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OCR GCE Biology A Year 1

Discussion in 'Science' started by missscience, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. missscience

    missscience New commenter

    Any tips on preparing for the exams. My y12 class understand the content but each time I assess them the results are shocking. I don't know what's going wrong. Found some sample answers to questions on the OCR website tonight which I'm going to give them to look at over the holidays, along with spec exam papers and mark schemes.

    I've never taught OCR before, previously did AQA and SNAB.
  2. Ficedula

    Ficedula New commenter

    We are having a similar experience, so afraid I am unable to offer much help. We have found the teaching time to be pushed to get all of the content in, alongside PAG activities. Can I ask how much teaching time you get? Our A-level time was reduced this year.

    We have given similar resources to you, also google a website called Mrs Miller's Blog. It is focused on the old spec but has lots of questions and mark schemes sorted into topics. Many are still relevant to the new spec so will help students. Has been really useful as like yourself I am new to teaching OCR this year.

    Also we have been selecting questions from the Cambridge International A-level (http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-an...onal-as-and-a-level-biology-9700/past-papers/) as they have multiple choice papers and lots are relevant (though not sure they are of an equivalent standard to some of the multiple choice questions in the OCR spec papers)
    Don't forget there are two additional papers on OCR interchange if you need practice papers.
  3. missscience

    missscience New commenter

    We have 3 1hr30 sessions a week. I still have the biodiversity section to teach and their other teacher still needs to cover the evolution section. Its's very tight on time.

    Thanks for the hint on that website, i'll have a look.

    Got the two papers from the interchange last week, the second paper looks solid and I couldn't believe 20% of the first paper was maths based. Gave my y12's a shock. So i printed them the maths expectations for the course from the spec.

    I found on the ocr website a booklet of exemplar answers which i have given my y12 group to look at over the holidays.
  4. Jasmin_Mann

    Jasmin_Mann New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2016
  5. richardtateson

    richardtateson New commenter

    Those examples of student responses to questions can be found here:
    and here:

    Don't forget that you can also make use of the Specimen and Practice Papers for the OCR 'sister' Biology AS/A Level i.e. if you are teaching Biology A you can look at the assessment materials (and all the other resources!) for Biology B - there's loads of overlap, especially at AS.

    There are also some multiple choice quizzes becoming avaialble. The first three are up, more to follow:

    I'm also attaching a document pointing towards all kinds of OCR resources for A Level Biology.

    Hope this helps!


    Attached Files:

  6. tjholland1

    tjholland1 New commenter

    Miss science. I found the same with the mocks that we recently carried out. There's a few things im unsure of as well; in a few of the spec papers and kerboodle papers students need to be able to recall very specific names for bacteria/protists. Something ive never seen before when teaching AQA and Edexcel. Has this been the norm for OCR?
  7. kingarth44

    kingarth44 New commenter

    we are doing AQA, and have found a number of students not "learning" their AS stuff for us as they perceive that the AS exams are irrelevant to them, so they plan studying "properly" nest year!
  8. hammyr

    hammyr New commenter

    I am finding similar issues. Could anyone share what grade boundaries they are using for the sample papers?
  9. missscience

    missscience New commenter

    Thanks for the help.

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