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Preparing for the OCR A-level Biology Exam can be overwhelming, but using these studying tips will help you pass it with flying colors!

Preparing for the OCR A-level Biology Exam

Biology is a very important discipline to learn, since it is one of the fundamental nature sciences. A lot of higher education institutions, therefore, require the completion of OCR Biology A-level course to enroll into a wide variety of subjects ranging from medicine to bioengineering.

Thus, the successful OCR Biology A-level exam is vital to the future of the student. In this article, the student will read about the general tips and pieces of advice for the preparation for the OCR A-level Biology Exam.

OCR A-level Biology Exam

Using OCR Biology A-level past papers

The thing that will immensely simplify your life in the final days leading to the examination is using the OCR A-level Biology past papers, which can be found at On this resource, a group of specialists have combined all the past papers available at one place, with past papers being conveniently grouped by topic. So, if you wish to re-learn all the Cell-Divisions questions that have ever been published by the OCR examination commission, you can do it and – all within a single document.

This can ultimately prove decisive in your preparation for the exam. Not only such compilations allow the student to refresh the knowledge on the eve of the examination in the swift manner, but also gives him the opportunity to complete the exam without spending a plethora of hours on preparation – just by using the past papers and the one and only source of information.

Combing through all the past papers, the student will be able to understand the patterns of the questions, what is usually asked – to know exactly what can be expected on the real exam. While this method is by no means recommended, it can be a saving grace in cases when you need to secure the passing grade by all means necessary.

OCR A-level Biology Exam

General tips for the best preparation for the Biology Exam

Keep the records and take the notes

It is a great idea to track the progress by making correspondent notes that will be showing the student their track on the path to achieving a goal. Another useful idea is to have a diary, in which a student will write out the schedule, thoughts and quotes that will motivate him to pass the exam.

Solve the genetic problems

The introduction of genetics in biology is perhaps one of the most important developments in this scientific area in the 20th century. Thus, almost every biology exam has the genetic problems 00 and OCR A-level exam is no exception. Learn how to make the right decisions and be able to get an answer in a short period of time. It is necessary also to solve diverse problems with various methods (using Mendel or Morgan rules) for the development of overall thinking skills. The more you know, the easier it is to answer all the questions.

Notice the relationship between the organisms in the nature

In biology, every single organism is studied not only “individually”, in isolation, but also with relation to its ecosphere – that is, taking in mind the surroundings, the flora and fauna within them, the natural enemies and natural prey, life cycle, etc. So, if the student has an associative mind, it is wise for him to track the patterns in the ecosystem to formulate the characteristics of the inhabitants of the Earth, making it far easier to remember them all.

OCR A-level Biology Exam

Work with the illustrative material

The human brain best remembers things when, to begin with, it understands them totally, and secondly, when multiple information stimuli are used. So, when text is supplemented by clear pictures, photos, drawings, tables, figures, etc, the learning process is way more efficient.

Therefore, the students should best be studying the structure of the cells and organs in photographs, marking their constituent parts. Also, with the help of freehand drawing, you can immerse yourself in the process, so that the material will be better deposited in memory.

Expand the conceptual apparatus and develop written speech

At the exam in biology, an ordinary way to express thoughts will simply not work, because on the exam the student will have the need to demonstrate the scientific approach and show the experts that he has understood the entire biology course.

Rationally, students should not forget to clearly articulate their thoughts and proofread the end result to avoid mistakes. Another helpful idea is to circle or underline the most important point in the written answer, so that the reviewer can quickly evaluate your work according to the criteria.

Learn at least basics in every topic

It is important to remember that there are no secondary-value topics in General Biology and that it is highly likely that the questions in exam will concern not only genetics or cytology, but also ecology, biosphere, and evolution. However, there will always be the tasks from the Plants/Bacteria/Mushrooms/Lichens (i.e. Botany) sections, Animals (zoology), human organism and his health (anatomy).

A feature of typical examination is the integration of questions from various topics of biology, when solving a task requires knowledge from different sections of high school biology. In addition, all tests contain a task on genetics, therefore, it is important to pay more attention to solving these problems, as well as typical tasks that require knowledge of the genetic code.

OCR A-level Biology Exam

Mnemonic tips

For better memorization, you can use not only books, but also popular science videos that talk about nature, the evolution of life on Earth, certain types of animals, etc. Also use these memorization methods to pass the exam:

  • Associative line. Some names, terms in biology can be very complex. To remember them, tie a word or part of it to one that you know well, then the information will be remembered much faster. You can also associate some words with different pictures, images, which later will help you remember all the necessary terms.
  • Game form of education. Prepare yourself by making up a game based on the questions in the course and the answers to them: you will see that this way the material is absorbed much faster.
  • Try to start with the most difficult part, as easy material is better remembered at the end than difficult.
  • In biology, cramming has little effectiveness, since all the material is logical, and has a structure that must be mastered by the student.

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