Published on 21st May 2019 by lauram

Biology and Chemistry Revision

Stuck in a rut with your Biology and Chemistry revision?

If you’re struggling to stay focused, here are five tips that really work and will shake up your learning…

Read how to get an A* in A-Level Biology

1. Use flashcards for key processes and definitions

Both Biology and Chemistry have quite a lot of processes and key definitions you need to learn. I found using flashcards with the name of the process/key word on one side and then the different steps/definition on the other side really useful.

Flashcards don’t take that long to make and once you have them, you can go through them over and over again. Try to make the content you put on flashcards as concise as possible, but don’t lose important words that will get you marks.

It can be helpful to separate flashcards into the different units for Biology and Chemistry and then learn them by going through them yourself or getting someone else to test you on them.

Read 5 Tips to Beat Revision Procrastination>>

2. Use diagrams and drawings to revise key concepts

If you are struggling to remember a specific process or concept in Biology or Chemistry, it may be useful to use diagrams or drawings in your revision. If you are a visual learner this can really help things stick in your mind.

I found it helpful to use diagrams when trying to remember lengthy biological processes, such as the different stages of respiration and photosynthesis, to avoid having to remember large chunks of writing.

However, I also found it useful to add small drawings just next to words in revision notes/mind maps to break up all the writing. Often in the exam I would remember what I’d drawn which would trigger me to remember the information.

Read 3 Step A-Level Revision Method>>

3. Use acronyms and mnemonics

Biology and Chemistry have a lot of content and often quite technical terms you have to learn. I found using acronyms and mnemonics for Biology and Chemistry revision was really useful.

For example, one acronym you probably use in Chemistry is OILRIG, to help remember the transfer of electrons in reduction and oxidation.  

To help with the levels of classification in Biology I used the mnemonic, King Philip Could Only Find Green Socks (Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species).

There are plenty others you can come up with and if you make funny acronyms and mnemonics it will no doubt help you remember things more easily. The more random it is, the more likely you are to remember it!

Read 5 Tips on Making the Perfect Revision Notes>>

4. Do past papers under timed conditions

I found doing past papers one of the best ways to revise for Biology and Chemistry, as it really tests whether you know content and gets you used to the type of questions you’ll come across.

However, I would recommend that you make sure you do them under timed conditions as the timing can be quite tight. Also, this can help you to make sure you don’t spend ages on short questions and not enough time on the longer ones.

Read 4 Ways to Use A-Level Past Papers>>

5. Use websites for questions and explanations

If there’s a specific thing you just can’t seem to understand or you find the explanation in your notes/textbook a bit confusing it might be worth finding an alternative explanation online.

There are lots of websites covering Biology/Chemistry A-Level content but make sure the one you use is appropriate for your specification and to the right level.

Words: Rachael Foulsham

Want more revision tips? Try these:


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