Exam Review 2023 – Biology

By Yeats College Biology teacher Ms. Niamh Lyons

The Higher-level Biology paper was fair and balanced with plenty of choice. Students had the opportunity to answer the full paper while avoiding less popular or trickier questions.

Section A consisted of seven questions and students were required to answer five. The first five questions included food, the scientific method, human skeleton, DNA and Bacteria. Question 6 included a mix of different topics which provided students with the opportunity to display their knowledge. Question 7 focused on photosynthesis which was similar to a question from a previous past paper.

In section B, students were required to answer two out of three options based on the mandatory experiments. Question 8 was based on ecology, the appearance of a question on the function of the apparatus for surveying animals may have thrown students at first. Question 9 was a straightforward question on the production of alcohol by yeast with question 10 based on a mixture of experiments from unit 3.

Section C this year also provided additional choice, featuring a full question on the topics of ecology and genetics. This section challenged the students to read the questions carefully and tested the finer details of topics that some students may have found difficult. Those who studied both plant and human reproduction found themselves being able to answer both questions 14 and 15. Students who put in the time and effort to revise every aspect of a topic would have found questions 16 and 17 a fantastic opportunity to show their knowledge to the examiner.

Overall, the paper was wide-ranging and balanced with ample choice. There were, however, some difficult parts to questions that students would have found challenging.