How to Ace Your Biology in Secondary School: Best Tips for Scoring Well

Known for being one of the more content-heavy subjects, Biology requires a great deal of studying and perseverance, regardless of whether you are taking it as a pure subject or a combined science. It is not uncommon for students to spend hours a week brushing up on their Biology concepts just to stay afloat in class. If science is not your cup of tea, you may have faced difficulties when it comes to excelling in Biology. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry – it is definitely possible for any student to pass their Biology exams with flying colours, coming from the best Biology tutor in Singapore.

What is Biology and Why Study It?

Biology is the study of living things, vital processes, and how life functions. In PSLE Science, students learn about life at the systems level, and in O-level Biology, students learn about life at the physiological level. Of all the sciences available in secondary school, Biology is often one of the more interesting choices due to its applicability to our everyday life, able to provide fascinating insights.

On the other hand, not everyone is interested in Biology. If you have had one too many close scrapes with an exceptionally difficult Biology paper, you may be wondering why most educators recommend studying Biology in your secondary years. Of course, a working knowledge of Biology is not a golden asset for every job, but it does pave the way to taking more advanced subjects in your JC or polytechnic, and even beyond to university. In fact, O-level Biology is a prerequisite for many JCs and university courses. If you are keen to go into a discipline that requires Biology knowledge, or if you are unsure of what courses you wish to pursue in the future, taking Biology in your O-levels is a good idea.

Scoring Well in Biology

Review Content Outside of Class

While school lessons are meant to teach content, Biology classes can often feel packed with all the content the teacher has to cover within a short span of time. Additionally, lessons are often paced according to the class majority, which can make it extremely difficult for a weaker student to catch up. If you find yourself lagging behind the rest of the class, don’t leave the catch-up to the last minute before your exams – it will never happen. Instead, we suggest setting aside pockets of time per week to read up on the concepts you missed. This helps you to close the gap with your peers and catch up with the teacher’s pace sooner rather than later.

Even if you are already on pace with your class, it never hurts to go the extra mile and read up on concepts ahead of time. Look up unfamiliar terminology and go through the relevant chapters in your textbook before the topic is taught in class. Jot down any points you are unsure about, or any questions you have about the topic. When your teacher goes through it, you’ll already have the higher ground and grasping the concepts will be a breeze for you. You’ll also be able to ask the teacher your questions right away.

Take Notes During Class

Since Biology is so content-heavy, even the best Biology tutor in Singapore will recommend doing extra for your revision and taking concise notes during your lessons. Biology textbooks and references are of course readily available, but since the O-level syllabus does not match the textbook topic for topic, you may spend unnecessary time going through material that is not going to be tested just to look for a concept you needed to review. For more efficient revision, it is advisable to make your own notes as you learn each topic, storing all the important details for easier review later on.

If you’re the type that goes through lesson content before class, that’s even better! Instead of waiting for your teacher to reach each topic, you can study and make notes on your own time, allowing you to have a handy reference sheet available when you need it in class. You can use this as a form of revision to check the concepts you learn in class against what you already have in your personal notes. See if your self-study is missing some facts or if you managed to capture any additional pointers. This practice can help you greatly in JC and university, where students are expected to familiarise themselves with the syllabus on their own.

Attend Secondary Biology Tuition

Although it is possible for students to score well in their O-levels without attending any secondary Biology tuition, this may be a good option if you are finding Biology to be a difficult endeavour. A dedicated tutor will be able to guide you through difficult concepts. As an added bonus, an experienced tutor can also teach you the best answering techniques to ace your exam.