once the green food dye came out to highlight the coronary arteries, I was a lost cause…..FOOD DYE FIGHT ANYONE??

My other pet hate, plant mumbo jumbo, snarled at me from its lair in the third experiment question. I tried to slip in the key words here and there serial dilution, indolacetic acid, growth stimulators blahblahblah hopefully my point crossed the synapse.

Once again, the second experiment question was crawling with homo-think-for-yourself-erectus. Instead of giving a question on one experiment it was based on almost every experiment on the course. This was great as it resurrected the ghost of the late night cramming session within me and really rewarded the student who had a good knowledge of the whole course rather than just relying on predictions. You had to apply your knowledge to the question once again.

I think my ATP has just about been restored from last night. Let’s hope the adrenalin starts pumping to increase my mental alertness while I study for accounting. Homeostasis will be put to the test keeping me cool and calm during the weekend heat wave by the books. I’ll test out my hypothesis “I will get my results, if I fight the temptations of the beach for the next three days”. I’m sure it will work; I can feel it in my (spindle) fibres. 😉

Owen (Higher Level)

Ah Biology… the study of all living things!! Seeing as we are living, it should prove to be a nice exam and it being one of my favourite subjects, I was quite looking forward to getting it done!

Short questions were a good way to warm up the brain cells which were quite nice and very much approachable… a good few marks to be seized in this section!

Experiments and they weren’t my favourite ones on the course so I wasn’t very happy with this choice!

I avoided the heart dissection as it is very particular and ‘nitty gritty’ so I moved on to the second and third choice, a nice variety in the second choice with questions ranging from all the experiments. Next was plant growth regulation and the use of IAA, an in depth experiment and you really needed to know your stuff here so lucky for me I gave it a bit of last minute revision this morning so it was quite fresh in my head!

Long questions, again a nice variety from ecology to enzymes to the nervous system!

I found myself doing questions 11, 13, 14 and 15 which were very manageable. However, I did find a few bits and pieces here and there that proved to be a challenge but I did give them a fairly decent attempt and used every ounce of information I knew on the topic to pick up most of the marks! As one of my friends said, ‘I was basically vomiting up all the stuff that I knew onto the page just to be safe’.

Everyone seemed to be quite content with how the exam went. As for me, I found myself questioning how well it had gone after the exam and whether or not I had done enough to secure the high grade which I had been banking on. However, after analysing the paper a bit further, I feel reassured that it was a very do-able paper and hopefully the generous marking scheme will work in my favour to gain the majority of marks with the ‘nitty gritty’ bits.

Now off for a week… I’m already feeling the Freedom, on the other hand there’s still study to be done for music but hey, only one exam left!! 😀


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