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Can I pass HL Biology?

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Hi,

So, I am a junior and almost finished with my first year of HL Bio. We have multiple books for that class, which include Campbell-Reese (the textbook and the lab manuals), Biology for the IB (Minka Peeters Weem), Biozone, a few AP lab manuals, and my teacher prints out previous questions (specific to certain topics) along with the answers which we are supposed to read and study (but aren't tested on).

The problem with my teacher is that she assigns the Campbell-Reese online work(we don't have any in class tests) , and considering you can re-take the tests as many times as you want, I don't know if I'm really learning anything. Also, for Biozone, she gives us a week to do every 100 pages (this occurs sporadically, so we can't plan ahead for it) which we end up rushing through and not retaining anything. Her lectures simply regurgitate the material taken straight from the Biology for IB book, and our "quizzes" consists of rewriting the answers to the questions which are given on certain page numbers. The lab manuals do help a great deal, but we can not do labs to cover every topic (I go to a public school and they are cutting funding).

Therefore, I feel doomed. How do I know if I'm really learning anything, or if I'm just simply completing busy work? And how can I get a predicted grade (considering she doesn't and won't hold mock exams)?

Also, considering the fact that if I don't get additional resources, I'll most likely fail, which ones (books, etc.) would you suggest?

I would love any advice! :P

Thanks!

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I suggest getting as many past papers and markschemes as posible, also ask for the syllabus and this is a good book for revision http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-IB-Diploma...r/dp/019914818X. and this is a good one for learning the material http://www.amazon.co.uk/IB-Diploma-Program...=pd_sim_b_img_1. The Weem book is **** and parts of it are in correct and it is out of date for the syllabus you are doing.

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I suggest getting as many past papers and markschemes as posible, also ask for the syllabus and this is a good book for revision http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-IB-Diploma...r/dp/019914818X. and this is a good one for learning the material http://www.amazon.co.uk/IB-Diploma-Program...=pd_sim_b_img_1. The Weem book is **** and parts of it are in correct and it is out of date for the syllabus you are doing.

That's what I've been attempting to do, though for some reason I'm finding it difficult to obtain matching papers and mark schemes. :angryspeech: Thanks for the suggestions though! I've been looking for books to buy that are actually worth the money.

I've been trying to tell my teacher that sections of the Weem book are incorrect, but it's all to no avail. And all our teacher has given us is a syllabus outline...I'll definitely get on finding the actual one.

Thanks again!

Edit: Haha, I found the actual one! :P Wow, that's an insane amount of paper to waste in printing. IB kills trees. :)

Edited by greekamprincess

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iknow exactly how you feel! our teacher is exactly the same! her class is hilarious! she can talk endlessly about anything in the world except biology =P lol we start talking about anything and she doesnt stop! but what we do know is we assign sections for each of us to explain, and then give out our notes to everyone. Whats even better is making notes ourselves, on small flashcards (like write the keywords and simple definitions), i would really suggest doing that! and ask your teacher to assign sections for each person to explain, because not only the person explaining will get it a lot better, but then theyd be able to explain it a lot better to everyone.

hope this helps =D

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heey

i think you can easily pass biology HL but we have the most frustrating teacher ever i could almost swear i know her whole family history since almost every class she has to mention a family story....and if we dont feel like studying we just give her a topic and the whole class finishes over discussion of one lame thing to the next!! but even with that and the fact that we study a lot of the information for ourselves we are doing fine!!

i think you can do anything if you are determined to accomplish it!!

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iknow exactly how you feel! our teacher is exactly the same! her class is hilarious! she can talk endlessly about anything in the world except biology =P lol we start talking about anything and she doesnt stop! but what we do know is we assign sections for each of us to explain, and then give out our notes to everyone. Whats even better is making notes ourselves, on small flashcards (like write the keywords and simple definitions), i would really suggest doing that! and ask your teacher to assign sections for each person to explain, because not only the person explaining will get it a lot better, but then theyd be able to explain it a lot better to everyone.

hope this helps =D

Actually, I did ask her to do that a while ago. But she claims that there is only time for her to lecture (aka read a powerpoint to us) because we have to do labs, and all our studying (and consequently, learning) must be done at home in our "spare time". *cough* *cough* So anything that we don't understand...we pretty much have to figure it out ourselves, or meet in study groups. Is there a list of key words, or do you just take them from the textbook(s)? I love flashcards too! :D

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I know from experience that IB Biology can be a major pain when the teacher simply makes and reads notes in class. It was only right before exams that I found out how useful study groups can be. So if you can maintain a good consistent study group (and actually discuss biology!) then that should actually prove to be very helpful.

And of course, past papers are your friends.

Edited by Mr. Shiver

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I know from experience that IB Biology can be a major pain when the teacher simply makes and reads notes in class. It was only right before exams that I found out how useful study groups can be. So if you can maintain a good consistent study group (and actually discuss biology!) then that should actually prove to be very helpful.

And of course, past papers are your friends.

Haha, past papers are my best friends.

The only problem I've found with study groups is that when we can schedule something, it's usually in time that we usually would be sleeping, etc. and we need that time to de-stress, thus we get off topic very easily. We even tried implementing a person to remind us every 4 minutes to stay on track, working in a sound-proof room in our local library, etc., and it never works.

