How to Study for VCE Biology - The Three Common FAQs!

May 3, 2021joelleva

1. There’s so much content. How do I know what I need to know?

While there’s some variation in what you need to know for SACs depending on your school, the VCE Biology Study Design will have an outline of the main concepts you definitely need to have mastered before going into the exam. For anything else, it’s not about how much you know but how much you’re able to deduce with the facts you have locked away in your memory. Train yourself to be able to make quick connections between key concepts locked away in your brain – this is the best way to ensure you ‘know’ everything.

2. What are my chances at redemption with the exam, given my poor SAC marks?

Anywhere from likely too good! This one’s tricky because SAC mark weighting for your overall study score can vary depending on the relative difficulty of your school SACs. However, this shouldn’t be your main focus! Ultimately, the exam matters and it is what you should be working towards. From personal experience, my first two SAC marks were pretty low/average, however, they kept increasing until towards the end I was averaging A+ for Unit 4 SACs. Although my overall SAC mark didn't come out to be an A/A+, I scored high enough in the exam to get a decent study score. This should give you some idea of the importance of not losing hope.

3. What is the best way to learn all of the content in Biology?

Depends on your learning style; but for most people, diagrams are EVERYTHING in this subject. Of course, first read the chapters and any notes given in class, taking the time to absorb all the information before making any notes yourself. Then, after summarising the most important bits of information in your own words, the focus should switch to active learning.  All the enzymes, pathways, and processes (especially in Unit 3) can be pinned down with a few detailed flowcharts and diagrams, while mind maps are useful for more abstract topics such as evolution. Keep going back to these visual aids and refining them as exam time draws closer.  A glossary of all key terminology encountered throughout the year is also crucial in memorising. Finally, do wider reading and whatever other questions you can find to ensure you’ve filled gaps in your knowledge and to train yourself to respond more accurately to questions.

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