My Thoughts: Biology B2 Exam – 19 May 2011


Loyal readers of this blog will have noticed a severe lack of posts of late: it’s exam season, and consequently my attention is on revision. However, I do think it important to jot down a few thoughts on the exam I just sat so that, when I get the results in a few months’ time, I can look back and see what I thought of it immediately after.

ELEVENTH HOUR_The exam started at 1:30pm, so some crammed in last-minute revision on the field.

The exam started at 1:30pm, and given the number of people on the field at lunchtime with books open cramming in revision at literally the eleventh hour, I was fairly certain that many of my peers would have found the paper tricky. This afternoon, I therefore used Facebook to create a poll, asking my friends and classmates how they think it went. The results (though the question is still open to be answered) show a majority for the ‘Easy’ radio button, but with a fairly sizeable proportion voting for the more pessimistic options.

RESULTS_The results of the question at the time of writing.

As you can see, I found it pretty tough. There was one four-mark question I omitted (and didn’t have time to come back and try again), and a couple of dotted-line, one-mark questions I left blank as well. In some cases, by re-reading the question, I realised I’d answered it completely wrongly, but – with no space to re-write my answer – I had to squeeze it in, in very small handwriting. I’m concerned that this will be illegible to the examiner, or may not even be scanned into the image that the online examiner sees.

Only time will tell how I truly did in this examination. The thing is, Mum (a maths teacher at a different school) brought home a copy of the paper I sat and, looking through it, I know the answers. But the first question was mean, throwing me for the rest of the test, and with the pressure of the exam hall and the ticking clock, I mucked up even simple things like filling in Punnet squares.

As 25% of my entire Biology GCSE it was crucial that I did well in it. Hopefully, I’ll be allowed to retake it, but I can’t bank on that. Fortunately, that was my only exam today. But the trick now is to put it out of my mind completely and allow myself to concentrate on the rest of the upcoming exams – the Drama written paper (which makes up 40% of that GCSE) is first thing tomorrow morning.

On with the revision!

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.