I blame the problem on the fact that I prefer studying with the most intelligent people in my classes (obviously), who also happen to be my best friends...who I rarely get to spend quality time with. :) And all of the students that I wouldn't get off topic with in a study group are those who commonly ask me or one of my friends to explain the material to them...which isn't really helpful when I come across something I don't understand. Gah. I just wish I could manage to study with my friends. But who wants to study Biology when you can have random pillow fights? =P

Oh, and a random question, does anyone have the title for any revision guides (Cambridge, Allott, something...) for the 2009 HL Bio syllabus? :mellow:

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yah same goes to me. my teacher just read the notes. i have to depend on past papers and books to get 7

Haha, don't you just love teachers like that? It's good to know that I'm not the only one in this situation, which is why I would love a book title for the 2009 syllabus...that way we could all do better in our studying and hopefully get a coveted 7. :D

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One good thing about Biology is that a lot of it is memorisation. So I suggest that, in your own time, get a small book, the syllabus points and make notes for each point. Amass a good set of textbooks for this--Campbell is good, the Study Guide gives you a quick summary (but is not everything) and a few others. I'm lucky that I have a good, experienced teacher. Anyway, it will be boring, it will take a lot of time, but you will thank yourself. Before a test, memorise/learn the syllabus points and do as many past paper questions as you can. Read the markschemes and figure out what they want. That has gotten me good marks. It is inevitable that your questions will be from past papers and readily available resources (such as the Weem book).

I know that is a very simplified suggestion, but it helps. Also, pay a lot of attention to your internals and don't fall asleep in class. And don't let yourself fall behind. HL/SL Genetics pops up predominantly in past papers, so that's a topic to watch out for. And have a positive outlook! Biology is one of the easiest sciences you can take.

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IMHO, of the experimental sciences, Biology is probably the easiest. I highly recommend the book, Biological Science by Freeman or Biology by Campbell and Reece. Both are exceptional and offer a very detailed explanation of everything on the IB syllabus. Ideally, as others have said I would recommend investing in some practice exams or the Bio questionbank (both available through the IBO) for additional practice.

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To be sure that you have learnt everything that you are meant to have learnt I suggest that you get a copy of the syllabus and got through it. Compile notes unnder each point and that way you will be able to see what you need to know and what you already know. also the IB sylabus for biology is very precise and the questions that they use in the exams come pretty much directly from the sylabus. That way you'll have everyhting covered.

It sounds like you're teacher's method of teching doesnt suit you very well. If i were you i'd go and talk to her. Ask her if she could give you more warning about the classwork and make mix it up a bit so that you're not repeating the same thing over and over again.

also if you take a past paper and then get your teacher to mark it you will be able to tell how welll you're likely to do.

You'll be right!! just have good study notes and revise!!!!

-good luck!! im doing sl and thats hard so i can imagine how HL would be.

-soph x

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Biology HL is the most interesting G4 subject...

Chemistry come in the second place...haha

anyway, I suggest that if you don't understand what your teacher usually rambles about, find a senior teacher who is better in explaining stuff... I do it anyway...

and I have the new Allott book...

Concise and precise....makes Bio easier to live with~

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I know from experience that IB Biology can be a major pain when the teacher simply makes and reads notes in class. It was only right before exams that I found out how useful study groups can be. So if you can maintain a good consistent study group (and actually discuss biology!) then that should actually prove to be very helpful.

And of course, past papers are your friends.

Really? I recall having "study groups" in econ and I ended up not studying at all. I even eventually moved my desk to some secluded area so I could properly study. Bio was mainly pretending to do questions but mainly listening to music. Oh, and bothering Anselina. :ninja:

OP: the IB Biology Study Guide for SL and HL was particularly helpful for me, as it had diagrams and condensed points. Of course, you first need to learn the expanded points. Could you perhaps finish the 100 pages as quickly as possible then go back and learn it again on your own time? You could also write down your own condensed points as that may help you retain info for a while longer. The other option would be to question the teacher as to WHY she's assigning you 100 pages in a week. If she wants you to do well, she'll think about her method and change it. Maybe she's just inexperienced?

Edited by moneyfaery

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It's funny to hear that most biology teachers suck explaining... My whole class has asked my teacher to change his techniques, but he only gets mad at us and ignores us, so we have given up. Our solution is to study in small groups and answer questions like jeopardy or something like that.

I think that knowing how to answer the questions is the very helpful (you know identify the ones that are completely incorrect and leaving the other). Of course old test are great and if you have the option of doing it in spanish, I think it is better because the IBO has fewer questiions than in english.

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Hi! Thanks for all of your replies, but my teacher is the most senior teacher (she's the department director), and the only one that teaches HL Bio, and has been for MANY years (though she's only ever had three 7s). Everyone in my class has spoken to her about her teaching methods, but she just tells us to trust her to help us pass, and deal with it.

Anyway, in regard to compiling notes under the syllabus, would you guys reccomend printing the syllabus or just accessing it online?

Also, is the Allott book still the newest or is there a better one for the 2009 syllabus?

Edited by Mandiloquence

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Anyway, in regard to compiling notes under the syllabus, would you guys reccomend printing the syllabus or just accessing it online?

I would advice printing it since its easier to access than an online version. Plus if you want notes available directly under syllabus section check this site out. Personally I find this site awesome because of its break down according to syllabus number. Most text books dont really break down exactly according to syllabus number. Hope it helps.

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I just want to say that you will all do fine, because you are genuinely trying to pass, and when I went into the test, I thought I would fail miserably, but I got a 4, and I was not the smartest kid in the class.

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I think there's a thing about Bio teachers.. they all seem to be err what's a good word?

Inadequate..

our Biology teacher is absolutely HILARIOUS. She talks about her weekend, her puppy, her kids but just never seems to talk about Biology.

Like what Sophie said, getting the Syllabus published by the IBO is the best way to go. Before you go into that exam room, make sure you know EVERYTHING described/listed in it. Then you will definitely pass, if not better, get a 6 or even 7 hehe good luck!!

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